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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good debut
Exploring several themes including justice and revenge, love and loss and the nature of family, Kevin Brooks debut (adult) novel is an atmospheric thriller in which the past intrudes on the present.

Using a number of conventional thriller elements, Brooks nonetheless manages to conjure up an intriguing and involving plotline. John Craine's character is...
Published on 17 April 2011 by Andy Edwards

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A quick enjoyable read but not a literary classic
I picked this book as I'd read Kevin Brooks' previous YA book, Martyn Pig, and enjoyed it, and so was keen to read his first go at adult fiction.

The book took a while to get going, but once it did it was a simple but exciting page turner. As someone else has said in another review, the book doesn't really break any new ground with detective fiction, but I did...
Published on 10 May 2011 by Manda Moo


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good debut, 17 April 2011
By 
Andy Edwards "staxasoul" (Essex UK) - See all my reviews
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Exploring several themes including justice and revenge, love and loss and the nature of family, Kevin Brooks debut (adult) novel is an atmospheric thriller in which the past intrudes on the present.

Using a number of conventional thriller elements, Brooks nonetheless manages to conjure up an intriguing and involving plotline. John Craine's character is beautifully judged, and the supporting cast are given sufficient depth to add to the interest, while leaving no doubt where the main story lies. The only jarring note comes with the main villain who I felt strained credibility a little too much.

The writing is excellent, particularly when conveying Craine's ongoing despair at his wife's murder, and the pace of the plot is beautifully judged with various strands come together for a surprising ending, which also leaves open enough of those strands for a follow up book.

Kevin Brooks is a welcome addition to the thriller genre and I will look forward to seeing where he can take the next book, which I hope will continue John Craine's story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Those darn ghosts, 7 April 2011
By 
Michael Watson "skirrow22" (Halifax, England) - See all my reviews
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This is a very good read from Kevin Brooks. His first adult novel certainly sets a standard for debut UK crime story telling.

'A Dance of Ghosts' is not - for a change - based around the workings of a police investigation but rather the investigations carried out by a fragile PI, John Craine who carries on where the police left off.

Craine does, naturally, have a very troubled past and this comes back to haunt him as he searches out the killer of a prostitute, seemingly the same person who savagely attacked and killed Craine's wife sixteen years ago.

As the story unfolds, we learn this cannot be the case despite some 'fixed' evidence put into play by a very bent copper. It is this amalgam of takes on the search for the killer which develops throughout the story, helped in no small part by a young computer whizz who can do anything, anytime, anywhere and leads to a gripping finale. It is, however, this finale which leaves me a little short of awarding full marks. Even so, there is plenty in the book to like. The dialogue is excellent, the characters seem as though they just might exist in real life (well, maybe not the computer guy but what do I know?) and there is very little wasted space on unnecessary backgrounds. The author tells us what we need to know and it works well.

I look forward to the author's next adult book (though on the basis of this novel maybe I'll catch one of his children's books and see what my grandchildren think).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty Crime, 3 May 2013
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I like this foray into adult literature - not that it really seems much different from Kevin Brooks' Young Adult novels.

Full of suspense and tension and twists and turns. So, I cringed and squirmed in some parts, but I'm a wimp and I still can't wait to read the next book and find out what happens next.

Reminds me a little of Ian Rankin's Rebus. Only Craine isn't a detective inspector
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ghost dance, 23 Aug 2012
I usually steer clear of private detective novels. But I was given this book by a friend and decided to read it. I'm glad I did because I enjoyed it. It's a gripping story with an interesting central character who goes in search of a young woman who is missing. The book is fast-moving and the plot is convincing. Maybe I should read more private detective books!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 23 Aug 2012
I enjoyed this book immensely. The story is plausible and it's well written. It involves a private detective who goes looking for a missing person. It sounds a bit clichéd but once you get into it the plot develops and there are a lot of surprises. I bought the book at the airport on my way to Dubai and finished it by the time I got there! Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wow!, 3 Aug 2012
This review is from: A Dance of Ghosts (Pi John Craine) (Kindle Edition)
i dont know what to say. it was brilliant i couldn't put down! i liked it so much that i was even walking around reading it! although there is the odd bad word i would highly recomend this it is an absoloute page turner i even read it in two days which is pretty good consisting that this a 407 page book.if you like suspense the odd hardcore bit of violence this book blows every other suspence / thriller out of the water althogh i thought th ending needs a bit of work although who cares? i still absoloutly loved it! i highly reccomend this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A quick enjoyable read but not a literary classic, 10 May 2011
By 
Manda Moo (UK) - See all my reviews
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I picked this book as I'd read Kevin Brooks' previous YA book, Martyn Pig, and enjoyed it, and so was keen to read his first go at adult fiction.

The book took a while to get going, but once it did it was a simple but exciting page turner. As someone else has said in another review, the book doesn't really break any new ground with detective fiction, but I did find the characters believable. The number of coincidences which help the story along get a bit unbelievable at times, but all together the twists and turns do hang together enough to take you with it.

Whilst I found this book enjoyable it was a bit light weight for me, and could have benefited from a bit more information in places.

Altogether a good first adult book, I look forward to reading some more of Kevin's work when I am after something more easy going in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kevin Brooks doesn't shy away from all things horrible!, 3 May 2011
By 
JK "Julie K." (UK) - See all my reviews
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Kevin Brooks doesn't shy away from blood, gore, torture, hugely sensitive themes and strong language. A Dance of Ghosts is absolutely NOT for those of a sensitive disposition and you'll realise that from the opening pages.

I was unsure about the level of serious violence to begin with but; once I got into the plot I realised how relevant the hard hitting themes were to the rest of the novel and became somewhat addicted.

Incredibly powerful crime thriller with a superb and yet fragile lead character, PI John Craine. Craine loses everything he loves in a very short space of time and, as he falls apart, he begins to uncover a dark, grisly deception leading right to the door of one very bent policeman.

Kevin Brooks has created some great characters who he's all too willing to fling into a variety of awful situations with little care as to how, or if, they emerge. Thoroughly enjoyed the dark humour which helps to lift some of the 'nastiness' and was impressed by the sheer energy of a plot having enough depth and pace to keep fans of hard boiled crime drama satisfied.

Dance of Ghosts isn't perfect but it's certainly a very good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Above-average Brit crime. Nowt new, but enjoyable, 25 Feb 2011
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This is a modern crime-thriller-detective novel set in the UK. It brings very little new to the party and features many of the usual trappings of the genre but, in spite of that, was a perfectly satisfactory read over a wet weekend.
The central character is small town, private investigator whose private life was torn apart by violent crime a few years ago. Since then he has slithered into the shadows. He's isolated and alcoholic, and barely cares what tomorrow may bring. He normally trudges through mundane insurance investigations and the like, but is hired to check out the mysterious disappearance of a young girl - and that's when his life changes radically. It seems that this new investigation and the death of his wife might somehow be linked, and the hero soon puts himself in the path of danger.
There are plenty of cliches in `A Dance of Ghosts': the boozy-but-essentially-solid central character himself, the sidekick computer geek, the aggressive police detective, and the hero's love interest - whose affections might just be enough to give the hero a reason to keep on living. Dark secrets are hinted at, and some are revealed which give the main characters rather more depth and credibility and the plot progresses.
It wasn't hard to spot the bad guy, but the writing is pacy and crisp and the plot develops in a satisfying manner. There are a few plot threads left hanging at the end (particularly in relation to the investigator's father), although the main story is cleverly resolved in a manner which doesn't quite match expectations. I found that by the end of the book I was reasonably involved with the characters and how they'd developed - so was genuinely interested in the outcome of the final, violent scenes. Kevin Brooks has constructed a cohesive, credible reality and I really wasn't sure who would survive by the final pages. `A Dance of Ghosts' also skilfully avoided being horribly twee and parochial, which is a common flaw among new Brit crime fiction.

More of a `modern detective' novel than a `thriller'. Good enough that I'll look out for more by this author in future.
7/10
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mind Your Language, 26 Oct 2013
This review is from: A Dance of Ghosts (Pi John Craine) (Kindle Edition)
As other reviewers have commented Kevin Brooks sees fit to sprinkle his debut Adult thriller with "industrial language".To a point this didn't bother me as it added to the gritty reality of the book.Having said that about halfway through what might otherwise have been a conversation between 2 people quite interested in getting to know each other more intimately read almost like "Romeo and Juliet with tourettes" OK so John Craine,Brook's leading character,is a hard bitten PI but suddenly his love interest grows rather a foul mouth as well and it's all a bit much.Thankfully after the Derek and Clive bit (showing my age,youngsters are advised to Google)the language is toned down a touch and the story continues apace...as they say in proper reviews.
A Dance Of Ghosts is an easy read and reminded me very much of Simon Kernick's style,excellent characterization,full throttle action and a suspension of believe required to enjoy it properly,there are numerous "you can't be serious" moments throughout the book but again that's something it shares with Mr Kernick's excellent books and he hasn't done so badly.Brooks has very free-flowing writing style and I whizzed through this book very quickly,it was dark,quirky and full of deeply flawed but interesting characters.I enjoyed it enough to want to read the later books in this series,hopefully Mr Brooks will have noted comments here and toned down the swearing in those,i wasn't shocked,it just got very boring.
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