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on 27 August 2017
Good book
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on 22 September 2011
Shocked at all the positive reviews . I found it really quite boring . Managed to finish the novel but really wished I hadn't bothered . It took me forever to read it . I could only manage a chapter at a time , it was just so tedious with the most stupid of plots , the whole American thing was just silly . Only two stars from me . .
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on 18 July 2010
I was very much looking forward to reading 'Stop Me' by Richard Jay Parker because despite it being the author's debut novel, it was receiving very good reviews. I have to say I was not at all disappointed. Right from the first mention of Leo waiting in the Chevalier Bar I found that I felt empathy towards both Leo and Laura. The use of modern technology is particularly appealing as it makes the characters very much in the 'moment'. The sinister tension grips as we get more and more deeply involved with the woe and turmoil that Leo faces trying to maintain a normality whilst trying to stop the madness. The tension never ceases, but the twists and turns as well as the major twists and turns keep you on the edge of the seat till the very end. A very good book indeed that leaves me waiting to see what follows.

Joseph Wilson 18 July 2010
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on 16 June 2010
My thoughts: What is really scary in Stop Me is its premise. Nowadays internet chain letters are such every day occurences that one cannot help but shiver at the reality of this happening: the premise of Stop Me is completely believable and could happen anyday to anyone.

The writing sets the scene as a script, you see the events play out, the characters live and breath on the scene. Due to the 3rd person narration the reader is a spectator of the story, looking on at what is happening.

The novel focuses on Leo and how he copes with the disappearance/kidnapping of his wife. Leo's struggles to wait while the police investigates to find his wife, his trying to go on with his life while not giving up hope that Laura is alive somewhere are described throughout the novel in a completely realistic and credible way. We can imagine any ordinary person would behave like this if someone close to them disappeared.

This is what I would like to highlight about Stop Me: the authenticity and realistic portrayal of events and human reactions and way of coping. Here you won't see the hero swing by and save the day, no, Leo is a completely ordinary guy, with no James Bond alter-ego. He is no superhero who takes matters into his own hands and solves the mystery. He is an everyday John Doe trusting the police and waiting home for them to bring back his wife or at least discover what has happened to her.

The end, the conclusion of the story was unexpected and shocking. Great way to finish and explain the mystery (I have to confess with the almost too realistic portrayal and approach I was afraid the story and the mystery would remain unsolved just as one can imagine it would be in real life). The end certainly elevated the story and was a worthy conclusion to the mystery.

The writing is detailed enough yet flowing and natural, Richard Jay Parker keeps the story from becoming dull or repetitive and makes it interesting even through Leo's painful struggles.

My only problem was that albeit gorgeous, the cover completely misled me as to what to expect from this story. Based on this cover I was expecting a fast paced, action packed, scary serial-killer chasing thriller, but Stop Me is rather a suspenseful mystery with drama. I enjoyed Stop Me and would recommend you to read it but it took me time to surmount my expectations and what the cover led me to believe. I feel the cover doesn't do justice to the story and doesn't represent what Stop Me is really about.

Verdict: The premise sounds exciting. The delivery is well done. But the cover leads you to believe it will be something very different than it is and initial expectations aren't easy to overcome. Would recommend this novel to anyone who loves a good mystery, but don't expect a superhero charging through and saving the day kind of action packed thriller, Stop Me is rather a suspenseful mystery novel.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 7/10
Ending: 8/10
Writing: 8/10
Cover: 4/10 Though the cover looks fantastic, I don't think it suits the story, and in my opinion does more harm than good...
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on 12 August 2012
Stop Me is relatively straightforward story, simply but competently told. This is both its strength and its weakness. The strength is it's a relatively easy read, well structured and paced, and adequately plotted. In some ways it felt like a one-off television drama fleshed out into a novel. The weakness is that story-telling lacks any real prose and for me, at least, it didn't incite any deeper thinking about the nature of people and society, particularly about disappearances and abduction. The story essentially focuses on Leo and is quite reflexive, exploring his thoughts and how he comes to terms with his wife's disappearance and his journey to discover her fate. This psychological exploration I found was mostly surface with only minor glimpses of any real emotional depth. I think my own ambivalence to Leo is that he's essentially a weak character and I found it hard to warm to his task because the reader is never introduced to Laura. It's quite difficult to care about the fate of someone who's a blank slate.
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on 14 August 2010
I thought the first 200 pages were good, then it went down hill things just pop up in this book like one sentance - it was the fall that killed him, what you think then it gets quite annoying as it continues like this, another one was "he's gay" as the reader I thought what! who cares we don't even know him. The last 20 pages were good. I brought the book on the strength of the good reviews on here, what a let down.
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on 18 August 2011
'Stop Me' is a taut and tense psychological thriller from Richard Jay Parker. Centred around main character 'Leo', it charts his path to finding the truth behind his wife's disappearance. With a great premise and utilising modern workings of the internet, 'Stop Me' is a great entry into the genre by Parker.

