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on 14 April 2014
I very rarely read an entire book in a day. There is always a point where I am able to break off, resurface and get on with the rest of my life. With Cry Baby, I had no choice but to read on, and I finished it in one, perfect sitting.
This is a Just One More Chapter book. This is a book to keep you reading into the small hours, because you will (literally) be unable to put it down. The plot is woven with such skill, it will pull you from page to page, until you might actually find yourself in such a state of tension, you begin shouting into your Kindle (yes, I did that). I am very reluctant to detail anything regarding the narrative, because it would be unforgivable to spoil such spectacular twists ... but if you enjoy superb crime thrillers, you will love it. If you enjoy exceptional writing, you will love it, and if you like a story to dig a little into the shadowy corners of your own mind, then you will definitely love it.
Sit back, settle down and prepare yourself for one heck of a story ...
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on 15 April 2014
A real highpoint of the publishing year for me, is a new addition to David Jackson’s excellent Detective Callum Doyle series. But fear not, gentle (but criminally minded) reader, if you have not sampled the wares of Mr Jackson before, because Cry Baby proves an easy entry point into the pre-existing series, and then you can relish the experience of playing catch-up with the others. Everyone’s a winner…

The book grabs your interest from the get-go with a young mother, Erin Vogel, experiencing the nightmare scenario of the abduction of her baby, Georgia. To add to her general torment, she finds herself under the surveillance, both visual and audio, of the disembodied voice of her daughter’s abductor- a voice commanding her to kill six random strangers before midnight the following day. If she reneges on the deal her baby will die. Jackson ramps up the tension of this twisted mission in spades, as we bear witness to the utter mental and physical turmoil that this produces in Erin, and the fear and indecision she experiences in selecting her victims. Just how can she choose who deserves to die in order for her baby to live? This is not a premise for a story that I have encountered before and Jackson, to his credit, handles it beautifully, speeding up and slowing down Erin’s mission accordingly to keep the tension on a knife edge throughout, and I am revealing nothing more. You are in for a treat…

As I said, this is another book featuring Detective Callum Doyle, a smart-mouthed but commited New York cop, who displays all the quick-wittedness and moral integrity, that we relish in our cop protagonists. He’s not having a great day at the office, when news of these seemingly random killings break, juggling the needs of both this case and the appearance at the station of a man with Rainman abilities professing to have killed his mother. Doyle dubs him Albert, as in Einstein, and the additional narrative that develops from their interactions is both poignant and humorous, providing a sliver of light relief from the moral trials of Erin in the opposing storyline. Jackson, once again demonstrates the mordant and clever wit that his character Doyle is synonomous with, whether he be joshing on with his colleagues, or using his acerbic wit to frustrate his superiors. Its deftly handled and a real shining point of the book.

With the benefit of having read the three previous books, Pariah, The Helper and Marked, I am pleased to say that Cry Baby more than came up to scratch. I enjoyed the very singular and particular focus that this book had on one day in Doyle’s life, with less emphasis on his outside distractions. The plot was perfectly judged, both in content and pace, cut through with humour and a satisfying degree of violence! Oh- and there might be a twist or two along the way. Enjoy!
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on 14 April 2014
If you're looking for a tense thriller that will have you frantically trying to work out the puzzle of what the heck is going on, this is your book. Erin is sent on a horrific, unthinkable mission, and although she thinks she'll never be able to to it, she has no choice. Either she does what she's told, or her baby dies. Yet there is something that doesn't add up about it all, and there's the added mystery of Albert, who has turned up at the police station claiming to have killed his mother. You know they have to be linked somehow, but good luck working it out! This is the fourth in David Jackson's series featuring Detective Callum Doyle, but don't be concerned about reading this one out of sequence. It's quite different from the rest and works well on it's own - Erin is a fantastic character and you'll be rooting for her throughout, despite what she does... Saying that though, I highly recommend that you read the other three books too, because when you get to know Doyle, you'll want more - this book has the characteristic humour of the previous three, full of the types of people you wish you could meet in real life, mixed with a stylish and gritty New York setting. I really hope that there'll be a follow up to this one - Doyle is definitely one of my favourite series detectives, and David Jackson's writing is a delight.
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I have just finished this and wanted to warn people that if you start this book then make sure you have nothing else planned for the rest of your day/night! It grabs hold of you and then grabs hold some more. The action alternates between Erin,a young mum who awakes to find her baby missing and a stranger giving her a terrible decision to make if she wants to see her again, and Doyle who not only has a series of murders to solve but also has the added mystery of "Albert", a man who says he has killed his mother. You know these stories must be connected somehow hence you find yourself reading "just one more chapter"!
This is the first book I have read by David Jackson attracted by the price and great reviews and agree it can be read as a stand alone story. I now have the exciting task of playing catchup and reading the first 3 Doyle books.
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on 19 July 2014
2.5 ☆ if I was being generous.

I had great hopes for this book but it has taken me days to read rather than the hours it normally takes. It just didn't grip me. Plus, even early on in the story, the main character's responses, in words and deeds, just didn't seem likely in response to the situation she found herself in.

I liked the main police characters and I thought "Albert" was great but I think the author should credit the writers of Rain Man for all the dialogue that involved him.

