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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 2013
I approached this book with hopes of a good read, but was immediately surprised by the poor understanding of London language and behaviour and then thoroughly horrified by the personification of Agatha Christie and Sir Bernard Spilsbury. Extremely disappointing!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2013
For a mystery based on real events, there was simply not enough detail and not enough suspense. Really could have been better, in line with a Louis Bayard or Matthew Pearl, as a real person taking part in true events. A good enough mystery but not enough darkness, suspense, or fear. But interesting and enjoyable enough to want to read more of the series.
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on 16 December 2013
Max Allan Collins uses an interesting literary technique by making his central character a real life crime fiction writer. This technique worked reasonably well in Collins' "The Hindenburg Murders", with Leslie Charteris (creator of Simon Templar aka The Saint) as the sleuth & narrator. The historical details were well researched & the result was an enjoyable - if undemanding read. Based on this, I tried "The London Blitz Murders" which this time featured Agatha Christie in the lead role. The plot - loosely based on real events - revolves around the murders of several prostitutes - which Christie solves with the help of a real life, eminent forensic scientist (the CSI of its day). Sadly, this book just doesn't work - Christie would have disowned it were it one of her own novels. The narrative is all over the place, the characters are just not credible (especially Christie) & the killer is all but revealed in the first chapter. You keep waiting for a twist - but none arrives. The book is interspersed with actual events that occurred in the hope that it will give the tale some credibility, but all these plot devices do is to create a confusing mish mash. I persevered to the end, but wondered why I'd bothered. This book is part of the disaster series - and it lives up to its name. Give this one a miss - it's not worth the effort.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2013
Have read, and enjoyed, other titles by this author, but was disappointed by this one.
I felt that it was over-researched, resulting in many, sadly boring, chapters, in which the author attempted to include as much research/history of A. C. as possible.
I was tempted to abandon this book, only previous experience of this author, causing me to finish it!
Cannot recommend it, but do try other titles by this author
Note to author, less is often best!
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This novel involves Agatha Christie helping the police to solve the real life Blackout Ripper sequence of murders, involving the slaying of several women, some (though not all) of whom were prostitutes, in London in 1942. Unlike in the case of his much more famous namesake, one or two of his intended victims managed to escape his clutches, thus facilitating his easy identification and capture (indeed, the murders, investigation, capture, trial and execution all took place over a total period of only four months). Agatha Christie was in London at the time, though her involvement in the investigation is fictional; indeed, it seems rather offhand and it is difficult to believe that the police would ever believe it would help their efforts to track down the killer by involving a celebrity author. I found the novel a bit slow to start and there were some slightly tedious theatrical episodes in the first third, but it took off in the second half which I raced through quickly. Most of the characters were real people, including the murder victims and near victims. Interesting for the light it sheds on Christie, though I didn't enjoy this as much as the author's Titanic Murders. 3.5/5
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2013
Never read such rubbish it was jumping all over, it did start with some interest and then just introduced to many twists
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on 21 December 2013
In this book Agatha Christie said that the advantage of being married to an archeologist is that the older she got,the more interesting he found her,but she denied saying it.
The only newspaper mentioned is the News Of The World.I doubt that either Lady Mallowan or Sir Bernard Spilsbury read the News Of The World,or cared what it said.Max Allan Collins called it a tabloid.It was not a tabloid.As it was only published on Sunday it was one of the least suitable national newspapers to have a running commentary on a serial killer.
The Americanisms rarely bothered me as it is written in the third person.If an Englishman had called the dustbins,"garbage cans",that would have offended me,but he is a modern American writing a story about the Britain of the 1940s.
He has visited the places he described,but he did not visit them during the War,and is unable to convey the impression of their appearance back then.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2013
Although the solution to the crime is obvious from near the beginning of the book, especially if you knew of the real murders beforehand, still a great read. The only thing that put me off were the missing u' s. When will Americans get to learn that the word is 'favour' not 'favor'?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2013
Well written murder mystery in the style of Agatha Cristie, who featured in the novel along with other celebrities of the period. As it was set in London, I had not expected it to have American spellings and idioms, which detracted a little from the storyline.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 27 January 2013
Another in Max Allan Collins's mystery novels interweaving historical fact and fiction. Set in London,1942,it involves Agatha Christie-type Mallowen, a hospital pharmacy worker by day and at night a crime assistant to the police and a prominent pathologist. A serial rapist and murderer is on the loose attacking his victims under the cloak of the London blackouts. Enjoyable enough but the investigating team is onto the perpetrater of the horrendous crimes,(Jack-the-Ripper style), early on and the rest is pretty straightforward. Nothing in the way of real suspense or awaiting the hidden twist as they are not forthcoming. It does give a feel of London life and the efforts to survive the WW2 difficulties, literally living from day to day. Not so much blitz, however, more of a fizz running out of bubbles.
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