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4.4 out of 5 stars298
4.4 out of 5 stars
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 1 March 2014
This is an excellent crime thriller, which really kept me turning the page. D I Charlotte Savage is on the hunt for a serial killer, one who has returned to start killing again, seemingly from the grave. The murders are brutal and sadistic and really send a chill down your spine, especially when the pieces of the puzzle all start to come together and you realise why the killings are taking place.

I really enjoyed the hunt, the way the plot twisted and turned to its conclusion and I really felt for Charlotte and her team as they sweated through the investigation. At times I was just as baffled as the police, but eventually the reader is one step ahead and that was so frustrating, being in the know!

I also enjoyed the segments telling the story from the killer’s viewpoint – extremely chilling stuff.

DS Darius Riley also makes a return and this time he is handling a missing persons case, so unable to work alongside Charlotte as such, but his part of the storyline is equally as interesting. I really liked his character, and hope the author brings him back in his next book.

This is the third book in the series but don’t let that put you off, it can be read as a standalone. Any background information you need is told, and in a nice way, one that doesn’t make you feel like an idiot for not knowing it already. Having said it can be read as a standalone – the final page left me open mouthed and now I really really want to read the next Charlotte Savage book, and I want to read it now!
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on 20 April 2014
Having purchased all 3 of the books in this series on my kindle for a holiday I more or less read them back to back. They are good 'page turners' but after the third book of grisley multpile murders I was left asking myslf whether the author had the skill to write a book around a single crime and keep it interesting. I think I was just getting a bit tired of ritualistic killings! My other holiday read was Peter Robinsons Inspector Banks - Children of the Revolution which with a single murder and a more gentle plot was somehow a more satisfying read. I may well buy another book in this series but hope there may be more detection and less death in future books.
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on 14 March 2014
Series about the same detective either get better or worse. The Charlotte Savage series just gets better and better. The characters are developing nicely and you only have to read Mark Sennen's blog of 19th December last to see why. He relates an imaginary visit to Major Crimes where he meets some of the Unit. They are obviously real to him and this therefore is the extent to which he can and does put the characters across in the books.

Devon is, as usual, wet, windy, and sometimes sunny, but written about always with detailed knowledge and love.

As to the plot, it is up to Mark's usual meticulous plotting (!). I won't give anything away, the clue is in the title of this review.
Charlotte is not the usual too tough female detective, nor the too flawed opposite type sometimes portrayed doing stupid things, but a nice balance.

Some books you wonder why you are bothering! Some are good but you are observing them from the outside. Some are so well written that you are, for a short while, there. This series is in that latter category.
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on 30 April 2014
Figuring out who was who was a little complicated lots of different names to recall, but a good storyline mikey gave me the creeps I could picture him in my head hobbling about looking and acting strange eeeeeeewwwww scary stuff.
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on 4 March 2015
This is a strong series from a talented author rapidly making a namer for himself. Happily DI Charlotte Savage 4, Tell Tale is now out so I can continue reading these police procedurals set around Plymouth. Savage may been the focus but there is a strong set of characters developing which reflects the true nature of detective teams.
This is basically a serial killer after a hiatus of 5 years coming back and terrifying the community again.
Not involved with the initial failed investigation Savage helps lead the team to try and track down the killer before he strikes again.
I loved the many different ways the author uses the case to reveal the pressures on the police to get a result. Although they appear throw away lines and incidents collectively they build up this sense of pressure and failure to get their man.
Consequently mistakes are made,too long spent on false leads and following the wrong lines of enquiry. However that is what I applaud about this book; there is a real sense of investigation and Sennen cleverly works the plot so that the reader isn't fully aware of all the facts before the police get their break.
Lots of issues are touched upon and great use of the wider expanse of Dartmoor. Another missing person enquiry runs alondside the main serial killings and the range of personnel involved is outlined so it isn't just down to Savage's little grey matter.
Obviously the main events tend to centre around her; she hasn't been fully forgiven for past sins but her dedecation is clearly shown. We warm to her and her personal loss that means the one investigation she wants to resolve, the hit and run driver who knocked off her daughter from her bike and leaving her for dead is brought to justice.
There are suggestions that a more unconvential search for the truth within criminal circles could achieve what normal police work couldn't.
We are left at the end of this excellent stand-alone story in wondering what debt will she owe the criminal instrumental in sourcing a name; what sense of justice will be metered out, she hints that she would perhaps go beyond the law. Finally at the end of this novel the name is given which means Charlotte's world it turned upside down and I can't wait to read book 4.
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Cut Dead is the third book in the series and I have read them all with the next one already on my Kindle. I keep buying these books because the price is low and I keep hoping the next one will prove to be engrossing but I can't say that about any of them so far and I don't understand why. The plotting in Cut Dead is clever - someone is killing and mutilating a young woman every year on the longest day, 21/6. The police have only found one body until now when 3 headless, mutilated corpses are found buried together on a farm. In the middle of their investigation another woman is killed - but to me it is a little flat as it seems to lack the sense of urgency you get in the better procedurals. I didn't like the way the narrative jumps between this investigation and the subplot of a missing prison officer it feels like from one paragraph to the next as it spoils the continuity of the read and makes the book harder to get in to. I also didn't like the killer's viewpoint chapters as it gives the reader information the police don't have and winds me up when they seem slow to get motives. I did, however, like the characterisation which I think is one of Mr Sennen's strengths - they all seem, murderers excluded, normal and realistic.
I think Cut Dead is an ok read, no more than that, as it took me days rather than my normal hours to read.
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on 3 June 2014
First time I've read this author's work and I won't be hesitating buying more. Admittedly, I'm a great fan of crime novels, and this certainly had me hooked from page 1. Definitely looking forward to making further purchases.
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on 8 April 2015
This is the third Charlotte Savage I have read but unfortunately I will not be purchasing the remainder of the series. The storyline is always Good but unfortunately the ending spoils it. It is repeatative in introducing an unrealistic situation that Charlotte puts herself in when she pursues highly dangerous killers alone at the end of the novell. This seems to happen at the end of all the books and is not necessary and tarnishes what was otherwise a good read. It seems that every murderer she pursues has a vendetta against her and trys to kill her. This simply isn't realistic or needed. When she ventured into the killers farm wiithout backup, instead of enjoying the climax, I was thinking "not again and she wouldn't be that stupid". Keep it simple and realistic and it would have gotten 5 stars.
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on 9 January 2015
Could not get into this book - something about the storyline did not appeal to me but not quite sure what. My first attempt at Mark Sennen's books and whilst he may have a following by other people this was not for me.
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on 4 July 2014
Having served in the a Royal Navy in Plymouth and having friends who were the Landlord and Landlady of the The Plough in Bere Ferres the area and villages described in the book are really familiar and weirdly comforting. The railway line from Bere Ferres I have travelled many times. So the book felt like I was walking through the story, Charlotte Savage and Darius Riley feel like real characters and ad the story unfolds you are drawn by both characters into their world and Psyche. Then once the story opens up you want to keep reading and expounding all of your own theories alongside theirs. Great story telling in particular like me if you know the area
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