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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCELLENT DEBUT NOVEL.............
Yet another first class novel based in Glasgow - where better. Glasgow is a city of hard men but it has a heart of gold, however, Craig Robertson does not touch on this virtue unlike Craig Russell did in "Lennox".
The story is told by the killer himself. His ramblings are bitter, but he does not come across as the psychopath that we may have encountered in books of a...
Published on 4 Jun. 2010 by Saturnicus

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ironic take on the serial killer genre
Set in a seedy, sleazy Glasgow, this is a first person narrative told by a 'serial killer' - or is he? And when one of his victims turns out to be a gangland member, the killer becomes the hunted.

By making this a story told by the killer, this seems to be attempting to turn the familiar genre on its head. But I'm afraid this is neither different enough nor...
Published on 21 Mar. 2010 by Roman Clodia


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCELLENT DEBUT NOVEL............., 4 Jun. 2010
By 
Saturnicus "Saturnicus" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Random (Paperback)
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Yet another first class novel based in Glasgow - where better. Glasgow is a city of hard men but it has a heart of gold, however, Craig Robertson does not touch on this virtue unlike Craig Russell did in "Lennox".
The story is told by the killer himself. His ramblings are bitter, but he does not come across as the psychopath that we may have encountered in books of a similar nature. I will not go into the story and spoil it for readers, but six murders are committed for no apparent motive. The city is in a state of terror and the police go round in circles looking for "The Cutter". Eventually they have to call in the big guns from Nottingham.. A clever criminal, the Cutter is always one step ahead and covers his tracks superbly.
Mr Robertson is a reporter for the "Sunday Post", one of Scotland's fabvourite newspapers, and he must have been very successful if his standard of writing is anything like that of this novel. The chapters are short and he does not keep the reader hanging on. The facts and observations contained therein are interesting and informative.
I found it very easy to read and did so in record time. To be truthful, I couldn't lay it down.
I do hope that more novels are to come from the pen of this promising newcomer to the crime genre.
I will certainly be watching out for them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, 6 April 2010
By 
H. meiehofer "haroldm" (glasgow, scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Random (Paperback)
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This is an interesting and intriguing debut. It is written form the viewpoint ofg the killer, which is rare if not unique in crime fiction.

The novel opens well with our "hero" (that CAN'T be the right word surely) picking his first victim using a random method. This is particularly creepy and Craig Robertson keeps up this atmosphere throughout the book. The reader is lulled into believing that these killings are really random, which in itself is shocking enough. But when the narrator reveals his actual motivation his callousness and disregard for his random victims ramps the shock factor way off the scale.

The first person narrative is supplemented occasionally by press reports, which have a great ring of authenticity, which they should have given the author's long career as a journalist.

It is a difficult trick to engage the reader with such an unsympathetic character controlling the narrative, but Robertson manages by making him interesting if revolting. He creates a convincing psychopath who produces pathetic excuses and justifications for his behaviour; his efforts to besmirch some of his victims and therefore somehow justify their fate add to this authenticity. Even the narrator himself seems to find this hard to take.

The author does box himself into a corner with the first person narrative a wee bit and some of the attempts to get round this appear a wee bit laboured ("A pal told me"). In addition the ending does seem a bit of a cop out.

Having said that this is an impressive debut. The blurbs compare Robertson to Rankin and Deaver. He is not in that class but then again neither were they with their debuts so who knows?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ironic take on the serial killer genre, 21 Mar. 2010
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Random (Paperback)
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Set in a seedy, sleazy Glasgow, this is a first person narrative told by a 'serial killer' - or is he? And when one of his victims turns out to be a gangland member, the killer becomes the hunted.

By making this a story told by the killer, this seems to be attempting to turn the familiar genre on its head. But I'm afraid this is neither different enough nor clever enough to really achieve that.

The motive for the killings is revealed on p.136 so fairly early on in the book and felt a bit anti-climactic to me. There's therefore not much tension pulling the reader on towards the end.

Overall this is neither a character-driven nor a plot-driven book. There's a kind of twisted, dark humour on the part of the author who seems to be enjoying himself hugely (and you'll probably never look at a rolled up newspaper in quite the same way again...).

