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4.6 out of 5 stars28
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 10 October 2013
Bedlam held me in thrall from the very first line. The prose was deliciously descriptive, without being overdone. At times Morton's descriptive prowess gave a magical fairy tale feel to the story, yet Bedlam is a dark story. It creeps up on you, and pulls you in.

Joe McNeil's life is on the rocks. He's one drink away from being an alcoholic. The love of his life, Kit, has disappeared, nearly a year ago and under mysterious circumstances. His colleagues in the police believe she is dead, but Joe can't accept this and his obsession with finding her is destroying his career and life.

B.A. Morton teases the reader, never quite giving up her secrets. This makes for an utterly compelling read that I just couldn't put down. The run down suburb of Bedlam has a mystical feel to it and Morton is so sparse on detail this is clearly deliberate.

Bedlam is quite unlike anything else I have read in recent years. However, one thing I can say with assurance is that it is a brilliant creation. Part fable, fairy tale, and cautionary tale - make up your own mind. A brilliant read.
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on 13 October 2013
I came across this book during a promotion and was immediately drawn to it after reading the publisher's blurb. It's a love story with a twist as well as a good crime thriller and it drew me in from the very first page. The quality of the writing is outstanding and there were some clever one-liners that had me laughing out loud as well as some moving scenes that tugged at my heartstrings. The author has an excellent way of describing emotions so that you can really relate to the characters. Joe, the central character's love for Kit, who went missing a year ago, is beautifully portrayed - but not in a sentimental way. The depth of their relationship is revealed through little glimpses into their life together during Joe's relentless struggle to find her whilst at the same time battling his descent into alcoholism and despair. His relationship with his long-suffering boss is excellently portrayed. In the meantime there is an intriguing plot unfolding and the denouement, when it comes, is well thought out and satisfying. I would definitely recommend this book.
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on 9 January 2014
Well, that was a rollercoaster!

Mcneil is a drunkern copper, haunted by the disappearance of his beloved Kit, and befriended in the form of Nell, a mysterious stranger with a dark secret...

My normal genre of reading is horror, and to be honest this wasn't far off! The storyline was well thought out, full of unexpected twists and turns from the outset, and is almost produced similarily to a dark and horrifying fairytale. The story clearly well researched. As someone qualified and experienced in many types of mental health, I found the experiences of the characters to be believable, and know that as much as the chapters involving the darker side, were very creative, descriptive and somewhat mindboggling, it is also accurate in a sense of the writing style portrays the emotions, rather then just describing them; lovely! The first chapter is of this style and is a little hard to get into, but once you understand the changing writing style for the characters, it becomes much easier to read.

I love reading modern english novels, as its nice to be able to actually relate to things which are mentioned, small things such as the name of a shop which exists in reality, and things like that, it makes the stories much easier to envisage. The main character is left pretty much to your imagination, which for me is usually a challenge, as I'm not an imaginative person, however, i found it easy and the other characters who were better described were well fitted and also easy. Many books have a bad habit of conjuring up silly super models which are unrealistic, rather then normal looking people.

Overall, thrilling, exciting, sometimes funny, sometimes farfetched, though anything is possible...
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on 2 September 2015
Bedlam is one of the most ingenious thrillers I’ve read this year. Nell holds us spellbound in the first chapter. She is trapped in soulless place, a half-way state, a reluctant disciple. Taunted by a recurring nightmare, she must vanquish the beast and then all will be well. But will it? How far is this tormented soul prepared to go and can she free herself from a stronger force. It makes you ponder the impossible and that’s what kept me reading.

McNeil is locked in a world of pain and regret, a life he can only drink away and hope he doesn’t wake up in the morning. Only he does, to relive another nightmare of a day without Kit. There are only a few scratchings of his past dredged up from terrible memories, things he’d rather forget and one wonders what monsters he struggles with. He can’t get Kit out of his mind and he is eaten with guilt and bolstered by hope. Wherever she is, a pair of violet eyes haunt him from a hospital bed and no matter how far he runs he can’t get away entirely. At this point, I wonder if this is dealings of a paranoid mind, a man so hazed by booze he can’t put one foot in front of the other. Forming an uneasy alliance with Nell, McNeil must get to the bottom of what he believes might be an elaborate game.

