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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written and structured police investigation thriller
'Brass in Pocket' by Stephen Puleston is well-made thrilling police procedural novel that enable readers to speculate many times about the killer, although it would be hard to guess correctly until novel's conclusion.

Its story is set in Wales, and it's first in series that introduce Detective Inspector Drake who is on the one hand a typical police officer, and...
Published 14 months ago by Denis Vukosav

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings on this one
This is ok but a couple a flaws for me. We're used to detectives with their own demons and/or foibles and so we get Drake with his OCD and inferiority complex. That's all ok but the problem is that there's nothing endearing about him to offset that. Unfortunately I neither liked disliked Drake and that was an overall issue with the book - it simply didn't engage me...
Published 7 months ago by JaneDee


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written and structured police investigation thriller, 2 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Brass in Pocket: An exciting British crime thriller (Inspector Ian Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1) ((Inspector Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1)) (Kindle Edition)
'Brass in Pocket' by Stephen Puleston is well-made thrilling police procedural novel that enable readers to speculate many times about the killer, although it would be hard to guess correctly until novel's conclusion.

Its story is set in Wales, and it's first in series that introduce Detective Inspector Drake who is on the one hand a typical police officer, and on the other, man who is quite saturated with his routine.
Exciting case on which he started working will provide him a great challenge, but also a problem for his already bad private life.

Also, it seems that he has issue with tidiness, or maybe even with some kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder that makes him burdened about paper order on his desk, but at the same time his personal life is in mess suffering due to his work, and his family eventually only seeing him at evenings.
He is searching for his calmness in Sudoku puzzles that enable him to feel at least a bit more in control with his life.

The novel story begins when two policeman are killed on the road and a note that was left by the killer near their bodies.
Some additional killings will occur, all accompanied by similar notes which are all connected to number 1979 although no one really knows what happened that year which obviously is important for killer. And does killer is referencing that year at all or on something completely different...
There are no real twists in the story, although at times it seems that the killer cannot be caught because it is always one step ahead of Inspector, sometimes even seem literally knowing where he is.
Things will eventually become personal when the killer will step deep into the private life of a Detective...

"Brass in Pocket" is good police investigation thriller, well-written and structured, and it doesn't seem at all like it was written by someone who is new and inexperienced writer.
Therefore, I can recommend this novel from Stephen Puleston, a new shining star on thriller sky and I'm sure that I'll give his Inspector another chance when sequel of his adventure will be available.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, 30 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Brass in Pocket: An exciting British crime thriller (Inspector Ian Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1) ((Inspector Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1)) (Kindle Edition)
This is a cracking debut novel from Stephen Puleston. The book has an intricate plot where the killer sends messages to Inspector Drake. But he can't fathom out what the messages mean -they're all lyrics from rock songs from 1979. Each chapter adds more and more layers of intrigue and pulls you in further. Drake is a subtle clever character and by the end I was looking forward to the next book in the series. Good crime fiction is about more than just solving the crime and this author threads the personalities and the setting into the novel skilfully making it a great read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book but gives you an ear worm, 15 Nov. 2014
By 
Aurora (Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Brass in Pocket: An exciting British crime thriller (Inspector Ian Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1) ((Inspector Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1)) (Kindle Edition)
This book pulled me in and held me most of the day. The puzzle over the song lyrics was the defining factor of the investigation, but the team were constantly led up blind alleys as the red herrings piled up high. The problem was that in the nature of the thing, no-one knew what was a red herring and the team chased every lead, and spent hours trawling through CCTV, and sifting through historical records. Although part of the story is told in the killer's voice, we were not told what the motive was although the clues were there, and we knew the emotional reasoning, we just didn't have sufficient information to put it all together. Even though the DI was obsessive about many things, and constantly read and re-read all the paperwork, knowing that there was something very obvious that he was missing but hejust couldn't put his finger on what was bugging him. It took a throwaway remark from his sergeant to set the cogs of his brain in the right motion to bring it together. Once he had pieced it together, and brought himself to believe the unbelievable, he then had to find proof to back up his theory. I did briefly consider the person who was eventually revealed to be the killer as a suspect but I didn't really believe it, although as the story came towards its climax I began to revive those suspicions but couldn't come up with a motive.

