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on 27 June 2000
Different title and different cover but don't be fooled, this isn't a Lindsay Gordon tale that has passed you by, it's "Union Jack".
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on 14 June 2014
I am no prude but I am afraid I do not want Val McDermid's knowledge of gay and lesbian sex rammed down my throat. The plot of this book was unconvincing in that the resolution of the mystery relied on far too many unlikely lucky breaks. The background was also self-indulgently based on the author's experience of NUS conferences: I can see why she may have been disillusioned with these events but I just found it somewhat tedious to read about the time wasted on procedural wrangles and alcohol consumption.

I have read a couple of other Val McDermid novels - Beneath the Bleeding (where the descriptions of the effects of gay sex on certain parts of the anatomy were as sparse to be just about tolerable) and A Place of Execution - but I do not think this was up to the same standard.

I shall persevere.
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Journalist Lindsay Gordon is more accustomed to investigating murder than being suspected of it. But when union boss Tom Jack falls to his death from her bedroom window after a spectacularly public row with Lindsay, it seems the only way to prove her innocence is to find the real culprit. In an investigation that draws her inexorably into her own past, Lindsay is forced to confront hard moral choices before she can clear her name.

My favourite Lindsay Gordon mystery so far! It took a while to "get to know" her, but now she figures as a much more well-rounded person - obviously still with a knack for getting herself into trouble and not always at her most tactful, but that's what makes her worth following.

Some great laughs in this one as well - love the excerpts from the union handbook!
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on 4 September 2014
I love most of Val McDermid's books, but this one bored me stiff. All the union guff was desperately dull, I didn't care who had killed who, and I don't think I'm going to make it to the end. Dreadful, can't understand why other people have even given it stars!
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on 23 August 2007
I'd say more an average read, but I prefer the Tony Hill and Kate Branigan series, which are good. I don't think I'd by another Lyndsey Gordon; the plot relied too much on lucky breaks and coincidences than on proper reasoning, and the lesbianism was a bit too intrusive for me. There wasn't any charm to any of the characters, and there are back references to earlier books. Unusually for McDermid books, I was always concious that I was reading a book, rather than being immersed in watching the story unfold.
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VINE VOICEon 24 June 2000
I recommend buying all five schoolgirl "Lindsay Duncan" and all five Manchester private eye "Kate Brannigan" books then reading them in chronological order. You will then gain the benefit of following the storylines of the main characters as they develop through the series, as well as gaining an insight into the skills and talents Ms McDermid used in her excellent book "Killing the Shadows".
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on 7 November 2012
I was a little surprised to begin with as I know the author more for the Wire in the Blood/Dr Tony Hill books and series. However, once I got started I was gripped and the twists and turns kept me reading avidly.
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on 31 May 2011
It is indeed correct to say that 'Conferences are Murder' is the same storyline as 'Union Jack'; the former is the title of the American publication.Union Jack
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on 15 July 2011
Trash!
I read half way through and it seemed to be full of references to women in bed with women and men in bed with men. I just couldn't read any more of this stuff.
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on 2 February 2013
Union Jack Intrigue and murder among the members of the NUJ, struggles for power and corruption exposed. Set between two union conferences over two eras the great differences between male and female members of the trade union movement are exposed to the reader's eye and written with plenty of insight, insight that only a former journalist could truthfully provide. As usual the hot-headed Lindsay is in the thick of it, so much that she's suspected of murderous intent. 'Union Jack' is a larger than life character and one I somehow feel I've met before in real life, leaving me wondering if the character was actually based of a real union official.
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