The dialogue is punchy, driving the story at a phenomenal rate and of particular interest to me was the mood so vital to a book of this kind. Each chapter brings new twists and mysteries as Morton switches perspectives flawlessly through a deeply tortured mind and a desperate copper just trying to understand what has happened to his lost love. Every reader will wonder if this the recipe of a crazed and disillusioned mind or something far more sinister. Another thing that surprised me was how much I cared about Nell, how she slowly became someone I wanted to root for. She makes a valuable contribution in a choice that McNeil must finally make.
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on 22 April 2014
I found Bedlam to be a crime book with a difference. I love this genre and this book ticked all the boxes with a few more added. There are many twists and turns to the book that keep you gripped to the end. I have recommended this book to my reader friends with every confidence that they will enjoy it.
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on 16 December 2013
I won't go into the plot as enough people have put that down already.

However, what I will say is the it's extremely well written, great dialogue, interesting characters and a driving storyline that gripped me from the start. The ending was very satisfying as well, although I didn't actually see it coming!!

I identified with the main protagonist from the start, and through all the trials he was put through I found myself rooting for him, despite him being hopelessly instable and chaotic!

Well done BA Morton, very good work indeed!
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on 7 December 2013
This book had me from page one. It starts out with the hungover detective on the edge which is not unusual in books of this genre and carries on at a relentless pace. The twists and turns, and the subtle hints at what may lay at the root of the story keep you guessing until the very end. I've said this about a few other books I've read and the same applies with this one. There are some absolute gems in the indie published world that would not look out of place on the shelves of the Waterstones or WHSmiths of this world, and Bedlam is certainly one of them. A fantastic book and I will be looking at the other works by this author.
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on 7 February 2014
Bedlam is a gripping story of love, obsession and betrayal. It is beautifully written with descriptive prose that give you a rich vision of the scenes. This description is not heavy handed though and much of the time, Morton gives the reader only a taste of what is happening, allowing the reader to use their own imagination to fill in the blanks. I thoroughly enjoy this kind of writing as I hate to be spoon fed.

The main character, McNeil, is an intriguing one. His love for his missing girlfriend certainly edges towards the obsessive but his constant insistence that she is not dead seems to keep him alive as well. He is a well developed character with interesting looks into his past and present.

The story gets off to a strong start and I found myself unable to put the book down. The relationship between McNeil and Nell, an attack victim left for dead, is at times confusing, but always compelling.

Morton drip feeds us little clues and nuggets of information that help us begin to build a picture and try to uncover the truth of this twisted story. By the climax, the reader is spent.

A fabulous, intricate and dark thriller. I cannot recommend this story enough.
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on 23 October 2013
A year ago DS Joe McNeil's girlfriend, Kit, disappeared. Everyone believes she is dead. Everyone that is except Joe himself.

When McNeil attends a grisly murder scene much the worse for drink and revives someone believed dead, he has no idea where it will lead.

I really enjoyed this book. It was gripping and you can't stop turning the pages to find out what happens next.
BA Morton is definitely onto a winner with this. The characterisation is vivid and well drawn, the dialogue and narrative flow well and the evocative description brings the whole thing to life. You really feel you are walking Bedlam's murky streets and can smell the death and decay in the air.

I really kept reading because I hoped that Joe would find both Kit and redemption, whether he does or not...well read the book and see. The ending was something I never saw coming and that's what makes a great thriller.

I love psychological thrillers and I can't recommend this one highly enough.
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on 25 August 2013
I had the privilege of reading this in a pre-publication version. Having read several of the author's previous works, I expected to be good - and I was not disappointed! In fact, I thought it was absolutely brilliant! A terrific concept, wonderfully carried out.

It's incredibly well crafted, finely balanced between a gritty police drama and a surrealistic supernatural fantasy - and that is what takes you right into the mind of the main character, who is himself struggling to understand what is and is not real. Keeping the reader involved whilst still maintaining that intentional confusion is a very difficult trick, but Morton pulls it off so well that I didn't even notice it happening. Instead I was totally absorbed by the pace, the tension and the mystery.

The previous time I reviewed a book by this author I said it was the best thing she'd written: now I have to say it again!
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