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4.0 out of 5 stars
Die With Me
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 18 August 2007
I read a lot of crime fiction and really enjoyed this debut book on holiday, which gives a chilling insight into the mind of a serial killer in an original and well-crafted fashion. The police duo who track the killer, DI Mark Tartaglia and DS Sam Donovan, are interesting non-stereotypical characters for the genre and the twists and turns of the plot kept me turning the pages well into the night.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Elena Forbes grew up in London. After gaining a degree in French and Italian at Bristol she worked in investment management for a number of international groups before committing to full time writing. She lives in London with her husband and two children. This is her first novel and she is already working on her second.

The blurb on the front of the book says if you like Ruth Rendell you will love this. Well for my sins I have never read any Ruth Rendell books so I could not compare it in that way. All I can say is that I thought the storyline and the writing were first-class. The reader, or certainly this reader, instantly takes to the lead character Detective Inspector Mark Tartaglia, whose personality one instantly seems to take a liking to. The book is a first class thriller and if you did not know that it is the author's first book, one would think she had been writing for years.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2010
This novel starts quite well, but doesn't live up to its initial promise. The main problem is that the plot and characters are entirely predictable; indeed the identity of the murderer is so obvious that he may as well wear a t-shirt saying, 'It was me.' The ending of a whodunnit should at once surprise the reader, and make her think, 'but of course, why didn't I see that.' The ending of this novel fails on both counts; it manages to be both predictable and unconvincing.
And the characters are so dull, so stupid that you wouldn't want them doing anything more complicated than giving out speeding tickets.
The writer may be capable of writing a decent police novel, but this one is very disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Die With Me is the first novel by British author, Elena Forbes, and the first book in the Mark Tartaglia series. When an autopsy on the victim of an apparent suicide in a deserted London church raises questions about the death, DI Mark Tartaglia finds himself in charge of a murder investigation. From laborious examination of coroner’s records, it becomes clear that there are at least two, and possibly three, earlier victims. Emails, suicide notes, locks of hair, presence of GHB and other factors point to a serial killer.

With Tartaglia’s DCI in hospital following an accident, he and DS Sam Donovan are under pressure to produce results, but Tartaglia is infuriated when DCI Carolyn Steele is brought in to head the case. And even more annoyed when she brings in psychologist, Dr Patrick Kennedy as the profiler. Kennedy and Tartaglia have an adverse history on a previous case; Steele is also not as impartial about Kennedy’s role as would be wise. As more deaths occur, Tartaglia is also distracted from his work by his previous affair with pathologist, Dr Fiona Blake.

This is an excellent murder mystery that captures the feel of the west London suburbs and introduces a team of realistically flawed members of the Metropolitan Police force. While the astute reader may be able to determine the perpetrator and the source of various red herrings, this is, nonetheless, a page turner that will keep the reader enthralled to its gripping climax. Forbes leaves plenty of scope for further books in the series, and readers who enjoy this one will be pleased to know there are a further three (so far) to be savoured. An excellent debut.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 2012
A teenager is found dead, in a suburban London church. At first it assumed that she commited suicide by throwing herself off the church's high balcony. However, as the death is investigated further, it appears that she may have been pushed. It is then discovered that other teenagers have recently died under similiar circumstances.

This book held my interest from the start. As police procedurals go, I thought that is was better than most. It reminded me a bit of the 'Tom Thorne' series of novels. I cottoned on as to who the killer was with around a third of the book still to go, but still found the ending full of suspense.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
When the body of a young girl is found in a church in Ealing, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. It is only when the pathologist finds traces of the drug GHB in her system and notices that a strand of her hair has been taken that DI Mark Tartaglia is called in the investigate further. Tartaglia and his team manage to link this death to the deaths of several other women and girls who apparently entered into a `suicide pact' with a man who was only too happy to help them die.

For a first novel, this is a really good police procedural and the characterisation is great. Instead of the predictable relationships and stereotypical characters, Forbes explores the relationships of the Barnes Murder Squad by having segments of chapters described from different viewpoints. Tartaglia himself is an interesting, if enigmatic, Detective who has a complicated love life and incredible commitment to the job. His Italian/ Scottish background and relationship with his sister is further explored in the next novel. It was a shame that I had read Elena Forbes' second novel, `Our Lady of Pain', before this one, as it contained some spoilers. However, it was still a brilliant read and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 September 2008
DIE WITH ME (Pol. Proc.-DI Mark Tartaglia-London-Cont) - NR
Forbes, Elena, 1st book
Quercus, 2008, UK Hardcover - ISBN: 1847241565

First Sentence: The tombstone was nearly six feet tall, weathered and mottled with lichen.

DI Mark Tartaglia has a serial killer on his hands. Someone is luring young girls to the galleries of churches and throwing them to their deaths.

This was such a miss for me. Ms. Forbes male protagonist was not convincing and none of the characters had any depth. There was a lot of detail on what the characters were eating and drinking, but little detail on little else.

For a police procedural, it included next to no procedure. I identified the killer way too early but was never given the reason why he killed. There was very little sense of place and dialogue was passable, but just.

But it was the ending of the book that made it a virtual wallbanger for me. I suggest passing this one by.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 25 January 2008
It's hard to believe that this is Forbes' first novel.

The plot centres around a series of deaths of vulnerable young girls and women which appear at first to be suicides. The chilling deaths continue and DI Mark Tartaglia and his team investigate to find the connection between the victims which will lead them to the killer's identity.

The plot moves at a fast pace with characters that are deeply drawn both in their professional and personal lives and this is developed skillfully as the novel progresses. The killer is a standard psychopath but even he examines the "why?". The only thing that I think would enhance this novel is if a little humour crept into the characterisation - similar to Stuart McBride's style.

The ending has been done in this way before but I thought this was effected well and leaves you expectantly waiting for the next in the series.

Overall this is an exciting mystery-crime-police procedural - highly recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2008
A serial killer preys on vulnerable young girls and women and kills them in acts made to look like suicide. D.I Tartaglia and his team at Barnes get on the case to prevent further murders happening.

The story is reasonably well-constructed and Forbes brings in a number of suspects as different leads are discovered. So you are kept guessing. Forbes' writing is fine and she does well with her characterizations and dealing with relationships between the players.

Some will be disappointed with the ending and I am also not sure all matters were brought to closure. Almost certainly there will be a sequel.

This is quite a good, fast-paced read without being outstanding. 7/10
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 19 May 2008
I enjoyed this book a lot. Contrary to come of the more negative reviews on here, I thought the charachters were interesting and likeable, and the pace was good, I hate reading crime thrillers where it's all dragged out to fill pages, but in this everything kept going reasonably quickly and the story developed well.
I did have an inkling who the killer was but this didn't stop me from enjoying it. There was one slight disappointment towards the end, as to what happened to the culprit, without giving anything away, but possibly there's a reason for that. You'll know what I mean if you read it, and I would certainly recommend it. I will look forward to her next book.
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