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4.6 out of 5 stars
The Sett
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2012
This is one of the most gripping books I have ever read. You are taken everywhere in it Even to the sad times of Broadwater Farm in 1985 and the tragic events that happened there. At the end you end up trying to figure out if it is fact or fiction. Try it you won't put it down. It compares with his other brilliant work The Feather Men.
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on 25 May 2015
After a difficult start - the first couple of chapters include a lot of complex scene-setting - this book was un-put-down-able! Having enjoyed 'The Secret Hunters' and 'The Feather Men' I bought a copy of 'The Sett' a couple of years back, when I was still working, and gave up during the complex first part, as I could't concentrate sufficiently ; On clearing out my bookshelf last week I rediscovered my copy and decided to give it another go - Having willed myself through the first bit, giving it a bit more attention this time, and desperatly wanting the main story to kick-off, I was not disappointed and by page 50 I was hooked. I could not put this book down until I got to the end, even though I had a good idea what the most likely outcome was going to be - depite being quite a long book, at 490 closely printed pages, I read it in about four days, being both pleased and disappointed at having finished it, as I now do not know what I could possibly read that would give me the same thrill and pleasure.

The basic plot is described on the back cover, but the intertwined intricacies would be impossible to summarise succinctly - it just needs to be read in order to lay out the events and methods. As to whether or not the story is true I have an open mind ; Unlike the Feather Men, where many events and much of the biographical details are verifiable (via the Web and other books and articles) I struggled to verify the details surrounding the four main protagonists and their alleged demises - only Paul Blackledge could be found on the Web. Certainly much of the background details have basis in fact - BCCI did exist, and was founded by Agha Hassan Abedi - and have been well researched, but do not corroberate the basic plot and existence of the main characters.

Nevertheless, this book is well written (as are all of Sir Ranulph Fiennes' books), a fantastic read, and well worth a 5 star rating ; Readers will have to decide for themselves whether or not it all really happened!
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on 12 May 2015
The Sett is a well written, absorbing thriller that, in a couple of ways, reminded me of George McDonald Fraser’s Flashman, primarily in that it’s an imaginary story based around factual incidents. But here lay my reason for docking a star, because whereas McDonald Fraser could be forgiven for over egging his characters due to the book’s comical element, The Sett is very much a straight laced thriller. As such I felt it was wrong of Fiennes to occasionally fall into the trap of adding too many implausible elements (SAS, FBI, CIA, The Crips – I was surprised that the KGB didn’t crop up) and the bad guys had too many 'written for Hollywood' traits, an example of which is when (real person) Paul Blackledge adds to his role of violent tough guy and badger baiter, by also doubling as rapist. But don’t let that put you off from what is a very absorbing tale. One thing, though, this book is not for the squeamish. As an animal lover, I found some of the scenes very upsetting and did end up skipping the odd paragraph.
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on 12 April 2013
The Sett is a story that will make your hair stand. It tells about a man called Alex Goodman, who wakes up in a hospital severely beaten and with no memory of who he really is, and how he ended up in the hospital.
He struggles for about a year to finally find out his identity.

Alex then spends the next nine years of his life, seeking revenge for his family's killers and in turn gets him into deep and even deeper trouble. He gets entangled with the CIA, the Mafia, and the most brutal and dangerous people in the underworld.

If you are into suspense and thrillers, then you would love this book. The story is a page turner in the proper sense of the word. It takes you into a world you don't believe exists in real life. You might have thought this only happens in the movies.

But this apparently is a true story that happened to Alex Goodman.
The readers should, after reading the book, have their own opinion if this is fiction or true.
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on 21 February 2015
The book starts really well, for me, it does without doubt get really lost in quite a few places, I like and respect Ranulph Fiennes so I've persevered. I wouldn't read it again, it seems to have some unimaginable relationships between characters, gangs, police. FBI, CIA and corporate bodies, I struggled to buy-in to those as they were so unbelievable, however it is a work of fiction ( mind you with Ranulph Fiennes you never know) and I liked the opportunity to reminisce about the 80's specifically with the news items which I remembered so well from that era, the story about the murder of PC Keith Blakelock is explored in some detail, how much of that is public record I don't know.
Paul Blackledge is a particularly unsavoury character, and the badger 'dig' sections are very graphic, as are some of the gangland activities.
Abuse, despair, violence, dashed hopes and bad luck predominate, Little House on the Prairie it is not!!

Hope this helps
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on 6 October 2014
Gripping and thought provoking - is it really true ? read it and see what YOU think.
Like a lot of people my age i have read a lot of books mainly factual but also most other genres as well. This books stands out for me as unusually memorable, i do not think it will please every body it can be a bit gritty it will help if you are not too squeamish.
It has love, revenge, murder, adventure takes you from the Broadwater farm riots to the Everglades and back to the English country side. I do not really care if it is all true or not it is a bloody good read.
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on 12 December 2013
As this book 'names names' I am not sure if it is supposed to be part true or what? I found it very hard
going with complex characters telling different stories popping up all over the place - I found it rather
confusing and eventually when I had persevered to the end I was sadly disappointed that the ending
was exactly as I guessed it would be....very obvious. A hard read, his Feathers Men is much better !
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on 22 November 2013
A good read with lots of well constructed and colourful characters, but beggers belief at times, stretching it too much. Very fast moving.
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on 20 June 2014
Very well written.kept you in suspense right to the end. however not suitablle for the faint hearted. This one is for the boys.
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on 27 February 2013
Got the hardback years ago, got this version for Kindle. Not started reading yet, but know it is a good book
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