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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2011
Having previously read Locked In and Vigilante, I was really looking forward to the third outing for Jessica Daniel and having stayed awake til 1am to finish it, I certainly haven't been disappointed!

The story begins with a severed hand being discovered in a busy part of Manchester. No forensic evidence to help, and the only clue is CCTV footage of a mysterious 'woman in black' who nonchalantly places the hand where it can easily be found.

Who does the hand belong to? And who is the woman in black? And what possible reason could they have for what they are doing?

I have to say this is my new favourite of the three books. There are plenty of twists and turns and red herrings along the way, and the ending lived up to my expectations - and then some!

I would advise anyone to read the first 2 books first, as book 2 and 3 both contain spoilers regarding the outcome of book 1.

The main character Jessica is really well developed, she's come a long way since Locked In and you really feel like you're getting to know her very well now. The banter between her and DC Rowlands works really well, and brings some light relief along the way.

If you've read and enjoyed Locked In and Vigilante then this is a must read. The only negative I can think of is that I'm going to have to wait a while for my next Jessica fix!

Oh, and make sure you don't miss the 'extras' at the end of the book...
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 23 November 2011
I started reading this in the middle of the night and was very frustrated that I have to work the day after so had to put it down!

The premise of the 'woman in black' is presented in a really engaging way. It is great to meet Jessica and her colleagues again too, although the book would stand alone if you haven't read books 1 and 2 ( but if you haven't read them, do so- they are great). The novel is set in Manchester so there is the added bonus of 'place spotting' if you are from the North West, although, unlike some other novels, the geographical references do not detract from the story (in some novels you virtually get satnav directions for every place mentioned - not in this one)!

There are some carefully drawn characters and the interaction between Jessica and her colleagues is believable ; the characters seem real and natural . Clearly there has been a lot of research done into parts of the novel but the technical bits where it is important to get police procedure right, for example , don't take the novel over. The story keeps moving and keeps you guessing, so you want to keep on reading. I was really intrigued to find out 'whodunnit' and throughly enjoyed this novel. It certainly kept me awake at night reading it longer than I would normally be!

The plot is well-paced, the writing carefully thought about and constructed . There are a few typos, but I think this is inevtable with books on Kindle where there is no external proof reading or copy-editing. It doesn't spoil the book. Great stuff! I am looking forward to the next novels about Jessica.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2011
Kerry's first two books were good and I enjoyed them. I found Locked In a bit slow, but both books had great stories and I found I enjoyed reading about Jessica.

This third book is the best - what a GREAT story! I honestly couldn't put it down, to the extent that when brushing my teeth and putting my make up on, I had my kindle read the story out to me!

Kerry - you've done a GREAT job with this one. Well done.

I cannot wait for the next one (before Christmas :-)?)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2011
Having read the first 2 books in the Jessica Daniels series I was delighted to find that it was available for Kindle a few days prior to the advertised release date.

As other reviewers have said it starts with a series of severed hands being left in public spaces in Manchester City centre, and then the index finger turning up at Longsight police station for Jessica Daniels.

The ploy moves with pace, and doesn't become too bogged down in describing police procedure, but Kerry Wilkinson builds her character further from the first 2 books in the series. Daniels is not the all conquering hero, but has failings that lead her up blind alleys, and to make mistakes. While at the end you are left wondering if this is the last in the line of stories, turn over to the spoiler and you will be relieved to know that there is more to come.

This whole series is excellent reading to unwind to, and has all the elements of a good series of books, humanity, plot, humour and above all nerve tingling excitement.

For me Kerry Wilkinson is up there with another great crime writer Peter James, and Jessica Daniels rivals James' Roy Grace.

AV
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 December 2011
In this the third Jessica Daniel book, the bold and courageous Detective Sergeant finds herself absorbed in two cases. The first being a severed hand, found in the centre of Manchester after being placed by a figure shrouded in black, and shortly after Jessica receives a finger in the post. While trying to deal with severed hands and digits arriving in the mail she also has the added worry of trying to find the missing wife of a local prominent MP.
The first and second books were good, but I think this one was slightly better, less predictable. An enjoyable read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2011
This is the third book in the series, and they are all fantastic! I am an avid reader and as the first was cheap, I downloaded it to my kindle and bam! read it in 2 sittings (College got in the way). Anyway, as soon as I had finished the first I downloaded the second and it was not a disappointment. Book 3 was just as fantastic - I would recommend to anyone and everyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2011
Wow. I couldn't wait to read this and I was not disappointed. The plot and storyline were completely engaging with plenty of twists to keep you thinking.
Kerry Wilkinson is a brilliant writer. This is the third enstallment of Jess Daniels and I can't wait to read more.
Definately recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2011
Another great book, really enjoyed it and as normal good twists along the way. Great story which gathered pace as you read.

Again the characters continue to build and get more interesting. I look fwd to seeing how they develop in book 4 and 5.

If I was to review all three books again I would put locked in 3rd, WIB 2nd and vigilante 1st though it's very close and I enjoyed all 3.

Recommend any of the 3 books to anyone, great value as well.

Enjoy
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2011
I counted down the days for the release of this book and I haven't been let down! Great book and fabulous plot!! Well done Kerry. I cant wait for the next installment. Happy Christmas! Donna x
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 November 2011
Not having read Locked In or Vigilante won't be a hindrance when reading The Woman in Black at all. It begins with the discovery of a severed hand in the streets of Manchester. The ring finger is missing, but this subsequently arrives in the mail at the police station where DS Daniel works. Reviewing the CCTV footage from near where the hand was found, they see a woman in a long black robe who manages to conceal her identity from the cameras.

Normally such macabre events brings media attention that investigators can exploit by appealing for information. After all, they have very little to go on, but need to find out whether somebody's been killed, who the hand belongs to, and the identity of the mysterious person in the robe. The trouble is, the wife of a local MP has just been kidnapped. This not only eclipses the spotlight on the mutilated hand mystery, but absorbs most of the station's crime officers. More hands start turning up. More fingers arrive in the post. And with a reduced team Jessica Daniel must find the culprit.

The Woman in Black is police procedural without pretense. Wilkinson narrates in clean, plain fashion - it's almost like reading true crime, or watching one of those real-life CSI documentaries. DS Daniel, DC Diamond and DC Rowlands sift through missing persons reports and data from the crime lab, while finding and questioning possible suspects. There are plot twists and red herrings, but none seem deliberate or contrived. Nor do the characters. They seem like real police and although they have a few personal foibles, they seem to be grounded pros. The case certainly comes before any personalities that are involved.

The author seems knowledgeable on police methods, and nails all the logical aspects of the story down too. For instance, if four officers drive to a crime scene in two squad cars, but only two drive off to follow up further leads, he explains how the remaining two, ditched during the rush, will get back to the station. This fastidious approach to continuity sometimes takes up too many words, and some chapters feel longer than necessary.

The Woman in Black is a clearly told and accessible story, without being obvious. Wilkinson presents things as they might really happen, rather than trying to create drama or generating a clever subtext. Very little violence occurs on set, so to speak, nobody's having an affair with one of the suspects and none of the detectives drinks themselves stupid to confront personal demons. The fun here is in considering the information along the way, working out whether it's relevant, and seeing if you can guess who did it before Jessica Daniels solves it. Personally, I like books with more texture - more quirks - but this no-nonsense procedural mystery works very well indeed.

This review is from Crime Fiction Lover - [...]. Drop by our site for an interview with the author.
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