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on 10 June 2014
The first part of Simon Kernick's action-packed novella 'Dead Man's Gift' kicks off with a heart-thumping scene of murder and abduction. The seven-year-old son of Tim Horton, a prominent politician, is kidnapped, his nanny murdered.

The kidnappers are not demanding money in ransom, instead their demand is much more terrible, they want Tim to sacrifice his own life in exchange of that of his son. He's not given any further details yet. But who's behind this kidnapping? Who wants Tim dead that badly? And why? There is only one person that can help Tim in this situation.

I read this part really fast as I desperately needed to know how the story continues, only to be left with a cliffhanger at the end, which only heightened my curiosity and the urge to read the second part.
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on 20 July 2014
It’s been a while since I’ve read a serialised book. Probably the ONLY one I remember is Stephen King’s The Green Mile. Has this serialised series been a success? Well, I guess I’ll have to wait till I’ve read the last two parts but if they are anything like as satisfying as this one, then the answer is a resounding YES.

An MP arrives home to find that his son has been kidnapped and he is under tight control by the kidnappers. What can he do to solve this problem? If only he knew someone with a special knack for getting people out of impossible situations. Enter Scope.
I’ve never read any of Kernick’s Scope books before but have been a fan ever since Relentless. This book is so fast paced, you’ll get to the end before you know it. Scope is a fantastically realised character. The reluctant hero.

Kernick’s writing is breathless and fluent and with such little room in this part one, he never veers away from the main plot. I like this approach and wish my own writing could be as disciplined.

Great book, great characters. Quick read. Buy this now and you might as well get the other two parts at the same time. You won’t want to waste time coming back to the Amazon store at the end of part one.
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When his son is kidnapped the father, MP Tim Horton, turns to the one man who can help which then leads to another in the mould of the lone hero who can rescue nearly any situation. But how will he do going against a ruthless gang who have covered all the bases.

This is not really a book but a third of a part with the other 2 parts available to buy. A bit gimmicky as all 3 parts only just about make a halfway decent book.

If you are planning to get part 1 you may as well get the other 2 parts at the same time.

As parts 1,2 and 3 are parts of the same book this review has been copied to all 3 parts.
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What can I say - Simon Kernick has done it again! This was waiting for me when I woke up this morning and from page 1, it had me hooked and I ended up being late for work as I just had to finish it - I couldn't, and didn't want to, put it down.

The only thing I didn't like about it is I have to wait for Part Two!!!
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on 25 May 2014
Dead Man's Gift is a short story by Simon Kernick, which is being published in three parts. So far I have only read the first part but wow. It is certainly gripping. It has left me on the edge of the seat, really wanting to find out what's going to happen next.

The story gets straight into the action with MP Tim Horton's son being kidnapped and the nanny murdered. There is a twist in the kidnappers demands in that rather than cash, they want Tim to take his life in exchange for his sons.

I love the way the story is written. Fast paced, exciting and full of action. The characters emerge quickly and really help the story come to life. For me there have already been a couple of moments I didn't see coming. I really can't wait for part two to see what happens next.

Thank you to Random House UK, Cornerstone who provided a copy via Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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on 26 May 2014
Absolutely Fantastic.

A clever idea for a story featuring the incredible Scope and I love the way that the book has been serialised.

A brief and intense opening, a truly terrifying scenario, our reluctant hero facing seemingly impossible odds in a desperate race against time.

This will leave you on the edge of your seat, frantically waiting for the next installment, agonizing over the what the future will hold...
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on 18 August 2014
Dead Man's Gift: Part One kicks off with a lot of action from page one, it's the first instalment in a three part series that completes the whole book, I am not really a fan of reading in this way but wanted to give the first part of this series a go.

MP Tim Horton arrives home to find his seven year old son has been abducted by a ruthless gang of kidnappers. All they have left behind is the brutally murdered body of the Horton’s nanny.

The gang’s demands are simple: Tim must sacrifice his own life in order to save his son’s.

It’s the ultimate dead man’s gift..

It's an unusual kidnapping demand and Tim and his wife are reeling from the shock of what is requested, it would be much easier if all the kidnappers wanted was money.

Enter Scope, a character brought alive in a few of Kernick's novels, he is Tim's ex brother-in-law and Scope is ex-military with a load of clever skills up his very muscly sleeve including looking for those that don't want to be found. He can't say no to helping save a little boy who is under threat right?

The plot is good, the writing is easy to digest and it all flows nicely. The books are of course designed that you want to buy and read the next instalment in a series so it was expected that it would finish on a cliffhanger, and it did.

I thought it was a good read, well written but I am not feeling like I need to rush out right now to get the next instalment but it doesn't mean I won't ever, if I could have got a little bit more hooked in with this being a five star read then maybe I would feel a touch more inclined.

I wonder if books do better or worse when broken up in this format? Which is becoming more and more popular with eBook publication. I guess some will like it and some won't. I might share that this first book in the series took me less than fifteen minutes to read, I can only guess that the next two may be more substantial, otherwise it's a very short book.

The book itself, nothing wrong with it at all, good storyline, clearly presented characters, action and suspense.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 February 2015
I really love Simon Kernick’s books, but if I’m being 100% honest when I saw this was part of a ’short story’ series of books my heart sunk a little bit. I’m not a fan of short stories at the best of times and to buy a book in parts is actually one of my pet hates! Putting that to one side, when I realised this featured Scope (the fabulous character from The Siege) I wanted to read it anyway! The story wastes no time in getting started (well it can’t afford to really!), and we meet Tim Horton as he arrives home and is told by his wife that his child Max has been kidnapped.

Tim Horton is frankly a despicable man but his character was written well and then before long Scope appears (YAY). Scope is one of my favourite Kernick characters so I was glad to see him back. As usual he has been called upon for his unique way he manages to get things done. All in all, although this was a short story it was paced fabulously and had the right amount of drama going on. Although the three parts collectively are just about 150 pages I thoroughly enjoyed the book, except that I just wanted to keep reading!

For a short story this was a great read, for a Kernick book it was also his usual pacey thriller that you need to finish before you put down. This would be a great read for somebody who hasn’t maybe read Simon Kernick and wants to know whether to buy his other novels. I will wait for the next ‘proper’ length novel which I can no doubt sink my teeth in to.
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on 15 January 2015
Dead Man's Gift by Simon Kernick is written as a three part series and is a joy for the commuter at a reasonable price.
Part one: Yesterday opens with the murder of an au pair and the abduction of her charge, politician Tim Horton's son Max. The kidnappers request a strange and horrific fee for the safe return of the boy and realising that he and his wife are being observed by the kidnappers Horton enlists the help of his brother- in -law, Scope which brings us neatly on to...
Part 2: Last Night
Scope, reluctantly dragged into helping his brother-in-law soon becomes involved in a series of violent events in the company of Horton's mistress Orla . As time runs out and the deadline approaches Kernick moves us on to...

Part 3:Today
As Political events unfold and things don't go to plan for the kidnappers Scope desperately follows the only clue he has and in an adrenalin packed race chases the kidnappers to a suburban village for a showdown.
This mini series is as gritty and fast paced as Kernick's Seige - they yank you into the moment and leave you breathless and desperate for the next part.
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on 23 May 2014
Yet again Simon Kernick hits the ground running at break neck speed. Action and intrigue from the first page to the last. It's great to see Scope again and splitting the story into three parts has me impatiently waiting for the next release. If you like Simon Kernick's, books, you'll love this. Perfect for a quick read and it will leave you wanting more.
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