Customer Reviews


67 Reviews
5 star:
 (30)
4 star:
 (21)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (7)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Disturbing
The over-riding theme of `Weirdo' is injustice. It is a powerful murder thriller that is dark and disturbing in its exposure of cruelty and corruption in the setting of an insular small town with a mentality of intolerance. In addition there are drugs, prostitution and pornography - and a hint of black magic - what more is necessary for a riveting read? Author Cathi...
Published on 29 Nov. 2012 by D. Elliott

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One for the East Anglian Goth detective noir fan - only
A private investigator is hired to look into a grisly murder from 20 years past and finds himself up against a closed community reluctant to let their dirty laundry be aired.

So far, so formulaic. This time the locale is an uncanny replica of Blackpool transported to the East Anglian coast (and the "reported accent" sounds a bit forced). The story has...
Published 21 months ago by Marand


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Disturbing, 29 Nov. 2012
By 
D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Weirdo (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The over-riding theme of `Weirdo' is injustice. It is a powerful murder thriller that is dark and disturbing in its exposure of cruelty and corruption in the setting of an insular small town with a mentality of intolerance. In addition there are drugs, prostitution and pornography - and a hint of black magic - what more is necessary for a riveting read? Author Cathi Unsworth cleverly employs alternate chapters between the opening of a legal appeal case in 2003 and the build up to a killing and conviction 20 years previous, and within chapters a number of threads are deftly kept in tandem.

Effort is required to keep up with numerous characters - especially as these are randomly referred to by either surname or first name or by nick-names - but it is worth persevering as the story is imaginative and intense. Perhaps too many side issues are introduced yet in spite of its intricate and complex nature the narrative is skilfully constructed and expertly paced with unlikely characters ingeniously offered as convincing - yet it is far-fetched. But hey - it's fiction - and it makes the most of exciting twists and turns throughout to a series of revealing but unexpected conclusions in the final pages. It may be fiction, but `Weirdo' also prompts thoughts on abuse of power, exploitation of minors, dysfunctional families and sex predators. Suspend belief, ignore the illogical and enjoy an atmospheric hard hitting story - and ponder.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant but bleak, 26 Dec. 2012
By 
Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Weirdo (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an extremely well written and fantastically atmospheric novel. The plot revolves around the investigation by a private detective of sorts into a horrible crime many years ago in a small Norfolk town, and the narrative moves between the present-day(ish) investigation and events at the time of the crime. It is exceptionally well done: the plot is believable, the characters are very well drawn and plausible, and the setting is so well conjured as to be positively claustrophobic.

The book is pretty unremittingly bleak. The story of the original crime is a grim, gripping tale of teenage angst, insecurity and cruelty, and the investigation story conjures a hostile community closing ranks against an outsider very well. I found it compelling but by no means an easy read, and I felt very unsettled by it quite a lot of the time. This is an excellent thing in a book, but doesn't make it comfortable reading.

Don't expect a conventional crime thriller here. There are many aspects of such a thriller in the book and they make it very engrossing, but this is more of a novel about the psychology of teenage alienation and cruelty and of the ethos of a closed community. It is, however, an excellent novel, beautifully written and constructed with important things to say, and I recommend it very warmly.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding British crime writing - don't miss this!, 23 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Weirdo (Kindle Edition)
For the first time in a long time, I finished a book and started rereading it immediately. Not because it had a tricksy opening to reassess, but to savour the language, having devoured it first time round for plot. This is a mini-masterpiece of UK crime writing. Not just a whodunnit but a whodunwot. Neither victim nor perpetrator are revealed until late into the novel and yet we are hooked, and kept guessing throughout. Into a happy, rundown backwater comp comes Sam, hot from London, having been dragged back to Ernemouth with her mum who has run off with a man half her age. Sam brings discord and suspicion wherever she goes, brewing up divisions and hatreds that run far beyond jostling for queen bee position on the school field.

