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The Killing Pool: Detective Fiction (Dci Billy Mccartney 1) Hardcover – 21 Mar 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (21 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224073052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224073059
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.7 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 617,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Kevin Sampson’s astringent novels takes us to mean streets of Liverpool; his language has all the demented idiosyncrasy of Elmore Leonard, with the interlacing of cut-throat humour barely undercutting the omnipresent menace. Things have changed since Raymond Chandler's day -- now British crime writers are quite as tough as the Yanks." (Barry Forshaw Independent)

"This is tough and uncompromising stuff which may not be one for the faint hearted, but if you like your crime fiction with killer twists and shout aloud reveals, then The Killing Pool is just the book for you. DeathBecomesHer chose this without hesitation as her crime novel of the year 2013." (CrimeFictionLover)

"Atmospheric thriller… Sampson is adept at keeping [the character’s] voices distinct throughout a pacy novel, with its complicated plot that is tense from beginning to end." (Liverpool Post)

"The final few paragraphs are as magnificent as they are unexpected. You will put this book down with a sense of dizzy wonder" (Sachin Nakrani)

"A ferociously compelling slice of Scouse Noir." (James Walton Reader's Digest)

Book Description

Detective Chief Inspector Billy McCartney must face his nemesis in this new crime thriller from Kevin Sampson.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"The Killing Pool" by Kevin Sampson.

I will not bother writing a Synopsis in this review; if you would like to know what this book is about, read the description or the fantastic review on here by Raven posted on 20/03/13 as that nails every aspect of the book's content. This review is merely about my interpretation and enjoyment of it.

I have never written a book review before but felt compelled to as people NEED to read this book!

Bearing in mind that I had fell out of love with reading and have struggled to have any form of literature captivate me in the last three or so years, this book has come at just the right time. Books were taking me six months to finish, reading "a few pages a night" became a chore rather than a pleasure.

It was with great `pleasure' however that I began reading `The Killing Pool' by Liverpool author Kevin Sampson. From the moment I read the first few pages, I was enthralled, lost in the dirty, seedy side of my hometown. I honestly found it difficult to put the book down. I'd read until my eyes were stinging, then as soon as I awoke, the first thing I'd reach for would be this book to continue where I'd left off the night before. I finished it in three days.

The story is set in three timelines (1984, 1997, and 2012). The `1984' story being one of the most thrilling pieces of writing that I have ever read. I felt like I lived that story. Culminating in the final scene in a restaurant in Chinatown, I was wholly consumed by the storyline and for the duration of those pages, nothing else mattered in the world.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Picked this up after getting into Sampson's 'Stars are Stars'... It's a different beast altogether but even though its more of a genre read.. it's a belter!

McCartney is a unique crimefighter... just how unique is revealed at the end in a gobsmacking way. All the characters and the locations reek of authenticity. Not much more to say other than I hope there's another McCartney on the way.
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By Raven TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 20 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover
The mean streets of Liverpool loom large in this, the first, of a projected series featuring Kevin Sampson's newest creation DCI Billy McCartney- a veritable conundrum of a character that you are guaranteed to love or loathe in equal measure. Opening with the discovery of a mutilated body exhibiting all the hallmarks of a gangland hit, the reader is instantly transported into a dark and gritty read that makes you feel positively grubby, but in such a good way...

The action unfolds across three timelines- 1984, 1997 and 2012- with each period reflecting not only the socio-economic changes of Liverpool, but also the city's increasing role at the centre of the UK drugs trade. The book reads as a twisted love letter to Liverpool with Sampson incorporating the very best and worst aspects of the city as a frame for the central plot. While I was reading the book, a stanza from Liverpool Poems by the acclaimed poet Adrian Henri kept coming to mind:

And a Polish gunman young beautiful dark glasses
combatjacket/staggers down Little St Bride St blood
dripping moaning clutches/collapses down a back jigger
coughing/falls in a wilderness of Dazwhite washing

as this to me perfectly reflected Sampson's depiction of a city courting the desire to establish itself as pulsing centre of cultural modernity and respectability `a groovy bohemian melting pot', but unable to diminsh the sordid underbelly that lurks beneath the face of the inner city. In a recent interview Sampson refers to the underworld noirish settings of `The Wire' and cites the depiction of Jo Nesbo's Oslo as points of reference for his Liverpool backdrop, and I think that he captures perfectly this pervading feeling of darkness and brutality in the shadowy world of criminality beneath the veneer.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Massively enjoyed this from Kevin Sampson. The book pulses with the sights, the sounds, the energy and the language of the city it's set in - not for nothing dubbed the Pool of Life.

Actually, the real meaning of Liverpool is from the Welsh - dirty water - and this crime thriller doesn't hesitate to plunge us right into the seedy, perhaps unchangeable side of this teeming port. The cast of characters: smack-addicted detectives, Kurdish-Scouse crime families, a poetry-quoting old dandy-villain named Shakespeare is rich with reality, never sentimentalising, but never quite losing hold of the humanity either.

I guess crime afficionados would have a long row about whether this is noir or hardboiled, police procedural or thriller. I'll just settle for saying it's compelling, engaging, breathlessly-paced, vivid. And **** brilliant. MORE!
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Format: Hardcover
A body is found in Liverpool,the victim of a brutal murder. The victim is the youngest brother of a notorious crime family but not part of the family business. The victim has information on his family's activities and reports to DCI Billy McCartney who must find the perpetrators of this heinous crime. Was it Kalan's brothers,was it another crime organisation? McCartney must use all of his experience to get to the truth before it is too late.
This is a fantastically paced,stark and brutal thriller set in three different eras, the mid 80s',late 90s' and present day Liverpool. A definite must read.
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