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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A storming entry into the genre
This was the pick of my summer reads. Easily.

I've read Mr Jackson's very enjoyable historical fiction, and I'd have been very chuffed with more storytelling of the same standard. But with this tale of a psychic detective set in the gritty modern world of central and borders Scotland, he has somewhat rocketed rather than stepped into the genre. The writing is...
Published 4 months ago by G. Doherty

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Disappointing but his historical novel cant be beaten
Published 4 months ago by Martin G


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A storming entry into the genre, 5 Aug 2014
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This review is from: War Games (A Glen Savage mystery) (Kindle Edition)
This was the pick of my summer reads. Easily.

I've read Mr Jackson's very enjoyable historical fiction, and I'd have been very chuffed with more storytelling of the same standard. But with this tale of a psychic detective set in the gritty modern world of central and borders Scotland, he has somewhat rocketed rather than stepped into the genre. The writing is first class, with dry wit, pithy action, poignant moments and a small dose of cheese (every tale in this genre has to have a wee bit).

I had wondered at the outset if the author's background in historical fiction might be detrimental to this tale, especially when the story takes us to a few historical sites around Scotland - Trimontium, Bannockburn, Melrose Abbey and Castle Douglas amongst others. But this is handled deftly, and the historical locations become clear assets, integral to the story and particularly atmospheric thanks to some excellent descriptive.

In places, 'War Games' reminded me strongly of the late, great Iain Banks, and I don't think there's a bigger compliment that that.

To sign off, here's a line from the tale that I had to jot down enviously:

"But there are some places where we are always profoundly alone. The human head contains its own torture chamber; a hidden room where the weak and the ruined retreat to seek martyrdom at the hands of their cruellest inquisitor - themselves..."

Awesome! Is there anybody on this planet who cannot identify with that?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing crime thriller, 8 Aug 2014
By 
K. Nixon (Kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: War Games (A Glen Savage mystery) (Kindle Edition)
Glen Savage isn’t any ordinary man. For one, he’s a war hero. A veteran of the Falklands War, he’s trained in how to kill and how to survive. He’s come through some harrowing events that now haunt his civilian life. But he’s more than that, he’s unique. For Savage was born with a gift, one he still struggles to live with, even as he’s come to understand it. He’s a psychic, able to reach the dead. Savage has always tried to use his gift for good and made a living of sorts from it after leaving the army and moving back to Scotland. He’s the man the police turn to when all other avenues to find murderers have failed. But it’s a last resort. Savage has many sceptics, and it seems only his ill wife believes in him any more.

When an Asian teenager called Gurya Ali vanishes, her father Assad turns to Savage. Assad is a self-made man of considerable means and he’s prepared to pay anything to get his girl back. The police won’t help, believing she’s run away. Savage tends to agree, but he needs the money. His wife has MS and dealing with the disease has scoured their bank account so he takes the case. He quickly finds that Assad is not quite all he seems. He had previously lined Gurya up for an arranged marriage, which she rebelled against.

Then the body of a teenage boy turns up. It seems unconnected, but Savage thinks there’s more to the case than meets the eye. He begins to dig and makes a link to previous deaths. Tiny lead soldiers have been left behind at each crime scene and the killer has taken a trophy from each body, a trophy that has a significant meaning. But he can’t go to the police, who remain sceptical of Savage and his powers. So he goes it alone, using all of his skills to track down the murderer and save Gurya.

Doug Jackson is best known for his historical crime novels set during the Roman Empire. He also writes under the pseudonym of James Douglas, although War Games is his first foray into crime under his own name. Very early in the novel it is clear that Jackson has a love of history. His characters see the past in their surroundings, and much of the action is set in and around historical sites in Scotland. This all lends a different angle to proceedings. In fact, War Games is steeped in medieval atmosphere and Scottish history is crucial to the plot.

