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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great follow-up
When the body of a young girl is discovered in local woods, the peculiar way the corpse has been arranged reminds PC Cate Corbin of a fairytale. Quickly being drafted onto the investigation team, she contacts Alice Hyland, a lecturer in folk tales at a nearby university, to see if she can shed any light on her suspicions. Then another body turns up, similarly adhering...
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice story
Enjoyed this very much even though it's not my usual kind of stuff. Will keep her in mind now when I'm looking for a good read.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great follow-up, 29 July 2013
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Amazon Customer (Kettering, Northants United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Path of Needles (Paperback)
When the body of a young girl is discovered in local woods, the peculiar way the corpse has been arranged reminds PC Cate Corbin of a fairytale. Quickly being drafted onto the investigation team, she contacts Alice Hyland, a lecturer in folk tales at a nearby university, to see if she can shed any light on her suspicions. Then another body turns up, similarly adhering to the imagery of a fairy tale and it becomes clear that there is a serial killer operating in the small Yorkshire town. I loved Alison's previous novel "A Cold Season", a spooky, ghostly tale set in a snowbound Yorkshire and was keen to read this follow-up, trying to get to it knowing as little as possible beforehand. I'm glad I did. Branching off into a whole new direction - vaguely supernatural in a couple of key elements but mainly a police procedural/crime thriller - but highlighting her innate grasp of suspense and beautiful writing, "Path Of Needles" works very well indeed. The story works because of the unusual concept (with Sarah Pinborough's earlier `Poison', I haven't had as much contact with fairy tales since I was a kid) and Alison's research serves the plot and characters well, keeping the reader guessing and throwing in plenty of red herrings (and some clever uses of nature) before the climax slots into place and we fear for the leads. The pace is brisk (it's a quick read), the writing is fluid and elegant, even in the brutal sequences and she never shys away from the grim reality of this kind of thing, as a result making them all the more powerful. Interestingly, the characterisation is very broadbrush - we know virtually nothing of Cate out of uniform and although you get the sense that Alice is more flightly, the only thing we really know is that she has a dementia-riddled mother, a situation that is perhaps pushing her further into her beloved fairy stories - but it works perfectly in context. A great crime-thriller, "Path Of Needles" shows Alison Littlewood as a first class writer who - if she continues the level of quality and skill she's so far shown - will go a long, long way and I, for one, couldn't be happier to see that. Beautifully written, this is an excellent read and highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific!, 8 Aug 2013
By 
Mr. Andrew James Banns (Greater Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Path of Needles (Kindle Edition)
Although I know the author, please don't think this has given me a biased opinion, Path of Needles is a fantastic book and exactly the kind of story I love to read. It has been well researched, I had no idea that there were so many variations of the popular stories and fairy tales that we all know and love and it was interesting to discover their roots. This book had me hooked from the start with ever increasing gruesome, cleverly engineered murders with some great, colourful characters, well imagined scenes (half real / half fiction) and a fast paced exciting plot that flows wonderfully from beginning to end. I loved Ali's first book, A Cold Season and Path of Needles is in a league of it's own. I would recommend this book to anyone - please read it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Path of needles-wow wow wow a must read, 25 Jun 2014
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The best book i have read for a while. I only chose this because i had read alisons first book "a cold season" which again was a book i couldn't put down. I am not much of a reader but for me to read a book in 24 hours means that its one worth buying.

