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manhunter

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BBC News
BBC News
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5.0 out of 5 stars New convert to modern media., 5 Aug. 2015
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This review is from: BBC News (App)
Truth on the hoof. Great.


CIRCLE OF DECEIT
CIRCLE OF DECEIT
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Hero's Lust Stand, 22 Jun. 2015
This review is from: CIRCLE OF DECEIT (Kindle Edition)
This book is a brilliant study of a religious bigot and moral hypocrite. It is a convincing cameo of an ageing, basically decent man desperately searching for requited love and trying to resolve the dichotomy between what is most yearned for and what is right. Living a life shadowed and stalked by God must be unsettling, especially if that God takes it upon himself to act as Devil's Advocate, offering conflicting advice and sending a temptress to test the weakness of the flesh and firmness of the spirit. God chooses the perfect fall-guy in Charles, a septuagenarian disillusioned with a stale marriage and with enough time and energy to be led astray. He begins with a selfless mission to help ex-alcoholic, Lynsey, return to the straight and narrow but the relationship develops into imprudent risk-taking and hedonistic lust. Charles experiences ecstasy but balks at the price he has to pay. He 'prays' for a miracle to resolve the mess he has caused and it comes in the form of a clever ending. Gunn's use of an anglicised form of the Scottish dialect adds local colour and authenticity to Lynsey's character and makes her animated conversation more accessible to the average reader. The novel is a masterful study of perverted good intentions and double standards.


Blessed are the cracked
Blessed are the cracked
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5.0 out of 5 stars Manhunter's perspective, 20 May 2013
The first thing that struck me about this anthology of inter-connected novellas is that it doesn't feel like a 'collection' of short stories. The author has skillfully linked them together in a way that provides answers to questions arising from each story. That said, each one stands alone as an entertaining read that took me to the edge of my seat and made me gasp in horror at some of the abusive scenes. The setting - a west Wales farming community - imparts a very definite atmosphere, with just enough dialect and locally used phrases to make it authentic, without obscuring the understanding of non-locals.
I loved this book and hope to hear more from retired detective, Tegwyn Prydderch (also known to me as 'the Welsh Wexford!')


An Actor's Life: A Dark Comedy
An Actor's Life: A Dark Comedy
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All The World's A Stage, 4 May 2013
A two-bit actor, Terry Sparkes, settles down inside his shabby London flat in the early hours to watch the Holywood Oscar ceremony broadcast live via cable TV. He's a born loser, a Walter Mitty type who both admires and resents the main Oscar nominee, Sir Michael Brookes, whom he met decades ago as a fellow amateur actor. The story of the men's parallel yet diverse lives is revealed in a series of flash-backs in which Sparkes is seen struggling to find his real identity from behind a variety of dramatic roles, most of them dysfunctional.
Ex-pat author, Duncan Whitehead, in his new, entertaining short story, An Actor's Life, explores the fickle and shallow life of show-biz, the undignified jostling for public recognition amongst media mediocrities and the elusiveness of success in a world in which it is accepted that dog eats dog.
The lively pace of the story is achieved through the use of realistic detail, contrast (Sparkes sitting nude under a dressing gown avidly watching Sir Michael Brookes in full dress suit receiving his honours from Tom Cruise)and through Duncan Whitehead's unique brand of mischievous humour: actually landing himself a cameo role in the advertisement of his excellent debut novel, The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club.
Sparkes's long journey towards final closure is both physical and moral and the story ends with a supreme irony. The reader is left with the impression that the author has both a sense of fun and a strong sense of justice and retribution.
This is a thought-provoking, satifying read. I thoroughly recommend it.


The Fall and Rise of Gordon Coppinger
The Fall and Rise of Gordon Coppinger
by David Nobbs
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nobbs scores again!, 12 Jan. 2013
The Fall and Rise of Gordon Coppinger proves that David Nobbs can still tell a gripping story and wring the comedy potential out of quite ordinary situations. Sir Gordon is suffering a middle-life crisis; married to a woman who bores him and juggling several mistresses,he is living off shareholders' money and borrowed time. From a dysfunctional family himself, Sir Gordon's only stable relationships come from members of his staff. His life revolves around Board Meetings, football matches and pubs - in fact, the plot resembles one glorious pub crawl in which the hero's tastes plunge from £200 a bottle wine to pints of Guinness. It is only when his working class roots begin to show,that Sir Gordon realises the failure of his success. Thought provoking and very funny!


Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell Trilogy Book 1)
Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell Trilogy Book 1)
Price: £5.74

5.0 out of 5 stars manhunter, 7 Jan. 2013
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The first part of an historical trilogy that proves unquestionably that history is not dead. Hilary Mantel breathes essential life into names that form part of our national heritage but whose characters are not intimately known. Combining archives and her own inventive imagination, Hilary Mantel pulls the reader along with her, through the filthy streets of sixteenth century London and the leafy deer-filled parks of neighbouring counties, where always there is danger, intrigue and treachery. I was unable to put this book down and, having read it, I immediately bought the follow-up title, Bring Up The Bodies. Absolutely excellent reads.


Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell Trilogy Book 2)
Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell Trilogy Book 2)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars manhunter, 7 Jan. 2013
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Stomach-churning account of Tudor intrigue and tyrany. Hilary Mantel gets under the skin of her narrator, Thomas Cromwell, a lowly-born, self-made first Chancellor then Secretary to HenryVIII. Being an Arts' graduate, I knew the skeleton of the story; Mantel has added the flesh, bones and nerves. Absolutely, sickeningly BRILLIANT!


Crunch!
Crunch!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Twenty Eighty Four?, 11 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Crunch! (Kindle Edition)
The last days of a democratic system in collapse, ruled by a dictator and controlled by police; a futuristic nightmare of endless queues for depleted resources, protest marches against an inaccessible Administrator and few real people left. Iradon's request is simple but he faces insuperable obstacles; his only possession will get him nowhere. He is a man pushed to extremes, with nothing to lose. Depressingly apocalyptic.


Amsterdam Hen Weekend
Amsterdam Hen Weekend
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dutch Uncle, 11 Dec. 2012
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This is a timely warning to those contemplating an expensive hen party outing to Amsterdam. Once you've seen all the sights, sampled all the booze and drugs on offer and been chatted up by a canal crawler, you might find yourself out of your depth. Been invited to such a hen party? Chicken out!


The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club
The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club
by Duncan Whitehead
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.87

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dogberry, 9 Dec. 2012
The Gordonston Ladies' Dog Walking Club is an excellent debut novel in the black comedy/crime genre written by talented newcomer Duncan Whitehead. The pages turn thermselves in this quick-tempo satire of small town snobbery, vicious female rivalry and macho male posturing within a white middle-class enclave of a southern American state. The author writes with an observant eye, a wicked sense of humour and with more than a hint of misogyny.
The novel begins dramatically with an anoynmous male digging a grave in a Savannah suburban park - a most unlikely scenario for a contract killing. We then meet the users of the park, local residents who comprise The Gordonston Ladies' Dog Walking Club: all women who own dogs and who like to gossip when fuelled with cocktails. But this is no ordinary gathering of pooch-loving females. These are all humanoid Rottweilers, who have their own agenda, suffer from a variety of deficit systems and are motivated by their own brand of discontent. Duncan Whitehead concentrates on examining the female psyche under stress, from the beautiful but brainless Kelly, frustrated by her lack of modelling contacts, to Heidi, an old Wagnerian xenophobe with a very sharp axe to grind.
The final scene involving the latter, surrounded by her childhood memorabilia in the secret room of her house, is hilariously funny and worthy of Mel Brooks.
The hole in the park having been dug, the author leaves the reader guessing which of his characters most deserves to fill it - and they all qualify. Savannah must possess the highest proportion of misanthropists south of the Mason-Dixon Line - but therein lies the humour. This is a female-only dog walking club, where bitching is prevalent and in which it is expected that dog eats dog. The irony is that the local men are not worth fighting over, being a motley collection of frauds, wimps and opportunists - very poor specimens when compared with the one outstanding hero of the piece: Kurtze, a gifted writer, a public benefactor and charming raconteur. But, his is the most closely guarded secret of all and its revelation is the most shocking in its intensity.
Duncan Whitehead handles the strands of his story like a master, weaving and plaiting them into a seamless narrative and keeping the reader straining at the leash to find out what happens next. There is plenty left on which to build a sequel and the book, itself, would easily adapt into an exciting big screen film.


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