Customer Reviews


325 Reviews
5 star:
 (146)
4 star:
 (98)
3 star:
 (48)
2 star:
 (19)
1 star:
 (14)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A complete change of genre and a real return to form
It's been a while since I've read anything by Tony Parsons. Loved Man and Boy And One for my Baby but then found the subsequent books became repetitive,cloying and just versions of the same story even if there was always that smart turn of phrase or cultural reference that Parsons does better than most - not too surprising for a guy who was at the hippest end of the NME...
Published 9 months ago by tpryan

versus
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Meh.
I finished it, but only just. And the much-touted twist at the end? What was the point? Is Max going to do anything about it?

The body count is high, but several of the deaths are fairly pointless (especially the guy who commits suicide. Twice.) The major motivating factor behind the murders is, by this point, a total cliche.

The bait and switch with...
Published 11 months ago by Patricia Hill


‹ Previous | 1 233 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A complete change of genre and a real return to form, 21 July 2014
This review is from: The Murder Bag (Hardcover)
It's been a while since I've read anything by Tony Parsons. Loved Man and Boy And One for my Baby but then found the subsequent books became repetitive,cloying and just versions of the same story even if there was always that smart turn of phrase or cultural reference that Parsons does better than most - not too surprising for a guy who was at the hippest end of the NME school of journalism.

This is completely different. It's a shift to crime genre and Parsons does this well. For a first foray into the genre he brings something genuinely new. There are references to police work, procedures and premises that are different to other books. And the lead character is of course a flawed copper. But again Parsons does this a bit differently by casting Max as a male single parent.

This all adds to the book and there are quite a few twists along the way. You kind of work out where it's going but it's still entertaining and gripping enough. The final twist is a master stroke. I did find the cover of the book a bit less than its' contents: the strap line 'do some people deserve to die' is neither particularly compelling nor a theme - thankfully - that's much pursued in the book. And 'cutting the throats of the rich and powerful' is misleading too: these aren't random killings and the second victim is living on the streets. Another example of the story being rather better than the blurb.

The last page tells us Max will be back in 2015. That's good news as this has the makings of a genuinely different addition to the London crime scene genre.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended!, 30 Aug. 2014
By 
Moonless (London Town) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Murder Bag (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Murder Bag' is a great read if you enjoy crime fiction. A serial killer is on the loose, but it seems he only targets one type of person - former public school boys. Look even closely, and it seems the serial killer doesn't target any former public school boy, but one group of friends in particular. DC Max Wolfe is put on the case when he refuses to follow orders in a plot aimed at catching a terrorist suspect in broad daylight in central London, but decides to follow his hunch instead...

As the case progresses, we are taken into the annals of Scotland Yard, to Room 101, the significance of the murder bag, into DC Wolfe's somewhat chaotic lifestyle, the inner workings of his mind and his agony over his lost wife, his fears for his daughter. Throughout, a dark web of lies, facades and mystery keep the tension to the fore.

What's unusual here is that, as readers, we seem to know why the murders are happening - or at least, we are given a very big clue. At the beginning of the novel, a horrific crime takes place. We don't know who the victim is, we don't know who the culprits are, we don't know why the crime takes place, yet somehow we know that that crime and what follows are linked. It's strange knowing what the characters in the book don't, and gives the pleasure of reading this novel an additional dimension.

The book concludes nicely, with most loose ends tied up and plenty of twists and shocks. A new addition to crime fiction, DC Max Wolfe is a likeable figure, and a second book is due out in 2015.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Plot, Characters and Twists and Turns, 31 July 2014
This review is from: The Murder Bag (Kindle Edition)
This is the first novel in a new crime series penned by Tony Parsons, author of Man and Boy and other novels, none of them crime related. I was keen to see how he went with venturing into this new genre of writing and was happy to find this book a really enjoyable and good read.

I REALLY liked the plot, I thought it worked really well and the entire book moved at a solid pace, not too fast, not too slow, just right. Great plotting, great characters and some twists you won't see coming. Smashing!

Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter’s Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable. Pretty horrific deaths going on that's for sure.

The book starts with a scenario that kicks off the book sharply featuring these seven boys whilst they were in their school days, it's pretty in your face stuff to start out with. But it gives us important background to the rest of the novel.

Detective Max Wolfe has recently arrived in the Homicide division of London’s West End Central, 27 Savile Row. He's a great character, I really liked him a lot, he's a bit of a maverick detective that is passionate about his work but I loved the way we got to see his softer side in his relationship with his daughter and the man when he is at home.

He's soon hot on the trail piecing together not only who is killing these men, but what the connection is and the WHY of the killing spree, he's got a serial killer on his hands and he's determined to uncover the truth and get answers. He's not afraid to put himself in danger either, sometimes rather recklessly in his pursuit of the bad guys, he's a bold one our Max.