The DI's OCD was a distraction at times, and I assume that the constant repetition of his habits and compulsions is part of the creation of his character for future books. The relationship between him and his DS was rather good, not matey but not totally hierarchical either. There is much about Caren which irritates Ian but he knows that she is an excellent foil to his character and they balance each other very well. It was a very pleasant change to find police officers who do not have a dysfunctional home life, yes there are occasional problems, and this case intruded very deeply into Ian's family life, but overall his marriage and family are surviving the pressures of the job, the same appears to be true of his sergeant's home life.

I found this a good read which kept my attention and held me to the end. I was also diverted by the song lyrics (I even looked some of them up on the internet to see if they would give me any clues - they didn't) I thought that I had never heard of the song in the title but was very surprised to discover that it is in fact a well known song which I know very well despite not knowing what it was called. I now have the song going round and round in my head endlessly!!! I would gladly read more by this author and have in fact downloaded the next book in the series which I am looking forward to getting started on..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Special, So Special, 18 Sept. 2013
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Brass in Pocket: An exciting British crime thriller (Inspector Ian Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1) ((Inspector Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1)) (Kindle Edition)
'Cause I gonna make you see
There's nobody else here
No one like me
I'm special so special
I gotta have some of your attention give it to me'

'Brass In Pocket' lyrics
Written by Chrissie Hynde and James Honeyman-Scott

It is rare for me to give a 5 star review, this novel deserves it.

1979, do you remember what you were doing that year, what was going on in the world? In North Wales, a land of breathtaking scenery and mountains, someone was fixated on that year. So fixated, that he kills. This is the home of Detective Inspector Ian Drake, and his colleagues who are called upon to find this murderer and bring this part of Wales back to it's norm.

In the early morning hours two traffic policemen are called to a road incident on the Crimea pass above Blaenau Ffestiniog in the mountains of Snowdonia. They are found sometime later by a passing motorist, shot by a crossbow, one dead on the side of the road and the other dead in the seat of the car. DI Drake is called out, as is his team, to this lonely stretch of the road. A message of sorts is left with the bodies, and then back at the station Drake finds a photograph and lines from a song written on the back. This is the beginning of the murders.

The author, Stephen Puleston has written such a clever mystery/police procedural, that I was taken off guard. It is written with a style that captivates the reader. The character of DI Ian Drake is at once a man so full of obsessive behaviors that you wonder how he functions so brilliantly. His personality is such that order and precision are the rule of the day. The slurping of tea by his colleague, Caren, irritates him no end, and is mentioned many times. Those characteristics seem to work in his favor, and his team, even though they find him strange at times, will work ceaselessly to do his bidding. An intelligent and likable man, and we become privy to some of his secrets.

This novel has the feel of energy, I could sense the necessity of working tirelessly to tie the clues together, to figure out what all the song lyrics that accompany each murder mean. The numerous characters all intertwined very carefully to bring the clues closer to discovery. We are treated to the scenes of North Wales as the police find the bodies on Snowden Mountain, the Crimera Pass, the old family farm and the rolling fields. The final discovery may catch you unaware, but read carefully to uncover all the clues.

The author has an exciting series with DI Ian Drake, and there is a mention of another series following, Detective Marco. I am an aficionado of mystery/police procedurals and this is one of the best I have read, this year.

This book was given to me for review.

Highly Recommended. prisrob 09-18-13
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A competent and enjoyable police procedural, 7 Aug. 2014
By 
R G Palmer (Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brass in Pocket: An exciting British crime thriller (Inspector Ian Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1) ((Inspector Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1)) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed the debut Inspector Drake novel. A serial killer is murdering police officers in North Wales, and Drake is given a bizarre collection of clues based on the lyrics from popular songs, with the killer eventually making things very personal for the detective.

The book is well written with relatively few editing errors - which definitely helps on Kindle. I found the central character a little derivative at times of Rupert Penry-Jones' inspector in the TV show 'Whitechapel' - Drake has OCD and finds it difficult to connect with others - but unlike the TV detective, I am afraid I didn't have a great deal of sympathy for Inspector Drake. But that's fine - the author may have intended this to happen. I also found at times that Drake's introspection was quite repetitive, - perhaps a bit of variation in the decriptions of his thought processes would not have gone amiss?

The main downside for me was the whole song lyrics thing - once the explanation becomes clear, I found myself wondering why on earth the killer would have gone to the trouble of setting such a convoluted series of clues. Could it be just that books with lyrics as song titles catch potential readers' eyes better?

