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on 19 February 2014
I feel the need to make it clear at the outset that I enjoyed this story before the next sentence. I found myself in conflict over this book as the rational part of me was arguing than any normal person would go to the police as soon as he heard the message, after all who is going to give you that sort of reward for a legitimate "favour"? At the very least most would have reported their car missing, BUT the book reader in me argued that if he had done that, there wouldn't be any story so of course he couldn't. There were so many points at which Mark could have got out of this if he had just thought things through rationally.
I had so many people lined up to be the bad guys, or at least in cahoots with them, including every one of Mark's named colleagues, and at one point even his girlfriend. Despite being monumentally stupid, he does appear to have some good friends - but will one or more of them turn out to be less than a friend in the long run - who knows? There is a hint of who might be behind it at the end of the book, but is it who we are led to believe it might be? It will take another book to discover that.
I am also in two minds over the ending of the book, part of me loathes it when an author doesn't finish a story properly in one book but leaves us waiting to find out more. As a standalone book the ending is totally unsatisfactory but as a hook into a second book it is excellent.
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on 20 October 2017
I started off this book quite enjoying it - a fast read, decent synopsis, but as the book went on, it started to irritate me intensely. Ok, it's fiction, so it can be far fetched, but some semblance of reality should be maintained, and this book had little. Too many implausible facts were simply brushed aside, the main one bring the basic fact of how could someone working in a bank explain how he suddenly might be debt free and living a life of luxury, and get away with it. It made the main character look totally stupid.

The narrative was fast paced to begin with, but later on became tedious, with long sentences and page long paragraphs of, mainly, unnecessary narrative. There was a juvenile slant to the writing too.

Even by half way through, I thought I might download books two and three of the trilogy - I'm glad I didn't because I would be seen to be endorsing the first book. Read it by all means, but don't expect an overly professional story.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 June 2015
The synopsis on this sounded good and I was looking forward to getting started. It was a very easy read and instantly you can’t help but like Mark Baines, just because he is an ordinary bloke. He’s got a normal job, house and friends and could easily be somebody you know. When he is burgled he thinks it’s just bad luck and tries to get over it and carry on with his normal routine. However, when he receives a strange offer from somebody claiming to wipe his debt and pay him £1,000,000 he figures it’s all a joke. From that point on things take a rather bizarre and worrying turn.

What seems like a simple choice ends up starting a ridiculous chain reaction that will literally change his life forever. The writing was great and picks up pace as the story progresses. I certainly liked Mark as a character and I was pretty enthralled from the beginning. Having read previous reviews of this book some people say that the premise is over the top and ridiculous. I understand why some people would think that, but this is fiction. I read books such as Simon Kernick’s which sometimes border on the unrealistic, but I love them. For that reason I think this book falls into the same category. Yes it may seem implausible, but if I wanted to read something ‘true to life’ I’d be reading a Biography (yawn).

