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3.6 out of 5 stars14
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 6 August 2014
Unlike Bale's other books there is less of a hook in this to drag you instantly in. However, it's worth persevering as the story line is good, great characterisation and a very meaty content.

As each page unfolded I became more and more immersed in the tale. Although I have also enjoyed Bale's other novels this one has greater depth, superior detail and the style is fairly different. It's a skilfully crafted novel and a more sophisticated work than other books of his that I've read.

My one disappointment was the lack lustre ending where the story simply splutters out. Almost as though the author had reached a writing time deadline, or wasn't really sure how to finish. Either that or he has a sequel in mind? But I hope that isn't the intention. Either way, sadly the finale didn't do justice to the main body.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 March 2013
I am new to Tom Bale's writing and reading `The Catch' which is a stand alone novel was an excellent introduction to this author. I found this story fairly zipped along, as we become embroiled in the life of Robbie Compton, whose one moment of intense stupidity has serious repercussions for those closest to him.

Robbie is an arrogant, irresponsible and headstrong individual whose greed and foolhardy actions, not to mention a dangerous liaison with a gangster's wife, draws him into the sights of not only a couple bent on revenge, but also into the path of a ruthless henchman. As the story unfolds, the bonds of friendship and loyalty become fragile with Dan and Cate, in particular, navigating the fallout of Robbie's actions and both paying a personal cost, stretching the boundaries of their relationship with the charming yet scheming Robbie. The characterisation of all three is spot on as Bale bestows Dan and Cate with complicated and emotional personal lives that become all the more difficult due to Robbie's actions, and we can see just how strong these friendships really arein the present, as they all seem to have grown away from their younger selves and are clinging to the loyalties of the past. Bale's firm grip on the characterisation resonates though other figures in the central plot who veer from seedy, to stupid, to calculating and scheming, and I would highlight in particular Patricia and Gordon Blake, who are after Robbie's blood and whose motives in this form an interesting diametric in the plot. Are they really as bad as we think they are? They are assisted by Jerry, one of the most inept right hand heavies ever, and the brilliant Stemper, a self contained and utterly ruthless troubleshooter and a mass of contradictions that plays with the reader's perception of him to some degree.

The plot is well-paced enough, but does rely at times on questionable coincidences that overall were forgiveable as the story arc did draw you in and hold you there. A good level of violence and bloodshed throughout, and some genuinely unexpected moments that catch the reader offguard. There are quite entertaining touches including Stemper's initial introduction to the book, the bumbling haplessness of Jerry, and Robbie's fledgling career as a bored housewife's gigolo in order to acquire an alibi, that add a nice humour to the book and peppered throughout with genuinely laugh-out-loud moments. Indeed, Robbie is a very effective comedic foil to the teeth gnashing and exasperation of the dull and intense Dan, and Robbie's confused sister Cate.

So, all in all, a good, well-executed, distinctly British thriller, that is certainly worth checking out, and having already purchased a copy of `Skin and Bones' on the strength of this one, I'm glad to have discovered a new author...
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on 17 October 2013
Thoroughly enjoyable book by the great author Tom Bale. The plot twists and turns and you're never quite sure what lies around the next corner. Highly recommended especially to those who live around the Brighton/ Sussex area where you'll recognise just how accurate the settings are. Read Tom's other books too especially Skin & Bones which is one of my all time favourites.
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on 16 April 2014
Absolutely brilliant! I really couldn't put it down. Didn't predict any twists of the story. Im going to read all his books!
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on 15 April 2013
I have just finished reading 'The Catch'and as with his previous books it is fantastic. What I really like about Tom Bale's books is that they are so readable. Literally from the first page you are hooked. The characters are believable and the pace of the story is unrelenting.
I am a huge fan and cannot wait until his next book. Please check it out and his previous books you will not be disappointed.
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on 19 September 2014
Not one of his best! Some realism mixed with implausible.
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To be honest, whilst I’ve read Tom’s writing before, this one felt more than a little flat to me as the story went from interesting concept and question posed to the ridiculous as things went south pretty quickly. The characters felt little more than 2D with the writing not really taking them anywhere within other than a forced line and for me it was something that told its own tale throughout the book.

Add to this no real depth of excitement for me, sadly plain and overly complex idea’s that could have been explored deeper to help give a more rounded tone and all round left me feeling pretty flat. A great shame as I’d had high hopes for this.
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on 13 January 2016
fab book
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on 4 July 2015
Have read his other books and thoroughly enjoyed them. I was hugely disappointed with the ending. You invest huge amounts of time in a book and this was a massive let down. I think it needed another chapter to finalise the story.
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on 24 April 2015
good story -pity about the ending.
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