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on 8 February 2016
I am really beginning to enjoy this series. All the character's are being developed well. Even though captain Edwards is a prat of a Rupert his is still important in the story. The relationship between crane, billy, Kim and Anderson are really enjoyable. A very good and slightly different slant on crime. Ready to start with next one first thing tomorrow or maybe tonight
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on 11 April 2014
So boring I put it in my "not worth reading" file on my kindle. I quite enjoyed the first Crane story, but this was just not worth reading - I didn't give up without a fight either, and persevered for longer than I should have because I hate to give up on a story. The two main characters (apart from the army types) were an afghan terrorist who was boring beyond belief as the writer tried to make him sinister, and a retired Gurkha soldier, who was portrayed so patronizingly it was one of the main reasons for giving up on the story.
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on 19 October 2012
I confess I haven't read the first in Ms Cartmell's series, but I found Forty days and nights very easy to get into. The plot of 40/40 was very up do date featuring athletes from the Olympics and Paraplympics, and our hero Sgt Major Crane was in charge of keeping his beady eye on them while they trained at Aldershot Army Camp.

As this pans out into an exciting thriller we have a few other interesting stories hotting up on the side - his wife is expecting their first baby and all is not 100% in that camp including whether Tom stays in the army or goes into 'civvie' street. A handful of Afghani officers are guests of the Coldstream Guards, and Tom Crane is apparently only one of a few that feels a certain uneasiness over this situation...

Wendy Cartmell obviously enjoys doing her homework with meticulous research, and I found this very gratifying. Although I'm not involved with the Army per Se, I have had years of military living and the background story is very well written.

This was an excellent read and I can honestly recommend this. It is different,exciting and I enjoyed every minute spent reading this novel.
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on 19 February 2012
A good story line by someone who understands what life in the Army is about, mixed in with a good thriller. Also the truth about the shabby way the country has treated the Ghurkas was woven into the plot so skillfully. Enjoyed every page from start to finish keeping me enthralled to the last word. ex Rifleman
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on 11 July 2012
Excellent sequel to 'Steps to Heaven', another Sgt Mjr Crane novel. The key characters are believable and robust. The plot and the writing are tight, so no time is wasted on unnecessary description, dialogue or navel-gazing - rather like Crane himself.

The set-up and execution of the story is well handled, and research has clearly been done but is not pushed at the reader.

If you like English crime novels - try this.
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on 24 January 2014
This was my first 'Sgt Major Crane' novel and I thought that the plot was decent enough. It is certainly a new and potentially very good idea to have an SIB investigator as the main character. The author doesn't have quite the style of writing I am enthralled by but that's just a personal thing. What did irritate was that the book doesn't appear to have been edited very well. Apart from the fact that I had a career as a regular soldier (though not SIB) also I have written and had published several books. During that process I learned how important a good editor is for picking up awkward grammar, errors of fact and spelling mistakes. In this novel it would have been helpful for such a person to pick up on the name of the barracks in Aldershot being St Omer - not 'St Omar' as in the book. The spelling of waving (not 'waiving') should have been noticed and there are some awkward changes of tense in sentences. Authors make mistakes, that's a given. No matter how many times you read a proof you miss a goof. That's what editors are for and in this instance the author needs to have a quiet word with her editor.
The only other point I would make is the slightly unusual style of rank when used in speech. In the whole of my career I never once heard of a Lance-corporal always being called by that title other than in very formal circumstances. Usually they were just referred to as 'Corporal'. Personally I would have preferred the use of an abbreviated title for 'Sergeant Major' as well and indeed also for 'Sergeant'. However, I accept that the usual form of address of 'Sarnt' and 'Sarnt Major' looks slightly odd when written.
I shall try the next book in the series and well done to the author for finding a new slant on detective novels.
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on 15 June 2012
After really enjoying the first Sgt Major Crane novel Steps to Heaven I was delighted to find a second, 40 Days 40 Nights. This is an edge of your seat thriller, with Sgt Major Crane battling against all the odds to save Team GB while they train on Aldershot Garrison. A topical and timely novel, that will keep you up at night reading it.
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on 26 July 2012
Another gripping read from Wendy Cartmell. Sometimes book number 2 disappoints but not in this case as Sargeant Major Crane tackles a terrorist attack. He's an appealing character and the story line is pacy and interesting. Hope to see more of Crane who has the potential to become a favourite in the world of crime novels and series.

Anymore planned Wendy? I do hope so.!
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on 15 May 2014
A soldier (on guard duty) is found dead. His neck broken. At first it appears as if it was an accident, but Sgt Major Tom Crane is not convinced.

Padam Gurung (a retired Gurkha who has moved to Britain thinking he’d be better off here than in his homeland of Nepal) can’t bear to be confined in the hovel of a flat that he shares with other retired and destitute Gurkhas, so he spends his nights wrapped in his army grey-coat watching and guarding (in his own unique way) the barracks at Aldershot. On the evening/early morning that the young soldier meets his death, Padam has seen a “smudge” at the Garrison’s sports Centre, where both the GB Olympians and Paralympians are training for the 2012 games. He is only able to let Tom Crane know what he saw after having to wait for a translator at the Gurkha Welfare Society.

More about the plot would spoil the book. The author has an interesting style of writing. It’s a very precise and very straight format, but this gives you the reader the chance to “see” the characters in their roles in the army.

I did have a favourite person in this book. Padam Gurung and I’ve learnt a huge amount about the conditions the old Gurkha soldiers have found themselves in, by thinking they’d have a better life away from Nepal. I also found myself intensely disliking Tom Crane’s immediate boss. I think it takes a gifted author to be able to evoke those types of reactions from a reader!

Overall an interesting and well executed plot.

4 Stars - Treebeard
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on 29 December 2011
This is the second Crane novel that I have read. Again it is a fast moving topical story set in a well known background, and could actually have happened if the original BOC plan to use Aldershot had been accepted. It is a story which examines the social contex of the charactors as well as the plot.

The private lives, the stress and strains of modern living, and the social problems of imigrants, are all well documented and woven in to the plot which is very topical in this day and age.

The story line is easy to read as the plot unfolds, but still leaving the reader eager for more. The end was not easly defined until the very end and therefore held the readers attention until the final page of the book.

Well done to Wendy with her second book. I look forward to reading the next in the series.

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