There is a dark irony at the heart of the book, poking fun at the genre but, for me, it is instantly forgettable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark? Oh yes, but what a cracking read!, 18 Sept. 2010
By 
Roroblu's Mum "ROROBLU'S MUM" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Random (Paperback)
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I haven't read anything by the author prior to this, but I shall certainly keep an eye on the shelves from now on.

The book delivers in spades. It has an arresting (no pun intended)story line and the characters are full of depth and give a real sense of anger and despair. The book paints a vivid picture of the area where it is set and one gets a sense of how it must be to exist there. I don't mean in a negative sense either. It gives the reader a feel of the place and it's people and not many books can pull that off without being over-dramatic or over-sentimental. The book gives the reader an insight into the failings of justice and what is right. It also gives the reader a sense of how things can spiral when the system fails you. One can almost feel the depths of the emotions of the main character and ulitmately the need for sheer, plain old cold revenge. I actually found myself empathising with the main character but not for the majority of the victims I'm afraid lol++.

It was quite easy to fall into the pages and visualise the writing as I went along for the journey. That doesn't happen often, sadly. The ending is sad in a way, even though it was partially expected it still gave me a wee jolt.

So, would I recommend it? Indeed I would!

Thanks to AV for the opportunity to read it and to Craig Richardson for writing it. If his next book is of the same calibre I would be more than happy to read it.

rorobluesdad
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fab!!!!!! you really need to read this book, 24 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Random (Paperback)
I love this book, it is good how it is told through the killer's eye's. when I started I could not put it down. I can not wait to read what he write's next, It is hard to believe that this is his first book it is so well written. if you love a good crime book you defo need to read this
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could have been fantastic, 21 Aug. 2010
By 
Rory Mercer (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Random (Paperback)
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As a début novel, you couldn't get much better. Well, actually, you probably could.

The premise is a good one, the story is well planned out and concerningly believable. The characters are very three dimensional and, when motive is revealed, very easy to empathise with (interestingly, with both victims and killer).

It has all the makings of a five star book, but really spoilt itself for me with a plot twist (which I shall not reveal, as I would recommend this as a purchase) mid-way through. I thought it detracted from the plot just enough to leave a question mark about its enjoyment value without marring it entirely.

A good read for anyone who is a fan of the murder mystery/crime thriller genre, and may have particular appeal to the many fans of "CSI Type" shows (and their accompanying novelizations).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is unusual but I enjoyed it., 25 July 2010
By 
Wilz "wilson9hb" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Random (Paperback)
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Three stars is pretty good for me.
This story is told from an unusual point of view (the killer himself) and slowly the reasons for the murders become clear leaving the reader with a lot of sympathy with the killer. As the book progressed, I found that I had less sympathy but an understanding of what catastrophe led to this series of seemingly unconnected murders.
There are twists and turns with quite a shocking ending and, all in all, a compelling book.
If there is a negative, the lack of explanation of how this ordinary man manages to study his victims so easily stretches the imagination and the methods used are also a little unbelievable.
Despite that, a good read and I suspect more will come from this Author soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glasgow Noir, 27 Sept. 2010
By 
Crazy Bald Heid "kennyb63" (Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Random (Paperback)
I held little hope for this book fearing that it would trawl through every Glasgow hardman cliche imaginable. It touches on some but in other respects it captures the city quite skilfully.

The central premise is the story of a serial killer stalking the streets of Glasgow on a revenge mission told in the first person. So far so predictable. But to Robertsons credit he pulls all of the strings together in a nice little denoument and abrupt finish. It is not for the faint hearted being both violent and written in the colourful Glasgow vernacular. Easy read in short chapters.

I enjoyed it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE MURDERER'S TALE, 13 April 2010
By 
DAVID BRYSON (Glossop Derbyshire England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Random (Paperback)
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Last things first - this novel is absolutely brilliant. You have to get right to the end to appreciate just how good it is, but I am convinced enough of that to give my opinion of the book before I try to back the opinion up. This is a serial killer's story, and it is the serial killer himself who tells it. I can't say that that sounded promising to me before I started, but I was getting seriously involved before long. For one thing the narrative is paced very well. We get the details of the first couple of killings before we are offered any insight into the killer's motivation, indeed we don't get the full story on that until the saga is nearly all over, and to some extent we are kept guessing, which of course is as it should be.

