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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 September 2013
The third in the "Joe Geraghty" series finds Joe all at sea and unsure where his life is going - when his brother ends up in trouble though his immediate path is clear. Find the truth. Make things right.

This series has been steadily getting better and better and hey it was terrific in the first place. I particularly loved the use of past and present timelines in this outing - Buried secrets always make for a great reading experience and Joe is going to discover plenty. Cleverly intertwined, the two tales slowly come together to form the whole - with many surprises along the way.

The sense of place is fantastic..I have never visited Hull but after reading this and the previous novels I really feel like I have - and thats a talent to be sure. The backdrop adds great depth to the story and gets you involved.

As I've said before, the "private detective" in fiction is rarely used as successfully as your standard "DI with a past" but Mr Quantrill, like John Connolly and Robert Crais before him has managed to write a character you can get behind. And he's British - whats not to love?

I would recommend these novels to anyone with a love of crime fiction. Perhaps slightly overlooked in the genre, that should be rectified. Start with "Broken Dreams" and take it from there.....

My thanks to the author for the copy of this book for review.
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on 2 September 2013
In the third book of Nick Quantrill's Joe Geraghty series, the leading man is evolving into a UK version of Jack Reacher, just without the guns. Just enough of balancing on the edge of legality to earn his `maverick' status, but an astonishing loyalty and devotion to family and friends. Life has dealt Geraghty some harsh blows, with a rugby career shattered by injury and his wife dying in a suspicious fire, but he somehow manages to retain his value system. He doesn't reach for the bottle, like other emotionally scarred Brit cops, such as Rebus or Cracker. His pain seems to drive him harder towards self-sacrifice for those he holds dear. In this story, his hard-up brother is drawn into naïve cigarette importing scam that goes wrong. A complex web of formerly well-hidden lies from the past emerge, as Geraghty attempts to pay off his brother's debt to the gang running the scam. The final scenes of the book unveil an unexpected twist that had me chuckling and wanting to know even more about this character. When's the next book?
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on 20 November 2013
Former PI Joe Geraghty has family problems, lots of them. His brother, Niall, is in trouble. He thought he could solve his money problems by smuggling some cigarettes, however the consignment has been stolen and now he owes local hard man George Sutherland for them.

It seems everyone wants Geraghty to drop the case, in particular Don Ridley, his former partner and mentor. But Geraghty can't let his family down and when the past crashes into the present Joe is in until the bitter end.

I've previously read and reviewed two of the author's works. Both were quality performances, strong and well written, however The Crooked Beat feels like a step on. Perhaps it is because the story moves immediately, rather than a slow build. Perhaps it is the use of first person narrative.

This latter element brings us closer to the protagonist, Joe Geraghty. He's a man incapable of finding a happy ending. He has few friends and is out on his own now after the private investigation firm he previously worked for closed and his mentor Don retired.

Throughout The Crooked Beat there's a lot of the difficult past for Geraghty to deal with. Through flashbacks we learn about Don Ridley, who in many ways has been like a father to Joe, and how his behavior ultimately affected Joe. In addition a man involved with the death of Geraghty's wife may have the answer to the riddle he's pursuing. He really is a tortured soul.

However, Geraghty must also pull his family out of trouble and deal with Sutherland. Quantrill deals with these many story arcs with aplomb and cleverly produces an exit when none seem obvious.

One of the aspects I really like is the Hull backdrop (I admit I'm slightly biased having lived there for over a decade). Quantrill draws the area very well which adds atmosphere.

Another subtle element is the author reflecting a number of the character's past (via flashbacks) against the backdrop of the city's current regeneration. The old is being torn down and replaced with the new, which parallels Geraghty's changes in circumstances. His old life is being ripped up too, though as yet a future hasn't been built. It's neat and clever.

All in all this is an excellent book, intelligently written and a significantly more than your average PI tale.

**Originally reviewed for Books & Pals blog. May have received free review copy.**
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on 17 September 2013
Nick Quantrill's writing has deepened with each of his three Joe Geraghty novels set in Hull, and in 'The Crooked Beat' the complex story threads perfectly match his spare writing style. He has become a master at mirroring personal trauma with the public face of the city's life, and the subtleties of past and present, and a hoped for future, are interwoven with great skill around the main storyline.