The ending of the story was much better but I got there by my own perseverance rather than being drawn there by scintillating and believable writing.
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on 15 April 2014
Cry Baby! Just Wow! Another corker from David Jackson in the Calum Doyle series.

If you have read the previous three Doyle books, you will recognise that it's not so much a Doyle book as the others, but it is still a Doyle book and I do love him. You can easily read it as a standalone if you haven't read any of the previous books as a lot of the focus is on Erin and no back history is needed to read this, though I know once you've read Jackson's brilliant writing, you will want to read more! He has a unique style and wit that is easy to read and identifiable. I found myself ridiculously invested in the characters in this book and found Albert stole my heart. It was a quick read because I couldn't stop reading and I am anxiously waiting the next book Jackson writes.

Not only is it a great book, but there is some wonderful attention to detail, like the desk Sgt scene at the beginning. The man with the shoes laces tied around his feet. I Loved how the cops snorted with laughter but are instantly paragons of sobriety when he turns around.

There are some massively intense scenes in here, but so well executed you will find yourself holding your breath and you won't realise until the moment you let it go.
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on 10 October 2015
I'm gobsmacked that so many people rated this book highly. I didn't expect literature just a decent holiday read! Unfortunately it was appalling on all counts. Predictable plot - I guessed what was going on in the first few pages. And ridiculous scenarios in the police station. Unsympathetic main character - I didn't care a bit about her. Repetitive and boring narrative. Sorry this book is just rubbish!
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on 22 March 2016
David Jackson is a fairly new author to me.

Quite a few people recommended this book to me and even though it is the fourth book in the Detective Callum Doyle series, it can easily be read as a stand alone.

I haven't read the rest in this series so I am a prime example that it can be read as a stand alone though I certainly will be reading the rest of them.

As a mother, I had total empathy for Erin in the story. To wake up and realise your daughter is missing would have to be the worst feeling in the world. To get her daughter back though, Erin has to make some unimaginable choices.

This is a story that will certainly have readers questioning how far they would go for the ones they love.

Even though I don't know much about Cal's background, I have to say I am very intrigued about his relationship with his work colleague, Le Blanc. It certainly didn't spoil the story for me that I don't know much about him as the way it is written it wasn't an issue as there is very little reference to anything that will have been in the other books in the series.

Cal is very much hitting his head against a brick wall in this book. They have someone in custody that could help them catch the killer but he is getting nowhere. I could very much feel his frustration and the tension that is building.

The story very much focuses on Erin and her attempt to get her daughter back safe and well. This made the story an extremely tense read that had me on the edge of my seat.

Cry Baby should come with a warning as when you start it, the rest of the world just stops. I literally could not get enough and I didn't want to put it down until all my questions had been answered and boy I wasn't disappointed. There are certainly some hair raising moments in there.

Can't wait to read the rest of the series.
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on 6 May 2014
This book came up as a recommended read for me having just read another crime story. However, crime stories are not my usual choice of fiction and I had some reservations as I realised that it was going to be pretty gruesome at times. Nevertheless at 99p I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give it a go and I wasn't dissapointed. The plot pulled me in immediately and I suspected a massive twist to the tale was in store. Dont want to add any spoilers here but lets just say even though I was expecting a surprise I just didnt see it coming but when it did the plot all falls in to place. This is a story that you will not be able to put down for long so set some free time aside ( tip- perhaps not the best book to read alone in the park!) I want to read his other stories featuring this detective now.
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on 10 October 2014
Not the worst book I've ever read, but certainly not worth the 4 and 5 star reviews on here.

**possible spoilers!**

The faux-friendly relationship between the two police officers was cringe-worthy. I could see what the author was trying to do, but it didn't work - the 'ribbing' the older guy was giving the younger one about being gay was just awkward and not believable, and I found myself skipping through lots and lots of these chapters. It came across as a bit pointless, and more like chapter-fluffing than dialogue necessary to the story.

Erin. Not really likeable as a 'heroin', especially when she tells the bloke to go ahead and kill the baby - no mother would ever do that, no matter what the situation! I guessed fairly early on what was happening, although the bit about the ex-hubby I didn't expect.

The part with the bloke in the coffee shop was also waaaaay over the top - nobody reacts that way to something so trivial, and it all fit in far too conveniently to the story. The description of the junkie drug dealer was also a bit too 'junkie drug dealer' for me, what with his greasy hair, dirty nails, spots, dirty clothes, bad teeth... Cliche much?

Albert was an odd little addition to the story too - again, far to convenient and contrived to be realistic or in anyway 'shocking'. The numbers thing was a nice twist I suppose, but this alone certainly didn't make the book a 'page-turner'. The way the ending was all explained in one rushed paragraph was also a bit naff - and was it meant to be inside Erin's head? Was it Cal asking her questions? Was it 'The Voice'? Quite often the book flitted from first to third person narrative, and therefore I was often left wondering who said what and to whom, all a bit confusing really.

Overall I don't think I'd bother with this author again, I found myself bored most of the time and skipped through a fair bit just to get to the end. If you're looking for a good psychological thriller, a few of Sophie Hannah's earlier books are worth a read, and you can't go wrong with Nicci French, Secret Smile being a particular favourite of mine.
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