Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop Black Friday Deals Refreshed in Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Paperwhite Listen in Prime Shop Now Shop now

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars122
3.9 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A young woman is found brutally murdered in her cottage, and her female neighbour is later found dead at the bottom of the local quarry, having apparently driven her car over the edge. The coincidence of two deaths happening at the same time in a small village lead the police to think they may be linked, so newly promoted Louisa Smith finds her first case as DCI leading the Major Crime team head is to investigate both. She soon discovers that the murder victim Polly has been the cause of jealousy in more than one relationship around the village, and that she also had links to local gangster Nigel Maitland, on whom the police have never been able to get enough evidence to charge with anything...

This is probably the most 'procedural' police procedural I've read. Haynes, who apparently was a police intelligence analyst for several years in real life, gives a very detailed and convincing picture of how a police investigation works. She includes copies of reports, departmental e-mails and other case documents as a method of providing a feeling of verisimilitude to her story. On the whole this works well - Haynes keeps it down to a level where it remains interesting. However, she also includes fairly in-depth descriptions of team meetings and briefings, and while these make the investigation feel very realistic they also slow the plot down a little too much. The picture that most investigations are probably 90% routine tedium is, I'm sure, more accurate than the usual action-fest, but perhaps the book veers a little too much towards authenticity at the expense of entertainment on occasion.

The plot is complex and interesting, if a bit patchy at times - the obvious gets overlooked or we revert back to something that has already been considered earlier and dismissed. There are a couple of fairly lengthy episodes of S&M sex but, while the detail is considerably more graphic than necessary, they are integral to the plot. Some of the characterisation is excellent, particularly of the police officers, while in other cases it can be a bit superficial and less credible, and occasionally Haynes changes a character's personality midway through to fit in with a twist in the plot. DCI Smith herself is an appealing detective - ambitious and hard-working and without the usual angst issues. She has a fairly strong moral code which she tries hard to live up to and is a conscientious boss, loyal to her colleagues.

Overall, I found this a good read - not perfect, but with some solid writing and original touches that lifted it well above average. I don't know whether Haynes intends to make this into a series, but I'd be happy to meet Louisa Smith and her colleagues again. Recommended.

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Little, Brown Book Group UK.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This book follows the investigative process with DCI Louisa Smith who is leading this enquiry as her first. She will get some things very right and make a few mistakes, one of which will be crucial. The book is written very much following the process and even includes documents such as witness statements to show how this is done.

I like paperwork and forms so I liked the way in which the information was revealed here. I like systems and processes so I really enjoyed seeing exactly how such an investigation would work. I saw this as a great strength of this book and it gripped me. Where the book suffered because of the way in which it was told was that I lost track of who was who once or twice and how the two families were connected. Maybe I needed more documents ! There was a lot of emphasis also on the lives of the police officers and that also detracted from the murder suspects' characterisations.

I was gripped by this book but I really wished that the author hadn't made Louisa's sex life part of the plot. It woudl have been nice to see her as a strong woman without knowing who she had slept with and who she wanted to - I suppose that it made her seem more real but for me it detracted from her role as a woman in authority by making her colleagues seem like conquests rather than colleagues.

