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4.5 out of 5 stars
23
4.5 out of 5 stars


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I have read full length John Purkiss (aka ‘The Ratcatcher’) stories and enjoyed them all.

This is a shorter story where Purkiss is taking a bit of relaxation in Malta, but comes across Oleksander Motruk, a gun runner who he knows from his past exploits.

Purkiss tries to alert British Intelligence to his presence, but they don’t seem surprised or concerned.
So he decides to investigate further for himself and is drawn in to a conspiracy and an undercover intelligence operation, which also involves Sicilian mobsters.
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on 21 October 2015
An absorbing short story centered on Malta. Some holidays are spent relaxing on a beach; some involve some sightseeing and the occasional more strenuous outdoor activity. Don't go on holiday with John Purkiss. It's all action; it's dangerous and life threatening. Getting holiday insurance would be a nightmare! A very enjoyable read.
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on 28 April 2016
Shame it was such a short story. As a novella it was to the point with all the makings of a good tale.Purkiss has good instincts. Wish it had been a bit longer.
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on 29 March 2013
For detectives and secret agents, holidays are rarely a simple matter. John Purkiss, the Ratcatcher, is both, so it's no surprise when his vacation in Malta turns up a Ukrainian ex-secret-police thug who has been off the radar for a while. Purkiss reports the undesirable presence to the British authorities, but almost immediately discovers that there may be a rat in the High Commission itself. Like Stevens' Snout, Haven is structured as a short detective story; but its mechanics work better because the characters on whom its back-and-forth suspicions fall are more thoroughly developed, and the third-person narrative means that at a couple of crucial points Purkiss can know more than the reader without the latter being cheated. It's taut, tense and nicely written, with a chilly coda where Purkiss dons the black cap via mobile phone.
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on 28 January 2013
Having read the two previous novels this short story shows the darker side of John Purkiss, a man who is struggling with his demons and some decisions he has made.

In this book he appears to be colder and not prepared to leave any lose ends. Don't be fooled, this is a short story but its packed with action and leaves you breathless.

Tim Stevens has done a great job with this one and I would urge you to read this as well as the other John Purkiss stories.
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on 11 January 2015
I have read Ratcatcher which I enjoyed and saw this short story. I found it an exciting short read with lots of twists and turns and eventually an unexpected finale.
Readers of Tim Stevens will enjoy this story and the twists and turns therein. Excellent.
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on 31 May 2016
Have to grab opportunities to read when I can, which tends to break up my attempt to follow stories, kept me wanting a resolve but tended to get me a trifle confused in my old age. OK except a couple of mine spellings halted the flow while making intended sense of the story.
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on 29 September 2015
Not a bad short story but also not a great one either. Much better to read the novels and just view this as an added extra. No particular character development, bit clunky in places.
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on 18 January 2016
Absolutely brilliant
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on 27 June 2016
Absolutely love the John Purkiss stories. Great mysteries one can really get in to. Love this author.
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