20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2012
I am a voracious reader, I literally devour books and when I find one that immerses me so completely in another world as this one did from the start I find it hard to concentrate on anything else until I reach the gripping conclusion. I am always a little hesitant to buy books from new writers who have a few reviews on here where they are all 5 star as I worry there is some nepotism floating around but this time whether it is nepotism or reviews from strangers in my opinion they are right on the mark, this is definately a 5 star book.
The lead character here is well fleshed out, likeable and most importantly believable. You are not left wondering why on earth he made a particular choice as I have been with characters in other novels as you feel as if you are in his head and understand every step he takes down the twisting road he is on. I liked the fact that the lead and several other characters are explored well allowing you to feel as if you know them but at the same time none of them is laid bare and there is still plenty of their back stories to explore in future books.
The story itself has such an intriguing premise that you cannot help but wonder what you would do if someone set out to ruin your life as the perpetrator does here. I followed Cal on his journey and did get to the Who a little before he did but not so soon it left me disappointed and the Why I didn't manage to figure out and was astonished at the reveal although there are some clever hints buried in the book that make you look back and think ahhh of course.
Over all the style of writing especially the humour which winds through a lot of the dialogue, and the lead character himself remind me of Lee Child and his eponymous hero Jack Reacher. As a huge Lee Child/ Jack Reacher fan I see this as a very good thing and when the film rights are sold for what will become a great series of books if they follow the debut I can only hope Tom Cruise is nowhere to be seen!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2014
I came across David Jackson and his detective Cal Doyle quite by accident on kindle, on his E book 'cry Baby' I gave that book 5*'s. Determined to discover more about this writer & his detective I immediately did some research and found this, the first book for both of them! 'PARIAH'
I have once again been on a roller coaster with detective Doyle and all the other 5*'s that have been given say everything I would have said myself. So I give it 5*'s without further comment or hesitation. I read it in one sitting and really must now eat, wash, and do some housework before I sit down to the next helping of this author.
However, I would like to add that the person who was incredulous at all the 5*'s the book had received and subsequently gave it 1* must have read and reviewed a completely different book from the one I have just read! Also the person who could not get passed page 28 will never know what's he or she has missed !
Do not let this author or indeed his fictional detective pass you by, just read him for yourself and make your own mind up. I cannot see many people would be disappointed, and I imagine negative reviews will remain a minority. *****
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2012
A great high speed, high drama thriller which I sped through in two sittings, Pariah's rave reviews made me sit up and listen, and the good news is that there's more to come following this great debut from crime author David Jackson, with 'The Helper' also due out soon.
The result of a high commendation from the Debut Dagger awards by the Crime Writers Association led to Pariah being picked up and published by Pan Macmillan - two great finds for them in author and debut novel.
I've been a sucker for most things set in New York, and this tale of an NYPD Detective, Callum Doyle, was no exception - but not purely for its setting there. The whole concept that to damage Doyle in the worst possible way a killer seems to be on a mission to target those around him, starting with his cop partners and then setting sights on his family makes for a very disturbing premise. Doyle is forced off the case of seeking his partner's killer and then runs from his wife and daughter and tries to stay away from everyone he cares for so as not to place them in the line of fire.
Once he's clear of the Police Department, they seem glad to have him away as it seems to take the risk away from them and so investigation into his case slacks off, leaving Doyle isolated and alone in the world.
He's being pursued by Internal Affairs and by members of the criminal fraternity and he has no way of knowing just who he can trust. Hands seem to be offered at every turn to help him, but Doyle runs the risk of placing others between him and the killer or implicating himself in the deaths of his partners.
I hesitate to use the words 'page-turner', but lost track of the times when I promised myself I'd just read one more chapter and then take a break, only to find a shattering twist or development meant there was no way I couldn't read on - so a 'page-turner' it most certainly is.