Time now to download alison littlewood s 3rd book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gets better, 12 Jun 2014
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if you like Grimm, then this is a similar vein of story - classic fairtale background with a modern twist. I found it took a while to get into (about 6 chapters) but then it was good. wouldnt say riveting but easy reading. bought is because of Alison Littlwood's debut novel, Cold Season, which was gripping from start to finish, couldnt put it down and a real twist at the end. have read it three times so far and still love it
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3.0 out of 5 stars Nice story, 12 Jun 2014
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Enjoyed this very much even though it's not my usual kind of stuff. Will keep her in mind now when I'm looking for a good read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tricky one, 11 Oct 2013
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Lucy L. Nield (UK) - See all my reviews
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At some points I thought I might give up but I did stick with and I am glad I did ..it gives some interesting insight to fairy tales which we all assume we know about ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fairytales, horror and a police procedural - what a great mix!, 9 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Path of Needles (Kindle Edition)
There is a bit of a 'thing' about the re-telling of fairy tales at the moment, and this book sits nicely in that realm - but with a twist... The story starts with a desperate mother and a murdered girl, then leads into the life of a dreamy college lecturer who specialises in fairy tales, and a rookie policewoman who becomes involved in a murder investigation. The main characters, Alice (the lecturer) and Cate (the policewoman) are built up nicely - both women are very different from one another, but ultimately they both want to catch the killer who is leaving girls posed like characters from fairy tales. Some of the elements are quite 'horror' but also clever - I learnt a lot about the way that fairy tales have been told over the years, and how they started off as quite awful tales for adults, over the years becoming 'softer' for the younger audience that we associate them with now. I really enjoyed the way the story unfolded. The dreaminess of Alice, versus the tenacity of Cate. The murderer was quite unique in his methods; and the overall motif of the bright blue bird throughout tied it all together brilliantly. This was a really refreshing change from the usual procedurals out there, and one I highly recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 4 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Path of Needles (Kindle Edition)
I absolutely could not put Path of Needles down. It was a complete joy of a read.

Crime fiction isn't usually my cup of tea, but Littlewood's novel is so original and exciting that it totally won me over. I've ordered A Cold Season now (normally I wouldn't go near anything with any reference to Richard & Judy on the cover!) I want more!

I really liked the idea of a 'bobby on the beat' getting a shot at the big time with such an unusual case, I thought that was a nice touch. And GREAT to see an independent female protagonist too, no "Kick Ass" (*shudder*) crop-topped heroine lusting after a buff, brooding male lead. In fact, there's none of that ridiculously sexist crap that Paranormal is so known for these days. Which made it an absolute pleasure to spend time with. Cate is such an 'everyman' character, struggling with her big break and not wanting to mess things up, common sense fighting with instinct, so aware of the consequences of a mistake. And perfectly capable of fighting her own battles and making her own decisions. Alice is a wonderful character too, so passionate about her subject, so dreamy and yet so focused. I'm going to miss her.

And of course, I've not even touched on the best of it yet. The Fairy Tale angle. I think it's going to be one that you'll either love or hate. I couldn't have loved it more. I was hooked on Fairy Tales growing up, and getting to read about them in an adult novel was wonderful. Terrifyingly wonderful. To see the darkness and the violence behind the well known children's tales was an education for me. It's such a meticulously researched novel, the tale variants are completely compelling, and the darkness and violence of these seemingly innocuous bedtime tales was fantastic material for one of the creepiest killers I've ever encountered in fiction. Truly red in tooth and claw.

Littlewood really got into my head. I walked my son down to the park about an hour after finishing this one, and we passed a house with an aviary in the back garden and a tree filled with bird feeders of every description, I panicked and sped the buggy up double time to get away from it, just in case! (You'll know when you read it).

If you're a fan of Fairy Tales, and you appreciate the darkness of their roots, you're going to love this book. I can't recommend it highly enough. Five stars no question.
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3.0 out of 5 stars local area, 31 Aug 2013
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Mrs. S. Wilby - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Path of Needles (Kindle Edition)
enjoyable read but thought the ending was a little silly.enjoyed reading about my local area,made it sound quite attractive apart from the serial killer
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 26 July 2013
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I read this very quickly. I just couldn't put it down! Very glad I bought this one. It came highly recommended and I agree completely with it.
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Path of Needles
Path of Needles by Alison Littlewood (Paperback - 9 May 2013)
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