It would be completely wrong for a reviewer to reveal what this motivation is, but it is likely that quite a number of us might react, and maybe even act, in at least partly the same way. I myself would have neither the courage nor the competence to do what the narrator (anonymous to the end) does, but that more than anything else might be what would restrain me in the two most extreme cases. This serial killer is seriously credible. He has no religious scruples, and indeed the story made me wonder what `forgiveness', such a frequent theme of Christian preaching, actually is. What activity, or what mental state, does the expression denote?

The locus of the action is Glasgow, and it seems that at long last that great city's potential as the setting for crime narratives is being realised. Is it really as bad as this, I wonder? I thought Denise Mina's Garnethill and Craig Russell's Lennox were rough stuff, but if Craig Robertson is anywhere near accurate in his depiction Glasgow seems to have something to teach Naples and Chicago. However behind all the grand guignol it is still perfectly easy to detect the author's fascination with the place and indeed love of it. Just the way he rolls off the place names is a dead giveaway in that respect, and that is what I might call the Glasgow paradox.

If you don't entirely agree about that, then I hope you will appreciate the nice sense the author has for Glasgow dialogue. Craig Robertson is a journalist, and the writing in the novel is a journalist's writing, and none the worse for that. I suppose one could get tired of it after a while, but one can get tired of preciosity too, and fresh from reading Random if I were offered the choice for my next book of something by the same author or something by Martin Amis or even Julian Barnes I'm not in much doubt which I would choose.

The plot line is clever and varied, in case you are apprehensive about reading a string of narrations of slaughter. The success of this (as I perceive it) hangs on the successful portrayal of the narrator, who seems really quite credible to me, as I have said already. It is hard not to sympathise with his irritation and boredom at a lot of the dull conversation he has to put up with, but the depiction of the other main actors has to come via him too. This is very well done, a nicely calculated mix of how he reacts to them and how they might be made to appear if the narration had been in the third person and not in the first.

How far this opinion of Random is in line with the general view I simply do not know, not having enquired. It may come down more to the different temperaments of different readers than to any supposedly `objective' criteria, even more than it usually does in assessing a novel. However I have not given much sign of uniqueness in other respects, so I can only hope and suppose that a good number of other readers will react to the book in much the way I have done.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Page-turning crime thriller with a unique perspective, 6 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Random (Paperback)
The newspapers call him The Cutter. He prefers it to Jock-The-Ripper. He's a killer who selects his victims at random, narrating his methods and his motive to the reader as he moves around Glasgow. His job as a mini-cab driver brings him into contact with all layers of society, including DS Rachel Narey, who's heading up the investigation to catch him and the criminal underworld boss, Alec Kirkwood, who wants to bring The Cutter to a more savage justice. As The Cutter continues his work, he finds himself caught between the net thrown by Narey and Kirkwood and as it grows tighter, he wonders if he will be able to complete the task that he set himself ...

Craig Robertson's debut novel is a tensely written crime thriller that's told from the perspective of the killer in a strong first person voice. It's an interesting device and one that works well until the final quarter of the book, when new information that was not previously apparent is suddenly revealed in a way that feels contrived.

This is a shame because The Cutter's voice and the way in which he slowly reveals his story is well executed. In many ways and despite his actions The Cutter is a sympathetic character and the scenes between him and his wife are particularly touching as both struggle to deal with a personal tragedy in their own way. Yet there is still a coldness to him and the way he decides to stick to his own random rules is at times quite chilling, especially as he shows a determination to potentially kill children and a young woman who reminds him of his own daughter.

Because this is told from the killer's perspective there isn't much room to show the police investigation, but there's still enough there to get a strong idea of DS Rachel Neavey and her willingness to go against conventional wisdom on The Cutter and his motives. She's a strong-minded, plain-speaking character who follows her instincts and I hope that Robertson will bring her back in later books.

All in all, this was a page-turning read and an interesting take on the genre. I'm really looking forward to reading Robertson's next book.
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