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The Dead Sit Round in a Ring Paperback – 27 Feb 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (27 Feb. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141004878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141004877
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.8 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,483,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'A throat-grabbing plot' -- Daily Telegraph

'An accomplished first novel. I look forward to her next case' -- Sunday Telegraph

'An author and a character to watch' -- Guardian

From the Back Cover

Jimmy Stone died of a broken heart. Literally - someone put a sharp object between his ribs and pushed, hard. He was found sitting in a circle with three other corpses in the living room of a Notting Hill flat.

Notting Hill - where million-pound houses are just the other side of the tracks from sink estates, where yuppies rub shoulders with hookers, dealers and gangsters - is DS Stella Mooney's patch, so it's up to her to discover who broke this heart of Stone's.

But it's a tough case and she feels like she's going round in circles. In fact circles - circles and rings - are all over this one: vice rings running girls from Eastern Europe; Internet rings peddling vile murderabilia; the tight familycircles of organised crime...

And then there are the rings left by empty vodka glasses, and the dark circles under Mooney's eyes that come from waking up every night at three a.m. having dreamed the same killer dream.

Then, when he private life gets caught up in the quest to find Stone's murderer, Mooney gets the chance to crack the whole thing wide open. But what will the cost be to her - and to those she loves? -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading some disappointing and mediocre Crime Fiction novels, I was delighted (and relieved)to have my faith in the genre restored by "The Dead Sit Round In A Ring", a novel which I would rate alongside the best of Mo Hayder and Tony Strong in terms of quality. It is well written, the characters are credible, the dialogue and plot realistic and well constructed. Like Hayder and Strong , there is a lot of gore and violence depicted and disturbing insights into new urban depravities such
as Murderabilia Websites and 15-minute-trick Slavic prostitutes.
The plot revolves around the sympathetic DS Stella Mooney and her investigation of the murder of a minor underworld figure. The investigation takes us into the depths of the West London criminal fraternity and beyond ,exposing Eastern European vice rings and Corleone-esque mafiosi families.
A lot of the plot is not overly original, revolving as it does around individuals brutalised and traumatised by the Bosnian War (Mark Burnell's "Gemini" covers similar ground) and this perhaps reduces the impact of the book. However I enjoyed the vivid depiction of inner city West London life that Lawrence portrays: Harefield Estate is a very modern Blairite Hell- a lawless City State ,the gangsters' Isse Miyake wearing women, the sybaritic lifestyle of the assassin. This detail and the careful characterisation make "The Dead Sit Round..." a winner. I found myself not so interested in DS Mooney's love life ,torn as she was between mysterious journo Delaney and her long term partner , George.Of all the characters , George was the least credible - for some reason I imagined him as the George out of the "George and Lynne" cartoon in "The Sun" -a rather incongruous one dimensional Alpha Male figure.
However , in the round, this novel is entertaining and well written and a good example of superior Crime Fiction.
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By A Customer on 9 May 2002
Format: Paperback
The cover gives no information about the author, so I guess this was a first novel. A very good one it is too! The crime is unusual and the seedy side of London is exposed throughout the book. It is very well written and excellently paced. I could not put it down. If this was a first novel, I will certainly be looking out for the next, and the next, and the next... Keep writing Mr Lawrence.
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It turns out I should have read this before my other recent David Lawrence crime novel, as that came first, but it didn’t matter. They are both Lawrence on top of his form and nothing prevented my enjoyment of another seamlessly exciting police procedural. I was hooked in from the beginning and enjoyed every moment of this brilliantly sharp and clever story. The plot was ingenious and began with four deaths, one of which was unconnected to the three others. Three were red herrings, it was the fourth that was important – that of Jimmy Stone, a minder for the sinister Tanner family, drug dealers with a side-line in the sex trade.

Detective Sergeant Stella Mooney is once more the lead, aided by her team, and we come to learn much about her secret vulnerabilities connected to a distant case in which a number of children were involved. Not to mention her interest in a certain Delaney, a journalist with a history of war reporting. Then DS Mooney is plagued throughout by tinnitus, after being attacked by a Barbary Ape, which had been left to guard the locked cupboard where a stash of drugs was kept. Makes a change from Pit Bull Terriers.

There are a range of evil-doers, including the men whose job it is to make sure none of the women spend more than 15 minutes with a client, but some even worse, including a Serb, one of a group of men over from the continent to meet up with the Tanner family who want an enhanced flow of girls arriving for their brothels and street action. One of the girls is Zhura Hadzic who recognises the Serb, Piric, as the man who killed her family.

Fast-paced, full of incident and action, this is one of the best policiers I’ve read. It’s a thoroughly nasty story and so sharp it could cut itself. Dark, grim and full of anger. I recommend it for its pin-point accuracy about how the police work. But this is not for the faint-hearted, it is laced throughout with violence.
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David Lawrence's first novel is set in the Harefield Estate, a lawless hinterland, within easy walking distance of the millionaires' playground of Holland Park, where every other flat seems to be a shebeen, brothel or crack factory. The Harefield really is a concrete jungle, and the police officers who have to cope with its fallout have to demonstrate a particular toughness themselves.

One of the toughest of these officers is Detective Sergeant Stella Mooney. She actually grew up on the Harefield, with a mother who spent most of her time seeking refuge in whatever drugs she could find while her father had decamped in her infancy. Somehow Stella escaped, as one of just three people from her school to get to university, but, having joined the police as a reaction to her upbringing, she now finds herself back on the fringe of the Harefield Estate.

Of course, as seems obligatory with fictional detectives nowadays, Stella has to contend with her own emotional baggage. Rather a cliché, of course, but in this instance Lawrence handles it marvellously. Stella's personal trauma is intense and awful, yet also utterly plausible, as are the measures she takes to counter it. I think she is a brilliantly-crafted and readily believable character.

The novel opens with the discovery of four dead bodies in a flat near the Harefield. Three of the corpses would appear to have been poisoned while the fourth has been stabbed with unusual precision and lack of fuss. Further investigation shows that the three people who were poisoned were siblings and members of an unorthodox religious group, while the man who was stabbed turns out to be Jimmy Stone, a minor criminal with a record for general hooliganism, with a particular taste for football- and race-related violence.
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