Geraghty's brother has agreed to store a consignment of smuggled cigarettes in his lock-up, except overnight they're stolen. So the vortex begins to turn, sucking in the good and the bad, and laying bare motivations and fears rooted a generation before.

The power of Nick Quantrill's writing lies not in telling the reader what is happening, but in setting a scene and allowing the reader to become embroiled in its dynamics - a so-called hard man out of his depth when faced with implacable foreign criminals; the poignant interaction of Geraghty and an old lady, both knowing her missing son has been murdered but neither wanting to name the reality; a policeman living with a view of himself that can no longer paper over the cracks.

This thought-provoking novel is based among real streets; the characters may be fictional, but the people they portray are very real indeed. If Nick Quantrill maintains the quality of his work he will doubtless become The Next Big Name in Noir Crime. Pick it up. You won't put it down.
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on 8 April 2015
Nick Quantrill succeeds in bringing to life the downbeat feel of the streets of Hull in this excellent novel. Very much like the city itself, his protagonist, Jo Geraghty, is attempting to build a new future from the remains of a problematic recent past. Geraghty is continually being pulled back by the past however, particularly when his brother and nephew become embroiled in the smuggling and subsequent theft of a consignment of cigarettes. Geraghty fights hard to protect his family from the worst excesses of local mobster, George Sutherland, uncovering past crimes and dark secrets in the process. The tension throughout the book is palpable, as is Geraghty’s fear-fuelled determination to keep his family safe. The fact that he does not have all the answers and blunders into a few knocks along the way makes his plight all the more realistic, less sure of ultimate success. The prose, dialogue and settings are all deeply evocative of a cold world, where humanity struggles to overcome the worst excesses of human nature, but more importantly, they make for a thrilling read. Great stuff.
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on 2 September 2013
P I Joe Geraghty steps up to help out his brother who is in dire financial straits.However,Joe is soon under the radar of Hull's underworld and subsequently digs up some of the city's dark secrets. This is the third of Nick Quantrill's Joe Geraghty novels and the best yet with perfect pacing and a great sense of place and history.
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on 1 August 2015
In the third novel in the Joe Geraghty series we see the central character fallen on hard times. The Private Investigation business is closed and his brother Niall is in trouble, he desperately needs Joe’s help to find some missing contraband cigarettes. But the investigation unearths some unsavoury characters and events from the past. As the pressure mounts on Joe we see his relationships with those closest to him start to unravel. Author Nick Quantrill weaves an intoxicating web of secrets and lies using concise uncluttered sentences. Once again the city of Hull in East Yorkshire is fully realised adding further depth and substance to the novel. The Crooked Beat actually surpasses the previous novels in the series, showing a writer gaining in confidence and ability. To summarise this is a gritty crime mystery novel from a very talented author.
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on 25 October 2015
The beauty of this book is that even though there is plenty of gangster-style action, which allows the book to keep a good pace and keep the reader gripped, interwined with this is real emotion, real love and loyalty especially between family members, and real depth. It is not violence or grittiness for the sake of it. Nick Quantrill makes the story real and convincing by making us really feel for his characters - and that includes both hating them or loving them. And another intriguing thing about the whole story is that no character is straight-up morally black or white. Good people make mistakes, bad people redeem themselves and some characters hide their true colours under masks that fool other people. I won't give away which characters are which, as part of the magic of the book is discovering this as you read through.
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on 21 December 2013
This is the best book by far in the Joe Geraghty series and Nick's writing and story telling gets better.

As he steps in to help his brother Joe is once again taken into the gritty Hull underworld but right until the last few pages you still don't know what is really going to be the outcome.

You can't help but love Geraghty for his tenacity and determination to get to the bottom of everything he does.

The book twists and turns involving so many characters but Nick's writing just flows through it all.

Bring on the next one please Nick :)

Only one small complaint though his team play in red and white ;)
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on 27 May 2014
Just finished this latest Joe Geraghty book and once again Nick has done a great job. I love this character and I like to follow him around my home town, you could be in the car with him or even walking alongside, his descriptions are so good,.Really looking forward to the next one to see where Joe goes from here, will he go it alone or team up with Sarah perhaps who knows!
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