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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
110
4.5 out of 5 stars
The Doll's House (Brennan and Esposito)
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 September 2013
The dolls house is the latest book from Tania Carver ( the pseudonym for a husband and wife writing team). Don't be fooled by the innocent title as the book deals with the dark world of men who have very deviant personalities. The book opens with a murder in a unremarkable house but inside it's a different matter it appears to be a life size dolls house with a real life sized dead body posed as a doll. From the first page the book starts with a bang and continues to gain pace throughout. We meet DI Phil Brennan his wife Marina again who readers of previous books will already know. Both are dealing with issues we learnt about in past books, as well as dealing with new relationship problems. I won't give to much away as the relationship problems play an important part of the book. I though as this was the 5th book written by Tania Carver things may have slowed down but I was wrong, from the first page you will be gripped. Fast-paced and gruesome in parts this book will keep you on the edge of your seat. One small negative point I would like to make is I think it's time our 2 lead characters were given a break as they are always involved in the crimes on a personal level (how much bad luck can a couple have?) that's why I dropped a star. Perhaps Phil could just do his job from now on! Don't let this put you off as all in all A very gritty book that puts tania carver up there with some of the really good crime writers.
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I am now at the fifth of the Brennan/Esposito series by Tania Carver. It is exactly what I want in a creepy slightly unnerving thriller. This series has reached the point, where I am totally and utterly impressed.

Brennan and Esposito, plus their daughter, have moved to Birmingham, to escape the bad memories of earlier in the year. Brennan has a new department in the local police to acclimatise to and Esposito is working for Birmingham University, as a Psychology lecturer. Brennan gets a new horrific case to work on. A woman has been found dead, dressed as a doll and arranged in a tableau. It becomes more horrific, when the full details are revealed. Esposito has some trying times, as she adjusts to her new job and new colleagues.

It is such a great idea to take Brennan and Esposito to new territory. It completely refreshes the series and adds new faces. I completely approve. In fact this would be a perfect place for new fans to find the series. Marina Esposito goes through a hard time (can’t say more than that- spoilers) and this leads her to become increasingly isolated from her husband. As a psychologist, I would have assumed Marina would have told Phil. I didn’t feel it was an inconsistency, more a reveal about Marina and how she deals with trauma.

Overall this has a weird and very contemporary feel about it. I loved it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 12 November 2013
The Doll's House is the fifth in the Brennan and Esposito series. After the shock ending of the last book Marina Esposito is now working at the university in Birmingham and DI Phil Brennan has joined the police there. A new start with baby Josephine... what could go wrong?

Well... Phil quickly gets involved in the most strange of murder investigations after a woman is found dead, strangely she is dressed as a doll and sat as if she was drinking a cup of tea at a doll's tea party.

Tania Carver raises the tension swiftly and it never lets up throughout the book. With a dual narrative giving the reader insight into the killer's mind this book is nothing short of shocking. Although this isn't the first time dual narrative has been used in a crime novel in this book it soon becomes apparent that everything may not be quite as it first seems. The reader can work alongside the police trying to guess the motive of this most gruesome of murders.

Living in a new location both Brennan and Esposito have new colleagues to meet and new bonds to make, for Phil this isn't going to be straightforward with a certain level of resentment surrounding his new role. Marina is also finding her feet with her university colleagues when strange things begin to happen.

As with the previous books in this series the author doesn't hold back on gore, this is not reading for the faint-hearted, however if you are feeling brave this is a really good read and I for one am looking forward to the next in the series.
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on 23 November 2013
And not disappointed. Can't get enough of Tania Carver!!! Brennen and Esposito are back to full strength, out to catch the criminals. Nice little twist with a change of location. A fan must have!!
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on 6 November 2013
author failed to make me engage or care about the characters, to the extent where i felt nothing when one died or was in danger. very disappointing. badly written, predictable plot
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on 11 July 2013
I gave this book five stars as it was an excellent read. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a mixture of crime and psychology.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 4 July 2013
Following the previous novels where the activities of serial killers came a little too close to Marina and Phil (and baby Josephina) for comfort they relocate to Birmingham. Marina gets a job in the university and Phil joins the murder team in the local police force. Soon Phil is immersed in a gruesome and strange murder investigation with a team he is having to learn to trust and strange things have happened to Marina. Very shortly afterwards it becomes apparent that both of them are personally involved in what is happening and that lives may be at risk if they do not solve the mystery quickly.

As is usual in this series of books the mystery is convoluted and nothing is quite as it seems. The pace is quick and the new characters are realistic and interesting. The story is nowhere near as gruesome as the publicity may make you believe although it is true that this is not a cosy murder and there are some very nasty perversions at the heart of the plot.

I was dismayed that yet again the investigator and their family was at threat in this book. Will the author(s) ever give Phil and Marina a break ? I was also concerned that again the story revolves around Marina not sharing something with other people - you would have thought that she would have learned better after her experience in the last book or also because she is a psychologist who should really know why she is hiding things and rise above it.

All in all, however, this is a gripping read with plenty of action and a clever puzzle at the heart of the book. Very enjoyable.
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on 14 October 2013
I have read all of Tania Carver's books to date and have not been let down with this. She has a way of building up tension and although I had an inkling of what the outcome might be I was, nevertheless, engrossed and amazed at the ending. I can really recommend this creepy, but well written, book. Cannot wait for the next.. For anyone who has not read 'Cage of Bones' I can really recommend it - gripping to the end!
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on 13 November 2013
Hooked from page 1 - a delightfully gruesome writing that didn't disappoint! Tania Carver never fails to draw her readers into the depths of humanity. Roll on the next one!
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on 10 December 2013
Could not put this book down, well written and well thought out storyline. A fantastic read, looking forward to read her other books.
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