96 of 104 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2013
I bought this book after being directed to the reviews. It is the author's first book and I hope that his future novels maintain this standard. I was hooked from the first few pages - the characters are developed as the story moves along at a fast pace, with the number of victims steadily rising. A great, enjoyable read that will have you absorbed from beginning to end. I can't wait for the next instalment.
86 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2013
Following other reviews, thought I'd try `Nameless,' the debut novel from new author Joe Conlan.
It's a gripping read that keeps you page turning right from start to finish. He cleverly draws you into this thriller, back-grounding the main characters and even extracts sympathy from you when you learn of the villain's upbringing. That doesn't last, as the young Shem turns into a nasty, violent and perverse serial killer. Against this, you have FBI agent Daniel Falcone. He too has had childhood problems, but he chose a different side of the law. However, through a mind-tormenting indiscretion, he is drawn into Shem's twisted world. The story follows paths you don't expect, and the lead up to the conclusion is gruesome but riveting.
It's a must read book, and highly recommended. The only disappointment is the wait you have for the follow up.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2014
Can't actually remember why I downloaded this onto my Kindle, but once I started reading it I genuinely found it hard to stop ! I think that it could have used a little editing, because some parts seemed to go on just a little bit too much, but I found it to be an engrossing read and a well put-together story. It was fairly gruesome, and much of it was rather unpleasant for the faint-hearted, but I'll certainly read Joe Conlan again.
57 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2013
I am a huge crime/thriller fan and bought this (very cheap) offering having read all the glowing reviews. The brevity and poor grammar/spelling of many of the top reviews should have made me suspicious. I am sorry to say that I just couldn't get into the book at all and I persevered for a few days. I found the endless details and back stories really slowed down the plot and I struggled to care about the hero and heroine. The bad guy's ability to be good at everything, despite the most awful childhood, just stretched my disbelief beyond anything I could accept. I accept some descriptions of violence to be a necessary part of this genre, but I felt that there was too much here - and it wasn't relevant or necessary to be so detailed (and boring. Halfway through, I ground to a halt, and went back to the reviews to see if I had missed anything. One of the reviews revealed a massive plot point. I am ashamed to say I was relieved....at last, an excuse to stop reading this awful book. Many people seemed to have enjoyed it and that is fine, but it just wasn't for me.
43 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2013
This book had a very attractive and atmospheric cover graphic which suited the genre. The books' layout and structure were professional, demonstrating good use of language with clear dialogue between the characters.
As to the content of the book itself, I was really impressed with the exciting and detailed plot, which displayed real creativity.
Unlike many books in this genre, this was a credible read, with true to life characters. The author gave the impression that he had thoroughly researched into the psyche of his serial killer.
Albeit there was a certain naivete displayed in character plotting, in regard to a black and white approach to right and wrong with no clear resolution. ...no doubt clear scope for a follow-up book here!
ultimately definitely a book I would recommend!
63 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2013
I don't know how this book has received as many 4 and 5 star reviews as it had - does the author have a marketing trick? It has no redeeming features. It is badly written: bad/clunky dialog (countless examples but to give just one, how many FBI Special Agents in Charge would refer to themselves as Special Agent in Charge when talking to another FBI agent, rather than just SAC? None), bad characterisation, implausible characters (of course I'm prepared to overlook a high degree of implausibility, that goes with the territory of thriller writing, but the villain in this one had just such implausible skills given his upbringing that it didn't work for me) and bad/unbelievable plot. Time and time again it was just too implausible. One key section relies on the bad guy staying on a cruise ship for a week and then hacking in to the cruise ship's database and deleting his record. There is then no record to be found. Given the investigation is taking place at the end of that week, don't you think there'd be at least 20 hard copy printouts of passenger manifests on the ship, to say nothing of in the port records etc? I could go on and on pointing out the errors in this but that would get repetitive, rather like the constant and gratuitous descriptions of violence throughout the book.
In short, it reads like a very extended, rather disturbed essay written by a not very talented teenager
I love thrillers - from Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Jeffrey Deaver to name just a few - and I read a lot of them (probably 50 a year - I travel a lot and read on planes to distract myself) so I have to look outside the big names. I won't be reading any more of this guy. I only finished the book because I hate to leave a book unfinished and I was on a 13 hour flight with nothing else left to read. It still wasn't worth it.
on 12 January 2014
I don't like this book and am sorry I have wasted time reading half of it.
There was bad language from the start, which I found totally unacceptable and unnecessary and I was going to stop reading from that point, but decided to carry on.
The story is ludicrous and very far fetched.
Nameless is a boy who has never been educated and yet somehow is extremely intelligent. Can do anything, forge passports, crack computer programs, drive cars, read and write, etc.
Although, there is no indication as to how he earns a living, he has a flat, 4 cars and also manages to travel around the world, by plane, on cruise ships, etc. with no questions asked. I was under the impression that in America a car's registration number is actually registered directly to a person and not to the car, so how did he manage to have 4 cars and obviously no questions were asked?
For a short period he worked on a cruise ships as a security guard. I have cruised many times where the security and personal checks on passengers is very strict and stringent. One cannot board the ship unless the cruise company is satisfied that the person is bona fide and who they say they are.
