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on 9 February 2013
One word for this book - wow. I have eye strain from not being able to put it down. It's absolutely brilliant. I have never seem the TV show,only heard that its excellent, so I went into this with an open mind, but I was literally blown away by the pace of it; the tension never lets up.

Sarah Lund and Jan Meyer are investigating the brutal rape and murder of Nanna Birk Larsen and the murder seems to be connected to the City Hall. No one seems to care about her death; the only thing everyone is concerned about is their public image and the run up to being the Mayor. There are so many twists and turns in this incredible book they are literally breathtaking. I can usually spot the murderer in most crime books but, as the spotlight was on so many people, I was flitting from one suspect to another.

I absolutely loved the great Sarah Lund and her troubled life; and I grew to like Jan Meyer who I couldn't really take to at first.

I am just about to start reading The Killing 2 but doubt it could be anything as good as this one - or can it? - watch this space!

I can only apologise to my family and friends for being a complete and utter bookworm over the last few days.

10/10 and most definitely highly recommended.
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on 2 December 2015
Excellent condition
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on 6 July 2013
I didn't see the TV series so read the book instead. It was a good, gripping read [I do like a nice murder] but feel that my expectations may have been too high. I am going to read the next one though, so that is a recommendation in itself.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This novelisation of the TV series perfectly illustrates why some stories are suited to their original medium, and why they don't necessarily translate comfortably to another format. Which doesn't mean that fans of Nordic noir novels will be disappointed by this book: far from in. In fact, if you didn't watch the 20-part TV series then I suspect you may well enjoy this book more than I did.

David Hewson is an accomplished author of crime/thriller fiction, and I've read and enjoyed many of his other books. But this one left me cold - worse; it irritated the life out of me. That's because I was so involved with the TV show; so enthralled by its plots twists and character development and relentless pacing. But I found that what worked on TV was far less effective in print. Hewson attempts to give us some insight into what the characters are thinking, investigators and suspects alike. But when you progress to later chapters and dark secrets are revealed, their earlier behaviour comes over as incomprehensible. This is less of a problem if you're watching 20 hours of television spread over long winter months. But if you read the book fast (it's a whopper, but the writing style is so spares that it's pretty easy to scamper through) then all the inconsistencies mount up until it was hard for me to suspend any disbelief. I also couldn't match Hewson's descriptions of the characters in the book to the people I `know' from the series. His version of Lund seemed to have lost all the nuance of Sofie Grabol's performance - which is weird, because normally books add depth which films and TV programmes can't then live up to.

Normally, I try really hard to `only review the product' in isolation and *not* compare it to original source material. So if I watch a film that's been adapted from a book then I try not to think of the book, but judge the film on its own merits. I set out to treat the book of `The Killing' in the same way, but failed. That's not a criticism of the author - it's more an acknowledgement of how successful the TV series was, and how real it became for me. If you've not watched it, then I suspect you'll find this book much more enjoyable than I did.
7/10
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Alright, I confess, I still haven't seen this Danish crime series, I have only seen the US version, which I know is different (indeed its longer). After reading this though I know I want to see the original series. I don't know if the story is exactly the same as the series, or indeed if you have seen that, that you would feel this is an accurate rendering of the characters. I would expect people to have differing views on that, and so won't go into it. I think most people are aware of the story, when nineteen year old Nanna Birk Larsen is found brutally murdered, the police start their investigations. At the same time as this there are Mayoral elections in Copenhagen, and this gets caught up in the case.

In all there are three main themes throughout this story, the police investigation, the politics that are going on with the elections, and the story of the family trying to come to terms with the loss of their daughter. Although this is easier to do visually, David Hewson has managed to weave these strands together brilliantly, making this easy to follow. Obviously why this works so well, isn't just the interconnecting themes, and the dirty politicking, but also the actions of the police.

We are all familiar with the way most crime novels and dramas work, they either get the right person after lots of work, or they arrest someone, then they realise that they have got it wrong, and finish the book or show with the correct perpetrator. This however is much more realistic. Lets face it, someone is found murdered, you either manage to arrest the murderer pretty soon, or it becomes a mammoth task. With DNA not necessarily being found that is usable, and with people lying for a multitude of reasons, the police have to go on what evidence they have. This story shows that, as well as the determination of Sarah Lund, who should have left the day after the case starts, but stays on. With red herrings and new evidence turning up, she and the person who is supposed to take over from her, Jan Meyer, are on the case, Lund becoming obsessed with it.

Hewson travelled to Denmark to see the sights and meet up with Soren Sveistrup, who wrote the series to help with the writing of this book. Ultimately if the series is like this, then it is no wonder that so many countries around the world bought it to show. If you are looking for something above most crime novels, and that gives you something to really get your teeth into, then this is it.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I really enjoyed The Killing 1 on TV, at least up to about episode 13 at which point my addiction was tempered by developing irritation at the mounting implausibilities and red herrings which began, it seemed to me, to be generated more for thrills than for character and/or narrative purposes. (I think the second series was overall, better, because not so artificially stretched out.) Still, both TV series of a very high standard.

