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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
I'll preface this by saying I am a big fan of anti-hero protagonists in fiction, so it was no surprise that I picked up the first John Milton book despite having never read any of Mark Dawson's previous work. The combination of a British setting, a flawed hero, excellent prose and detailed action hooked me completely, and led to me purchasing and reading the rest of the...
Published 11 months ago by Matt

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just too unbelievable.
First of Dawson's stories I've read. They are short, over the top. In this one, who would believe a 13 year old girl, with psychological problems is taught to shoot.
Published 6 months ago by Andy Sherratt


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 14 May 2014
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This review is from: In Cold Blood (Beatrix Rose Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I'll preface this by saying I am a big fan of anti-hero protagonists in fiction, so it was no surprise that I picked up the first John Milton book despite having never read any of Mark Dawson's previous work. The combination of a British setting, a flawed hero, excellent prose and detailed action hooked me completely, and led to me purchasing and reading the rest of the Milton series in quick succession.

That said, despite enjoying the Beatrix character in Ghosts, I was a little concerned when I saw that she was getting her own series. How would she be differentiated from her successor as Number One? Would the fact she shared a skill set and a historical trauma involving a child simply mean she was a female carbon copy of Milton, who would not stand alone as a substantial character? Would the move to a shorter format mean the plot was forced to play second fiddle to the action?

Suffice it to say that within a few pages of the beginning of In Cold Blood I realised I could not have been more wrong. Beatrix is a fantastic character, driven by different motivations to John Milton and a refreshing mirror to how John would be without some of the moral guidelines he has developed. She is goal oriented, extremely focused and capable, and her relationship with both her daughter and her feelings of revenge is handled in a complex and realistic manner.

As to the plot, it moves at a good pace but without sacrificing anything. There is nothing superfluous, which nicely reflects Beatrix herself. The action is handled as well as I have come to expect from the Milton books, and the conclusion is satisfying.

In short, an excellent read - roll on the rest of the Beatrix Rose series!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wild rose in a violent garden, 31 Dec. 2014
This review is from: In Cold Blood (Beatrix Rose Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I received a copy of the audio version of In Cold Blood from the author in return for an honest review.
I had no idea what to expect as I had only previously read one of Mark Dawson's novels (which I had very much enjoyed) and this had been a different subject matter entirely. So it was with some trepidation that I approached this story. Additionally, I became aware from other reviews that Beatrix Rose was a character featured in an earlier series and I wondered if this lack of background knowledge would impact adversely on my full appreciation of the events in this novel. It didn't. The plot was fast moving, enthralling and told from various standpoints all sympathetically and excitingly revealed. Mark Dawson has the amazing ability of not only keeping the atmosphere tense and tactile whilst explaining, without apparent intrusion, need to know information.
Set in the world of espionage and revenge, this story is necessarily violent but not graphically gruesome. It succeeds so well by gifting a picture to the listener's imagination rather than spelling out every little ugly detail. I was so absorbed into this, for me, alien world that I was bereft when it came to the end and I am looking forward to renewing my acquaintance with Beatrix Rose and her friends, foes and family as soon as possible.

This was an audio recording so I must also comment on the reader. My heart sank when I heard the opening sentences read by an American voice (sorry Cousins) But within moments my mind was changed, my prejudices unfounded: the reading was perfectly paced to match the story line, the text read with clarity and emotion, plus the dialogue was a real treat with different voices sustained for the different characters including very convincing English accents. Very well done.

I do have one very small niggle with the production, however. The clear air break between the end and commencement of chapters was slightly too long which, upon occasion, caused me to fear that something had halted the.transmission. But this is so small a point, I feel almost churlish in mentioning it.

.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, female assassin on a mission of murder - what's not to like?, 21 Nov. 2014
I would have liked to give this audio book 3 and a half stars. That's not because I think its just 'okay', because I don't, but because it was an enjoyable listen, well read by the narrator and the character voice's are suitable and well done.

The only reasons I would mark the story down are in a couple of small areas. One, the idea of Beatrix Rose training her 13 year old daughter to be an expert marksman/person from scratch, didn't fit into the overall story arc being played out. I feel it was something that could have been either hinted at briefly or missed out altogether in the first of what is clearly a series. Also, the revelation of Beatrix's husband being murdered by her former boss - 'Control' - made me think I had missed a significant piece of back story and that I had somehow skipped a section of the book. Later however, the reason for this back story becomes obvious when Beatrix attempts to exact revenge on those responsible.

The main plot doesn't play out like I expected, and that is refreshing. I do have a slight problem with the idea of one super - killer laden down with weaponry akin to Arnold Schwarzenegger taking out seemingly impossible numbers of enemy with throwing knives and a kukri, but it's not an unusual trait in your average bad - ass hero so its easy to forgive.

