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Bright Lights, Big City: A Ryan Kyd Thriller (Ryan Kyd Thriller series)
Bright Lights, Big City: A Ryan Kyd Thriller (Ryan Kyd Thriller series)
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant and Ingenious, 7 Nov. 2014
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‘Bright Lights Big City’ is the fifth novella in Roger Hurn’s superb series of Ryan Kyd mysteries, and is, in many ways, the best of the bunch. In it Ryan’s latest case takes him out of his familiar London haunts and into the alien world of New York in pursuit of an invaluable manuscript, the ownership of which leads to murder. I felt the narrative arc of this story was ingenious: the idea of the disputed play script, the authorship of which is inconclusive, was very clever and elegantly worked out. This is a genuine ‘whodunnit’ of the first order and it had me guessing till the very end.

Once again, Roger Hurn presents the reader with a fascinating group of characters, some familiar ones from previous mysteries and some new ones. They are all memorable but I particularly enjoyed the two members of the NYPD: Cleary and Martinez. The author has a real knack of being able to establish, in a few lines, very clear characterisation and a genuine sense of place within the word limit of these novellas.

What has impressed me about this series is Roger Hurn’s ability to encompass a range of genres across the five stories including: missing person cases; political intrigue; financial and business corruption; action thriller adventures and of course, murder mysteries underpinning them all.

The tone of ‘Bright Lights Big City’ is dark as Ryan Kyd wrestles with his demons, and an increasing sense of his alienation, exacerbated by the change of setting. For me there were echoes of Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole - without the alcohol. The story is liberally scattered with literary allusions to Shakespeare, T.S.Eliot, and Melville; reflecting Ryan’s knowledge and intelligence despite appearances to the contrary!

The story demonstrates Roger Hurn’s familiar tropes: the fast paced narrative; the sharp and witty characterisation; the moral ambiguities; the crackling dialogue; the comic use of similes and the constant ability to surprise. But once again he is not afraid to stretch and develop these stories, formulaic it is not. In fact Ryan’s narration in ‘Bright Lights Big City’ reminds me a little of Nick Carraway in ‘The Great Gatsby’. Ryan, like Nick, is both ‘within and without’ in that he is part of the action and yet is on the periphery, commenting on and judging these people and their lives. Ryan’s outward cynicism, as he navigates morally ambiguous decisions and situations, masks a basic underlying goodness and ultimately he doesn’t compromise his ideals. I loved the final moments of this story, so simply and elegantly expressed, yet saying so much.

Finally I am baffled as to why this Ryan Kyd mystery is not part of the Kindle Single series. For me it has all the required ingredients for a thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking read and I thoroughly recommend it. In many ways, as I said before, for me it is the best of the bunch.

Ps. If you haven’t read the other stories … do so … you are in for a treat!


Below Zero (Ryan Kidd Thriller series)
Below Zero (Ryan Kidd Thriller series)
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Below Zero ... is hot!, 18 May 2014
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Having read, and thoroughly enjoyed, all of the previous Ryan Kyd mysteries I downloaded this as soon as I could and even before the end of the first chapter I knew I was in safe hands. Roger Hurn’s humorous, fluent style creates an easy, entertaining and exciting read. The plot proceeds at a terrific pace and is full of twists and turns, it is truly a compelling, edge-of-the seat narrative that makes for a perfect Kindle Single.

I would say that in ‘Below Zero’ there is change of emphasis, whereas all the previous Ryan Kyd mysteries had been investigations this is more of an action thriller in which Ryan and Carly are pursued in Morocco and Spain by a variety of dangerous men who want something that has come into their possession.

The author writes with considerable wit and humour but this should not belie the fact that the story is very well researched in terms of locations, organisations and procedures. Clearly a lot of preparation has gone into the writing of this novella. Roger Hurn frequently brings a smile to the reader’s face with witty and outrageous similes or with sharply drawn observations such as. ‘He was the kind of guy who only had teeth so he could lie through them’. He tantalises and teases the reader with the ongoing developments in the Ryan/Carly relationship; and what a great character she is … it is not just the locations that make this story hot!

Roger Hurn is the master of dialogue and this adventure unfolds at a breathless pace, great stuff! To reiterate what another reviewer said – this is a 5 star story from a 5 star writer and if you haven’t read the other Ryan Kyd mysteries then I strongly recommend that you do. He wont let you down!


