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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 'Old Master' produces another excellent read.
This book is the second to feature Peter Lovesey's cigarillo-smoking detective Hen Mallin in a leading role - the first being 2005's 'The Circle' - although she played minor parts in the last two Peter Diamond novels 'The House Sitter' and `The Secret Hangman'.

`The Headhunters' has obvious parallels with Lovesey's World War II thriller `On the Edge', in that...
Published on 24 April 2008 by G. J. Oxley

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not as good as other books by the same author
I enjoyed this book but was a little disappointed as I didn't think it was as gripping as two of Peter Lovesey's other books that I've read: Diamond Dust and The House Sitter, both of which were excellent. It is particularly the first third of The Headhunters that I felt dragged a bit with a lot about the social lives of the two twenty-something girls. The book did...
Published on 11 Dec 2008 by Bluebell


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 'Old Master' produces another excellent read., 24 April 2008
By 
G. J. Oxley "Gaz" (Tyne & Wear, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Headhunters (Hardcover)
This book is the second to feature Peter Lovesey's cigarillo-smoking detective Hen Mallin in a leading role - the first being 2005's 'The Circle' - although she played minor parts in the last two Peter Diamond novels 'The House Sitter' and `The Secret Hangman'.

`The Headhunters' has obvious parallels with Lovesey's World War II thriller `On the Edge', in that two women (and in this case a guy) discuss murdering an objectionable man. But here, they're only joking - except maybe one of them actually isn't! From this beginning, Lovesey spins a marvellous yarn, and we discover details of murders as the book progresses...

There's a nice bit of wrong-footing in here that echoes another of Peter's books, `The False Inspector Dew' (I don't want to spoil anything, but if you read it you'll see what I mean) - a novel that features one of the best twists EVER in crime fiction.

This traditional English detective novel is a throwback to an earlier age - but given a modern spin. If you fancy a change from reading the brilliant, but sometimes brutal, thrillers of, say, Michael Connelly or James Lee Burke, you could do far worse that try this excellent volume. Having said that, `The Headhunters' is not as good as the books in his other contemporary series, featuring detective Peter Diamond. But then it would be impossible for him to top `The Last Detective', `Bloodhounds' or `The Vault' etc for virtuoso storytelling.

Peter Lovesey has given me greater pleasure than any other writer operating in the crime/detective/suspense field. Each of his books is written with a beautifully sure touch that makes reading him an absolute joy. And among his other formidable gifts is his mastery of the unspottable twist. Astonishingly he is 72 years old this year, and still producing wonderful fiction in both the longer and shorter formats. I selfishly wish him the best of writing health and hope to enjoy a new book a year from him for at least another 20 years!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Double Entendre, 26 April 2009
By 
Ted Feit (Long Beach, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Headhunters (Hardcover)
The latest in the Inspector Hen Mallin series brings forth an unusual story, especially so since it shows how she can leap to wrong conclusions {along with the reader) based on clues both obvious and murky. But the show must go on, and she, along with her police team, plod along from clue to clue in this peculiar but intriguing novel.

It begins with a double date during which one of the women brings up the subject of her boss at a printing works. She says he tries to portray himself as the "good guy," leaving her to do the dirty work. She brings up the possibility of murdering him, and the other three join in jokingly with various methods for the "perfect murder." Then the other woman, taking a walk along the beach, discovers the first of three bodies. Later she's in on the find of two others. All three victims have been forcibly drowned.