The murders Nameless commits are horrific and described in far greater detail than is necessary to tell a story.
I have persevered with the book and so far have read 50%. I have now had enough and have deleted it from my Kindle. I appreciate that novels are fiction, however, a story does have to have credibility in order that it can be enjoyed and that is not the case with Nameless. Needless to say, I give the book zero stars and will certainly not read another book by this author. There are so many excellent Kindle books available and readers have a great choice.
I give this book ought of ten and think that anyone who perseveres and plods on to the end deserves a medal.
on 25 December 2013
Reading other reviews for this book it seems that it is what Brits would call a 'Marmite' product. You either hate it or love it and it seems that most other reviewers with a UK address hated it and I'm a Brit too. The two main faults were the almost pornographic attention to detail of the many violent murders committed by the central subject 'Nameless'.( I skipped over the numerous pages describing the many varied ways in which suffering was inflicted - I didn't miss anything as regards the plot nor did I fail to grasp the sheer psychopathic nastiness of the guy. The violent details therefore were entirely gratuitous). And the other major fault was the structure - the author's style seems to be to give you a heads up on what is going to happen and then describe it in excruciating detail, and not just the violence. For example - we know from an early stage in the book that our 'good guy', the FBI agent, is going to be tried and convicted for a crime he didn't commit. This is flagged up several times. So when it comes to a description of the actual trial we don't need the great amount of detail that we get. It's like watching a football game when you know the score. Only worth it if the action is remarkable (or, in this case, the writing is a joy to read) - not in this case. I only finished it because I wanted to see how the author extricated his hero and because I wanted to write this review and I felt that it wouldn't be fair to review a book I hadn't completed in case in the end there was something amazing that I would have otherwise missed - there wasn't. There will be a sequel I'm sure, from the way the book ends, but I won't be buying it.
on 6 December 2013
Obviously I didn't know what to expect after reading some of the reviews. However, it is always important to remember we are all different and therefore I will always make my own mind up!! It was extremely graphic and there were times my stomach lurched a little when reading and whilst I first thought why has the author done this it made me realise just how powerful his writing was since it had such a dramatic effect. When I first finished the book I thought I hated it as it didn't finish how I wanted and I really started to hate some of the characters - to the point where I was really annoyed / upset!! I will admit I did initially slate the book and the author.
Now, some 3 days on from finishing it I have realised a few things. FIrstly I am still thinking about the book - alot!! Secondly it has evoked many feelings of annoyance, repulsion and frustration. Finally, I remember how I actually couldn't put the book down nor could I predict how things might turn out. Therefore, I am now a huge fan!!! I generally only read crime / thriller books and this one has had the biggest effect on me. Whilst the initial effect may have been mistaken for a negative one it was still an effect and if someone has the ability to do that through the power of words then I cannot wait to read the next installment.
Well done Joe - ignore the haters...you can't please everyone and at the end of the day it was a wonderful journey of pure escapism which has captivated my interest and won yourself a fan!!!!
on 15 November 2013
This is an odd book, highlighted by the mixed reviews. It takes a leap of faith to accept someone brought up in dreadful circumstances and kept from society until the age of 15(not quite Harry Potter) can turn out to be almost a genius, if highly flawed, learning enough from the Internet and library books to become incredibly wealthy and aware enough to take on the best of the FBI as he moves around America and the world in search of women to abduct and slaughter for his own, perverted pleasure (although Stieg Larsson made Lisbeth Salander credible in a similar vein). Having said that, the author's debut book shows enough knowledge of FBI and American legal procedures to hold the attention. It should come with a Parental Advisory warning, so graphic are the details and language in this story of an experienced, high-flying FBI agent turning from the hunter to the prey thanks to an indiscretion caused by wine and 'thinking below the waistline'. What vexed me was that the author used words even I had to use the integral Kindle dictionary for (perhaps to seem like a 'proper writer'), yet still produce text looking as though it had been dictated and outsourced to India for typing (like NHS intranet letters). I checked online to verify that 'scuttlebutt' is a one-word term for gossip and rumour, rather than the 'scuttle butt' used in the book. Even Americans should learn 'e for envelope' to know how to differentiate 'stationery' from 'stationary,' I'd have thought, particularly if they wish to be authors; having the input of a proofreader or copy-editor would have ensured that publication and ship's names were correctly notated in italics. Having said that, and the fact his punctuation and somewhat simplistic prose lack the flow of Harlan Coben or Daniel Silva and C.J.Box (some of my favourite US authors), I did find the story quite gripping. I'll accept I may, as a grammar pedant and qualified proofreader/copy-editor, and would-be author, notice such anomalies more than most readers. Still, for a mere 38p, you can't really go wrong. On the basis of one read, I doubt I'll be searching out the rest of this author's opus. Life's about contrasting experiences, so this fits in to make it varied, I guess. It's not a traditional happy or just ending, but it is quite appropriate to the preceding events. It's interesting that several of the characters are portrayed as 'experts in their field,' where real life demands a few of average capabilities.