The psychic angle is also interesting. It has parallels to Matt Hilton’s Preturnatural, which has previously been reviewed on CFL. Jackson deals well with the potential for your disbelief, one shared by the fictional police characters. The opening chapter shows Savage and his skill at work, immediately ‘normalising’ his behaviours. As the novel proceeds the psychic element, which is strongest for Savage when dealing with a death, recedes somewhat and his pursuit becomes more of a traditional crime process. A large degree of tension is produced, particularly as the corpse count mounts and the killer makes an entrance. Savage also suffers a tussle between needing to earn money to pay for his wife’s treatment whilst wanting to be at her side. Their relationship is loving, yet strained. I hope to see more of Savage in future books. He is an interesting character, operating in unusual circumstances.

Originally reviewed for Crime Fiction Lover.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gem that needs a little more polish, 17 July 2014
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This review is from: War Games (A Glen Savage mystery) (Kindle Edition)
When a author moves to another genre I try to read it as if I have not read the author before and judge it as a first timer. I was not sure if I was completely happy about a psychic Sam Spade but that soon disappeared as Glen Savage had me totally involved in the hunt for the missing daughter of a Asian business man and the murder of three others. There is a nice mix of crime and historical ,as the pace hots up in the chase to find the missing girl, add in a tour of Scotland's Borders, with it history and Majestic Abbey's and you have the beginning 's of a very good crime series. War Games for me ticks most of the boxes that I look for in a first time author, 1. I like the main character 2. The support character's added to the story 3. Great research and feeling for the genre 4. I want more of Glen Savage and will buy the next outing as I feel there is a lot more to come from our new gumshoe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Stuff!, 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: War Games (A Glen Savage mystery) (Kindle Edition)
This is what you would expect from Douglas Jackson and James Douglas combined. A history lesson, a geography lesson and a modern day crime to solve. A very well written story by a master story teller.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read, 5 Jun 2014
This review is from: War Games (A Glen Savage mystery) (Kindle Edition)
I had the privilege of getting an advance copy of this book by email whilst struck down with malaria in Ghana at Christmas time. I started reading it as soon as it arrived and couldn't put it down! An added bonus (for me) is that some of the story is set in and around my native Jedburgh and it was weird being able to picture where everything was happening. I would thoroughly recommend this book and all Doug's other books whether his Roman ones or the Jamie Saintclair series by his other name, James Douglas
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining crime novel, 12 Aug 2014
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: War Games (A Glen Savage mystery) (Kindle Edition)
A rather good value kindle book from an author more well known for his excellent stories set in Roman times. But this is a crime novel, featuring an ex Falklands veteran with some psychic abilities.. Glen Savage is brought in to locate a missing Asian girl but finds out there might be a link to a spate of deaths.

It kicks along nicely, the psychic bit is not overplayed and Savage is an interesting character with a good backstory. You can also tell the author’s love of both Scotland and history which again add dimension to the story. I enjoyed this and would be happy to pick up another book about Mr Savage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scottish scenery, 30 Jun 2014
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This review is from: War Games (A Glen Savage mystery) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoy his Roman fiction so I thought I would give it a try. I read it through quite quickly and looked forward to my daily returns to it, about an hour or two a day life or wife permitting. Value for money certainly. Makes you almost interested in visiting the lowlands of Scotland in a touristy sort of way. As to the story, not too formulaic and eventually you seem to care for the main characters. I would be interested in reading further adventures of the psychic investigator who overcomes all odds but not easily ( no Serpentius to assist here).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read, 18 Jun 2014
By 
Bryan Johnstone (selkirk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: War Games (A Glen Savage mystery) (Kindle Edition)
This has more twists and turns than the A7 road though the borders the book starts of in a low gear then really picks up the pace. Being from the borders I was intrigued with the history the book unfolds never some of these places excited .it had a really good storyline . Also the usual Jackson fight scenes are plentiful throughout Maybe other borders towns will get a mention in the next episode . I think the borders might have discovered there on Rebus and really I look forward to the next one if you read one thriller this year make it this one
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a gripping read, 25 July 2014
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A brilliant introduction to a new character. I was gripped from from first page. Look forward to reading future Glen Savage books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 Oct 2014
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This review is from: War Games (A Glen Savage mystery) (Kindle Edition)
Brilliant read. **
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