The number of suspects abound, as Hen Mallin leads the investigation, inevitably along several false leads. One of the possible suspects is the boyfriend of the woman who found the initial body (before she tripped over the other two). From the initial case on it becomes clearer that there is a serial killer loose. The plot development is so quirky, the reader is kept off balance throughout, right up to the unanticipated denouement. The writing is spare and the story moves along swiftly. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not as good as other books by the same author, 11 Dec 2008
By 
Bluebell (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Headhunters (Hardcover)
I enjoyed this book but was a little disappointed as I didn't think it was as gripping as two of Peter Lovesey's other books that I've read: Diamond Dust and The House Sitter, both of which were excellent. It is particularly the first third of The Headhunters that I felt dragged a bit with a lot about the social lives of the two twenty-something girls. The book did get going after that and became more pacy, however the final revelation of who-dunnit came out of the blue and was not very convincing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A twisting tale, 18 Nov 2008
By 
Lynette Baines (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Headhunters (Hardcover)
Jo & Gemma sit in a café planning ways to murder Gemma's irritating boss. Friends Rick & Jake join in the game & they're soon calling themselves the Headhunters. The laughter stops when Jo finds a woman's half-naked body on the beach, and when Gemma's boss disappears, & another body is discovered, the game becomes serious. This is an intriguing mystery. I suspected most of the main characters at some point. DCI Hen Mallin, who featured in a previous novel, The Circle, is the investigating officer, but this isn't a traditional police procedural. Jo finds herself becoming more & more involved with Gemma's flights of fancy & as the plot thickens, she can't tell who to trust. Lovesey's plot is entertaining, wonderfully convoluted & full of red herrings.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 6 Oct 2009
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This review is from: The Headhunters (Paperback)
Inexplicably to me, this book was recommended as a summer read on Radio 4. Much of it consists of clunky and tedious, not to say ludicrous, dialogue between the female protagonists, eg : 'That line she gave me about being embarrassed by all his interest was a load of horse hooey.' (p.43) Horse hooey? Who on earth talks like that? The deaths have no emotional impact at all, so that the bodies may as well be mannequins. There is no sense of horror or poignancy, no sense that anyone may be affected by them. And I'm afraid that I detected a whiff of misogyny in the depiction of the female detective, Hen, whose defining characteristics are that she is short, dumpy, smokes cigarillos, and is utterly useless at her job, continually chasing the wrong suspects. And who on earth goes to conferences for 3 weeks?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Traditional detective story but bang up to date, 21 April 2014
This review is from: The Headhunters (Kindle Edition)
This is the second crime novel by Peter Lovesey that I've read, the first being The Circle. I am a great fan of traditional detective stories and this book did not disappoint. There was a range of well drawn characters, the young women at the centre of the story in particular, while the detective Hen Mallin played more of a supporting role. I found it pacy and exciting with enough red herrings, twists and dead bodies to keep me turning the pages. I worked out 'who did it' marginally before the detective, which had me shouting "No!" out loud as the story reached its climax. I've already got my next Peter Lovesey novel lined up as he is becoming one of my favourite crime authors. Brilliant!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great, 28 Sep 2008
This review is from: The Headhunters (Hardcover)
I am rather saddened that the ''product description'' shown above, practically outlines the whole story ... not much opportunity for anyone to enjoy the mystery of the novel if they read that first !

Fortunately I read the book first and, whilst I think it is good, it is only good, not great, as some of Peter Lovesey's earlier novels have been.

Hen Mallin, introduced in a previous novel, did not come across very well in this one....she appeared to me to be bumbling and on more than one occasion she overstepped the boundaries of what any normal DI would do or say...I realise that this was simply to advance the plot, but it didnt give a very good characterisation of a smart DI - which she was portrayed as in the earlier novel.

The plot was interesting and kept me reading until the end, even though sadly it did become obvious who the murderer was about half way through the book...

Still, Mr Lovesey writes in an engaging style, enough to keep the reader turning the pages...just a pity that this plotline was not intricate enough to maintain a high level of suspense.

For anyone who hasnt read his work, start with one of the earlier books, they are first rate, with excellent twists and turns and will leave you guessing until the end.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story - great characters., 24 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Headhunters (Paperback)
Although I prefer the Diamond stories to those featuring Hen, this was still a great story with Lovesey's usual twist in the tail. Anyone who enjoys 'who-done-its' will enjoy this.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Link the discovery of a mammoth with a serial killer, 22 May 2012
By 
P. Masters (Staffordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Headhunters (Hardcover)
A strong sense of place and images of a shingle beach link the murders of three women. Interesting characters, particularly "Swampy" Jake. A good read& the audio version is great company in the car! Just mind your driving.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a holiday read, 23 Aug 2011
By 
Realtan Ni Leannain (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Headhunters (Paperback)
Lovesey writes very good detective fiction but this one is a little contrived. Characters need a little more work? Still, I took it on holiday and it did the job! Moved from chapter to chapter in a good rhythm and was just what I needed after the beach (wet), the walk (dry) and the sandwiches (yum). A good alternative to chickflick...
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The Headhunters
The Headhunters by Peter Lovesey (Paperback - 6 Aug 2009)
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