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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 17 November 2007
"White Corridor" by Christopher Fowler carries the Bryant & May series to a further level. It is, of course, a page turner, and I found I had to put it down to avoid the disappointment of reading it all in one go. Two major crime themes are cleverly interwoven against the background of Bryant and May being away from London and their Peculiar Crimes Unit. It keeps the great English detective novel genre fully alive. I think these novels are destined to last and to be read for years. There are complex turns and surprises in the plots, and the clever use of the "White Corridor" both in the mind of the young french suspect, and the great snow that ensnares Bryant and May. Oh - just go ahead and get it and read it!

Reviewed by Nick Hackney
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on 2 July 2007
The Bryant and May series blend the nostalgia of the golden age mystery story with the darkness and horrific elements that have been an element of Christopher Fowler's previous books and short stories.

The plot is described above so I won't recap, but this novel contains the humour and great characterisation that is an integral part of the other books in the series. Fans of Bryant & May will love it, as will horror/suspense and mystery readers.

Another classic (probably my favourite so far)!
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VINE VOICEon 15 September 2007
'The White Corridor' is the latest instalment in the Bryant and May series following 'Full Dark House', 'The Water Room', 'Seventy-seven Clocks' and 'Ten Second Staircase.'

Following the successful capture of The Highwayman plans are still afoot to shut down the Peculiar Crimes Unit, and prevent any more embarrassing press coverage. Bryant and May set off for Devon to attend a Spiritualist Conference and have a well-earned break. Whilst they're on their way they get caught in severe weather conditions and back at the unit one of the team is murdered. DS Janet Longbright is acting Head of the department and has to use everything she has learned from the elderly detectives in order to exonerate the other officers at the unit.

'The White Corridor' is different to the other Bryant and May novels in that it does not take place in London, which for some readers might detract from it's appeal. It is worth persevering though, because this is a real cracker!

Bryant is his usual self; 'He's only alive because it's illegal to kill him'!

As usual, brilliant. If you haven't read the other Bryant and May novels, it might be better to start at the beginning, so that you really understand the characters.
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Christopher Fowler's The White Corridor is the fifth in his Bryant and May murder mystery series which is a homage to the golden age of crime fiction and usually comes with a very strong London backdrop. This time, however, his two detectives from the Peculiar Crimes Unit - John May and Arthur Bryant - spend much of the book stuck in a snow drift in South West England.

That relocation of his the pair helps keep the book fresh even for devotees of the series as it allows some of the basic characteristics of the series to continue, but in a new and plausible form. So yes, once again, Bryant is poor at keeping his colleagues informed as to what he is up to, but being stuck miles away in the snow makes this a natural state of affairs rather than a strained repeat of a standard series formula.

The further development of both Bryant and May's characters continues in this book with a significant twist to the John May family story whilst Arthur Bryant's idiosyncrasies once again frequently steal the scene. You can see the development of the author's skill through the successive novels as by this fifth novel in the series those eccentricities are just - just - the right side of plausible whilst also being sufficiently bizarre to have great comedy effect. (A sample of the book titles we discover Bryant has in his office are "Code-Breaking in Braille" and "Colonic Exercises for Asthmatics".) This is unlike earlier in the series where Bryant's weird effect on IT strayed over the line into the clearly impossible as Fowler stretched just a little too far and tried just a little too hard for comedy effect.

The book takes a little longer to get going than previous ones in the series not only because of the (now traditional) detailed development of the main characters at the start but also because this time a new narrative thread that starts very slowly is entwined with the Peculiar Crimes Unit threads.

The heart of the plot is an homage to the classic locked room mystery - a member of the police no less is killed inside a locked room. That results in everyone in the Peculiar Crimes Unit, save for May and Bryant off in the snow, a suspect and as the story unfolds from multiple perspectives we eventually get a resolution that is both satisfying and again just - just - the right side of plausible.

The detailed regular characters in the series means it is best read in order, but there are explanations of key points from earlier volumes scattered through the text, meaning this is a series you can start out of place - such as with this volume - if you wish.
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on 21 January 2015
I bought this on my kindle and about half way through the book. As usual Christopher Fowler's books are all brilliant with great characters, with a separate story running in the background. A very good read and also well written.
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VINE VOICEon 23 November 2014
I had enjoyed four other Bryant and May books but this one was not good. I got 1/3rd of the way in and nothing had happened, We had hardly any of the two detectives and pages of other people's seemingly unconnected problems etc. |I do like to get into a detective story fairly quickly but in this case I just got bored. In the end I just gave up.
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on 19 April 2016
I find the timeline of the Bryant and May novels somewhat baffling given that they aren't in chronological order, but this one has mobile telephones so I'm fairly convinced that it's set in the modern day. It's an interesting if slightly bizarre story that follows the main police officers as they head to Plymouth for a spiritualist convention, their team as they investigate a death that's a little close to home, and a mother and son running away.

Somehow this all comes together in an entertaining plot that all makes perfect sense at the end of the day. The story moves at a good pace, surprising really given that it feels like it should be slow as there's not a massive amount of action, and as usual includes various unexpected twists and loose threads that are left dangling for future stories.

One of the nice things about this story was spending some time with the junior officers, and getting to know them better rather than sticking with the main characters, who in my head have now settled down into the images of Mainwaring and Wilson from Dad's Army.

Overall a really good mix of plotlines that I enjoyed reading. I love that I can't know what to expect with each book in this series and that they can continue to surprise and delight me, and I look forward to more of the same.
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on 18 June 2012
White Corridor (Bryant & May 5)I love all the Bryant & May books and this was no disappointment, funny and scary all at the same time. You really get to love the characters and begin to care about them. I wish he would just write more of them.And that Amazon had more on their kindle books.
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VINE VOICEon 13 July 2008
'The White Corridor' is the latest instalment in the Bryant and May series following 'Full Dark House', 'The Water Room', 'Seventy-seven Clocks' and 'Ten Second Staircase.'

Following the successful capture of The Highwayman plans are still afoot to shut down the Peculiar Crimes Unit, and prevent any more embarrassing press coverage. Bryant and May set off for Devon to attend a Spiritualist Conference and have a well-earned break. Whilst they're on their way they get caught in severe weather conditions and back at the unit one of the team is murdered. DS Janet Longbright is acting Head of the department and has to use everything she has learned from the elderly detectives in order to exonerate the other officers at the unit.

'The White Corridor' is different to the other Bryant and May novels in that it does not take place in London, which for some readers might detract from it's appeal. It is worth persevering though, because this is a real cracker!

Bryant is his usual self; 'He's only alive because it's illegal to kill him'!

As usual, brilliant. If you haven't read the other Bryant and May novels, it might be better to start at the beginning, so that you really understand the characters.
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on 13 October 2013
I must be really hard to please but this book left me somewhat nonplussed. I expected a cracking read and found a story that was convoluted and not at all convincing. It took me ages to finish as I mostly read two or three very short chapters before dropping the novel as my interest kept flagging.I remained totally unengaged throughout with the slight exception of Madeline and Johann's story. Needless to say how disappointed I was at the conclusion of their ill-fated affair. To spring something unexpected at the reader is one thing, to spring something totally unbelievable is quite another. If someone is going to turn out to be utterly unlike what you've been led to believe there must at least be signs along the way for the reader to pick up. In a way the strange death of the pathologist however grotesquely bizarre is easier to swallow than the Madeline/Johann angle unless there should be a clue in one of their names. Anyway, among the quirky characters and the more boring ones I must say I failed to register who was who (apart from Bryant and May themselves obviously) which shows how little I felt concerned by what I was reading.
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