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Customer Review

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex construction, completely current in content., 11 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Deaths (Kindle Edition)
The Deaths by Mark Lawson

First! In a genuine attempt to be helpful I am going to offer up a cast list for you - something that is missing from the book and very sorely needed. (I got a quarter of the way in without untangling these awfully similar folk.) This list can be found in the comments section below, as I don't want to publish any spoilers or irritate readers who prefer to find out for themselves.

As to the story, well I assure you it is worth the effort of being introduced to the large cast. Totally up to the minute observations, preoccupations and attitudes. Twitter, Blackberry, iphone, mac books, posh coffee, flu pandemics fear, group pre Christmas shopping trips to Marrakesh, lady vicars, it's all in here.

There is a whiff of `A Casual Vacancy' blowing through it, as this follows similar themes of keeping up pretences, minor aspirations to be more like others around you than is possible, and insincere friendships, associations.

I was horribly gripped by the story, and carried my kindle around until it was done and dusted. It was helpful to keep a notepad to hand. Predicting who would do what and when became a puzzle worthy of a crossword compiler.

Embarrassingly, I thoroughly enjoyed the ghastly `Shaudenfraude' element. I recognised the characters, who are perhaps caricatures, but still struck me as familiar. And, the true test of a good book, all the hours that we were separated, I was wistfully yearning to get back to `The Deaths'...

Great work, Mark Lawson, shame about some of the typos and mistakes but it raced along with me chasing behind. I shall be more observant of the people who use First Class rail travel!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Dec 2013 14:43:27 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Dec 2013 14:45:26 GMT
As promised, a cast list as complete as I can manage:

N.b. The dogs and horses quota do matter. The couples follow each other and copy, one big dog and one smaller one for example. All frequently walked together. Also boys who plays rugby... The number of children they have is also important although others could be staying over, or away at university... If I have made any mistakes I apologise and await correction. (By comment, not spanking).

Max Dunster, online football game player extraordinaire, is married to Jenno. They have two children Jamie, 11, school rugby player, and Rosie, 14. This is a second marriage for generous hearted Max. He has a son from his first marriage that no one has met. He owns and is MD of a busy local firm specialising in luxury gifts. Jenno/Jen/Jenny is a CAB volunteer. They have horses and two dogs called Beauty and Ella.

Tom Rutherford is married to Dr. Emily, a conscientious local GP. He is a security advisor and an amateur historian, presently working on a pamphlet about the four houses the `Eight' occupy in Middlebury. They have three children, Phoebe, Felix and Henry. They have dogs, Buster and Hector. They have a tennis court.

Simon Lonsdale is married to Tasha. His is something shaky in PR (`Director of Public Relations for a leading bank') and she runs a small, now run down, catering company. They have three children at home, Josh, Henry and Polly. Their dogs Clooney are and Sprout.

Jonny Crossan QC is married to laviscious Libby who even tweets her love life. He is at the top of his game, but suffering from some inner turmoil. He's from the upper class; his father sold him the house. Libby is a JP and Chair of the Parish Council. They have four children, Tilly, Plum, Lucas and Hugo. They have a nanny called Abby, dogs, Colonel and Scruff, and a horse, Glory. The coffee guy is booked to come on Saturday morning, while they are away. Is this a usual thing?

On the sidelines, like a Greek chorus, are Nicky Mortimer, a banker and Monifa his wife. They have two children, Nina is their teenage daughter. Their dogs are called Monty and Biscuit.

Underemployed graduate Jason from CappuccinGo (sounds like something to do with little monkeys but of course it's specialist coffee) is the unfortunate discoverer of the mass slaying that prologues the book. He draws up to a `dream home', `the week before the clocks change to British Summer Time' to a frosty scene of carnage beginning with his discovery of two pet dogs, shot dead, close up, through their heads. Horrid stuff.

Posted on 2 Mar 2015 15:30:55 GMT
PennyDog says:
I think on the most part the typos are deliberate, for example in the section from Tilly's perspective (and several times from Jenno's), looking up "neesh" instead of niche, for example, it's indicative of the level of knowledge and the social environment of the character.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Mar 2015 16:37:28 GMT
Thanks, yes I take your point, colloquial speech...
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Review Details



Katharine Kirby

Location: HELSTON, Cornwall United Kingdom

Top Reviewer Ranking: 213