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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book, but start with "Dead Beat"
The five Brannigan mysteries are really five episodes in the developing life of the Warshawski-like Manchester private eye and her semi-detached boyfriend. While much lighter than her more mature works, the combination of humour, English locations and mystery is excellent. I would recommend buying all five Brannigan stories and reading them chronologically, starting...
Published on 24 Jun. 2000 by Mr. D. J. Carr

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read.
This is the second of the Kate Brannigan books that I have read and although I didn't quite enjoy it as much as the other one (Clean Break) it still made for a good enjoyable read.
I still can't quite get over the similarities between Val McDermid's Brannigan and Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone, all you need to do is transpose California on to the Manchester heartland...
Published on 12 Sept. 2004 by Rich Milligan


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book, but start with "Dead Beat", 24 Jun. 2000
By 
Mr. D. J. Carr "David Carr" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blue Genes (Kate Brannigan) (Paperback)
The five Brannigan mysteries are really five episodes in the developing life of the Warshawski-like Manchester private eye and her semi-detached boyfriend. While much lighter than her more mature works, the combination of humour, English locations and mystery is excellent. I would recommend buying all five Brannigan stories and reading them chronologically, starting with "Dead Beat". You'll wish that Ms McDermid had written just a few more episodes before graduating to her mature novels.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read., 12 Sept. 2004
By 
Rich Milligan (Thatcham, Berkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blue Genes (Kate Brannigan) (Paperback)
This is the second of the Kate Brannigan books that I have read and although I didn't quite enjoy it as much as the other one (Clean Break) it still made for a good enjoyable read.
I still can't quite get over the similarities between Val McDermid's Brannigan and Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone, all you need to do is transpose California on to the Manchester heartland and the two are interchangeable.
My one criticism of the book (which goes for many of Sue Grafton's as well) is that they can tend to go rather too far in the feminism stakes. All the women and strong, sensible, intelligent and in the main successful (and 9 times out of 10 good looking as well) whilst the men tend to be weak, unattractive and pretty thick and therefore no match for the quick witted Brannigan, who is of course one step ahead
Still I will certainly return to Ms Brannigan in the future.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you want to track down the rest of her books, 7 May 2000
By 
Tina Jones (Crewe, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blue Genes (Kate Brannigan) (Paperback)
This was the first novel I read by Val McDermid and made me want to track down the other Kate Brannigan novels. Crime fans have got to read this book, the character Kate Brannigan is so strong and an inspiration to all women. McDermids writing is strong and passionate with an amazing sense of humour slipping out in the characters. The book has a few twists and several stories within the main story. The plot is an interesting one which I am sure many writers have been too scared about polital correctness to touch - well done Val McDermid.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a superb book, 26 Nov. 1999
This review is from: Blue Genes (Kate Brannigan) (Paperback)
I picked up Blue Genes in an airport for "something to read on the plane". Am I glad I did. I have just ordered all the rest of the Kate Brannigan series. It's such a pleasure to have a change from all the American M.E. and detective books (a la Patricia Cornwell's Dr Scarpetta series). It's set in Manchester and surrounding area for one. She dives under a table at the one time a gun is brought out and it doesn't end with mountains of bodies. Her style of writing is a breath of fresh air. She mixes strong old-fashioned who dunnit with infectious modern humour that we can all relate to. As in "I know my excuse was thinner than Kate Moss but....", and having lost someone she was tailing - "Quoting extensively, if repetitiously from the first few scenes of 'Four Weddings and a Funeral', I drove in her wake." What a wonderful image that conjured up. I am really looking forward to the next Amazon package of Kate Brannigan stories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting and intriguing!, 24 Jun. 1997
By A Customer
The books about Kate Brannigan are all worth
reading but in "Blue Genes" Val McDermid has
really made it!
Kate's life is changing in this book; her lover is
gone, her partner wants to be bought out and
her best friends are having a child..
However, in this particular case the parents of
the child are both women-made possible by a
doctor who appears to have her own strange
ways...Something is wrong and Kate are going
to sort it out.
This book takes a grip at You immediately:
Well written, intriguing and raising thoughts a-
bout genetics and etics.
Worth reading anytime.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kate Brannigan - a Convincing Private Eye, 26 May 2013
This review is from: Blue Genes (Kate Brannigan) (Paperback)
A friend of mine gave me his copy of 'Blue Genes' saying he thought I'd enjoy it because it is set in Manchester, where we both spent our college days and not far from where I passed my early years. Furthermore, he said, I would enjoy the wry northern turns of phrase scattered through the narrative.
He was correct. The Manchester I know comes alive on the page: and the characters too. Private eye Kate Brannigan is totally believable. Professionally competent, quietly confident, and yet carrying the same insecurities as the rest of us, she gets herself into and out of scrapes whist juggling challenges in her private and professional relationships. In the end her determination... no, I won't give the plot away. But she and her fellows are totally convincing: my inner ear registers their familiar accents as I read.
As a writer I am always intested to see how other wordsmiths put their ideas together. Val McDermid's skill and style kept me turning the pages right to the end - and I am notorious among friends for abandoning books after a page or two when the writing is not up to scratch. Her skills include: weaving several interacting sub plots together, building and relaxing tension in each and leaving the reader with frequent opportunities to wonder what happens next; exquisite use of figurative language; and economical and effective dialogue.
If I am to be picky, it seems to me that the development of the tale depends a little too much on fortunate coincidence and there is more than the odd continuity flaw, yet the whole thing hangs together well. Will I read more of Val McDermid's work? Certainly.
A thoroughly professional job. 5/5 from @Greywanderer
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another cracking read from McDermid, 29 April 1999
By A Customer
I am a huge fan of McDermid's work, and the Brannigan series is my favourite. Blues Genes brings together all the great characters, with a special focus on Kate's best friend, the wonderful Alexis, who is caught up in creative procreation! Apart from well-structured plots and well-drawn characters, I love the humanity and humour which these books have. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Clever and Amusing, 14 Nov. 2012
By 
Stephanie Johnson (Crete, Greece) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blue Genes (Kindle Edition)
Val McDermid has the ability to write in more than one style. Her books featuring Kate Brannigan are light, witty and grab one's attention from page one. Blue Genes is no exception. The book is well plotted, her characters behave consistently throughout and yet there are always plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and turning the pages long after the sun has gone down. If you enjoy detective fiction that combines harsh reality with humour,then you will enjoy this book and the others in this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it is a very gripping crime novel ,well thought out plot, 7 Dec. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Blue Genes (Kate Brannigan) (Paperback)
i thouroughly enjoyed this exciting thriller as i thought it was extremely well written and had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Manchester based private eye whodunit, 8 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Blue Genes (Kate Brannigan) (Paperback)
A great page turner. I really enjoyed this whodunit. The characters were interesting and well drawn, the plot original and the setting unusual (i.e. not set either in London or some pretty pretty rural village with more than its fair share of homocidal maniacs) I only discovered Val Mcdermid by chance, but I will certainly be buying more of her books.
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Blue Genes (Kate Brannigan)
Blue Genes (Kate Brannigan) by Val McDermid (Paperback - 1 Dec. 2003)
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