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4.3 out of 5 stars33
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 3 June 2008
The Skinner series has gone through many ups and downs, and seemed to be recovering quite nicely until this shocker. Carrying on almost immediately after Death's Door finished, it revolves around the discovery of another body laid out in the same way as the murders solved in the last book - is there a copycat out there?

We're back with the Edinburgh police, all of whom are promoted to high rank, yet still pound the beat, all with morals to die for, all related to each other. The dialogue is clunky, there's a huge amount of explanation in the narrative and the plot developments purely fanciful on occasion. The ending seems to have been bolted on as an afterthought.

However, the characters that I've followed through the series and the fact that the plot cracks along at pace meant it was worth the read. Don't bother if you haven't read any others in the series.

Will I read any more - unlikely after the jumping-the-shark line about Aileen being asked to raise the championship winning flag for Hibernian FC!!

All the best Skinner.
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on 2 December 2013
Big Bob's back - and as large as ever - hugely popular series, 18 is as gripping as 1 was - I couldn't put the book down. A highly recommended read - but please remember to hang out the Do not Disturb sign before starting

Another excellent book by the marvellous Quintin Jardine
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VINE VOICEon 14 November 2009
In many ways Quintin Jardine is the Scottish answer to John Grisham; after reading the books there is a slightly empty feeling, but whilst reading one is gripped and cannot resist turning the page.

However, this 18th in the Skinner series does stretch credulity. VERY senior officers across more than one Police force appear to get involved in the nitty gritty of investigations. Their private lives are so complicated that it is difficult to see how they can concentrate on their work. And the denouement in this book is frankly ludicrous.

This is not a bad book, but not a terribly good one either. New readers should probably start with one of the earlier novels, but Skinner fans will get something out of this.
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on 25 January 2014
It was excellent to have the story continue. The twists in the book, always keep you guessing. Fantastic writing as always from quintin. Hope he keeps the books coming.
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on 29 December 2013
What shall I say? I love Quintin Jardine's books and am always waiting for the next one. Try the other series too if you like this one.
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on 23 June 2014
Bob Skinner, superfit, good looking, clear thinking, straight shooting - is just too good to be true - hold on a minute.....
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on 7 March 2014
A very absorbing read. Feel I have a personal relationship with all the characters. Quintin Jardine never let's you down.
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on 1 March 2009
First of all, I should state that I haven't previously read any of QJ's other books. I would not recommend this to anyone else who hasn't done so. There is a huge list of characters who aren't really introduced to us, because we're expected to have read the other books first. It also helps if the reader has some understanding of the command structure of the police force (fortunately I did) otherwise we have no idea who is whose boss or vice versa.

The first two-fifths is pretty boring. Not much happens, there's a lot of talking, a lot of interaction between characters who the first-time QJ reader knows nothing about.

The second two-fifths is much more interesting as the body count begins to rise, and they start rounding up the suspects. However, I felt that the investigating police officers didn't behave very realistically or professionally - they seemed to let personal feelings govern the way they treated their suspects. As I work for the police force, this stuck out like a sore thumb.

The last fifth goes down like a lead balloon. When the killer is finally revealed, my only reaction was bewilderment. The motive given was completely underwhelming and constituted little more than a couple of sentences of explanatory text. I'd worked out who it was but couldn't imagine why he/she would do it, or why he/she would be trying to frame Bob Skinner.

On a humorous note, the book lost all credibility when it suggested that Hibernian FC had won the league...
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on 24 October 2014
I love all the Bob Skinner books and was told about them many years ago by our librarian.She gave me a list of them all and I read them in series.I then started to buy them before I had a Kindle.I have read this one before but I am enjoying it just as much second time around. One of my favourite authors.M.Clarke.
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on 25 June 2008
I have read several books in this series and have often had a problem keeping up with who is who in the Police structure but the plot usually keeps me interested. Not in this case. There are too many police characters, virtually all at a level above Inspector, many of whom are either related to each other or married to each other and/or used to be married to each other. I just could not work out who was in charge, who they were married to and what their history or personality was. And surely all these high level people (there must be at least 10) wouldn't ALL be involved in the day to day running of a case?) The soppy relationship and dialogue between Skinner and his partner the The First Minister, Aileen was irritating in the extreme. The dialogue is clunky and the plot crawls along at snail place. not only this, the book is actually a continuation of a previous book - I had read this but in view of the stand alone nature of this book, there is a lot of exposition for new readers, so we constantly go over it all again. I had even guessed the whodunnit, though not whydunnit, which in any event, was totally preposperous. bring back the two handed dectective team of a DI and DS with possibly a pathologist thrown in the mix and decent plot and narrative! or the pithy, amusing comments of a DI Steele/ DS Logan in Stuart McBride's books....much more engaging.
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