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By far the strongest elements of the story are those based around police procedure. That's no surprise considering Tin Larrick was a police officer. I'd also have to mention the scene setting. Devil's Chimney is set in and around Eastbourne and Larrick brings atmosphere and credibility to his plot by setting his novel in an area he's obviously familiar with.

So; the setting's good, the police procedure is well handled and there's certainly enough pace and grit to keep the reader hooked.

What lets the novel down are the far reaches where Larrick struggles to fit the pieces together smoothly. He opts for explanations that don't work and in some places events become forced which can make the plot seem contrived and somewhat unbelievable.

Not a bad read but not a great read. Will appeal to those who enjoy a darker, fast paced crime thriller that's easy to read and doesn't offer many challenges.
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on 16 September 2014
I've read a couple of books by this author, and just as a matter of personal taste, found this book sluggish at times. I did enjoy it however and like this authors other works it is well written and well plotted. It just didn't fit me as well as his other books have
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on 18 February 2017
Takes a while to get going but otherwise a cracking read. Definitely worth getting. Looking forward to the next one in the series
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on 1 November 2017
A good read. Arrived promptly.
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on 5 August 2017
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I consider this to be a realistic police drama with no unbelievable heroics. a story that kept my interest from the first page the last.
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on 12 March 2015
Good story from an English seaside town.
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on 18 June 2012
There are some disadvantages to being a writer. For instance, it makes you excessively critical as a reader. You're constantly raising questions about the way the author is going about his task. Isn't that piece of dialogue a bit clunky? Would that really happen? Why doesn't the story flow better? So it goes on, always pick, pick, picking away, endlessly asking questions, suggesting improvements instead of just enjoying the tale. And though I can't speak for others, at the end I often find myself asking, Could I have written that story? Would it have been better if I had? And then comes the big question, Do I wish I had written it?

And so how does Tin Larrick's murder-mystery story, Devil's Chimney, measure up? The story is set in Eastbourne where I live so not surprisingly I was attracted to it. It's jam-packed with places I know, the seafront and the beach, pubs and coffee shops, the police station and the Wish Tower, Sovereign Harbour and the Belle Tout lighthouse, now a private house high up on Beachy Head. And the body of a savagely murdered woman is found in a hotel not five minutes' walk from where I live. And another body is later found in a seafront shelter fifteen minutes away.

Caution: do not be misled. Just because it mentions locales known to you, the reader, your judgment of the story must not be distorted. I told myself that I must not be beguiled by the familiarity of such scenes, that I must judge the description of the town by the way in which they might appeal to readers who do not know it. Well, Tin Larrick has interpreted the place so vividly. His clear descriptions of the town are apt. By day, it has many charms. At night, this elegant town has another face.

They do say `Write about what you know.' This is a police procedural and Larrick is a former policeman. No more to be said. He knows his stuff.

I very much liked the central character, the young, novice detective constable, Chalvington Barnes, a man clearly destined for the top. As for the back-story, he and his wife being unable to conceive, that was absolutely convincing and moving too. And I thought his ambitious young woman reporter made quite an impact. I hope that we shall meet her again.

And of course, Larrick knows his low-lifes. He has them to a tee. You can recognise them. They are believable. They aren't just Eastbourne manifestations. You see them everywhere. Worse luck!

This is a really enjoyable story, very well structured, with some heart-thumping situations.

If I had a reservation it was that there was little humour in the account. Maybe even at the worst times, in fact especially at the worst times, I should have expected some wry police station humour. But that is a small quibble.

As to my question: Could I have written this book? No. I couldn't. But I wish I could have done.

I ought to add perhaps that I bought the book and that I have had no contact with Tin Larrick of whom I had not heard until four days ago.
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on 10 February 2015
I honestly thought, that because another author, who I really rate from the south coast, said that this was a book worth reading and that I am from East Sussex, that this would be a good book.

Firstly, the main hero's name. Chalvinton Barns, it's the name of a property company in East Sussex! How naff is that and why couldn't he be called Fred or Burt?

More importantly, the author needs to re-read and then re-write chapter 3. Firstly, Barnes and Nightingale get the key to Van Leer's room at the Atlantic Hotel, from a guy with a strong Liverpudlian accent who goes to a small office behind the kitchen. He even makes a scene over it, by dropping it in a puddle of cider. Next page, they try the door handle and it's locked (that's why they have the key?) so then Barnes has reservations about kicking the door in? Nightingale shows Barnes the suspect warrant. Immediately, "Nightingale turned the key in the door." Next paragraph. "Together they shouldered the door." Why, they just opened it with the key?
I nearly deleted the book from my kindle there and then, but decided to read on, don't ask me why, maybe I had nothing better to do with my life?

Later, this false warrant, which Nightingale never showed to anyone except Barnes and never used to get the key, or entry, becomes an issue in the book. Why, only Barnes, who never told anyone about it, was the only one to see it?

Some other reviewers have said that the Author was an ex-copper, so he knows about police procedures. Really? Thank goodness he's retired, because if he was as good at policing as he is at writing then he wouldn't be much cop. Boom boom!

I then got as far as all the rubbish about Barnes, the wife and the baby thing, where neither knows what the other wants, blah blah blah. Who cares? Then the goody two shoes, teetotaller (why?) has sex with his wife who's been drinking, on a chair, in broad daylight, on full view, in the FRONT garden of a small terraced house. Isn't that illegal?

A bit later that evening, Barnes, a fully grown and fit policeman, goes for a jog and nearly wets himself and hides in a petrol station, because he thought he heard footsteps behind him. What a hero? Not!

You guessed it, yes, I've given up on this trashy novel.
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on 23 April 2014
anyone that enjoys crime novels will enjoy this well worth the read. look forward to others like this,keep them coming
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