There are secrets, lies and deception going on. It's messy and complex this case. I liked the writing style, it flowed well. He's not afraid to tackle some graphic scenarios, you need that in a good crime novel in my opinion. Especially where a serial killer is involved.

It's good crime reading, it held my attention from the first page until the last, I was eager to see who the killer was, eager to see justice done and liked some of the moments in the book that complicated the investigation. I can tell Tony has done his research into terminology used in police procedures and investigations for this novel, he drops it in all the way through, perhaps a touch too much but it wasn't enough to interfere with my reading of the book.

I like Max Wolfe and will be absolutely reading the next book in the series. A cracking read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Meh., 29 May 2014
By 
Patricia Hill "triciahill" (Hanwell, London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Murder Bag (Kindle Edition)
I finished it, but only just. And the much-touted twist at the end? What was the point? Is Max going to do anything about it?

The body count is high, but several of the deaths are fairly pointless (especially the guy who commits suicide. Twice.) The major motivating factor behind the murders is, by this point, a total cliche.

The bait and switch with the wife irritated me and, again, what was the point? Was it an attempt to make Max more interesting? Max attends several funerals, which are an excellent excuse for larding the book with vast chunks of prose from rather better writers. And the Peggy Sue wish fulfilment with the character Max ends up with? Ugh.

In the end, I didn't care about any of the characters and the plot wasn't interesting enough to make up for that.

But the most irritating factor was Max's car - he has a BMW X5, you know. Well, if you didn't after the first time it's mentioned, you soon will. "I lowered the window of the X5", "My X5 was parked further down the street", "I picked up the keys for my X5", and so on and on and on. By the end, I was convinced that BMW were sponsoring the book. Was it really not possible just to say, "I got into my car"? Just once? Please?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Managed to get through most of it befor I gave it up as a bad job. Poorly written unbelievable characters and a story ..., 26 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Murder Bag (Kindle Edition)
I bought the book because it was written by Tony Parsons and wish I had not . Managed to get through most of it befor I gave it up as a bad job . Poorly written unbelievable characters and a story line that was totally daft .what happened Tony ?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yawn., 26 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Murder Bag (Kindle Edition)
An unoriginal plodding yarn. We've heard it all before- cop with a broken marriage caring for his adorable little girl tackles a by the numbers murder series. This is such a shallow and cheap read - I was hoping for better from an ex anti establishment music journo. He is the antithesis of his ex partner Burchill who writes with such scathing venom and if only he had used this approach to this genre instead of this maudlin fawning yawning plot. Without a doubt a missed opportunity.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gave up, 10 Jun. 2014
This review is from: The Murder Bag (Hardcover)
Tony Parsons can be a very effective writer, but not here.

Clearly Parsons has decided to get in on the police franchise act, stepping onto the kind of territory in which we might find Mo Hayder or Peter James.

The trouble is, in doing so, Parsons leaves no cliche unturned: troubled cop with authority issues, check; tabloid journalist who is willing to be used as human bait, check; loner pretending to be a serial killer and the police falling for it, check and so on.

Also, Parsons does like to over tell the reader various facts. Our hero drives a BMW X5 and we are reminded of this every time he parks his car, for example. His description of the Palace of Westminster is like something out of a primary school textbook.

The Murder Bag will probably be a bestseller. It doesn't deserve to be.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Had promise but become to try hard., 23 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Murder Bag (Hardcover)
I love Tony Parsons and because of that I persevered with the book. I know it's his first novel in a new genre however I felt as though he tried to cram too many twists into the story. It's difficult to like the main character and some of his actions do not fit with the story or that of a policeman in some ways. We also are not given a description of him which I found really difficult. All you find out is he is 6'. Difficult to explain without spoiling the storyline for people. Also felt as though the technical detail he used in the book was given in almost a patronising manner and didn't always help the flow of the book.

For die hard fans like myself it's difficult to write anything but glowing reviews for Tony and switching genres is no easy task I imagine. Undecided if I will read the next one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Glad to finish it., 17 July 2014
By 
Lily (Sheffield UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Murder Bag (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This could have been such a good book - the story itself is a good one. I was put off by the fact that it was obviously written by a middle class writer. Overall it came across as a tacky American detective story. The name 'Max Wolf' says it all! He was sensitive but tough. Why does the writer need to dress this up in such a cliched way?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great disappointment., 28 Jun. 2014
By 
Doreen Hunt (France.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Murder Bag (Hardcover)
Tony Parsons just hasn't got what it takes for this genre. Also his facts are not always correct, as in what happens at a Crematorium. Also since when would a Detective Constable work a case alone, without a Partner? Constables are barely more than tea boys!
Sorry he should stick to being a journalist.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 233 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Murder Bag
The Murder Bag by Tony Parsons
£3.66
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews