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on 17 November 2015
Devil in the Detail - yes and there is lots of detail in the book, way too much trivia. I was bored rigid at 4% and told myself it would get better, by 7% I decided that even though there might have been a good story waiting to get out, I wasn't going to waste any more time on it. The writing style just irritated me.
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on 6 February 2013
Having enjoyed Ed's first offering 'Ghost in the Machine' I didn't need much convincing to purchase this one and get stuck in. I admit to not being the quickest of book readers except when on holiday but I am pleased to report that I found the book just as good as the first and once started I found time most evenings to get it read. What Ed has done is to create characters you're happy to come back and learn more about (like Mark Billingham has done with his Thorne series) and because of this and his brilliant writing style I am sure he will continue to be a success. With enough twists and turns to keep even the biggest of book ending guessers happy its an excellent story which deals with some sensitive subjects and the detail Ed manages to get into his books is not to little and not too much so even the average reader can get to grips with the topics covered. Well done Ed - book 3 is downloaded and ready to go - looking forward to a bit of Beta reading soon!
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on 21 January 2014
I have read 3 of Ed James murder mystery and although he writes very well with excellent characterization I've guessed who the killer was almost immediately.

He makes the police and Scott Cullen chase their tails when it's obvious who they should be looking at, even the dimmest 'Plod' could make the collar in the first quarter of the book.

A murder mystery without the mystery is an insult to the intelligence I won't buy any more Ed James books.
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on 18 March 2015
I enjoyed this book every bit as much as James first novel. I like the way Cullen's character is being built within the story line which moves at a fast pace. On reading the author's comments at the end I was pleased to see that he had edited down Bain's swearing - sometimes this is overdone and can spoil a good book. There is one female author who shall remain nameless, who has good story lines but I don't read her books because of the quantity of 'F' & 'C' words!! For the record, I am very broadminded!!!
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on 24 November 2015
It may help to be of Scottish descent to appreciate fully the realistic feel to the background, but the characterisation here was excellent, gritty and authentic people rubbing up against each other the wrong way some of the time, forming alliances at others, while the plot corkscrews throughout. Thoroughly recommended.
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on 17 September 2014
In Devil In The Detail, Scott Cullen returns to work after the traumas of the Schoolbook case and is quickly back in the middle of the action when the body of a young girl with Additional Support Needs is discovered by a dog walker in the middle of East Lothian.
It’s not long before Cullen realises he’s in some kind of police hell.
Bain is leading the investigation and goes about it with a familiar recklessness and a determination to fit reality into his model of the crime at any costs. Bain’s attitude rubs up the local police in the wrong way and the atmosphere becomes charged.
As if this weren’t enough, Cullen is dealing with the starchy attitudes of the county’s upper-middle classes. He also finds himself involved with a small-but-expanding religious sect which has a leader who practically defines sinister. It also turns out that his leading suspect for the murder can’t be found, not matter how much effort the police make.
The majority of the story focuses upon developments in the case and Cullen’s drive to solve what is soon to become a double murder. As it unfolds, the dark and sordid elements of the case are brought sharply into focus. Underneath all of this is a whodunit that is very well put together. There’s plenty of theorising to be done and the outcome is likely to remain tantalisingly out of reach until the final pages no matter how familiar you are with the genre.
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on 3 April 2014
What I don't understand is how foul mouthed and aggressive the more senior officers are to the more junior officers. Some of them are having panic attacks and some of them are lazy. God help us if this is what the average group of police officers is like.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 November 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this police procedural which involves the hunt for the murderer of a handicapped girl and a cult leader. The plot is interesting but a bit obvious in places as I guessed some of what would unfold (no spoilers) half way through. This did not spoil my enjoyment of the book as I wasn't sure and wanted to keep reading to see if I was right. The characterisation is spot on. We all know and have worked with characters like DI Bain and DS Irvine - the dinosaur squad and have all felt the frustration Scott Cullen feels dealing with them. I think this is a very good read and will be reading more in the series.
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on 9 July 2014
So we get to meet DC Scott Cullen again, and a number of themes are continued from the excellent first novel. Again, this was a crisp, interesting tale which moved a bit further away from the police procedures and started to develop the characters a bit more. Cullen still seems cursed with an inordinate number of incompetent colleagues, but the 'Boss from Hell' DI Bain is beginning to take shape as the man you love to hate - still a caricature, but his unpleasantness is now finding a bit more context, and his relationship with Cullen is developing. There is even a new rival boss who is potentially even worse than Bain - better the devil you know, eh Scott?
The storyline is good and keeps the reader guessing, although I thought the ending was a little hurried. It seems Ed James is fully conversant with the idea that on Kindle, you write little and often to keep the reader coming back for more! The only trouble is, this methodology can leave your audience a bit unsatisfied - it's a bit like having your starter taken away before you've finished on the basis that the chef has already prepared the main course. So I hope the 3rd novel lives up to the first two, and that Cullen starts to sort his life out a bit (or maybe not - the chaotic element is quite engaging).
Also worth mentioning is that these books will provide a lot of familiar scenery for any who live in the part of Scotland in which the novels are set, - I don't myself, but the author uses good descriptions of the locations which I imagine are very evocative.
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on 5 November 2013
While I enjoyed the first Scott Cullen book was enjoyable, there were several areas which slightly irritated me. Most significantly I found some of the dialogue very stunted and made me very aware of reading a book.

I am delighted to say that this book has sorted that, while there is suggestion of the accent, it doesn't take a prevailing point and leaves it more up to the mind. The main characters all seem that bit more believable than in the first.

As for the story itself, it keeps you gripped right to the end. There are several twists and turns, and it is great to see characters that have good and bad sides, particularly that of Jamie Cook, it becomes really compelling to discover the disturbing truth about this boy.

My one criticism still lies in the derogatory comments about several towns in the Lothians, one example is the less than complimentary description of the beautiful town of Dunbar. Contrary to some people's view, now everybody in the Lothians is desperate to live in Edinburgh, in fact many choose to actively avoid the place. Avoid slagging off the areas outwith Edinburgh, it can be quite off-putting.
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