Hard Cases (A Ryan Kyd Omnibus)
Hard Cases (A Ryan Kyd Omnibus)
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and thought provoking - a really gripping read!, 21 April 2014
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‘Hard Cases’ is an excellent omnibus publication that is both entertaining and darkly thought provoking. The three noirish Ryan Kyd mysteries go from strength to strength as the reader can trace both the development of the central character and the increasingly complex themes.

All three tales demonstrate the author's trade marks: the fast paced narratives; the sharp and witty characterisation; the moral ambiguities; the crackling dialogue; the comic use of similes and the constant ability to surprise.

Throughout the collection Ryan Kyd, a so-called ‘hard boiled’ private detective displays the cynicism of the disappointed idealist yet we never lose sight of his underlying humanity and warmth. Roger Hurn has created a potential Marlowe or Hammer for London in the 21st century. Furthermore, he does not shy away from some fascinating moral ambiguities but confronts them with honesty; this is not comfortable 'Sunday evening slipper' detective fiction but gritty and realistic writing that asks some tough questions.

‘Business is Murder’ does a great job of establishing both the central protagonist and the London setting. The first person narrative enables the reader to get to know Ryan’s inner thoughts and gives the story an immediacy. A missing person case plunges Ryan into a world of shady business dealings, kidnapping and murder.

‘The Hand of Darkness’ is a fast paced, exciting thriller in which the hard boiled London private detective investigates a cult. As the conspiracy deepens he peels away the facade and penetrates corruption at the highest echelons of the political world. Ryan exemplifies the cynicism of someone who has witnessed the corruption of the financial, commercial and political worlds; and yet he is not purely an anti hero, we know that deep down it's because he cares, this is revealed through his interjections and observations to the reader.

In `The Dead of Winter' Ryan Kyd embarks on a quixotic journey through the London landscape following the trail of a missing necklace of great historical and financial importance. However, what moves this narrative into new territory is the development of Ryan Kyd's character. Roger Hurn gives us a much more complex protagonist, one in which the brash, cynical, outwardly arrogant façade begins to crack and we get a glimpse of a much more vulnerable, self deprecating, and at times, an almost alienated individual. A man capable of love, jealousy and betrayal, "... one that loved not wisely but too well".

All in all a cracking good read! Roger Hurn is quite a find and I eagerly await further Ryan Kyd mysteries.


An Ill Wind
An Ill Wind
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars “Who will watch the watchmen?”, 27 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: An Ill Wind (Kindle Edition)
Good question … and in this superb action/thriller Roger Hurn provides us with a fascinating and credible answer; and, as suggested by the book’s epigraph, he also highlights the necessity for such organisations in the modern world. ‘An Ill Wind’ is a gripping narrative that thoroughly deserves the title ‘un-put-downable’.

The story candidly explores some of the religious, cultural and political tensions that exist today through the character of Jonathan Deacon; a member of the Special Investigations branch of the Royal Military Police. Whilst investigating the death of a close friend Deacon becomes embroiled in a world of political conspiracy and religious and cultural extremism. Roger Hurn’s stance is perfectly balanced when exploring the values of hardcore British nationalists or fundamental Islamists. His use of the 3rd person narrative perspective allows the reader to see clearly the parallels between the two sides.

This excellent book has many strengths: authentic and believable characters; consummate plotting; unexpected twists; superb dialogue; immensely impressive research and a mastery of tempo.

The author has kept the narrative realistic and possible. Despite being such an impressive man, Deacon’s ‘special powers’ are rooted in the real world, as he himself says, “This isn’t a movie, it’s real life and we do things differently here.” I love the creation of Melinda Skelton, a strong and powerful female character who drives the action forward as much as Deacon and does not pander to the female stereotypes so often portrayed in this genre.

Although the narrative resolves clearly, I believe there are some loose ends that would lend themselves perfectly for another Deacon narrative. I really hope Roger Hurn develops this character into a series, there is so much potential here. I would thoroughly recommend this ebook to any reader who enjoys the mystery/thriller genre – it will not disappoint. A definite 5 star read!!


The Dead of Winter: A Ryan Kyd Thriller (Kindle Single)
The Dead of Winter: A Ryan Kyd Thriller (Kindle Single)
Price: £1.99

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tainted Love, 12 Dec. 2013
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`The Dead of Winter' is the third Ryan Kyd mystery I have read and, I believe, it is the most assured. Roger Hurn's noirish series goes from strength to strength. This story continues to demonstrate the author's trade marks: the fast paced narrative; the sharp and witty characterisation; the moral ambiguities; the crackling dialogue; the comic use of similes and the constant ability to surprise. Some revelations in this story I really didn't see coming despite the clues being cleverly hidden in plain sight.

