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92 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read - exciting from start to finish
Broken Silence

I really enjoyed this book, and found that it was difficult to put down after I started reading it.

The book is primarily centred around Whitley Bay, and the author paints a very grim picture of life in that small north east town, close to Newcastle Upon Tyne. Indeed, there is nothing really positive about life in Whitley Bay. So, when...
Published on 17 Nov 2010 by Tim from Surrey

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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising but flawed
There is a lot to enjoy in this book but I think Danielle Ramsay has tried just a bit too hard to make an impression with her first Jack Brady novel, so that it suffers rather from overkill both in plot and prose style.

Good things first: it's a very decent story, well plotted and paced. I thought the killer's identity was well and quite fairly concealed until...
Published on 25 Nov 2010 by Sid Nuncius


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92 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read - exciting from start to finish, 17 Nov 2010
By 
Tim from Surrey (Surrey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Broken Silence (Di Jack Brady) (Paperback)
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Broken Silence

I really enjoyed this book, and found that it was difficult to put down after I started reading it.

The book is primarily centred around Whitley Bay, and the author paints a very grim picture of life in that small north east town, close to Newcastle Upon Tyne. Indeed, there is nothing really positive about life in Whitley Bay. So, when a murder happens, the Police aren't expecting to obtain a result due to the local people there. The victim is a young school girl, who is an exceptionally well mannered and dutiful child to her parents. But her parents have no idea what she really is like.

Who murders this young girl? All the clues are forthcoming throughout the book, and it appears that a Police Officer may be directly involved in the death.

The investigating officer - Detective Inspector Brady - is a close colleague of the suspected Police officer, who goes missing. As Brady investigates the murky criminal underworld of Whitley Bay, he knows that facts which will emerge may just further implicate his colleague.

It is the Brady's first case when he returns from being seriously injured many months' ago, and his senior officer would like to see him removed from the force, and replaced by one of the junior members who he favours instead. Brady has to use all his skills to investigate this horrific crime, as well as keep his job, and to try to find out whether his colleague is involved or not.

Danielle Ramsay has created a brilliant novel, which is fast moving, full of detail, and with lots of excitement. A very enjoyable read.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising but flawed, 25 Nov 2010
By 
Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Broken Silence (Di Jack Brady) (Paperback)
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There is a lot to enjoy in this book but I think Danielle Ramsay has tried just a bit too hard to make an impression with her first Jack Brady novel, so that it suffers rather from overkill both in plot and prose style.

Good things first: it's a very decent story, well plotted and paced. I thought the killer's identity was well and quite fairly concealed until late in the book and the denouement was believable and well done. It is much to Ramsay's credit that she spares us an implausible Cornered Killer Climax; the interview scenes in which the truth finally emerges are among the strongest in the book and provide a gripping climax of their own. I certainly think that there's enough substance here to warrant a second book and possibly a series.

My reservations have been mentioned by several other reviewers. Firstly, in her keenness to give us an interesting detective, Ramsay lays on the personal complications with a large trowel. As well as having a monumentally complex and dysfunctional personal life, Jack Brady seems to be emotionally or professionally compromised (sometimes both) in his relationship with almost everyone involved in the case: a major suspect, the suspect's wife and daughter, the defence solicitor (his recently ex-wife, for heaven's sake), his sidekick, his boss, an arrogant sergeant, the local mafia boss... and so on and on. It really did get a bit much and I began to wonder whether a character would ever appear with whom he hadn't slept or fought or shared a shady past.

Secondly, the style (he coolly introduced). Ramsay cannot just let characters speak for themselves (he briskly stated) but has to pile on the adverbs (he firmly asserted) and clumsy synonyms for "said" (he curtly attacked). After 100 pages or so I found the cumulative effect of this incredibly irritating and it really distracted me from the narrative. Mercifully, in the climactic interview scenes this almost disappears and they are tense, tightly written and really engrossing, showing that Ramsay is able to write really well when she allows herself to flow in an unaffected way.