With Callum Doyle isolated from his family, I couldn't fail to see the irony that, this evening, I chose to stay home and finish the book whilst the rest of my own family went to a party - it really had me that gripped.
Pariah has a great quality and voice and, set in present tense, an immediacy to it that I think would translate extremely well to film too. But, until that happens, I'm very happy to read more of Detective Callum Doyle in future novels.
Grab some Guinness, or coffee and donuts, a copy of Pariah - and you're in for a damn good time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2015
For me, this debut novel by David Jackson is worthy of all the praise it has received. There are so many excellent New York based detective novels out there but Pariah can live with the best of them.
I instantly warmed to the central character of Callum Doyle. It made a change to find he was a reasonably stable family guy - rather than the flawed, alcoholic loner that so often gets portrayed in these types of stories. There was a good degree of originality to this tale of a mystery killer who threatens to murder anyone with whom Detective Doyle comes into contact with (including his wife and daughter). This situation brings about some suspenseful and high-tension moments as the 'isolated' Callum Doyle has to use his wits to try and outsmart this unknown person.
When he wants to, Doyle can lay on the charm and is capable of producing some very amusing one-liners. There’s a particular scene where Detective Doyle has to go to a night club to meet the Bartok brothers – reading of his exchanges with these tough guys had me in fits of laughter. So yeah, there was a real good mix of everything I look for in this kind of book.
This author hit all the right buttons for me with this stand-out first novel and I was in seventh heaven while reading it. I will now be on a mission to purchase further books by David Jackson – what a find he has turned out to be!
Pariah is a well constructed, fast paced tale of Callum Doyle’s descent into his own personal hell. Not exactly the favourite in his precinct, Doyle suddenly finds himself in a world of isolation when a string of events turn out to be connected and Doyle is warned that anyone he contacts or associates with will die. He quickly moves out of his home and into a hotel room but unable to work or be with his family soon eats away at him. He has to decide how far he’ll go to get his life back – and if the only people who can help him are the people he’d normally be working against, he has to decide if he is willing to sell his soul?
Right the way through the book this was a guaranteed four star read for me for sure. It was fast paced with great characters, fantastic dialogue, scene after scene of pure grit. Jackson can write – he certainly has a bright future in crime writing if this is anything to go by.
But the ending… Oh the DISAPPOINTMENT. This was a book that built and built and built with tension and drama and frustration throughout. The lengths Doyle had to go to protect his family and try and clear his name from suspicion as the deaths piled up around him, all seemingly connected with him, were all steering towards an explosive ending. It didn’t come. Instead, the ending felt too convenient, too much like something had needed to be conjured to pull the loose ends together and then an idea had cropped up and it had been a case of “Oh, this’ll do.”
I sat in a coffee shop and read the final pages and then closed the book with a petulant “OH!”
However, Jackson really can put together a fantastic tale and I understand there’s more of Doyle to come. So I can only hope that in book two, the ending matches the stellar setup of the rest of the book. Anything else is a travesty considering Jackson’s high stakes, high risk, high drama style of writing.