But still - an interesting read, good descriptions of the locations, an interestingly flawed central character, and I will certainly be buying the second instalment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings on this one, 2 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Brass in Pocket: An exciting British crime thriller (Inspector Ian Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1) ((Inspector Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1)) (Kindle Edition)
This is ok but a couple a flaws for me. We're used to detectives with their own demons and/or foibles and so we get Drake with his OCD and inferiority complex. That's all ok but the problem is that there's nothing endearing about him to offset that. Unfortunately I neither liked disliked Drake and that was an overall issue with the book - it simply didn't engage me emotionally in any way. The other problem for me was that we are introduced to quite a lot of characters and there is sometimes a big gap before we meet some of them for the second time. I was electrifying to work out who people were and what their relevance was. Ok so that may have just been me but a few little reminders would have been helpful. All that being said the plot is very decent and I did keep turning the pages. And I will get the next in the Drake series in the hope that the author will develop the character and I'll either like him detest him - I don't actually mind which, but I do want to feel something about him! Anyway I'd say give it a go - I've certainly read far worse
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly written, 28 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Brass in Pocket: An exciting British crime thriller (Inspector Ian Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1) ((Inspector Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1)) (Kindle Edition)
I actually gave this up after struggling to halfway through; and I can't remember the last time I didn't finish a book. Dreary dialogue, unimaginative description wore me down. The idea of a detective with a compulsive personality is an interesting one: however I soon tired of the same symptoms described over and over.
And why would you write a book with a title from a song, with other songs' lyrics also hinted at, but with no part of the lyrics actually mentioned? I suppose it must be a copyright issue, but why bother with the significance if you can't actually explore it?

Avoid.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A well-written and plotted police procedural, 12 Feb. 2015
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I don’t know if Private Eye still do Pedants’ Corner. It was a meeting place for professional nitpickers to compare notes – they even had a debate as to where the apostrophe should go in the title - and some of them have moved on to reviewing books on Amazon. The slightest spelling or grammatical mistake or inconsistency in the plot or settings and out comes the one star review. It was somewhat in this spirit that I approached ‘Brass in Pocket’. North Wales setting? I live there, pal, so it had better be spot on.
I have to report that I couldn’t find any inconsistencies. Driving the Crimea Pass over to Blaenau Ffestiniog on a rainy night? Rhyl? Walking up Snowdon? Yep. That’s what it’s like. The book is a well-written and plotted police procedural and I enjoyed it. Some authors take all the fun out of life.
The main character, DI Drake, even has OCD – that’s Obsessive Compulsion Disorder – and I can identify with that. I can’t pass a tree – on the right hand side of course and avoiding the cracks in the pavement – without wanting, no, having, to touch it. The scenes involving the police are realistic – I’ve known a few coppers – with no excessive swearing, drug-taking (by the coppers) or violence. The author was a criminal lawyer so knows what he is talking about. All in all, a true-to-life and enjoyable crime novel.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whodunit and why? Well worth a read., 4 Oct. 2013
By 
Mr. P. Egan - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brass in Pocket: An exciting British crime thriller (Inspector Ian Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1) ((Inspector Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1)) (Kindle Edition)
Meet police Inspector Ian Drake - obsessive perfectionist, puzzler, Sudoku geek and family man. When a double murder occurs on his North Wales patch the stark horror is enhanced by the arrogance of the anonymous cop killer and the numerical clues and 1979 song lyrics left at the scene. Will Drake and his team be able to solve this and the string of unexplained deaths which follow?

Having its own sound track should you seek out the relevant songs, there is also a strong sense of place and procedural detail presented with a light touch; developing characterisation involves the reader whilst intriguing clues and red herrings move the story along convincingly. The background presence of the murderer is as menacing as it is subtle as the team tantalisingly gather and share information and fill in the blanks. Gaining pace towards the denouement, it certainly made me think: the ending is both shocking and satisfying.

I was glad to have received a copy of this tightly plotted first novel for review and can't wait to read more of Stephen Puleston's writing.

L. Egan
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A very muddled plot., 22 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Brass in Pocket: An exciting British crime thriller (Inspector Ian Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1) ((Inspector Drake Murder Mystery Series Book 1)) (Kindle Edition)
I was looking forward to reading this novel, as the plot sounded interesting. However, I found it poorly written and plotted. It was a very disappointing and frustrating read,
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