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on 13 November 2013
When reading this book, it might be useful to have an interest in crossword puzzles. A detailed knowledge of music would also come in handy, as well as some understanding of modern art. However, if you lack any of these things, don't despair. I have none of them, and still thoroughly enjoyed this story.

The one thing that is essential is a sense of humour, because (for me at least) 'The Rothko Room' is a brilliantly executed exercise in (to put it politely) extracting the Michael. It's main target is the Spy Story genre, though the author does take a few well aimed shots at other targets as well, such as the Government, the British Establishment, Art, and so on. Like all good parodies, it works very well as a story, with all the elements of the classic spy thriller - the ruthless killers, the ultra secret organization, the complex and devious plot. But Cruse has laced it with a deliciously subtle and cunning humour so that every twist in the story brings with it another reason to grin, snigger, or even laugh out loud.

I did have some small problems with it. In one or two places I lost track of the conversation and wasn't entirely sure who was saying what. But this was a very minor problem, and didn't spoil my enjoyment of one of the best books that I've read this year.
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on 29 November 2013
Well, what can I say about The Rothko Room. This is a story, full of action and humour of a government agency so well hidden within the establishment that the operatives are known only as cleaners. And what do they clean? The people the government need swept away. Arthur, an art loving assassin is old school, doesn't understand computers or mobile phones and is slightly peeved to find, as a cleaner he is now on the list to be cleaned! The amount of one liners had me laughing out loud and I would love to share some of them here but won't spoil it. The story takes us through Italy and London on a journey that weaves around a few central characters and leaves you with a satisfied smile on your face when you get to the end. This is a book that I could read time and time again. Likeable characters, witty and believable!
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on 2 December 2013
Extremely well written, interesting characters, ridiculously dry humour. This book is way too good to be self published.

This is the second book I've read by Mr. Cruse, and it didn't disappoint. A spy story that spans Europe, it starts off quirky and then spirals into cleverly delivered humour and laugh-out-loud one liners as the story progresses.

If you like the old spy stories, with overly clever assassins thwarting complex and well hidden plots, smothered in dry wit and cynical observation, you'll love The Rothko Room.

A well deserved five stars.
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on 25 October 2013
This is a thriller with humour, a black comedy with spies, a tangled set of intellectual conundrums that, frankly, I'm not sure I will ever quite unpick. It made me laugh, and it made me learn something, frequently at the same time, and when I finished it I wanted to turn straight round and go back to the beginning again.

It doesn't get much better than that!
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on 30 September 2013
Witty and accomplished writing. An unusual story with amusing and interesting characters and believable dialogue. It is a very well constructed novel I think so for me it ticks all my personal requirement boxes. There is danger, bloodshed and mystery, everything one would look for in a "spy" novel and I seesawed between thinking it was really amusing and then realising that it was actually also rather clever. I think that it is terribly English, Arthur is a very polite killer and in fact if I was to be assassinated I should like him to do it thank you. There are secrets here indeed but I sincerely hope that this book doesn't end up being one of them - highly recommended.
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on 29 September 2013
I couldn't have given this book any less than 5 stars.

It's so well written and packed full to the brim with action, that it leaves the reader on the edge of their seat. The research and detail that have gone into the making of this masterpiece, is nothing short of phenomenal.

I can honestly say I have thoroughly enjoyed every written word.

If you're looking for a story that will suck you into the whirlwind, make you forget about the world outside and make you secretly hope you had a much cooler job, then this is the book for you.

I can't wait to read more from this author.
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on 15 May 2015
I heard about this book sometime ago, my only regret is that I did not buy and read it sooner.

When Vanessa Aldridge picks up an impostor at the airport, she little realises what an intriguing mystery she is about to be drawn into.
Arthur Sheppard is a Cleaner for the Council, in reality a trained assassin. When he fails to carry out a “Cleaning” he is also drawn in.

With action that switches, between England and mainland Europe, The Rothko Room is a delightful tale with more twists and turns than a corkscrew. It’s complex because whenever you get to the point where you think you understand something or know someone that perception is neatly turned on its head.

Russell Cruse weaves a fascinating plot with vivid characters and dialogue and the story took my breath away. In truth I don’t think I have gotten it back yet. If you like stories about the Secret Services you will LOVE this. I will definitely be getting more books by this author in future. Watch for the twist at the end. It’ll blow your mind
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on 30 November 2014
Energetic and page-turning, Cruse writes gets to grips with the plot right from the start.
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on 14 August 2015
First a confession. I worked with Russell for a number of years and had great respect for him, and I knew he had a way with words but I never realised he could write this well. And in case anyone is wondering, my professional relationship with Russell hasn't coloured my judgement about this book one iota; in fact that, were I not a complete gentleman, I would have deducted him at least one star!
I had the Kindle edition for nearly two years on my tablet but couldn't get into it; the same is true for The Bible and Shakespeare. Stuck in France this summer in 40+ heat I turned to my tablet, started to read and couldn't put it down and was desperate for the sequel. As someone has said in another review, this book is too good to be self published, it should be on the shelves of WHS, Waterstones etc.. In fact this book should be turned into a film. By turns sinister, intreeguing, (never could spell me) and a real page turner, but best of all very funny. Of course I guessed the 'Moriarty' character of the plot quite early on, or did I, I wasn't quite sure till late on. As to the crossword, well Russell and I have had quite a few in our time working together... sorry couldn't resist that!
If you have managed to read this far, just go out and buy the book. As for me I'm ordering the hard copy which wasn't available when I got the Kindle version, as I want to read it again. In fact I think I have found a great Christmas present for several of my friends.
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on 3 February 2015
Interesting plot and a very good read.
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