The story literally had me grabbed and I just couldn’t believe how much of a mess Mark ends up in. The other addition to the story was a character DC Ali Jacobs. She was a great addition and made it all the more interesting. Was this a little farfetched? Yes. Did I care? No. Did I really enjoy it? Yes without a doubt. I think this was a cracking story; no, it’s not the best I have read in this genre but a worthy addition to your Kindle. The other bonus about this was that the first book finished on somewhat of a cliff-hanger meaning I HAD to read the next one. I would definitely recommend this, especially as it’s less than £1 currently on Kindle.
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on 23 March 2015
Aargh! Where do I start? I know this is a work of fiction but when using police processes/policies the author should really do some research and get things right. For a start transferring to the Met is not some kind of promotion and has nothing to do with building a good reputation; you just have to apply! An under cover officer would NEVER work in their own force let alone the town where they are a uniformed cop for goodness sake, think of the risk of being recognised. It is the CROWN prosecution service not criminal prosecution service and it is the CPS who make a decision on whether or not to charge for serious crime not the D.I. Oh and the taking £200 quid after the bump is neither fraud nor taking a bribe.You are not compelled to report such an accident to the police and if you decide to take payment for any damage that's absolutely fine.
The recruitment of the undercover officer beggars belief and is actually Fraud, getting food and drinks by purporting to be famous, but the DCI seemed happy for her to potentially commit theft too so why not!
The undercover officer prompting the girlfriend about who had attacked her; really?? Also her saying they had become close over the day and a half they'd spent together, give me a break .
Now the writing was poor in places using sat or stood instead of standing or seated is just poor grammar which should have been picked up by the editor. I don't claim to always get it right but I'm not an author putting my work out there; it's basics.
The story was OK but pretty far fetched in my opinion. and what was the epilogue about with Marks father handing over money to a mysterious Asian man? Find him? He is in Belmarsh prison so surely the father would know where he is.
I finished it, it was OK but I wont be rushing for the sequel not much else to say.
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on 24 November 2014
This book was truly hard work and I don't know why I finished it. But if you're going to write a review, you've got to read it all.
The first 25% or so was just plain slow and boring. It described the hero and that should have been enough to put me off. He is probably the most stupid person I have come across. I had no sympathy for him at the start and this was compounded by the finish.
Another reviewer here said they would love to have had a red pen and edited the rubbish out of it. I totally agree, in fact it would have been a lot more rewarding than reading it.
By the time you cut out the repetitive descriptions of the plot to date, the totally unnecessary and irrelevant descriptive content, the long winded descriptive nature of every action. I think there was one page totally dedicated to getting from a to b. Including a whole paragraph on turning right!
The injuries inflicted on people seem to be self healing within hours or totally life threatening.
The coincidences built in are totally unbelievable.
And then we come back to the totally unlovable character who on every page turn I hoped was going to come to a sticky end and put us both out of our misery.
Unfortunately he didn't, and then I found out this was only book 1!!!!!!!!
Indeed the title Integration would be relevant at this point, he could integrate both books, edit it, then republish it as a 1 chapter short story.
The thought of buying a follow up leaves me feeling.......... well speechless.
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on 30 January 2014
This is a good original story spoilt by a lack of proofreading and the author's use of idiomatic grammar. Other reviewers have commented on poor grammar already, but the author should be educated enough to know that there no "curbs" alongside roads in Southampton, there is no Scotch "whiskey" in Britain, in the context "he was stood/sat", "standing/sitting" are (is?) better grammar, the pub chain is not "Weatherspoons"; as far as I know - and Wikipedia seems to confirm - "Jane Doe" is not used in Britain.... I could go on and on. The author professes to be an expert in the banking field used as the background to the story. Whether this is true or not, he would do well to do a bit of research into other areas before writing about them. I don't really believe an undercover cop would hide her warrant card in a pub toilet - it would more than likely be found by a junkie. Overall, a 4 star story let down by lack of presentation. Even the hook at the end won't persuade me to part with money to read the follow-up. I've given 3 stars because I can't give 2 and a half.
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on 16 March 2014
The product description, although brief, gives clues as to why this book is a combination of both gripping and woeful. I loved the idea; what would you do for a million pounds? There was just enough there to make me believe this would make excellent reading, especially with the mention of the early morning disturbance that apparently amounts to nothing but is a very integral part of the plot. But one of the downsides is also clear to see, only you won't realise it until you've been reading for a while. The line 'they won't take 'no' for an answer.' Those quotation marks around the word no become an irritating feature, used way too often (even to highlight the name of a property!) when italics would have been a much better option.

There is also the lack of realism, not necessarily from the way the story progresses (although there are one or two rather strange examples, namely when an attack victim is trying to explain to a supposedly intelligent police officer who her attacker was, and despite making it blatantly obvious who she was talking about the officer still doesn't get it!) What really spoils this book is the speech, not from one or two characters but ALL of them. It's so unreal at times that it's shocking. Basic rules of grammar are flouted and while the speech is technically correct, the lack of contractions just doesn't make for easy reading. Constant use of 'I am', 'it is' and so on gives the impression of trying to fill a word count rather than retaining authenticity. At school I was always taught that if you write something, read it back in your head and it doesn't sound right then it probably isn't. That rule should have been applied here many times over. If you concentrate then you can read it in the way it would be naturally spoken but it does make the writing more complicated.

But back to the good points! The plot is a good one and I love the way the incident at the beginning becomes so important towards the end. I was a little surprised at the outcome, but in a good way; it did fit well with the story and has been well thought out. The bad guys for me though take top spot; because they remain largely anonymous (especially to Mark Baines, the central character) it adds to the threat and you wonder what they could possibly do next. Nothing is obvious enough to spoil the outcome, which is maybe the best thing you can ask for in a good book.

I thoroughly enjoyed 'Integration' and will be reading the sequel, but the grammar and speech needs serious work to make it more convincing. Easily worth four stars if these issues were put right, but not so terrible as to be completely unreadable.
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on 14 September 2014
Don't often give five stars but this is an excellent read, love all Stephen Edger's books and this is the third one of his I have read now and am never disappointed, even better, it was free when I downloaded it in February. Read 'Snatched' before this one which is absolutely brilliant.

'Integration' is a real page turner, couldn't put it down just wanted to see what was going to happen next and found it very compulsive reading with a good ending. Cannot wait to read the next one, 'Redemption'.

Can thoroughly recommend Stephen's books I do not think you will be disappointed.
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on 14 March 2014
A lot of reviewers seem to think that this book is brilliant, I cant say I agree with that ...on the other hand its not bad at all, the story line bounces along nicely and most of the characters are reasonably believable.Though I struggle to believe that a female undercover cop would be working as a prostitute and manages to drug her clients!!!!
I still quiet enjoyed the book and I have actually just bought the 2nd book in the series,
A decent enough read I reckon!
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on 13 June 2012
The plot of this book is brilliant and very clever. I had no idea where it was going next and it was compulsive reading. It's a shame the writing is so clunky - I'd love to be Mr Edger's editor and found myself almost reaching for a non existant blue pencil all the time I was reading it. It's a measure of just how compulsive it is that, despite that distraction, I can't wait to start reading the next one.
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