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Witness the Dead Paperback – 21 Nov 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (21 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857204203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857204202
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A former journalist, Craig Robertson had a 20-year career with a Scottish Sunday newspaper before becoming a full-time author. He interviewed three Prime Ministers, reported on major stories including 9/11, Dunblane, the Omagh bombing and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. He was pilloried on breakfast television, beat Oprah Winfrey to a major scoop, spent time on Death Row in the USA and dispensed polio drops in the backstreets of India.

His gritty crime novels are set on the mean streets of contemporary Glasgow. His first novel, Random, was shortlisted for the 2010 CWA New Blood Dagger, longlisted for the 2011 Crime Novel of the Year and was a Sunday Times bestseller. He is also the author of a series of novels featuring crime scene photographer Tony Winter and Detective Sergeant Rachel Narey; Snapshot, Cold Grave and Witness the Dead.

Craig also has a weakness/fascination/obsession with black pudding and has travelled across Europe in search of the perfect pud. This admittedly strange pilgrimage included being a judge at the world black pudding championships in France.

Product Description

About the Author

During his 20-year career with a Scottish Sunday newspaper, Craig Robertson interviewed three recent Prime Ministers; attended major stories including 9/11, Dunblane, the Omagh bombing and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann; beenwas pilloried on breakfast television, beat Oprah Winfrey to a major scoop, spent time on Death Row in the USA and dispensed polio drops in the backstreets of India. His debut novel, RANDOM, was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger and was a Sunday Times bestseller

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By carol on 11 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Turn of the phone, lock your doors and put up a Do not disturb sign as once you start this fantastically gripping book you won't want anyone interrupting your reading pleasure. As always the story is full of twists and turns and keeps your mind wondering what is coming next. It is even better than Random, Snapshot and Cold Grave all of which I enjoyed immensely, in fact if it was a lager it would be a Carlsberg. It is written with a sensitivity that gives you an unparalleled insight into each of the characters. If you like slightly dark crime novels then this is for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Eva Dolan on 18 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Craig Robertson just keeps getting better, which is some achievement when you consider that his first novel, Random, was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger and hit the Sunday Times bestseller list. He has made Glasgow's mean streets his own and built a strong ensemble cast, led by the no nonsense DS Rachel Narey and scenes of crime photographer Tony Winter, who plays a central role this time round.

A young woman is found dead in Glasgow's Northern Necropolis, raped, strangled and carefully laid out across a tomb with the word 'SIN' written across her body in red lipstick. When a second woman is killed the next day Narey and her team realise they have a serial murderer on their hands. Which would be bad enough, but Winters uncle and ex-copper Danny Neilson believes the case is even more complex than that.

During the 1970s Danny worked the infamous 'Red Silk' murders, a case which gripped and terrified the city of Glasgow as several women were murdered in quick succession without the police ever managing to catch their killer. And these recent deaths exhibit links to the historical case which no copycat could know. But the man suspected back then is locked up, serving multiple life sentences for a string of murders and can't be responsible, despite the similarities. Archibald Atto is a psychopath who has tortured his victims families for years, refusing to reveal the location of their bodies or the full extent of his crimes, playing with them and the prison authorities and the police for his own amusement. Atto craves attention though and, worryingly for Winter, when the two men meet he seems to believe he's found a kindred spirit.

As Narey and her comrades chase down leads on the street Winter is drawn into an mental chess match with Atto.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Raven TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 July 2013
Format: Paperback
As I said in my review for the last book Cold Grave, Craig Robertson is a brilliant author recommend both as a bookseller and a reader, perfectly capturing the unique nature of Glasgow in both location and character, as well as proving himself the equal of Rankin and MacBride in the realm of Scottish crime fiction. Despite my huge praise for the last one, I think he has outdone himself here, as once again he shifts the focus of his characterisation using the ruse of a dual timeline (venturing further back than the previous book) and with a nice little nod to the intellectual interplay of another extremely famous crime read. Quid pro quo Mr Robertson.

Witness The Dead is the third of Robertson's series featuring Tony Winter, a scene of crime photographer who possesses a unique eye, and at times a slightly disturbing type of empathy with the victims that he photographs, but unlike Snapshot, the first, and its follow up Cold Grave, this book not only includes the usual characters, but puts into sharp focus Tonyfs uncle Danny Neilson, a former policeman, and a case that has always haunted him personally. As Robertson skilfully integrates the rich detail of the 1970s crimes and subsequent investigation, Winter and his police cohorts, find themselves at the centre of a series of murders that bear a striking resemblance to the Red Silk Murders. I really enjoyed Robertsonfs careful and well-realised depiction of 70s Glasgow, capturing the atmosphere and period detail perfectly, and Danny Neilsonfs closeness to the original investigation is central to the emotional punch of these scenes in particular, as he becomes completely consumed by the case.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. E. Utley TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is something of a craze, at the moment, for gritty, realistic Scottish police stories. This one is certainly gritty, though one hopes it is not entirely realistic.

I do not refer to the brutal murders. Sadly, they do happen in the real world. But we must all pray that, even in Glasgow, the police forces which investigate them are not as hopelessly dysfunctional as the force depicted in this story. Pretty well all the main police characters are thoroughly disagreeable people. They hate each other, and make that very plain. They are incapable of interviewing even the most obviously innocent citizens of Glasgow without being incredibly aggressive. It is a miracle that they ever solve any crime.

But, despite the almost total lack of sympathetic characters, this is a fast-moving and gripping thriller with a highly satisfactory twist at the end which the reader does not predict until only a few pages before it is spelt out.

A good holiday read.

Charles
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