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on 10 April 2012
I loved Part 1 and Part 2 was just as good. I've read short reads by other authors and have found that some fail to have much depth and don't always fully represent the author and his/her style. I feel that these short reads by R.J. Ellory are a true representation of his writing style. They aren't rushed and crammed to shoe-horn too much information in to too few pages.

The first few pages of the next installment are included in the download but I didn't read them as I want it to be fresh when it's released.
Bring on Part 3......
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`The Cop' is the second short story in a trilogy, so if you haven't already enjoyed `The Sister: Three Days in Chicagoland: Book 1 then stop right here, go back, order the first story and begin where you're supposed to. Reading them out of order will lessen the experience, and these three gems are worth taking time over to enjoy to the full.

Each of these tales, set in Chicago in the 1950s, tells of a murder and its consequences from a different perspective. First time around [SPOILER ALERT! quit here if you've not read `The Sister' yet] we learned about the abrupt killing of a young woman, and the execution of the man convicted of her killing. But at the end of that tale we learn that the investigating officer has genuine fears that the wrong man was punished for the crime. So `The Cop' walks us through the initial investigation - and after a lifetime of voraciously consuming crime fiction and the roman policier in particular, I have rarely enjoyed a better description of what the initial 36 hours of a murder investigation might have looked like, back in the day. We get to walk every block with the investigating officers, identify the victim, seek out her boyfriends, trace what her final day looked like and - maybe - track down the killer who brought her life to a violent end.
The beauty of a novella like this is that it jettisons all the frills of full-length fiction. The story is stripped bare, back to the basic protagonists. The narrative cranks up in its intensity and - when it's written as well as these three stories are - the result can be every bit as fulfilling as a full length novel. Just quite a bit shorter to read!

`The Cop' wobbles slightly in a couple of respects - the investigation isn't as compelling as the execution in the first episode, nor the insight into a killer's mind in the final chapter. This is gumshoe detection of the old school; it's not packed with car chases, shoot-outs or fist fights. The dialogue wanders around a bit too, not quite sustaining the slightly uneasy street-talk vernacular. It's very definitely the middle chapter and so provides the structural integrity of this mini-series - but it is rather less shocking than the other two tales.

I found 'The Cop' to be eminently readable and very rewarding. I'm delighted that more writers are taking the short story seriously again... they may be useful tools to introduce us to new characters and situations, but when short stories are as carefully crafted as this trio, then they are a delight in their own right.
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on 27 December 2012
I chose this trilogy of books because I have read and enjoyed all of R J Ellorys books .this was very easy reading and must admit once I started reading I could nt put it down .I must admit Iam not much of a fan of short stories though i like abook to last me a few days at least and this was finished far to quickly . for the price I paid for the trilogy Icould have bought two full lenth novels .A good story but to short for the money
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on 18 March 2013
Beautifully written, good short story - obviously has to be read with the other two (The Sister and The Killer) and they are indeed very short. Read all three in a day.... I really should get out more....
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on 26 December 2014
Just gets better and better, leaves you wanting more and the characters are perfect as usual, this man really does have a gift for short stories, just like Stephen King. On to the last part...
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on 8 May 2014
As always, Ellory writes beautiful. Despite the subject matter often being gruesome it is written almost poetically and with great insight. The trilogy is not to be missed.
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on 3 May 2012
For simplicity, I'm doing a single review for this trilogy of short stories, THREE DAYS IN CHICAGOLAND (TDIC) which will be posted on all 3 parts.

The 3 parts (or books) are;

"The Sister. The Cop. The Killer."

The parts were released separately, for 0.99p, with staggered publication dates. However, they are now all available and whilst they need to be downloaded individually they should be read in the above order.

All 3 parts are written in the 1st person and whilst the primary conceit of the TDIC is to tell of a murder from these three key perspectives, typically of RJ Ellory (RJE), the central characters are described in such excellent detail that this isn't just 'functional reporting of the murder,' and the events either side, but a truly engaging story about the protagonists' lives.

During the period of TDIC's staggered release I read several other crime novels by well established authors. They were entertaining, but they didn't make me care about the characters or make me think beyond the usual curiosity of "what happens next?" It was ultimately a cold experience.

TDIC was different and this is down to how RJE really 'gets under the skin of the characters,' picking out very real traits, ideas and life experiences and then describing them brilliantly. His prose style connected me with his characters and stimulated my imagination. Many novels are a 'journey to a finishing post' that's enjoyable but not likely to be repeated. With TDIC, even before I'd finished, I found myself returning to experience these sequences again.

I don't believe in appending extracts, to reviews, because you should experience them afresh. But as a hint, the way The Sister is described in the observation room and her thoughts and feelings on being notified of the crime were very powerful and very real. I have dealt with victims, and I can endorse the credibility of such writing. In many crime novels the victims' families barely get a look in. To lead with such a character is enlightened.

TDIC deserves it's 5 stars. It's an excellent read, exceptional value for money. And it warrants your hard earned cash.
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on 30 December 2012
Ellory can do no wrong in my eyes. A delight to have something while waiting for publication of the next physical book from him.
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on 23 June 2014
Read my review for Book 3. Good for those who wanted to see crime from a different aspect but I prefer the one book approach.
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on 8 January 2013
really enjoyed all three of the books in this set. beautifully written, over to soon, looking forward to the authors next book
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