In the end the book was slightly too long and I did get the characters mixed up a few times in my head but on the whole I really enjoyed this book and liked its unusual style. I received a free copy from the publishers via NetGalley.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 26 July 2015
I was delighted to see this book in the Kindle summer sale and bought it at once. I wish I hadn't bothered. Like many other readers I loved Into the Darkest Corner and recommended it to lots of friends. The two books which came after were also good though not as brilliant as the first. So why after such a great start to a writing career was this book published? In the acknowledgements, the author says it was written as part of 'write a novel in a month', an initiative which has been going on for some years where writers sign up to write a novel in the month of November. I wonder if this was her first attempt at writing something and it has been taken down and dusted and served up as her latest. Maybe I'm wrong but it worries me that this is so much poorer than her earlier books. What is it about it that doesn't work? Firstly the characters are not well defined. There are two young women in the novel whose fathers seem interchangeable to me. Both men are unpleasant and self seeking and I kept mixing them up. The main character Lou is ok but her DI (with whom she previously had an affair) is ghastly and his sexual shenanigans with another character are unbelievable. Add into this mix several other assorted pick and mix characters and you end up confused and bewildered. The beginning of the novel was slow and the use of emails and witness statements just didn't work in my opinion. I've seen things like this used to great effect in the past (early Minette Walters novels for example) but here it was just boring. Later on in the novel this wasn't used so much and the pace did pick up a little.
I'm sorry to be so negative. As I said, I loved Into the Darkest Corner and maybe this is why I'm so disappointed in this one.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Under A Silent Moon is something of a new direction for Elizabeth Haynes and follows a murder investigation headed up by DCI Louisa Smith. Told over a six-day period and interspersed with source documents, readers are able to interpret the evidence alongside Lou and her team.

A suspected murder and a suspected suicide - both on the same night, both victims living within yards of each other, both victims linked to many of the same people. Lou Smith is the newly-appointed Detective Chief Inspector, this is the first time she's been in charge of a murder investigation and she is determined that the killer will not get away.

Elizabeth Haynes has delivered a well-researched, incredibly well-written crime novel. Her vast knowledge gained when working as a police intelligence analyst is apparent throughout the story, this is an exciting, compelling and extremely gripping crime drama. Lou and her team are characters that are so realistic that they become part of your life when reading about them. Lou has an especially difficult relationship with her DI, Andy Hamilton, they have a past, he's a bit of a playboy and something of a loose cannon. Her relationship with Canadian Jason, her assigned analyst is much easier and their relationship develops throughout the story.

There is nothing that I hate more than solving a crime mystery half way through the book, there was absolutely no chance of this happening during Under A Silent Moon. This is a tightly plotted story, with many twists and turns, lots of associated characters and so many potential suspects, just when you think you've solved it, something else happens, and bang! you realise that you were so so wrong.

The sub-plots, the lives of the associated characters and the mechanisms of the murder team all work so very well together, they all blend seamlessly together, and although this could be an overly complicated story, it really works. Each individual strand is told so well and then sewn so well into the main story that it flows effortlessly.

Huge applause for Elizabeth Haynes, this really is a fine crime story. A police procedural novel with a difference. The added extras - the witness statements, the texts, emails and telephone analysis all work so well and add another dimension to the whole story.

I believe that this is the first in the series that will feature DCI Lou Smith - what a brilliant beginning, I'm already looking forward to the next instalment
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 April 2014
I loved Into the Darkest Corner and Human Remains but I was a little disappointed with this but now realise that might be because I listened to it as an audio book. Looking at the hard copy now I can see that it is set out as so the reader can almost be part of the investigation using the source material. As the author explained:

“More than anything else, I wanted to write a novel that included some realistic source documents alongside the narrative. Under a Silent Moon does that: it’s a police procedural, with a Major Crime team investigating two unexplained deaths; but as well as the story, told by various people involved in the case, the book has witness statements, emails, forensic reports and analysis documents and charts, the idea being that the reader has access to everything they need to solve the crime alongside the investigators. For those who enjoy flicking through a book and seeing diagrams, forms and other interesting diversions, there are clues to be had if you know where to look. And yet the book can be read just as well without paying too much attention to the extra content.”

The story was fine, the characters well drawn, just felt something was missing something and now realise it was! Get the hard copy....
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2014
I've read all of Elizabeth Haynes' books, and each one has been thrilling and compulsive reading all except this one.

Under a Silent Moon promised so much and I eagerly awaited the publication, however, I have to say I was a little disappointed. There was lots of repetition in the book with the main character Lou Smith talking about something and then repeating it in the Op Nettle meetings.