Here Ryan Kyd embarks on a quixotic journey through the London landscape following the trail of a missing necklace of great historical and financial importance. The reader follows him into both opulent and bleak, sleazy settings. We encounter some great new characters and some familiar faces too. During the course of his investigations Ryan inevitably comes across dead bodies, victims of their own greed or naivety.

However, what moves this narrative into new territory is the development of Ryan Kyd's character. Roger Hurn gives us a much more complex protagonist, one in which the brash, cynical, outwardly arrogant façade begins to crack and we get a glimpse of a much more vulnerable, self deprecating, and at times, an almost alienated individual. A man capable of love, jealousy and betrayal, "... one that loved not wisely but too well".

The necklace itself is a fascinating symbol in that all the characters that come into contact with it, become, in one sense or another, tainted. Tainted love indeed!

Yes, another cracking story and another 5 star experience for the reader! Keep them coming!


Hand of Darkness (Ryan Kidd Thriller series)
Hand of Darkness (Ryan Kidd Thriller series)
Price: £1.99

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Embrace the darkness!, 12 Aug. 2013
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Another cracking, page turning Ryan Kyd adventure from Roger Hurn! This is a fast paced, exciting thriller in which the hard boiled London private detective peels away the facade and penetrates corruption at the highest echelons of the political world. I loved the previous Ryan Kyd story but think the author has written an even better one here. This is a thoroughly entertaining and darkly thought provoking read.

So in what ways is it better? First of all the introduction of the feisty Carly Bloom as Ryan's sidekick is inspired. She is a sharply drawn and sharply spoken character who delights in puncturing Ryan's occasional arrogance. The chemistry between them sparks and, once again, Roger Hurn has created a character and a relationship which has enormous potential for development in future cases. Incidentally I loved the characters of the two girls who were Carly's friends - hilarious! More of them in future cases please!

Secondly the plot has greater depth and complexity. It is far darker and, once again, the author explores ambivalent and ambiguous moralities; there are no neatly tied up, comfortable resolutions here: Roger Hurn hits hard and doesn't pull his punches.

The story contains two superb set pieces as the narrative reaches its climax that I won't go into - no spoilers here! Suffice to say, Roger Hurn's style is very visual and cinematic. The pacing is superb - it is very hard to stop reading at the end of each chapter, one is compelled to read on! Perfect for a Kindle single.

The language and dialogue crackles and contains the exaggerated similes of a Chandleresque character, this is clearly a strength of the author's. Some of his similes caused me to laugh out loud!

I really like the way Ryan exemplifies the cynicism of someone who has witnessed the corruption of the financial, commercial and political worlds; and yet Ryan is not purely an anti hero, we know that deep down it's because he cares, this is revealed through his interjections and observations to the reader. Here we have a potential Marlowe or Hammer for London in the 21st century.

My only frustration is that having read this one I genuinely want to go straight on to read more of Ryan and Carly's cases but will have to be patient! A resounding 5 stars!


Business Is Murder (Kindle Single) (Ryan Kidd series)
Business Is Murder (Kindle Single) (Ryan Kidd series)
Price: £1.99

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real gem!, 4 Jun. 2013
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This is a real gem! Superbly plotted and totally gripping. I downloaded 'Business is Murder' this morning and I was genuinely late for an appointment because I couldn't stop reading it! I loved it on so many levels: its believable, sharply observed characterisation; its crackling dialogue; its genuinely unexpected twists; its sharply humorous writing that caused me to laugh out loud on occasions, not to mention some hilarious observations from the dry wit of Ryan Kydd who displays the cynicism of the disappointed ideallist yet we never lose sight of his underlying humanity and warmth - I love the detective genre and this character can really develop ... I really hope to read a lot more Ryan Kydd cases.

Another aspect of this book that particularly impressed me was that the author did not shy away from some fascinating moral ambiguities but confronts them with honesty; this is not comfortable 'Sunday evening slipper' detective fiction but gritty and realistic writing that asks some tough questions. Roger Hurn has created characters that have substance and that we can care about, who inhabit an 21st Century urban environment, and, although it is firmly set in London, this could equally be any modern city. I really hope that this develops into a series.

This writer and series has massive potential - I echo another reviewer ... five stars is not enough!

I LOVED IT!!!!


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