**I received a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I did not receive any additional compensation and all views are my own.**
on 7 January 2013
I came to this book completely by accident. A twist of twitter fate if you will. It was retweeted by another author I follow as being on sale in Kindle format and at 89p, I thought what the hell, if it's rubbish it's not the end of the world. I couldn't have been more wrong. From the opening chapter it had me like a rusty fish hook through the nose. David Jackson's writing is extremely visual, I felt like I was actually wintnessing events, not just reading about them. His characters, right from the first corpse we encounter are detailed,and have a depth to them that I have rarely encountered. I warn you though he likes to worry you. You don't know what little twist lies just over the next page. One scene in a hospital morgue, involving the viewing of a body literally had me shouting at my kindle, trying to warn the main character not to look, that nothing good could come of it. The best twist came with the unveiling of the bad guy. I honestly had no idea it was coming, and I like that in a book. I came expecting a cheap read to pass the time and I'm staying for an author whose career I can't wait to follow for years to come. 89p, for one of the best New York crime fiction books I've ever read. At any price Pariah is a bargain, get it at this ridiculous price while you can.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
The first thing to say about this crime debut is that you rarely get so beneath the skin of a central character in crime fiction as you do with Doyle- you really felt engaged with him as a person as well as involved in his professional life as a police officer. I think this added to the novel as you shared his confusion at the situation he found himself in and were almost getting to the bottom of everything at the same pace as him, rather than having your mind racing ahead and trying to solve the mystery ahead of him. Hence the real villain of the piece was difficult to identify and that was great because I hate guessing whodunnit! I loved the injection of humour-some cracking one-liners- and felt the mordant wit contributed much to Doyle's character and really fleshed him out as character. I found the characterisation throughout was excellent- the sinister Bartoks, Spinner, Rocca and Paulsen particularly stood out and added to the depth of the novel in their interactions with Doyle. 'Pariah' definitely deserves to get a good push behind it as it ticks all the boxes of good crime fiction and has definitely got that 'if you like you'll love...' opportunity about it as I think it would appeal to fans of Crais, Wambaugh, Child etc. All in all a great debut and a thriller that I would wholeheartedly recommend.
on 18 February 2013
Mr Jackson is the cause of quite a few late nights for me recently. I kept on thinking that when I got to the end of a chapter, I would call it a night but the end of the chapter left me wanting to know more and it kept on happening!
From the very start, the opening scenes made me gasp and although quite graphic (by my standards anyway) in parts, it was not out of place nor was it gratuitous. Enough was left to the imagination but he gave enough details to make you wince too. The angst that Callum Doyle is feeling is portrayed so well, I found my heartbeat going up when he was in a tight spot.
The whodunnit element is very well written. Clues or red herrings? Read it yourself to find out!
The setting of the book is New York and the writer is from this side of the Atlantic. He grasps the subtle differences in language very well.
I'd heard a lot of good things about Pariah and I have to say, I agree with every positive comment.
Highly recommend this to real crime fiction fans. Looking forward to the next instalment very much.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
As a debut novel, it certainly makes me want to follow on with 'The Helper' such is the easy style of writing the author brings to this crime thriller.
These days it must be difficult to find a niche in this market. There are just too many police individuals meteing out their own method of justice to make sure the job is done and then face the backlash from just about everyone.
The premise is good as the life of Detective Callum Doyle is turned inside out when two of his partners are killed off within days of each other, the finger of hatred focusing on Doyle because of past events.
Some of the characters are stereotypical, the brash, bullying officer, Schneider, the big thug, Bartok, the police informant, Skinner but, no matter, they blend into a naturally flowing story with ease whilst Doyle, now suspended, tries to discover just who is mentally torturing him by killing off those currently surrounding his day-to-day activities.
I suppose the finale is not unexpected but, in arriving there, Doyle comes over as a reasonable man - in the main - his devotion to justice paramount running alongside the maintaining of the safety of his family. At least in this book, Doyle is a family man which makes a welcome change.
We know there is a follow on so the unfinished business in this story will no doubt rise up again in, 'The Helper' so I look forward to that now that the author has set out the ground rules for his protagonist.
on 19 June 2014
Wow what a fantastic story. I love Callum Doyle he is so believable and I can hear his Irish accent when he bellows out a sarcastic retort.
My first David Jackson book I discovered was Crybaby. Although this was a stand alone story good old Callum was the main Character.
Well Pariah was book number one and this introduced me to Callum Doyle properly and I can't wait to read the other two books (and maybe David has already started book number four).
This story was full of suspense and I had to stop myself from rushing it just because I wanted to know what happened at the end. I did slow down and I am so glad that I managed to. Well it's 2 a.m. and I'm shattered and need sleep. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and its satisfying to discover a new author.
It's a great book and I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good police thriller and lots of drama.
Well done David please don't stop writing you are a truly talented author.