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Star Struck (PI Kate Brannigan, Book 6) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Dec 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (1 Dec. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006498329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006498322
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

All series thrillers have an element of the soap opera about them, and so it is logical that Val McDermid's sixth novel about Manchester private eye Kate Brannigan should take her into the world of television soaps. Tough computer-literate Brannigan is hired as bodyguard to the star of Northerners, which bears an uncanny resemblance to another soap filmed in Manchester. Brassy Gloria has been warned by her clairvoyant that death is in the offing, but it is the clairvoyant who gets her skull smashed with a crystal ball. Meanwhile, someone is leaking plot lines, Kate's burglar chum is accused of murder when he takes up honest work, and her staff find themselves in sexual predicaments.

There is a charm to all of this, and some intelligent puzzles competently worked through; McDermid knows, or competently invents, the social milieux she describes. The book is particularly good on the feel of the Northwest on a raw winter day--McDermid's writing gets better and better. This book, though, lacks some of the vigour of the earlier Brannigan books and their note of social protest. Her fans will have no complaints, but this is not the best of her books. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

‘Combines wit and exuberant writing with a careful and clever plot and oodles of perceptive social observation’ The Times

‘McDermid is at her best when describing the petty crimes and scams that flourish in her Northern city… the book has considerable charm’
Mail on Sunday

‘Written with fluent ease, making use of Kate Brannigan’s own distinctive voice, Star Struck is a clever novel as well as an entertaining one’
TLS

‘Contemporary feminist crime at its finest’
Good Housekeeping

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Give it a go. Keeps you enthralled until the end.
Would recommend this as another fab McDermid.
A good read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Val at her best could not put it down .
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Format: Kindle Edition
Star Struck is the sixth novel in Val McDermid's popular Kate Brannigan, Manchester-based private eye series. It’s cosy crime, and an enjoyable romp through the world of a fictitious popular TV soap that has more than a passing similarity to one we all know so well.
Intelligent, funny, street-wise P I Kate - queen of the one-liners - is employed as a bodyguard by soap star, Gloria, who has been receiving threatening letters.
The larger than life actress, like many others in this cast oF self-obsessed thespians, thrives on her regular consultations with a celebrity clairvoyant who shocks everyone when she warns of an imminent death.
Predictably, the one thing the fortuneteller fails to see in her crystal ball is her own murder.
Given this author's reputation for producing gritty, often gruesome, crime fiction, I had to keep checking the book cover to make sure this really was a Val McDermid novel. A bit different from her usual work, but it earned my four stars.
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By A Customer on 28 Sept. 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
More often than not books and films with humorous undertones tend to get less critical acclaim. Unfairly, this also seems to be the case with Val McDermid's Lindsay Gordon and Kate Brannigan books. However, after reading the superb but very dark The Mermaids Singing, and the almost more gruelling The Wire in the Blood, fans must delighted in being able to return to the light relief of Star Struck. In Star Struck, having bought out her partner in the detective agency, Kate Brannigan has gone solo. Against her better judgement Kate agrees to become the bodyguard to Gloria Kendal, star of a television drama that has disturbing similarities to Coronation Street. Once on board, the Manchester PI gets to experience the day-to-day goings on of a television star, and also manages to clear up a spot of blackmail as well as apprehend a murderer. With Star Struck Val McDermid and Kate Brannigan have come along way. The author, having now tackled various genres of crime writing, has honed her ability to give a greater depth to the heroine she created in Dead Beat in 1992. The plotting is taught, the one-liners are funny and come fast and furious, and all the characters are three dimensional and believable. Regardless of which McDermid books you prefer, they inevitably are a great read.
Adrian Muller.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Star Struck is a must for anyone who has ever watched a soap opera. McDermid takes us inside the world behind the scenes and is not at all star-struck at the antics of the cast of her ficitonal soap opera. The dialogue is, as always, very realistic and often very funny indeed. And there's a clever murder mystery worked out as well when the Seer to the Stars gets bumped off without seeing it coming.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm struggling to even justify giving this one star, as I found this book dull beyond belief. Having discovered, and become a serious fan of, Val McDermid about a year ago, I can scarcely believe that this was written by her. The Tony Hill/Carol Jordan novels and the stand alones are absolutely brilliant: the characters are engaging and realistic, the plots are well thought out and well paced, and they all have that gripping, 'unputdownable' quality that makes Val McDermid such a good writer. Reading the glib and superficial style of 'Star Struck', then, was a great disappointment to me. It seems to play for laughs on virtually every line, the characters are wooden and unappealing, and the storyline is frankly boring. Val McDermid doesn't need to do this: she's a very good writer! If you haven't read any of her other novels, please, please do not be put off by this one.
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By A Customer on 4 Oct. 1999
Format: Hardcover
More often than not books and films with humorous undertones tend to get less critical acclaim. Unfairly, this also seems to be the case with Val McDermid's Lindsay Gordon and Kate Brannigan books. However, after reading the superb but very dark The Mermaids Singing, and the almost more gruelling The Wire in the Blood, fans must delighted in being able to return to the light relief of Star Struck. In Star Struck, having bought out her partner in the detective agency, Kate Brannigan has gone solo. Against her better judgement Kate agrees to become the bodyguard to Gloria Kendal, star of a television drama that has disturbing similarities to Coronation Street. Once on board, the Manchester PI gets to experience the day-to-day goings on of a television star, and also manages to clear up a spot of blackmail as well as apprehend a murderer. With Star Struck Val McDermid and Kate Brannigan have come along way. The author, having now tackled various genres of crime writing, has honed her ability to give a greater depth to the heroine she created in Dead Beat in 1992. The plotting is taught, the one-liners are funny and come fast and furious, and all the characters are three dimensional and believable. Regardless of which McDermid books you prefer, they inevitably are a great read.
Adrian Muller.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the sixth (and so far the final) novel featuring Val McDermid’s appealing private investigator Kate Brannigan. In the run up to Christmas Kate has been retained to protect Gloria Kendal, one of the leading stars in ‘Northerners’, a hugely popular long-running soap opera set in the Manchester area (I wonder what that could be modelled upon!), who has been plagued with threatening poison pen letters.

Meanwhile her friend and self-defence trainer, Dennis, finds himself under arrest after a the body is found in a shop-squat he has been running. Convinced of Dennis’s innocence, despite his long track record of organised crime across the Manchester gangland, Kate undertakes to investigate to try to clear him. And it has started snowing heavily!

As always with Val McDermid, the plot is perfectly plausible and well-constructed, and the characters are utterly believable. She uses the plot to satirise the world of soap operas, and draws on her own experiences as a journalist to expose the traffic in leaked plotlines and cast members’ secrets. Brannigan is a great character: independent and tough, yet also capable of great emotional insight. Without the gory serial murders that characterise McDermid’s later works, this is a traditional detective story – well planned and well written.
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