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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearson's Best Yet!
A real thrill of a read. Be a shame to give any plot spoilers, but you won't disappointed. The first two books in the Jack Delaney series could easily transfer to TV, especially as adaptions of Mark Billingham's books are coming up on Sky. This one though, Death Row has 'Movie' written all over it. Highly Recommended!
Published on 5 Aug. 2010 by Andrew T

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars A Complete Joke
It took me a long time to finish this book - about 4 months - because it was so ridiculously bad.

I have over 4,000 books here, and a quarter are crime fiction. This, without any doubt, is the worst I have ever read, and anyone who is a genuine fan of the genre - the kind of reader who wants a good fictional storyline wrapped in real police work and criminal...
Published on 2 Nov. 2011 by BDI


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearson's Best Yet!, 5 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Death Row (Paperback)
A real thrill of a read. Be a shame to give any plot spoilers, but you won't disappointed. The first two books in the Jack Delaney series could easily transfer to TV, especially as adaptions of Mark Billingham's books are coming up on Sky. This one though, Death Row has 'Movie' written all over it. Highly Recommended!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death Row, 25 July 2010
This review is from: Death Row (Paperback)
Having read and enjoyed Mark Pearsons "Blood Work" last year, I was interested to see how the next book would pan out. (I usually don't go for crime type thrillers). Thankfully, the book did not dissapoint. Person has developed a trully gritty, complex, but humane character in "Dealney" and I was completely engrossed from the start. Although quite dark and disturbing in parts there are many twists and unexpected turns along the way. "Jack delaney never lets sleeping dogs lie" sums up the character well.
Thouroughly excellent read and an obvious candidate for TV. 5* Read. Hopefully more to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My first Pearson book, 22 Aug. 2011
By 
Lainy (Bonnie Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Death Row (Kindle Edition)
Well written, easy to follow and the story captures you pretty much from the first chapter (actually from the blurb on the back!)I haven't read any of his other books and think if I had read the one before this one (I would think there is one due to some things said in this book) I would have enjoyed it just that bit more and had a better feel for the characters.

That said I don't think you particularly have to have read it it just would have been my preference but as I was given this book I hadn't realised it was a series or part of one.

The characters are pretty strong and wether you like or hate them you get a strong feel for them. I quite liked Jack as a character and a cop. The story is a page turner and pretty good paced, before long bodies are piling up and the chase is on as to who the actual killer is and a few twists and suprises along the way. It took me the best part of a day to read and I couldn't put it down as I wanted to find out who done it and what was going on with the other characters. 4/5 for me.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A Complete Joke, 2 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: Death Row (Paperback)
It took me a long time to finish this book - about 4 months - because it was so ridiculously bad.

I have over 4,000 books here, and a quarter are crime fiction. This, without any doubt, is the worst I have ever read, and anyone who is a genuine fan of the genre - the kind of reader who wants a good fictional storyline wrapped in real police work and criminal investigations - will agree.
Here we have a 'hero', a police officer who in the real world would either be in prison, working as security at a car park, or directing traffic at a Dartmoor crossroads. He's a mixture of the very worst of 'The Sweeney' and a 1960's US daytime cop show.
Police procedure and forensic examination/evidence gathering is ignored to the extent that none of the cases contained in this book would ever reach court, because if they did the police would be sued after the guilty had walked free.
The scene of a child abduction/murder processed in a few hours, a wet, boggy, open locus where a body has been recovered ? Ridiculous.
Anyone who watches the news will know that such a scene will take weeks to process. That's without the lead character stomping all over a muddy crime scene and destroying/contaminating crucial evidence. We have this kind of joke-policing on virtually every page.
We also have confirmation that the author has no idea whatsoever how the police and their support staff work : A 'Police Surgeon' on patrol with a Detective Sergeant - attending domestic violence calls and assaulting suspects ?
Not in this country !
Police Surgeons never leave the station (and most are part-timers) unless it's to 'pronounce life extinct' at a crime scene. They are completely independent of the police because they have to examine prisoners/suspects, and may have to give unbiased evidence AGAINST the police. Their neutrality is crucial.
'Quincy' was very bad US fiction Mr Pearson !
That was early in the book, and I realised that the author had no idea what a Police Surgeon is, or what they do.
CID officers on patrol and attending domestic violence calls ? Doesn't happen, and never has.
If possible, it then gets worse.
A group of police officers having a snack at a burger van. A motorbike pulls us across the road, and the black-clad (of course) rider fires a shotgun at the group from what ? 50'. He misses everyone.
What do the police do ? After dusting themselves down they ..... do nothing. Today, every police officer, camera, helicopter, traffic warden etc etc would be looking for the shooter (who is managing to conceal a shotgun while riding a motorbike through city traffic).
We have an earlier claim that a certain bolt action rifle is 'standard issue' to the UK armed forces.
So we also know that the author knows nothing about firearms or the armed forces - the results of firing a shotgun at 50' into a group of people is devastating (I've seen it), and that 'standard issue rifle' was phased out in the late 50's/early 60's. A version of it was retained as a sniper rifle (a sniper is someone who has successfully completed a very long, very intensive specialist course), but even these were phased out many years ago.
I could go on ... and on ... and on listing all the author's inaccuracies and child-like vision of crime, the law, the police, forensic science, and medical ethics and procedures.
I wasn't surprised that there are no acknowledgments or 'thanks to' listed by the author. In fact it looks like he simply made everything up as he went along, yet a few hours online would have corrected many of those outrageous inaccuracies.
Any leading crime novelist will do the research needed. We just have to look at their end-pages to see lists of people who add the reality to a fictional story. Billingham, Rankin, MacDiarmid, Robertson, James ... they all consult with experienced police officers, forensic scientists, pathologists, lawyers, judges, criminal psychologists, and more. All aspects of the plot are researched in detail. These people know that it's in their best interest that the public read and understand the reality of criminal investigations. That's why so many of them are happy to work with an author.
It's what makes a good plot line a very good book.
Sadly, some will think this kind of book is reality, and the plot, in the hands of a genuine crime writer, well ... it could have been.
The author not only does the genre a serious disservice - he also insults all the professions involved in the very real world of violent crime.
We will have some claiming to know what a 'Police Surgeon' or Coroner actually does, or they might wonder why the police are taking so long to process a crime scene - all based on this book.
It happens with Soaps (the author's target audience perhaps ?), and this book reads like a script for a very bad daytime police soap ... in Bolivia.
Pearson's 'hero' will no doubt be listed along with other Super-Cops with similar instincts, insights, and cunning.
Officers like :
Police Chief Clancy Wiggum.
Detective Inspector Grimm/PC Goody.
Joe Swanson.
And those incredibly brave men and women of the Sandford Police Service - especially Nick Angel and the Buttermans.