It's in the main character, that much of the heart of this story lies. Instant empathy can be felt for the hopelessness of the character, which is handled deftly by Parker. Whilst other characters are not explained in great detail, this does not detract from the overall feeling of the novel. 'Stop Me' is all about the story of Leo Sharpe, an ordinary man in an extraordinary situation. He makes mistakes and brave decisions. A fantastic protagonist.

The plot unfolds at a nice pace, Parker revealing layers of the story in a tense and skilful way. It's full of tension and will keep you guessing up to the last chapter. In places it is chilling and horrific, without being overtly violent or macabre.

The ending was a bit off for me. I know a lot of people will like it though, I'll be in the extreme minority on this one, I just was slightly disappointed. It didn't affect my overall enjoyment of the story however, I would still definitely recommend this to anyone. It's a great debut novel, which shows a lot of promise.

It is, at its centre, a suspenseful mystery. Cleverly plotted and full of twists and turns. Very enjoyable and well written. I'll definitely be reading Parker's next novel.
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on 27 July 2011
Firstly, this is excellent value - currently only 99p on Kindle. Unlike some of the other cheap offerings on Kindle, this was published first in paperback by a reputable small publisher so it's been looked at by a professional editor and copy-edited and proofread. For that price, it's well worth a punt if you're looking for a page-turner.

Other reviewers have explained the basic premise - a serial killer threatens to kill someone unless his email message is forwarded on to enough people so that it eventually arrives in his own in-box within a specified time-frame. A great idea although it's not actually explored that much in the book which focuses much more on the central character Leo whose girlfriend, Laura, has gone missing and is seen as a victim of the so-called 'Vacation Killer'. The book follows Leo's attempts to find out the truth about what has happened to Laura. Along the way, there are plenty of twists and turns although I was never entirely convinced by some of Leo's actions despite the detail given to his feelings and emotional turmoil. However the plot does move along effectively and the book's great strength is its ability to confound your expectations so that you are keen to carry on reading and the final resolution comes as something of a surprise.

On plot, price and accessibility, this scores very highly. Where the book is weaker is in characterisation and context. None of the characters apart from Leo and his online nemesis Bookwalter are sketched out in any convincing depth and the section of the book set in New Orleans fails to do justice to the manifold mysteries and unique atmosphere of one of America's most interesting cities.

In summary, great holiday reading, especially at this price, and I hope that the author produces another thriller as he has fine control of plotting.
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on 18 September 2011
I bought this book based on a number of very positive reviews and my liking for the genre...I'm a big fan of crime/thriller/suspense etc. and enjoy Lee Child, Stephen Leather, Peter James, Cody Mcfadyen and the like. Generally I finish a book within 3 or 4 days but this took me the best part of a month , on and off. It was dull, poorly written (I lost count of the amount (sic) of grammatical errors) and I was constantly putting it down after reading just a chapter or two. Clearly others feel differently but, for me, it was the closest I've come to not finishing a book since Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates (the most ridiculous book I've ever had the misfortune of reading....at least starting to read!).
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on 17 July 2011
I have a slight problem. I am one of those people who often sits and reads a book in one go and, as such, I am in contant need of reading fodder. This problem is exacerbated by only reading the crime/police procedural/pscyological thriller genre. I read fast, I read a lot.

I came across Stop Me on my Kindle page. Right up my alley...with a twist.

Parker has thought out of the envelope and this debut novel is not your standard crime fodder; the characters are well delineated, the pace cracks along and it keeps you guessing right up to the last page. This is an achievement, Mr Parker; me and my ilk are pretty good at figuring where the story is going and who 'dunnit'...

Leo mattered to me. The way Parker 'psychologises' Leo made him a very real person 'if X happens, then Laura is still alive' and 'if Y happens then she is dead' - the agony, the grief of this character is well drawn. This, I think, makes this a cut above similar novels in the genre and makes me think there may be good things to come from the author in the future.

Not without the odd story-telling flaw (perhaps the pace dictated a little too much) this is a decent first novel and Mr Parker will be on my list of 'authors to look out for'.
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