The story itself was quite simplistic compared to Elizabeth’s previous novels but what I found most disappointing was the ending. The story rambled on with various twists and turns, some of which were never explained and in the end I just wanted to know who had committed the crime.

But it seemed as though Elizabeth had just run out of ideas and finished the book quickly and without explanation, almost as though her publishers had said ‘right we’ve got enough pages just stop now’.

I do hope Elizabeth finds her unique story-telling talent again as I really couldn’t recommend this book based on content.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 February 2014
When two women die on a single night - one murdered, one apparently by suicide - DCI Lou Smith faces her first big case...

This is a solid police procedural and one which focuses on hard work and analysis rather than fey intuitions and massive leaps of faith. I liked that the characters are realistic and down-to-earth without horrendous and tragic back-stories - no-one here has been abused, kidnapped or left for dead giving them an uncanny insight into the minds of killers. And no-one is an incipient alcoholic or about to have a nervous breakdown as seems to be increasingly the case in crime fiction.

That said, Lou Smith is perhaps a bit too homely and domesticated for a DCI: she seems to spend an inordinate amount of time buying people coffee, Kitkats, muffins and beer... So I enjoyed the realistic slant of this story though it lacks the originality and intensity of Haynes' Into the Darkest Corner.

If you prefer your crime fiction pragmatic and credible, this is a good choice.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2015
Plodding and dull. I didn't particularly take to any of the characters - positively or negatively - and struggled to remember who was who. Towards the end I gave up caring 'who did it'. This book was a real disappointment having read Into The Darkest Corner and a couple of other psychological thrillers by this author.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2014
I had thoroughly enjoyed 'into the darkest corner' and was therefore very keen to read this latest book by the same author, but it could not have been a more different read. I found this one long-winded, complicated and dull. Shame.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 October 2013
Thank you very very very VERY much to the author and publisher for the advanced copy of this book for review.

A Murder. A Suicide. Two Women share One Fate. Can you connect the clues to discover the killer? Solve the crime alongside DCI Louisa Smith and her team.

I will start by saying that initially, when I first heard that the next novel by Elizabeth Haynes was to be the start of a series rather than another stand alone book, I was concerned. For me, her particular brand of storytelling is of an extremely high standard, always stunning and never without its own unique twist on whatever subject was at its heart. By its very definition a series has to entail at least somewhat of a change of direction so lets take a look....

Well. Oh me of little faith. I forgot that Ms Haynes was clever. First of all by giving the investigation a healthy dose of authenticity, and then by setting the whole thing over a period of just 6 days. Also as the little blurb I gave above says...inviting us, the readers, to solve the crime right there alongside the main protagonist. Intelligently written as always and living up to the promise of allowing you to see, without prevarication, all the clues as and when they are discovered by the Police, it is an involving and creative reading experience. Thats not to say there are not plenty of surprises along the way and you will pause in your reading to ponder....

I loved Louisa (she eats muffins and cornish pasties whats not to love?) and the cast of characters surrounding her create perfect little pockets of yin and yang. Enough background and consolidation will pique your interest and almost guarantee that you will want to pick up the next instalment...yet as a complete, well rounded tale it also works extremely well.

The great thing about this is, if you were to ask me "Well what is different about this book from any other police procedural?" I would not be able to put my finger on it. After all, we have a murder, we have a Police team trying to solve it and we have various suspects, the story moves along apace in what might be termed a fairly definitive way - and yet there is something here that makes it that bit better. Perhaps it is simply that Elizabeth Haynes knows her stuff, is a hell of a writer and makes it as real as you can possibly get in a fictional setting...

Highly recommended. I want more Louisa Smith without a doubt. I also want more stand alone books. In fact I'll take anything. Could we hurry this along please?

Happy Reading Folks!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Revenge of the Tide
Revenge of the Tide by Elizabeth Haynes

Into the Darkest Corner
Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.