- 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)
The Killing Pool: Detective Fiction (Dci Billy Mccartney 1) Hardcover – 21 Mar 2013
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"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)
Detective Chief Inspector Billy McCartney must face his nemesis in this new crime thriller from Kevin Sampson.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hugely looking forward to the other 4 in the series. Best he's written? Might well be.Published on 7 Jan. 2015 by PJ Sturdee
Have been following the authors books since Powder and found this to be as enjoyable. Easy to read and enough twists to hold your interestPublished on 8 Nov. 2014 by T. MACIVOR
absolutely hated this book.
I got to page 20 before slinging it to the other side of the room, this portrayal of liverpool was insulting to the people who live there, I know... Read more
Very interesting and intriguing well written book keeps you on your toes right to the very end very enjoyable readPublished on 22 Aug. 2014 by carl whiting
Very tense book with a cleverly crafted plot line . The opening chapters are very crucial to the ending which is outstanding. Read morePublished on 14 Dec. 2013 by huyton fattie mum
A tense page turner with a few twists and turns along the way. Gets to the heart of the ugly underbelly of Merseyside!Published on 5 Dec. 2013 by Honest man
his best so far . i would have given up on him until i read Raven's review v supra. Read it . the book itself makes some demands on the reader especially the opening sequences... Read morePublished on 3 Dec. 2013 by john H
Kevin Sampson continues to improve as a writer and The Killing Pool is arguably his best book yet. The realistic character portrayal is Sampson's trademark but the twists and turns... Read morePublished on 2 Sept. 2013 by Paul Edwards