The overall story is a good one, if rather short, and I like the idea of Beatrix as a tattoo'd, emotionally scarred yet beautiful killer with murder in mind. A kind of catwalk James Bond with an edge that he doesn't have. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series, as well as some more of Mark Dawson's work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific- fast flowing, action packed and with a new heroine to cheer on!, 9 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: In Cold Blood (Beatrix Rose Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Loved this! A spin off from the Milton series, it gives us the chance to get to know Beatrix Rose. Mark does a great job of painting her character and letting us feel her pain, fury and single minded pursuit of revenge against those that wronged her and destroyed her family. She is a character to admire - and in many ways very different to Milton. The book moves at a great pace - always forward, plenty of action - and creates enough threads to spin several additional stories. I, for one, will read every one of the. I've become a big Mark Dawson fan - and I love the way he is connecting with his fans through social media. Now quickly onto Rose #2 and 3.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fantastic Mark Dawson book!, 17 April 2014
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This review is from: In Cold Blood (Beatrix Rose Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This spin off from the "John Milton" series, starring Beatrix Rose, is another one of those annoyingly frustrating contradictory books!.....It is so good that you don't want to put it down.....equally you really don't want to reach the end of it either! In a mirroring of that, Beatrix has a lot to get done.....but she is on a timescale too! You want her to complete her mission, but equally you are aware that time is running out for her to complete it in time! I can't wait for the next in the series! Hurry up Mark Dawson!
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5.0 out of 5 stars She's out for revenge, 30 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: In Cold Blood (Beatrix Rose Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Another cracker from Mark Dawson. OK, I'll admit it, I'm a fan. If you like straightforward action adventures, this is one for you.

Beatrix Rose is the female equivalent of John Milton, Mr Dawson's male hero. Unlike Milton who is lying low and trying to avoid trouble, Beatrix Rose is out for revenge on the people who killed her husband and took away her daughter. There are five of them on her list, and in this episode she's after one who is working in a para military organisation that provides protection to shipping. Which means tangling with Somali pirates...

It's a neat set up. Quite a short book, or maybe I just read it really quickly. Lots of fights, believable local colour (not that I've been to Somalia, but the setting seemed authentic) and sentimentality avoided. And with five names on the list, there are another four episodes to go. Let's hope they are all as good as this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 12 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: In Cold Blood (Beatrix Rose Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Superb off-shoot of the fantastic John Milton books. Read it as soon as I downloaded it. Excellent! Can't wait for the next instalment of this revenge thriller!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fine read, 23 April 2014
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This review is from: In Cold Blood (Beatrix Rose Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
As a fan of the John Milton series I was both intrigued and wary of this short-story spin off with the Beatrix Rose character we were introduced to in the latest Milton novel. I am delighted to report that any worries I had were entirely misplaced as In Cold Blood is another mesmerising read from Mark Dawson.

Unlike a lot of short story writers he refrains from going for the all-out, non-stop but mostly pointless action that really serves no purpose in the stories being written. This is a well paced thrill ride throughout and each part seems well thought out and well delivered.

Without wishing to reveal the storyline there is a great little sub plot with the character Joyce whom Beatrix is seeking revenge upon which to a point humanises his character and left me feeling sympathetic towards him even though he is, by all accounts, a ruthless assassin that was involved in the murder of Beatrix's husband. This is very clever writing as it gives another side to the whole story and it is not solely about one woman's revenge.

This is the first in what I believe is to be a trilogy of Beatrix Rose short stories and if the follow up are on par with this, then I am very much looking forward to reading them as soon as they are available.

Highly recommended book from, in my opinion, a very skilled and wonderful author
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good read that leaves you wanting to read more in the series, 6 Jan. 2015
This review is from: In Cold Blood (Beatrix Rose Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I was very pleasantly surprised by this book.
I didn't think the subject matter was something I would enjoy.
How wrong I was.
The book is well written and pulls you into the story.
The emotion and characters are believable and you just want to hear what happens next.
I can't wait to get the next in the series just to see what happens.
Will she make it? Will she finish her wish list?
The main character of the story is Rose.
She used to work for the English Government but things turned bad.
She is now out to seek revenge on the people
that ruined her life and meant that she wouldn't see her daughter
for 8 years.
There are lots of mixed emotions and lots of action.
It was a good read and I'm looking forward to more
of the stories in the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Revenge Thriller, 26 Nov. 2014
By 
S. Seabridge (Stone,Staffordshire.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I received this audiobook as a promotion and so expected it to be a mediocre story that I could dip in and out of.
I was so wrong. The story gripped me from the start and very soon I was identifying with the characters. I had to keep listening until the end and got through it in 2 sessions over 2 days.
The description of the places and experiences (most of which I have fortunately never experienced) were accurately described and well read by the narrator.
The revenge element was well handled with a good v evil theme.
I have not read anything from this author before but I will back track to the John Milton series to see what I have been missing.
Can't wait to read the next Beatrix Rose book also.
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