In Weirdo, the characters are multi-layered and all too real. Even the clearly wicked have their complexities and vulnerabilities. Unsworth creates an intensely vivid atmosphere through location in this tired seaside town with its hatred of outsiders, strangers, weirdos - anyone who deviates from its shiny little norm that is rotten at core. She brings the medieval witch hunt up to date. I'm a sucker for crime and literary novels but they don't often come hand in hand. She keeps pace with the best of them, but never at the expense of subtle, multi-textured language and observation. I can't rate this highly enough. Not read anything else by her yet so am looking forward to the backlist.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weirdo, 1 Mar. 2013
By 
Nikki - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Weirdo (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Connie Woodrow has spent the last 20 years in a mental institution after being convicted of murdering a classmate at the age of 15. When new DNA evidence suggests that there was another person present at the murder scene, Private Investigator Sean Ward is sent to re-examine the case. The book follows two timelines in alternate chapters, 1983 when the murder occurred and 2003 when the case is reopened.

For me the book got off to a slow start and I wasn't sure if it would hold my interest but after the first quarter or so, the pace picked up and I became increasingly engrossed to the point where I just couldn't put it down. I did find the numerous characters a little confusing and thought the written Norfolk dialect didn't really work but apart from that I thorougly enjoyed the book.

Overall this is a very good and cleverly written thriller, its dark and disturbing but a very gripping, unusual and exciting read - recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally disturbing but still deserving of 4 stars, 7 April 2013
This review is from: Weirdo (Kindle Edition)
Exceptionally disturbing. This is the first book I have read by this author and I am not sure if I will read another because of the way this story makes for uncomfortable reading for most of the book. Although I do enjoy reading crime novels this one made me feel anxious about what was going to happen next. I have, however, given the author 4 stars because I thought the book was well written and all the story threads tied up neatly by the end of the book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One for the East Anglian Goth detective noir fan - only, 15 April 2013
By 
Marand (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Weirdo (Paperback)
A private investigator is hired to look into a grisly murder from 20 years past and finds himself up against a closed community reluctant to let their dirty laundry be aired.

So far, so formulaic. This time the locale is an uncanny replica of Blackpool transported to the East Anglian coast (and the "reported accent" sounds a bit forced). The story has twin strands: the events leading up to the murder of a school child, and the investigation twenty years later of an alleged miscarriage of justice. The historical strand is set in the 1980's and focuses on the local youngsters who are in their last years at school and becoming Goths (punks/emo whatever), and a bent local constabulary determined to keep perceived scum like Goths and bikers in check. The music angle is clearly important to the author (a music journalist) with each chapter being titled for an 80's song from Echo & the Bunnymen, Killing Joke and others, but with little obvious link between some of the song titles and the chapter that follows. To some this may add to the verisimilitude, but if you're not a fan of that music it just comes across as a geek reading a list to you.

The pacing is pretty good, with the parallel strands being interwoven well, and there are some points where the revelation of who did what in 2003 is neatly linked to what was occurring in 1983. However, the private investigator (and the local journalist he teams up with) are pretty one-dimensional and sometimes seem to be filling the gaps before the narrative gets back to the 1980's. The violence and sexual exploitation are pretty stock and seem thrown in because that is what the genre expects, rather than to advance the story in any way.

The finale has some neat twists and turns that are thrown together in the last 20-30 pages and which, if used judiciously, could have helped keep the interest at a higher level throughout. It may well have been written with a screenplay in mind, but I'm afraid I found it straight to video.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weirdo, 29 July 2012
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Weirdo (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Sean Ward was a detective in the Metropolitan police, when he was gunned down during an operation and forced to leave the job he loved. Now he is a PI, specialising in cold cases and has been sent to provide evidence for an appeal against an indefinite sentence. In 1984, when she was just fifteen, Corinne Woodrow was found guilty of murder; but now, thirty years on, new forensic evidence suggests that there was a phantom accomplice, whose DNA needs to be matched up to a name.

This excellent and atmospheric crime novel alternates between Sean's current investigation and the unfolding events when Corinne was fifteen. Sean is an intelligent and thoughtful hero, whose battles include the pain he still suffers from his injuries. However, this case begins to reawaken something he thought he had lost - his love for his job. Teaming up with Francesca Ryman, the editor of a provincial newspaper who also rediscovers her journalistic ambiton, the two try to discover what happened all those years ago in a seaside town, whose tourist amusements hide the reality beneath the veneer.

This is a fast moving and excellent novel, dark and often bleak, but with characters you care about. As the author swiftly builds the tension, you will find that you are unable to tear yourself away from this book until you get to the end. This is the best of British crime fiction, with a truly dangerous undercurrent and a gripping storyline. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tense and exciting - with a strong sense of place, 3 Dec. 2013
By 
This review is from: Weirdo (Paperback)
This is the third book I have read by Cathi Unsworth and Weirdo is even more page-turner-y than The Singer and Bad Penny Blues. I raced through the second half of the book as the story became more tense and exciting.

In common with both The Singer and Bad Penny Blues, Cathi Unsworth excels at creating a strong sense of place. In the case of Weirdo, this is the Norfolk seaside resort Great Yarmouth (here called Ernemouth). There are two interlinked narrative threads running concurrently, one set in 1983, and the other in 2003.

In common with a lot of Victorian and Edwardian English seaside resorts, Great Yarmouth is a tawdry, deprived and slightly unsettling place. This atmosphere is perfectly evoked, along with a bit of local history. The less you know about the actual story, the better, suffice it to say that the tale revolves around a horrific murder and a reinvestigation following new DNA evidence.

Some of the narrative takes place at the local school, and the music and fashions of the early 80s are perfectly evoked, along with the dynamics at the school and the different families.

Ostensibly this is a crime novel, however - and in common with the best genre fiction - there is a lot more going on here than just a thrilling story. It's also an exploration of an era, of local politics, of corruption, Norfolk, alienation, magic, evil, youth culture, fashion, and I still haven't covered it all. 4/5
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cathi Unsworth is name to watch out for, 4 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Weirdo (Paperback)
With all the hype revolving around Weirdo, I just could not wait to read it. I so much admire how Cathi has written this psycholgical thriller. The suspense building up drip feeds you bit by bit it just draws you in. The story has a wonderful range of different characters that clearly mess with your mind. Be sure that Weirdo will stay with you long after you have finished reading Weirdo. I certainly recommend Weirdo to all readers that like a psychological thriller. It is superbly interwoven with the past in 1984 and the present time in 2003.
Twenty years ago in an isolated seaside town of Ernemouth, Corinne Woodrow a fifteen year old - young school girl was convicted of murdering one of her classmates. Corinne was sent to a mental unit. The newspapers called her Wicked witch of the east. The local people called her a weirdo and said they had always known she was a wrong un.
In 2003 private investigator Sean Ward is sent to Ernemouth to investigate Corinne Woodrow's murder charge. As now fresh new DNA evidence shows up that someone else was involved that are not known to the police. Retired DCI Len Rivett who was incharge of Corinne case twenty years ago helps Sean Ward find out who that someone else could be that helped Corinne that summer's evening in 1984.
Black magic, witches Goths weirdos and bikers are all here in the story of Weirdo just waiting to be read and enjoyed. Review by ireadnovels.wordpress.com
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric psychological suspense, 7 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Weirdo (Paperback)
Cathi Unsworth has really got in to her stride with Weirdo, a fantastically well plotted psychological suspense novel, bordering on noir but not at all as dark as Cathi's previous books. Weirdo is set in two time periods: the early 80's and present day. Two investigations run parallel in the two narratives, and the reader only find out at the very end how it all ties in together and who the real victim and the real perpetrator is. I loved every page of this book, and was gobbled up by the tension: the creepy seaside town in winter, a small community trying to bury horrible secrets from the past, and the reader's niggling doubt - who can you trust, who's actually evil here?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Weirdo
Weirdo by Cathi Unsworth (Paperback - 13 Jun. 2013)
£5.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews