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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Début!
Tina and Annie Snowdon have been warned not to accept lifts from strangers, but having snuck out to see their favourite boy band and missed the last bus home the kindly stranger's offer seems the best means of avoiding trouble. It is a decision that will shape Tina's life, as only she escapes from their abductor.
What sets this novel apart from the majority of...
Published on 5 Feb 2012 by Leon Steelgrave

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
I really enjoyed this book throughout - couldn't put it down. However, without going into too much detail, I was a bit disappointed at how quickly it came to an end. If was like it was a rush to get it finised. Think the author could have continued for a bit longer rather than it finishing so abruptly.
Published 20 months ago by Imogen


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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Début!, 5 Feb 2012
This review is from: Convictions (Kindle Edition)
Tina and Annie Snowdon have been warned not to accept lifts from strangers, but having snuck out to see their favourite boy band and missed the last bus home the kindly stranger's offer seems the best means of avoiding trouble. It is a decision that will shape Tina's life, as only she escapes from their abductor.
What sets this novel apart from the majority of police procedurals is its handling of the victim's family. Too often, the family take a backseat to the investigating officers. Indeed, much of the novel eschews the tried and tested formula of detectives piecing together clues in the hunt for the criminal, with the police investigation only coming to the fore towards the end.
Morrigan paints a compelling picture of the impact on the family and the emotional unravelling and blame that follows. Her portrayal of a mother unwilling to forgive one daughter for being responsible for the loss of the other is particularly convincing. Inevitably, the guilt and blame projected onto Tina has tragic consequences.
Tightly written and with great characterisation, Morrigan skilfully controls the flow of the novel over a period spanning almost decade to bring it to a satisfying dénouement.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling page turner, 7 Mar 2012
By 
Bookie (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Convictions (Kindle Edition)
This is the story of what happens to ordinary people when tragedy rips their lives apart. It's set in Newcastle and is a taut and emotional tale of psychological unravelling following an abduction. More than that, it's also a gripping police procedural crime thriller. It's a book of two halves really, with the first part of the story concentrating on the effect the crime has on a family. The second part focuses on the solving of the crime, with a very credible police central character. For once, the police are portrayed as decent hard working individuals doing their best to catch the bad guy.

This is a really compelling and fast paced thriller. Although it's not always a comfortable read, it had me hooked from the first page and I wanted to keep reading until it was finished. All the characters are carefully and well portrayed and the plot is oh so believable. It's the kind of situation that could happen at any time to any ordinary family. I wasn't aware that this is a debut novel. It's incredibly well written and I hope there's more to come from this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Every parent's nightmare, 9 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Convictions (Kindle Edition)
This is a carefully crafted thriller. No purple prose just a good, solid read with very real characters.

The book begins with a child abduction and follows events over the next six or seven years. This isn't just a police procedural: the novel also tells its story from the point of view of victims, investigators and abductor, showing how tragic events can rip relationships apart and the impact that crime can have on all involved.

I'll be looking out for more of Julie Morrigan's books.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking British Crime, 22 July 2011
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This review is from: Convictions (Kindle Edition)
A crime procedural on the surface, underneath it's about relationships and how we deal with normal life after terrible things happen. It's about the other victims of crime, the family left behind. It's a cracking debut novel, from a very talented writer in Morrigan.

The characters in the story are extremely well written, with 'Tina' executed perfectly, but it is the police officers we meet in this story, which I thought were a nice change to the norm. There's only so many times you can read about rogue cops with drinking problems and their finger constantly pressed on the self destruct button, before you start worrying about the state of our police force. In 'Convictions', Morrigan presents characters in the police as normal people, just wanting to do the job to the best of there abilities. They care about the people harmed by crime, but aren't hampered in doing so by chronic alcoholism or something similarly neutering.

Set in Newcastle, it's great to see another Northern writer showing another side to crime fiction in this country. Morrigan's writing is in your face and packed full of force. Paced perfectly, this is a great first novel and I'm looking forward to reading more!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cancel everything and settle down for a darn good read, 15 April 2012
By 
ElaineG (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Convictions (Kindle Edition)
This really is a page turner, a book you simply have to clear the decks for and sit and read in one session. Fantastic plot which on first glance seems the normal police mystery, but then delves deeper into how the abduction of a child affects everybody in the family left behind. Very thought provoking and because the characters are portrayed so well you really do start to root for the family. The story mainly follows Tina(the surviving sister) and also Ruth (the Police Family Liaison Officer) with the story spanning a decade in all, covering the immediate aftermath of the abduction wonderfully with the crux of the plot being the fact that Penny, the girl's mother, believes "the wrong daughter survived" and her reactions to the abduction provide the impetus for Tina's future actions in years to come. The police investigation side was portrayed well, with you really getting a feel for how frustrating it must be for the police when they are busting a gut to solve a case and just arriving at dead ends all the time, especially when a case is open for years on end. Some people, I note, were not impressed by the ending but, to be honest, I really cannot see how it could have ended any other way without it coming across as being sugar coated, the ending is probably about as realistic as it can be. To sum up, well worth reading as it truly is a totally absorbing story.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll be hearing her name again, 22 Aug 2011
By 
Christopher Rhatigan (Iowa City, Iowa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Convictions (Kindle Edition)
Julie Morrigan's debut novel Convictions is a fantastic read that turns the traditional police procedural form on its head.

You see, I'm not much for police procedurals. I've watched enough Law & Order in my day -- or any one of its million ripoffs on American TV. When it comes to reading, I tend to stray away from them.

But Convictions sets itself part. The book starts with two sisters who sneak out to see a boy band concert. They're kidnapped when the older sister, Tina, accepts a gift from a stranger. She manages to get away, but her little sister, Annie, isn't as lucky.

The first half of the book focuses on the results of this devastating incident on the family, how the stress of it pulls them apart. The mother blames Tina for everything and refuses to forgive her, which weighs on Tina throughout the novel. The second half is more about the investigation of the case, but Tina's progress is still a main part of the story.

Interestingly, I don't think there's a traditional main character in this book. It's more of an ensemble cast with this single incident playing the part of the protagonist. It's almost as if Julie took this event and explored every possible angle of it. This makes for a nuanced and layered narrative.

Convictions is compelling, page-turning stuff, but with a strong emotional core and a dynamic cast of characters.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent First Book, 12 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Convictions (Kindle Edition)
I downloaded this without reading the reviews and I was gripped by the book. It is undoubtedly a page turner with a good story and great characters. The flawed mother of the victim(s) was a particular strong feature of the novel.

I will definitely read her next book
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Crime Story With Heart., 25 May 2011
By 
Paul D Brazill (Bydgoszcz, Poland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Convictions (Kindle Edition)
Julie Morrigan's writing gives you a good smack, as anyone who has read Gone Bad, her brilliant, brass knuckled collection of urban noir short stories, will tell you.

In her cracking debut novel, Convictions, she gives you a hell of a kicking, knees you in the gonads and then tears out a bit of your heart.

Convictions is a crime novel. A police procedural, after a fashion. But must of all it's a story about ordinary people coping. Coping with a crime. The victims of crime and all of the crime's offshoots.

The heart of the story is Tina, a twelve year old kid who secretly goes to see a boy band with her younger sister. She misses the last bus home and accepts a lift from a friendly stranger.

And then it all goes pear shaped as quickly as spit melts on hot pavement.

Morrigan paces and structures Convictions brilliantly; there are three parts,containing twenty short-sharp chapters, spanning Tina's painful transition from a child to a woman.

Tina is very well drawn and there are other strong characters too such as Ruth, the hard-nosed and warm hearted cop, Tina's excruciating mother -proof that Larkin was right - and a toxic, manipulative chancer that pretends to be Tina's friend.

Convictions by Julie Morrigan is a pulse pounding thriller with its feet on the ground and it's its big heart peeking out from under its ragged, bloody sleeve.

And she mentions Hartlepool too.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and realistic, 15 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Convictions (Kindle Edition)
This is a well crafted story, well written, and which held my interest throughout. I generally try to avoid child abduction type crime but this one certainly provided a very gripping story without being too gruesome. Recommended!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, 24 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Convictions (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book throughout - couldn't put it down. However, without going into too much detail, I was a bit disappointed at how quickly it came to an end. If was like it was a rush to get it finised. Think the author could have continued for a bit longer rather than it finishing so abruptly.
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Convictions by Julie Morrigan
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