Finally, I received Michael Connelly's latest - 'The Drop' - on Monday. I finished it late last night. That's normal for me.
As I said, this Pearson took me 4 months, slightly longer than his previous offering.
I always give 'new' authors two or three goes.
Most improve.
A few don't.
And one or two get worse - and end up as co-authors with ... well ... formulaic authors who write half-page chapters - meaning a 250 page book is actually a 190 page comic-novella.
What's next for Mr Pearson ?
I suggest graphic zombie fiction.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made for film, 28 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Death Row (Paperback)
Harrow wasn't like this when I lived there - or was it? Pearson always refers to a published report or statistics, which together with his detailed descriptions of locations both real and fictional, add plausibity to his main storyline.I really enjoyed this and was pleased he still managed to keep his humourous one-liners in, despite the dark subject matter. The last 60 or 70 pages were frenetic, to say the least, and are made for the screen, big or small. Great stuff, looking forward to the next one.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good writing, let down by some bad plot points., 19 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Death Row (Kindle Edition)
There's a good story at the centre of this, and I think it's well written, but unfortunately there are too many things ruining it.

I haven't read the previous books, so a lot of references at the beginning meant nothing to me - and were nearly all irrelevant anyway. The only relevant one led to the "hero" beating someone up, which could have been omitted anyway. However, I suspect the story did reveal "whodunnit" in an earlier book, a character mentioned a few times, but for no very good reasons.

As mentioned, the main character has a partiality for violence, breaking and entering, a quick temper and other things making him unsuitable to be a police officer.

The worst point was the main clue which led the detective to the villains : this was a cliché which has been used in umpteen crime stories, when the author can't think of a decent way to move a story forward.

I'll probably read the author again, because I feel he can do better than this.
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2.0 out of 5 stars SORRY BUT I COULDN'T WAIT FOR IT TO FINISH, 3 Feb. 2011
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This review is from: Death Row (Paperback)
Sorry but I don't want to trash the book it was readable, but so many people just thrown in half way through why ?? and there was also so many different story lines drawn out too long, half way through i couldn't wait for it to finish, by the end i couldn't have card who done it!! I am going to read the other book i have by this author as i don't want to be put off by this one but this wasn't one of my fav books and i read about 5 a week. Going on and on about the cop recusing a girl out of the boot of a car, over and over again oh please no more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't think its the best so far..., 12 Aug. 2010
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This review is from: Death Row (Paperback)
I loved Mark Pearson's previous books in this series and whilst this one was good - i felt it really lacked 'something'?

Far too many characters introduced from halfway through -suddenly seemed there was an explosion of characters and yes it does all come together in the end, but i did find myself wishing the end to come.

This book does scream ''tv series'' though - Jack Delaney is a well thought out character - but does remind me of Tom Thorne from Mark Billinghams books!

Well worth a read and i look forward to more in this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite book by Mark Pearson, 10 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Death Row (Paperback)
My Favourite book by Mark Pearson, after reading this I went straight here to amazon to purchase murder club and the killing season!
very dark, gritty crime thriller that shows a realistic portrayal of crime in London!
Love this author, a must read!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good and enjoyable, 2 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Death Row (Paperback)
Really enjoyed this one and would recommend you read it. Kept you thinking until the end..............better than the others I would say and I'm looking forward to the next one.
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Death Row
Death Row by Mark Pearson (Paperback - 22 July 2010)
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