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on 14 May 2013
As other reviewers have written, Matt is a thoroughly dislikeable character. I don't have any problem with that, although it can get a bit wearing and the author maybe overdoes it a bit.

Matt has a past, though, so getting to the root of his drinking problem draws us in.

There are plenty of plot twists and dark revelations to keep you reading although this book is at the melodramatic end of the scale when all is said and done. I won't say too much about the sequence of events because I don't think you can without giving too much away. I would only say that if you like your endings fully explained beware. This is rather more enigmatic than many books, although leaving things up to the imagination isn't a problem for me.

I have one or two criticisms. This is clearly an early effort at writing and could do with some revision. Some of the language used by supposedly lifelong residents of a small West Country village is rather too larded with Americanisms, and the occasional overworked image intrudes rather to the detriment of the story. I'm not going to list them all but `and he crumbled to the floor like a statue made of crepe paper' is one example. It's as if the author feels he must beef up the writing when it's not necessary.

Also, I think the two mysterious sisters could do with some improvement. I can see what Chris Ward is trying to do but having two such extreme opposites doesn't quite seem to come off - at least not making it so explicit.

Overall, I found it an interesting read, but I think it could be much better if it was re-worked, becoming both scarier and more dramatic.
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on 25 March 2013
Brilliantly written, and for the most part absolutely gripping and excellently paced. There were, however, two things that bothered me:-

The big revelation could have done with coming a bit sooner at a point where it can still catch the reader by surprise. As it stands I felt it gently led you to what became increasingly obvious.

And the ending...I won't go into detail but it came across as rushed, but in all fairness it's probably highlighted as a result of how well the rest of the story is paced.
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on 24 April 2013
The Man Who Built the World.

I really enjoyed this book. The atmosphere was subtlety created, the characters are diverse and nicely flawed, and the plot was unpredictable. I couldn't have asked for more.

An excellent read.

I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.
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on 9 December 2012
Michael Cassidy is a haunted man - haunted by a past so dreadful that he has never told anyone about it. His relationships are being destroyed by his latent violence, his career is in chaos and spiralling out of control, his wife is on the verge of leaving him .....
And then he gets the phone call. His sister has died and he must return to his childhood home and confront whatever awaits him there.

This is a gripping story. The plot is convoluted and so surreal that it is not easy to tell how much is happening in real life and how much in the tortured mind of Michael Cassidy. Certainly some of the people of Tamerton are not what they appear to be. There is a feeling of undefined menace throughout which keeps the reader in thrall.

Mr Ward is a superb writer, his novels are well-structured, with well-developed (if not always likeable) characters and excellent pacing. This novel is no exception. I was never sure I properly understood what was going on but this ambiguity kept the tension high and I became more and more eager to find out what had really happened in Tamerton all those years ago.

Do we find out? I'm not telling you. You don't want to know. Believe me.
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on 2 March 2013
Different to what i normally read but kept me interested throughout .Got halfway and couldnt put it down. good escapism story
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on 5 February 2015
good book
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on 4 March 2013
The story kept me interested, although I found it a bit confusing in places, but an OK read for free.
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