David Hewson has attempted to follow the series very closely and, in a sense, I think this is what makes the book such an irritating experience, perfectly illustrating some of the differences between a visual medium and books. (Despite claims for new insights etc these strike me as relatively minor features, though to be fair the author comes up with a more plausible and satisfying alternative ending.) The rapid cutting, short scenes and relentless pace presented in the hour long segments of the TV version becomes irritatingly staccato in print, and there is, at 610 pages, a LOT of print. It is VERY dialogue heavy, almost exclusively 'functional' dialogue which tells us things rather than revealing them, and the descriptive elements often read like film script character directions rather than fully imagined scene and character drawing. Hewson seems to me to take the flesh OFF the bones, so to speak, leaving, for this reader at least, a skeleton, something less than a novel and a mere shadow of the series it tracks.

The Killing was never boring, but for me this is. For those who enjoyed the series possbly despite some reservations, this is a similar dish without any of the seasoning, so why read it? For those who haven't seen the series, I can't really imagine why you would be tempted.
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on 19 April 2013
When I read that David Hewson had written a novel based on the Danish TV series The Killing, and despite Hewson being an established and respected author of detective crime fiction (set in Italy) I nevertheless had no intention of purchasing the book. Fortunately, I read very favourable reviews of The Killing in the media and the novel was also highly recommended in several book stores, so I decided to invest.

It is unusual for a book to be based on a TV series but Hewson has risen to the challenge remarkably well. The writing is concise and clear and the plot is almost identical to the TV series; the atmosphere of the series is masterfully reproduced and the dialogue more or less follows the TV script. The characters, although more developed in the book are essentially true to the series.

Hewson has changed the ending and while some readers may favour the original ending, I much preferred Hewson's twist which I found far more plausible. I would like to elaborate but this review would then contain spoilers. Indeed, I found the ending in the TV series very disappointing and flat but fully accept others may have a different view. However, it is worth mentioning that the book has been translated into Danish for publication in Denmark and the producers of the TV series were, apparently, very pleased with Hewson's novel.

This book is more than capable of standing alone and readers who have not watched the TV series will be hooked while those who have seen the series should still enjoy the atmospheric writing, deeper development of the characters and the alternative (better!) ending.

The novel comprises some 700 pages which, in my opinion, is normally too long for a detective novel but in this case I was totally absorbed and enjoyed every word.

I have already purchased The Killing 11 - keep up the good work David Hewson!
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on 11 August 2013
I did not watch any of the killing TV series. I must admit I for one prefer to read than watch any Tv. So when I found out that the killing was made into a book I could not wait read it. I love reading crime books. I found the killing book very intersting I was glued to the book. I got on fine with all the names throughout the story. However the killing book did take me quite a while to read all 708 pages. I would say that 708 pages for a crime book is a bit too long. I would of liked to of seen the book in a smaller version of pages like 400. I also would of liked to of seen the chapters a little shorter, as sometimes the subject changed and I was expecting a new chapter. But these are small details as The Killing is a really good crime book. I highly recommend reading the killing. But you will need to set a side a few days of reading The Killing. I have a review of this book and more books on ireadnovels wordpress com. I hope what ever book you are reading that you enjoy it. Happy reading to all readers.
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on 8 April 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have been a fan of David Hewson for years. I have read almost all of his books, and just have his very earliest to read. David has his own team of detectives working mostly out of Rome. He has also written some stunning stand-alone novels, such as The Cemetery of Secrets, which has a more mystical feel to it. His main Nic Costa series is the closest he comes to The Killing, but there would appear to be a tightly knit team working in those, whereas in The Killing we see a lone detective trying to solve a case. However, there are famous instances in the Costa series of one detective following their gut instinct and leaving everyone else standing. Nic has been reprimanded several times by Falcone for doing this, and even Falcone himself is not immune to it.

I was surprised and delighted to see that David was offered the job of turning The Killing into a novel. He is a mature writer and brings something extra to the action. I have watched the original Danish series, with subtitles, and was disappointed with the American version, which I quickly dropped. The characterization in the Danish version is flawless. Could David bring to the novel what Danish TV brought to the original?

I was even more delighted to find that I was offered a pre-release copy of this novel. I was not disappointed. The writing is tense, sharp, staccato. So much happens in the series that it is difficult to remember much of it, and I found myself re-living the scenes, and sometimes wondering whether I had missed a lot by having to concentrate on those subtitles.

One thing I noticed in another review from someone who had not seen the TV series was that Lund was described by him as calculating. However, almost every comment about the original described her as being borderline autistic. I got that message from the book, but could it be that I am influenced by my memories of the TV series? It would be a pity if details like that did not come across. The tension between her and the impulsive Meyer is certainly as strong in the book as it was in the series. She walks away from people whilst they are talking to them. She is as irritating here as she is lovable, a complex character, torn between family and a life in Sweden, and staying on because she just has to finish a case.

If you saw the original, or want to go straight to the book, I am sure this will not disappoint. There is enough there in either case. Plus, I hope you will be moved to watch the original The Killing after reading this, and to read more of David Hewson.

One final note. As of writing this, the description says 400 pages, but it is 600 large, A5 pages in my pre-release version, quite a hefty book. I found it easy to read, though, and you get a key to all those characters in it, at the front, a nice touch.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I admit I'm probably one of the few people who never caught this on TV so came to this book completely fresh - and have to say I found this far, far better than I expected. The story itself is complex and involved, taking in the byzantine negotiations in the run-up to an election as background to a murder investigation.

The writing is short and sharp with little in the way of exposition, relying on short scenes based around dialogue and action - at first I found this style a little fragmentary but soon fell into the rhythm of the narrative. I liked the way the investigation itself stops and starts, with various theories and suspects coming to the fore before the story moves on.

So this is a long book with a complicated plot which withholds its secrets right to the end - highly recommended.
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