- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (7 April 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0006499988
- ISBN-13: 978-0006499985
- Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.3 x 17.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 249,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Straw Men (The Straw Men Trilogy, Book 1) Paperback – 7 Apr 2003
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With The Straw Men, Michael Marshall Smith moves impressively from being a promising author of surreal mid-list novels which draw equally on sf, fantasy and noir thriller into new and even darker territory.
Teenage Sarah is kidnapped in LA and subjected to the endless mad rants of the man who has nailed her under the floorboards, who is slowly starving her as he has others before. Burned-out cop Zandt, whose own daughter was taken and never seen again, is called back into the investigation by his FBI ex-mistress. Drunken, off-the-rails, ex-CIA Wade investigates the things which do not add up in the deaths of the parents he did not know as well as he thought he did. This is a book whose ambiguously heroic heroes share an almost comic ruthlessness with its villains and yet which never ceases to draw a clear line between the merely wrong and the profoundly wicked. Along the way, both the nature of the underlying conspiracy and the smart moves needed to track it down are created with remorseless ingenuity.
Marshall Smith has the skill to create motives and moves that are at once insane, plausible and contemporary. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
‘Just when you think there’s nothing new under the sun in the world of the suspense novel, along comes one hell of a nasty spider call The Straw Men. It’s brilliantly written and scary as hell. Be the first on your block to stay up all night with this one; it’s a masterpiece, reminding us that even paranoids really do have enemies.’ STEPHEN KING
'A staggering, suspenseful journey through the darkness of American crime … succeeds in revitalising the serial killer novel with assured gusto… A new beginning for a major British writer, whose crime debut instantly moves him into the Thomas Harris division' Guardian
‘Brilliantly plotted, stunningly written … I read this in one go … if this isn't a hit, I am a monkey's uncle. And I don't think I am’. Independent on Sunday
‘Marshall’s descriptions of people and places are memorable and evocative and he has produced and absorbing mystery with a chilling denouement’ Sunday Telegraph
‘The Straw Men is a genuinely original thriller that combines the imagination and darkness of his previous work with bolts of nerve-screaming tension … Think “The X-files” meets “Hannibal”.’ Time OutSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
I would thoroughly recommend this book to any reader who enjoys a murder/mystery thriller though would say that it goes way beyond that.
Excellent Mr Marshall! - More books of this quality please.
The book is written in two parts: in the first person which is the gripping, intruiging side of the book as Ward tried to figure out a cryptic message left by his parents; the second part, in third person, the really disturbing and - at times - formulaic side of the story.
The first person narrative is what drives on the reader to find out the past of the narrator, the third person making you wonder at the side of humanity that could sink itself so low into a pit of abhorent crime.
Does tbe book make you read late into the night to find the fate of Ward, Bobby, Nina, Zandt and Sarah? Yes.
Is the book entertainment? Possibily not.
Is it a book that leaves you uncomfortable? Most definitely.
Not a "nice" book, but then - if half what's in this book goes on in real life - it's not a nice world.
Having said that, 'The Straw Men' is a perfectly readable thriller, combining MMS's distinct style of writing with a present day real life setting.
'The Straw Men' is a twofold mystery, the main charater Ward Hopkins is trying to discover the circumstances surrounding his parents sudden deaths in a car accident and if, somehow, they are still allive. In California Zandt and Nina (ex cop and FBI agent respectively) are racing against time to find the latest victim of the serial killer known as 'The Delivery Boy' Could the two events somehow be linked?
I wasn't expecting this to be another 'Spares' so I wasn't disappointed by the different style of book that MMS has written, however I did enjoy this book greatly.
Do yourself a favour though - after you have read this book go and read 'Only Forward' or 'Spares' and find out what Michael Marshall Smith is really famous for.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautifully written, highly enjoyable thriller, keeps you captive until the end and greedy for the next book in the series.Published 8 months ago by Blackgomez
DARK, DISTURBING, CREEPY!! Just the way I like them! I really enjoy the way Micheal Marshall writes. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Warren
Thanks be - the good reviews are right this time, instead of the bad ones! Gripped you from the first page til the last. Great twisting plot, loved the characters. Read morePublished 11 months ago by elemel
Brilliant read, this book introduced me to the writing brilliance of Michael Marshall and I thought it was a gripping read from beginning to end. Highly recommended.Published 12 months ago by Kev Taylor