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A Simple Act of Violence Hardcover – 2 Oct 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (2 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752891901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752891903
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 4.5 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,440,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for "A Simple Act of Violence"
"Ellory is back with an amazing new novel. It's not only a mystery with enough plot twists to keep the most jaded fan of the genre guessing, it's also a high-speed car chase of a thriller . . . Ellory lures the reader into a Machiavellian tapestry of international proportions . . . Many writers who attempt to construct a novel with levels of geopolitical intrigue found here wind up producing a string of lame polemics or, even worse, a conspiracy-theory rant. It's a tribute to Ellory's mastery of his craft to note that he avoids these pitfalls completely. This is a superbly entertaining book and one that will endure in the reader's thoughts long after the last page turns. After several fine novels, it's high time Ellory takes his rightful place on crime fiction's A-list." -- "Booklist" Starred Review
"At the outset of this superb crime thriller from Ellory ("The Anniversary Man"), Det. Robert Miller, a veteran Washington, D.C., copN

Praise for "A Simple Act of Violence" "A police procedural thus shifts into a conspiracy thriller and historical expos? . . . There are powerful scenes and vivid images." --"Wall Street Journal"
"The backstory is ingeniously written as a first-person account of the relationship of the killer to his victims and relates how passions of the persons involved and their actions lead up to the present. The DC murder investigations, written in third person, provide a quick read and plenty of blood and gory scenes to satisfy the taste of the most bloodthirsty thriller fan. There is something for everyone in "A Simple Act of Violence" . . . This crime thriller will delight the palate of lovers of political intrigue in international venues, events that ring of historical truth, bringing the action closer to the realm of real life." --"New York Journal of Books"
"Impressive prose and pacing, coupled with a grim, unflinching view of reality that James Ellroy would recognize, make t

"A beautifully written novel that is also a great mystery." James Patterson


"The master of the genre." Clive Cussler


"A police procedural thus shifts into a conspiracy thriller and historical expose Powerful scenes and vivid images." "Wall Street Journal"


"A masterful exercise in suspense . . . This one will keep you up late reading, and then you won't be able to sleep."
"A rich, powerful, evocative novel of great psychological depth." Jonathan Kellerman
"

The master of the genre. --Clive Cussler"

A beautifully written novel that is also a great mystery.--James Patterson

The master of the genre.--Clive Cussler

A police procedural thus shifts into a conspiracy thriller and historical expose Powerful scenes and vivid images." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Washington has a new menace... a serial killer whose victims don't exist...

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read A Quiet Belief In Angels by this author and thoroughly enjoyed it, but that was quite a while ago so had pretty much forgotten just how much I enjoyed R. J. Ellory's style. This book certainly reminded me of that pretty quickly into the story.

So basically, you have Police Detective Robert Miller and his partner Al Roth, doing their best to find a serial killer known as The Ribbon Killer who badly beats his victims almost beyond recognition,ties a ribbon around their neck attached to which is a luggage tag like those put on the big toes of John Does in the USA and there's always a very strong smell of lavender on the victims. But the latest victim lacks the beatings so is this the same murderer or a copycat?

During the investigation into the death of the latest victim Catherine Sheridan, Miller has his first encounter with John Robey, a university leturer and man who appears to be without a past. While Robey becomes a prime suspect in the minds of others on the investigation team, Miller just doesn't feel that he's right for the murders. But is he?

Whilst tending to have me think I had the actual murdered sussed, on more than one occasion, it wasn't until very close to the end that I had my confusion sorted. Then as I closed the book, I realized that all the pointers to who was responsible for the murders had been right there in black and white pretty much most of the way through but just kept throwing red herrings, (fairly convincing ones I might add), at me. Shan't tell you who 'done it' because I wouldn't want to spoil things for you but if you want a really good read, this is it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a fan of RJ. This is my view is one of the great books. It is one of the great crime written dramas. There are wonderful characters and trust me you have no real idea where the story is going. It is full of twists and turns. The writing is wonderful and I cannot understand why RJ Ellroy has not been more publicly celebrated. I would love for his books to be made into films. This is a serious great book which people should take their time to read. Trust me it is worth, your time and patience

Tony Laforce, Hackney
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Other than the fact that he can get a bit wordy and occasionally takes a page and a half to say what could be said in a paragraph, I honestly don't believe anyone is writing stuff like Ellory does - every book if different and every book is class. If you haven't read him yet, you are in for a series of treats!
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By Liz Barnsley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have not read RJ Ellory before, then reading the "blurb" for this book, you might be expecting a fairly standard "serial killer thriller". If you are a "constant reader" then you will know that, despite the title, there is probably going to be nothing simple about it. Several women have been murdered in Washington - beaten then strangled to death, a smell of lavender lingers and they all have a ribbon and tag on their bodies. Initially being dealt with by several investigators, the next victim of "The Ribbon Killer", Catherine Sheridan brings Robert Miller onto the scene...in fairly short order, he is in charge of the overall investigation into all the deaths. Nothing is quite as it seems - and there I will stop discussing the plot because, trust me, you want to be discovering the truth right there along with Miller. As is usual for Mr Ellory's books, several characters resonated with me. Millar is interesting to say the least, and his interactions with another terrific character, John Robey, make for scintillating reading. I am never disappointed by this author - ever since I picked up "Candlemoth" which remains, and probably always will remain, my favourite book of his, I have come to each new read with a great sense of anticipation and he always delivers. I loved this book - at its heart it is about the lengths that any of us might go to achieve something we believe in, and how the world may judge us when we do so. Simply brilliant.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read all RJE's novels, and like many readers, I have always been transported by the beautiful prose and wonderfully woven plot. As can be observed, this author has the ability to write in many different styles, the style of A Simple Act Of Violence is very much a fast past thriller, except that it is epic in scope, and still maintains a quality of writing, which I believe sets RJE above his contemporaries.

We have two stories in this novel. First is the story set in the vividly portrayed Washington D.C, where the Ribbon Killer has burst onto the pages of a myriad of D.C broadsheets following four gruesome murders. Detective Robert Miller is charged with the responsibility of making sense of these killings, particularly that of victim number four; Catherine Sheridan. As he delves deeper, things make less sense, become more complicated, and then he comes upon a very interesting character.

This character's back story is told separately but does not make the novel in any way disjointed. Like in past RJE novels, it is interwoven gracefully. The story of the indoctrination and deployment of this character in the CIA is in my opinion Ellory's best writing to date. The research that went into to this must have been immense. Solid facts are entwined with fiction so skilfully that you cannot see the seams or the joins. The descriptions of the questionable activities of this CIA, this "Sacred Monster" provide electrifying and terrifying revelations in equal measure.

We have here a novel with wonderful depth, great characterisation, and the fastest pace of all RJE's books thus far. If you loved A Quiet Vendetta for its sheer audacity of scope, or a Quiet Belief in Angels for its wonderful characterisation, then this is veritable feast. You see, this book exceeds both of them on both fronts.

An immense achievement, go and read it I think you will love it, it is certainly at the top of my favourite ever reads. RJ Ellory is here to stay.
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