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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic debut
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this book - and the unexpected is one of its best features. Simms managed to keep me guessing about what would happen until right at the very end.
Sometimes crime novels can be disappointing because it seems inevitable that things will work out alright, but with this book the sense that things could go horribly...
Published on 8 May 2004

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleaseant Enough Read But Nothing Particularly Special.....
"Outside The White Lines" is the debut novel from Chris Simms. It falls into the crime genre and follows the exploits of a roadside killer who is being tracked by a newly qualified police officer.
The idea of a killer who is prompted to kill by road rage made me chuckle and his character was well developed. The police officer's character was less well developed and...
Published on 5 May 2004 by Scottish Dave


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleaseant Enough Read But Nothing Particularly Special....., 5 May 2004
By 
Scottish Dave (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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"Outside The White Lines" is the debut novel from Chris Simms. It falls into the crime genre and follows the exploits of a roadside killer who is being tracked by a newly qualified police officer.
The idea of a killer who is prompted to kill by road rage made me chuckle and his character was well developed. The police officer's character was less well developed and I found it hard to have much feeling for him. The book also features a third character and it's an interesting concept having the story unfold from the point of view of 3 different characters. The plot unfolds fairly predictably and offers no great surprises.
Overall I found this a pleasant enough read but nothing particularly special. He's now published his second novel but I'll probably give that a miss. If you enjoy the crime genre you might want to give this book a try but its not essential reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic debut, 8 May 2004
By A Customer
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this book - and the unexpected is one of its best features. Simms managed to keep me guessing about what would happen until right at the very end.
Sometimes crime novels can be disappointing because it seems inevitable that things will work out alright, but with this book the sense that things could go horribly wrong and the murderer will escape capture remains a continuous and very uncomfortable possibility. Simms uses elements that have been used in many other crime novels - such as the cat-and-mouse between a lone policeman and a suspected killer - but the way he plays with these ideas and subverts them to take the story into unexpected territory gives the book a new, original and intriguing angle that kept me turning the pages to find out how - and if - it would all be resolved.
The world Simms creates is not safe or comforting - but it feels real, and this makes for an exciting and unsettling read. The characters in the book are intriguing and well-drawn, especially the character of 'The Searcher', who is a totally fascinating and disturbing creation. The resolution of the story worked really well and drew it all together for a satisfying ending.
Fans of psychologically-based crime fiction will really enjoy this book. Well worth reading - I'll definitely be looking out for more from this author.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad debut, 3 Jun. 2004
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Motorway killer driven by road rage, a newly qualified cop and and obsessive collector are mixed up in this above average thriller. Chapters are focused on each of the characters as the story leads up to its slightly rushed climax.
I found the areas dealing with the Police a little weak but othwerwise it hangs together well.
Not a bad book to while away a couple of hours with and shows good promise for the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and intriguing, 23 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Outside the White Lines (Hardcover)
'I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this book - and the unexpected is one of its best features. Simms managed to keep me guessing about what would happen until right at the very end.
Sometimes crime novels can be disappointing because it seems inevitable that things will work out alright, but with this book the sense that things could go horribly wrong and the murderer will escape capture remains a continuous and very uncomfortable possibility. Simms uses elements that have been used in many other crime novels - such as the cat-and-mouse between a lone policeman and a suspected killer - but the way he plays with these ideas and subverts them to take the story into unexpected territory gives the book a new, original and intriguing angle that kept me turning the pages to find out how - and if - it would all be resolved.
The world Simms creates is not safe or comforting - but it feels real, and this makes for an exciting and unsettling read. The characters in the book are intriguing and well-drawn, especially the character of 'The Searcher', who is a totally fascinating and disturbing creation. The resolution of the story worked really well and drew it all together for a satisfying ending.
Fans of psychologically-based crime fiction will really enjoy this book. Well worth reading - I'll definitely be looking out for more from this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An 'item of non-biodegradable nature' - or at least not for a long time, 30 Jun. 2007
By 
Helen Simpson (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
The story basically focusses on three characters who have reason to be on stretches of the motorway at night. My favourite character was The Searcher and the more we learned of him the more fascinating I found him.

Oddly enough this book made me realise that whilst some people don't like descriptive text about decomposing bodies, others dislike graphic violence (there is certainly an eeeuuuwww factor concerning the murders) I personally find reading about how cruelly people treat others more upsetting.

Although the book involves a police investigation into motorway killings, it's not a typical detective story. We know who the killer is throughout and because of the way the chapters are written, from the point of view of each of the three main characters, we also get an insight into their fears and motivation.

Motorways are lonely places at night and I'll probably never look at the central reservations in quite the same way again. Unlike some novels which when I hear their title, I struggle to remember what the story was about, this is a story that although relatively simple, will stay with me for quite a while.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very strong debut from a talented writer, 20 Oct. 2003
This review is from: Outside the White Lines (Hardcover)
Chris Simms professional writing career is off to a great start with Outside the White Lines,a tight psychological thriller that really stands out from the pack.
With just one novel, he already appears to be finding his own voice. All three of the major characters come across as being intriguing and unique. Each has been fleshed out enough that they are real people and not just archetypes.Too often we are given great writing with cardboard characters that are not compelling, but Chris makes each to stand out and gives us reason to care about the outcome and what happens to each of them.The climax is not run of the mill and is far more believable that the usual big fight.
If I have one complaint, it would be that the reasons for the perpetrator's actions were not clear to me. Not the reasons for his violence, that is explained quite well, but why he uses the unusual method he does. What caused him to pick this particular method? It is a minor issue in a book that is quite good and worth reading. Chris looks to have a bright future in crime fiction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down., 10 Mar. 2013
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This is a story that once you start you can not put down. A killer on the loose on the motorways of Britain. A rookie police man and a very strange character makes for a very good book. Well done Mr Simms. I will be reading more of your books. One little mistake in the story Sreech Owls dont occur in Britain.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book. Very different from the normal run of ..., 1 July 2014
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Excellent book. Very different from the normal run of the mill stories
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 24 Mar. 2013
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I tried my hardest to read this to the end but for the first time in a very long time I stopped reading it, and deleted of the kindle, I didn't think it flowed well and didn't like the characters or the story. This is my personal opinion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read, 8 Aug. 2013
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A very well written book that gets you hooked from the beginning. A great plot that keeps you intrigued all the way through, right to a most unexpected ending. Looking forward to my next Chris Simms book.
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Outside the White Lines
Outside the White Lines by Chris Simms (Hardcover - 6 Mar. 2003)
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