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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
78
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 25 November 2014
This is an extremely complicated plot with the main protagonist, André Lemoine, working as a scientist for a company involved in HIV research. His is a race against time as he attempts to find a cure for his adopted son, Eban, whose entire tribe has been wiped out by the disease. Add a brother who is a sophisticated and successful jewel thief, another who is a priest with a dark secret and several contenders for the prestigious Gifford Prize, all being systematically knocked out of the competition by a ruthless killer and you have a complex tale. John Matthews pulls it off, however ….
Lemoine is an over-excitable, neurotic whose sensitivities threaten to swamp the book – I found myself losing all patience with his posturing on more than one occasion. Then there’s the medical jargon – if you have a degree in medicine then this book is for you, otherwise you might find yourself skipping whole pages to get back to the storyline. It also has what is becoming JM’s trademark – incorrect spelling and mistakes throughout. He tells us he’s a journalist and editor but clearly doesn’t seem to apply these skills to his own books. More annoying than anything else.
That said, I’m a great fan of JM. ‘ Past Imperfect’ was brilliant. But the 4 stars I’ve awarded were more for the skilful plotting and writing than the oft implausible characters.
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on 16 January 2014
This must be the third or fourth book of John Matthews that I've read on my Kindle. I'm getting a bit tired of having to read them in two parts - I'd prefer if I could download the whole book and be done with it.

The plots are very good, and his characters are interesting. Which is why I am still reading him. But I'm getting seriously tired of the grammatical errors and bad English. Do editors at his publishers not proof read his books? Or anyone else? (And his efforts at writing 'foreign' accents are embarrassing.) I can't believe such gaffes as, "her and her parents" (did this or that.) SHE and her parents is the correct form. Subjective case. As for this: "He stole himself against" - it's just laughable. The expression is "to steel oneself against" (some emotion or other.) So the past tense is "He steeled himself". I can only imagine that the author thought the expression was "to steal oneself" and that therefore the past tense was "stole". I was boggle-eyed. [The above examples are probably not from this book - I've remembered them from previous books. But there are more silly gaffes in this one.]

But I'll probably read this author again, as his books are good and very readable - even if every six pages or so I'm brought up short by a grammatical faux pas. It's such a pity.
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on 9 December 2013
This is the second John Matthews book l have read and he is a very good author. This was a very good read the story very interesting, but I do find that his books are very long and possibly could be shorter, but I am not an author so what do I know.
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on 21 September 2013
The medical was not strong line like the Cornwell or Reichs but it was interesting and the characters of the three brothers create some interesting loyalties and intrigue. A tragic end and you really wouldn't want to be the mother of these siblings!!
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on 3 November 2003
Having read John Matthews' past thrillers (Past Imperfect in my view was the best thriller of the past decade, hands-down), I look forward eagerly to any new work. Once again, like Past Imperfect, this was set mostly in France, and, once again, he didn't disappoint. A breathless blend of cutting-edge genetics, rare monkeys and African hookers (apparently resistant to AIDS), pimps, robbers, ruthless rivals and madcap bombers. But, amongst all the breathless mayhem, Matthews manages to weave a marvellous and heart-rending family story as the book's main character, Andre Lemoine, is drawn into a maze of family secrets, part of which, 'Birdsong'-style, goes back to 1945 Provence. This ability to blend intelligent, almost literary writing, with a frenetic thriller pace, I feel sets Matthews apart from so many other thriller writers today. And I'm glad to say that judging from this new effort, unlike so many of them, his standard hasn't dropped over successive books.
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on 13 May 2015
This was confusing at times, but the thought of linking the US thread to the French and who to what, kept it just ticking by.
Then it just ended.
No desire to find out in book 2, no teasers for the plot. Nothing to answer.
I will use my time to read something else.
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on 20 October 2013
A free download which look as if it would be a good medical mystery which it would have been if it had not been so slow and complicated I could see where the author was trying to go but he never seemed to make any head way so I am afraid i gave up
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on 31 January 2014
An interesting story line but alas.... the pace is slow, slow, slow. And drawn out and repetitive. I lost the will to live halfway through. I'd like a medal for finishing. And I can't muster the energy to read book 2. Not recommended.
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on 3 August 2015
really enjoyed this book, have just finished reading it. I liked the way it kept me wanting to read the next chapter to find out what happened. will look forward to reading the 2nd book in this series.
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on 12 May 2013
When I first started reading this I thought I wasn't going to get much past the first ten pages. It is quite a long book, and I do like books with some substance, so I persevered. I'm glad I did.

I haven't yet finished the book, but I am now hooked in there and looking for opportunities to continue my reading.
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