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Too Close For Comfort (Jo Birmingham 3) Paperback – 14 Mar 2013

3.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Ireland (14 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848271395
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848271395
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 375,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

Would you trust your neighbour with your life?

From the Back Cover

The Vanishing Triangle

A woman’s body is found in Ireland’s most notorious body dump zone, an area in the Dublin mountains where a number of women disappeared in the past.

Nun’s Cross

The victim is from an exclusive gated development in the suburbs – where the prime suspect in the vanishing triangle cases, Derek Carpenter, now lives. It looks like the past is coming back to haunt the present.

But DI Jo Birmingham doesn’t believe the case is open and shut. Her husband Dan was part of the original investigation team; is she trying to protect her own fragile domestic peace?

The one person who could help her crack the case, Derek’s wife Liz, is so desperate to protect her family that she is going out of her way to thwart all efforts to establish the truth.

Can both women emerge unscathed?

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I want to start by saying I liked Jo Birmingham... She is a good fictional character and I like her very human flaws and the background story. However, I can only give this book a maximum of two stars because the 'story' itself was a jumbled mess which degenerated into nonsense and at times was I think bordering on offensive. Using the Leveson inquiry and the phone hacking scandal was perhaps a good starting point - writers often use real life events to stir the imagination and I don't have a problem with this. However it all felt like Niamh O'Connor was so keen to be the first past the post that she didn't take the time to properly structure/layer the events so the story is really poor. In addition to this the use of the murder of Milly Dowler with Journalists 'posing' as sympathetic in letters to Levi Bellfield made my stomach turn... too much and too damn soon. I am not lily livered (my reading reviews will I am sure attest to that)but this went too far for me; perhaps because it wasn't done well so looked opportunistic. However, Jo Birminham was good so maybe this is not a true representation of O'Connors skill - perhaps I will go back and read the earlier stuff.
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Format: Paperback
This is the third in the Jo Bermingham series and the weakest by a mile because of ridiculous far-fetched plotlines. It's as if the author stopped taking the book seriously and started throwing every bit of nonsense in - all that's missing is an alien ship landing! It's a pity as in the earlier books she had created an engaging lead character that we believed and cared about. The author can write and managed previously to create suspense whilst intertwining the lives of Jo and her team - of which, alas, there was very little this time. The plots were always slightly exaggerated but this one took the biscuit.

Some of those plot lines
Various residents of an estate were being blackmailed and so they all stand up in front of one another making a full confession about what they were being blackmailed about - "but don't say anything to anyone as we could all go to jail" - hello!
The actions of Jo's husband twenty years ago - not credible.
A newspaper in Ireland (population 4 million) offering a reward of 500,000! What newspaper on earth could offer a reward like that?
The beneficiary of that reward (no spoilers) is totally unbelievable - and no questions raised by the hard-nosed editor of the paper!
The avenging angel with murderous intent, total and utter nonsense. This is when the book "jumped the shark" .

The book ended with two cliff-hangers so I could be tempted to read the next in the series - but please let it have a more realistic plot.
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By Clare O'Beara TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The author gets one added star from me right away for writing about Ireland; having a female lead in a position of responsibility; and addressing serious modern issues like house repossession, crooked solicitors and special needs children.

Here's what I liked about the book:
As I saw in earlier books about this main character, Jo Bermingham, she is bull-headed, disorganised in her home life with kids, and keen to keep working on a case. Therefore Jo is true to herself by continuing those character traits as she investigates a case of a vanished woman from south Dublin. The woman's body is found in a mountainous area where women have previously disappeared. The sense of loss felt by the family of one of these women is well portrayed.
The recession has caused chaos in family lives, especially middle-class people.
As a newspaper editor herself, the author incorporates many references to the phone hacking scandal at the News Of The World in the UK.
The portrayal of a young lad on the autism spectrum.

Here's what I didn't like:
I would have liked at least one decent journalist to be included, for balance.
I lost count of how many serial killers there were running around south Dublin.
The cast seemed numerous and homogenous so it was easy, reading this over a few nights, to lose track and say, which was Amanda or Ellen or Kate again? Which was Tom and which was Tim? Next time maybe a nice Indian or Polish couple has moved in next door, please.
I can accept many impossible things before breakfast, but not a seriously obese woman overpowering two fit men.
Nor a senior policeman letting anyone fake his way into his house and leaving him there without even phoning the firm the man says he came from to check.
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Format: Paperback
This is the third DI Jo Birmingham novel by Niamh O'Connor and it is as gritty as the last two and very cleverly weaves into it events clearly inspired by real crime stories, in this case the shocking tactics that one now defunk Sunday tabloid used to get stories.

Amanda Wells, solicitor has been found dead, her body dumped in the mountains in Dublin. Is the person or the place significant - it has echoes of a past case where women have disappeared in the past. One of these women was Ellen, her body never found. But her sister, Liz remembers Ellen to this day and so does Liz's husband Derek, the man who was implicated in her disappearance some years earlier. But what is the connection of Ellen and Amanda, is it all linked to Derek?

But when something happens in a close community, normally the neighbours rally round. But something does not sit right for Jo Birmingham with this case and the neighbours behave rather strangely. Secrets, lies and past histories come tumbling out. With the past case having a connection to Birmingham, via her husband who was an investigating officer it all seems a bit too close for comfort.

What unfolds over the following pages as the book reaches its climax, is sometimes spot on and at other times, rather woolly and confusing. The inserted chapters in reference to the way the journalist was working to get a story was rather eye opening but at times I could not make the connections to the main plot line - who had killed Amanda Wells and how was it related to Ellen's disappearance.
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