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Reviews Written by
Katherine Pathak "RetroReview" (Essex)

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The Franchise Affair
The Franchise Affair
Price: £3.95

4.0 out of 5 stars a classic country house mystery, 26 April 2014
The best thing about Tey's novels is that, in essence, they are clever puzzles. This story is no different. When a young girl claims to have been held captive at The Franchise, she knows certain details about the place which make her story seem irrefutable. Yet village solicitor, Robert Blair, feels inclined to disbelieve her. This story is all about piecing together clues and understanding the sometimes baffling motives of the key protagonists. Tey is a keen observer of human nature and if you enjoy an entertaining brainteaser with a vintage feel but would rather not plough through pages of unnecessary violence, this is the perfect choice.


The Lighthouse (Inspector Adam Dalgliesh Book 13)
The Lighthouse (Inspector Adam Dalgliesh Book 13)
Price: £4.19

5.0 out of 5 stars the location raises this book above the rest, 26 April 2014
I love P.D James' Dalgleish novels and this book certainly doesn't disappoint. I was drawn into the vivid descriptions of the island and enjoyed the interplay between Dalgleish's team. The story is well plotted and leads you towards an exciting conclusion. I have read this one twice. First for the mystery and then to savour the writing and the convincing characterisation. P.D James is the master of this genre.


The Vanishing Point
The Vanishing Point
Price: £3.95

3.0 out of 5 stars a little disappointing, 26 April 2014
Usually a great fan of McDermid's books, like other reviewers, I found this one a let down. Because I did not warm to the main characters in any way, the story lost its momentum for me. I had to work hard to stick with it to the end. I can see how the author was trying something different here and for that she should be commended. Once you have a formula that works it is tough to break out of the mould. However, the main premise to this book was the disappearance of the child and from early on I was no longer concerned about the outcome of that element of the plot. This is where I think the book falls down.


The Distant Echo
The Distant Echo
Price: £3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars atmospheric and gripping, 26 April 2014
This review is from: The Distant Echo (Kindle Edition)
This is my favourite Val McDermid novel and I think I've just about read them all. The story really takes you from page to page and I found the mystery intriguing. I liked the link to a murder from forty years ago and I had to keep reading until this enthralling tale was finally resolved.


Fever of the Bone (Tony Hill Book 6)
Fever of the Bone (Tony Hill Book 6)
Price: £3.66

4.0 out of 5 stars a welcome return for Tony Hill, 26 April 2014
McDermid creates such believable characters that you slip into a new book in this series almost seamlessly. Tony and Carol's ambiguous relationship continuous to develop and their professional partnership remains strong. Some interesting changes for both lead protagonists on the personal front and a complex case for them to get their teeth into. The narrative drives this book along and I particularly like the way that the story takes you from place to place. Detective stories based solely in one location can become a little predictable. I would highly recommended this series of novels and McDermid's stand alone thrillers are very good too.


Growing Up in the Gorbals: The Ralph Glasser Omnibus
Growing Up in the Gorbals: The Ralph Glasser Omnibus
by Ralph Glasser
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.92

5.0 out of 5 stars inspirational, 21 April 2014
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I read this collection as research for a novel and became quickly enthralled by the author's sometimes harrowing but ultimately uplifting story. It is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the poverty and hardship that existed in the slums of every British city on the eve of World War Two. It also catalogues the tremendous achievements of those who found themselves able to rise above it.


The Bridge - Series 1 [DVD]
The Bridge - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sofia Helin
Price: £12.00

5.0 out of 5 stars superb entertainment, 21 April 2014
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This review is from: The Bridge - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Great characters, plot and atmosphere. I enjoyed this just as much as The Killing. Sofia Helin's performance is brilliant and totally believable.


Tell Me No Secrets
Tell Me No Secrets
by Julie Corbin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps you on the edge of your seat, 21 April 2014
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This review is from: Tell Me No Secrets (Paperback)
A very clever mystery story with sympathetic characters. I liked the way in which the story moves backwards and forwards through time and you never quite know who to trust. An absorbing tale with a shocking resolution.


No Man's Nightingale: (A Wexford Case)
No Man's Nightingale: (A Wexford Case)
by Ruth Rendell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a solid return for Wexford, 21 April 2014
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I am a great fan of Ruth Rendell's novels and I have read every Wexford mystery. I enjoyed this story a great deal and I particularly liked the new dynamic between Burden and his one time superior. The writing is superb, as always, but I felt this instalment lacked the atmosphere of some of the very best Wexford novels. This does not mean 'No Man's Nightingale' isn't a great detective story but it is not quite up there with the very best.


The Back Road
The Back Road
Price: £2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars a superior suspense thriller, 21 April 2014
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This review is from: The Back Road (Kindle Edition)
This book was my recent holiday read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Much better written than the average thriller, I liked the characterisation and the fact that the key protagonists were sympathetic and human. The plot is cleverly revealed throughout the book and at no point does the story tread water. If you enjoy a complex novel which explores the interplay between a broad range of characters then this is the perfect choice. I have not read Rachel Abbott's first novel but there are no spoilers here, so I will read that one next!


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