I think Danielle Ramsay just needs to relax and tell the story, and I hope she will do that in future books. I couldn't in all conscience give this book four stars, but I hope it will be the start of a more mature series, which has the potential to be very good.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, 25 Mar 2012
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Bought this on the suggested reading links. Arduous and thoroughly put-downable which I did after about the 6th chapter. Too many good books to read and so little time why waste any of it.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cliche ridden and predictable, 24 Feb 2011
By 
Princess Mononoke (Lancs, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Broken Silence (Di Jack Brady) (Paperback)
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The story itself wasn't bad, but it was just so badly written. Predictably the hero of the book is riddled with personal problems (his wife left him and he's now a heavy drinker hell bent on destruction), in fact he drank so much throughout the book I'm surprised he could even stand up straight let alone solve a crime! He grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and his best mate from childhood is now the local gangland boss, and to top it all he likes classical music - hints of Morse there. His boss can't stand him and would rather one of the university entrants replaced him, rather too like Frost.

The style of writing was, for me, too descriptive and explanatory. I felt that when she ran out of ideas she just threw in a load of adjectives to pad it out; I particularly found the product placement style of wrting annoying (he didn't just pick up his phone, he picked up his Blackberry - he didn't open the fridge door, he opened the Smeg fridge door) - unnecessary and annoying. And what is her beef with Whitley Bay? Yes, every town has it's dark side, but I've been to Whitley many a time and didn't recognise it from the descriptions in this book. Overall it was a disappointment and I won't be looking out for any more in the series. Sorry.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not particularly good, 1 Aug 2012
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This isn't a bad book, but it's not really a good book either. There are problems with the plot, in that the murderer is simply too unlikely to be believable, and the actions of the police officer who is the protagonist frequently made little sense. It is simply not credible that any police officer, no matter how corrupt or incompetent, would be prepared to withhold information about the murder of a child because it's faintly possible it might have been committed by another officer to whom he owes an unspecified 'favour', especially when to do so would jeopardise his own career. And any kind of belief in the plot swiftly fades away when, towards the end of the book, that same police officer casually agrees to have his own father murdered by a criminal contact on the grounds that he's becoming something of a nuisance.
There were other problems as well, including one of the characters producing a pistol of some type and then releasing the 'safety trigger'. There's no such thing as a 'safety trigger' on any weapon: revolvers have nothing of the sort, and semiautomatic pistols have a safety catch, sometimes just abbreviated to 'safety'. To discover that piece of information would have taken perhaps thirty seconds on the Internet, which suggests sloppy or no research.
But all that is almost incidental to my biggest niggle with the book, which is that the writing is borderline illiterate. There are a number of typos, for want of a better expression, where words run together and a couple of places where they appear in the wrong order or include gobbledygook, but what is abundantly clear is that neither the author nor her editor know the difference between a gerund and a past participle. Or, if they do, they haven't got the slightest idea how to use them. The text is full of expressions like 'he was stood' and 'she was sat', where a gerund should have been employed, and I found that particularly jarring. And on one occasion she used the word 'gotten', which is an Americanism with no place in British English.
She also seemed to be particularly fond of sticking adverbs into verbs in the wrong place, in expressions like: 'he coolly replied', and 'she sarcastically said'. That may not be a clear grammatical error, but stylistically it's clumsy and unnecessary.
Until I reached the end of the book, I assumed it was the usual minimally-edited self-published effort, where such illiteracy could perhaps be excused, or at least expected, but what I read in the last few pages disabused me of that idea. The author had allegedly lectured on English literature, and the book was published by a major UK house. Both pieces of information came as something of a shock. I do not understand how anyone can contemplate writing a book, and certainly not embark on a career involving lecturing on English literature, when they clearly have such a poor grasp of the English language, the one essential tool of that trade. I'm also staggered that any editor in a British publishing house could be so similarly illiterate.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Same old problems, 23 April 2012
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Here we go again another Detective riddled with problems, drink, marriage, criminal friends etc, to name but a few. Are there no authors prepared to try and break free from this format. The story was predictable, the characters even more so, yet the author does show signs that she is far better than this. Please ditch Brady and create someone worthy of your talents.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, unfortunately badly written, 29 Jan 2011
By 
Clashcity Rocker "Clashcity Rocker" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Broken Silence (Di Jack Brady) (Paperback)
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I really wanted to like this book, but it's not that easy to read. It's badly written a lot of the time, with way too many characters thrown in at once, making you have to flick back and forth trying to work out who is who, also the author tends to switch between using christian and surnames for characters making it even harder to read, some of the writing is ambiguous at times too, starting sentences with "He", when you have just been writing about 2 male characters drives me mad. Unfortunately I gave this one up (which is rare for me).

That said, I think had I persevered, the story writing would have perhaps shone through, so perhaps it's not all bad. I think the author needs to take a little more care in making her books easier to digest. I'm giving it a 3, the story itself deserves a 4, but the writing a 2.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too bad about the grammar, 15 April 2012
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Good plotting let down by poor grammar - "he was stood" or " he was sat" rather than "he was sitting" or "standing". Very annoying. Also poorly proofread, lots of places where there were no gaps between words, and in one place a completely scrambled sentence. Distracting and disappointing.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sordid, sleezy and unpleasent to read, 29 Jan 2011
By 
Ren (Newcastle, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Broken Silence (Di Jack Brady) (Paperback)
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I really couldn't find any redeeming qualities about this book, no matter how hard I tried. The author seems to have a very clunky writing style which, in itself, makes for heavy reading, added to that the lead detective who seems to follow all the current trends of bog-standard fictional police detective: borderline alcoholic; emotional cripple; becomes emotionally/personally involved in the case; has slight breakdown/over-indulged hissy-fit at regular intervals... I'm sure I can't be the only person who reads/watches this current batch of detective (think DS Boyd in Waking the Dead) and wonder how we're expected to believe they could behave like that and keep their job?

I couldn't warm to any of the characters, even the victim didn't really seem to have any redeeming features on the whole, certainly not enough to evoke any great sympathy for her. The author also seems particularly taken with some of the more colourful expletives and likes to use them several times on most pages.

To top it off, by the time Whitley Bay is portrayed as a cesspool of prostitution, binge drinking, sex trafficking, drugs, paedophilia and general dregs of society, even speed reading the book, I felt grubby and in need of disinfecting by the time I'd finished reading. Living near Whitley Bay, I recognized most of the locations mentioned, but the general atmosphere and descriptions of the place don't match up with the real locations at all. Probably not such a problem for readers not familiar with the area, but quite distracting for the locals.

All in all, it's probably one to avoid unless you have a particular liking for poor narrative, lots of swearing and a whole list of degenerates.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Crime? It certainly is., 1 May 2011
This review is from: Broken Silence (Di Jack Brady) (Paperback)
'Proud Scot' and former 'academic' does not have a lot to be proud about with this book. It is also perhaps somewhat telling that she is no longer an academic. Too many student complaints that they knew more about the use of language than the lecturer? Had I been taught literature by her I would have demanded my money back.

This is an example of how NOT to write a book. Full of clumsy sentences, ridiculous and badly chosen adverbs and unecessary foul language....you might speak like this Ms Ramsay but really most people can express themselves perfectly well without f@@k, s66t and b???ocks spewing forth. Ok...you could argue it is for shock value and effect.....unfortunately the effect is one of wanting to turn the pages quickly for the all the wrong reasons.

The predictable, cliched characters and story... the hard drinking detective...(yawn)...the ex wife...(yawn)...the crooked cops...(yawn and thrice yawn)...the sex abuse...(zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz). I have more excitement on a Whitley Bay seaside donkey.
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Broken Silence (Di Jack Brady)
Broken Silence (Di Jack Brady) by Danielle Ramsay (Paperback - 14 Oct 2010)
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