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on 29 January 2011
Having read and enjoyed The Hanging Shed, I went back to read the author's earlier novels. This is the first Danny Macrae story and what a cracker it is. Gripping and compelling from the very first page..wonderfully drawn characters set against the background of immediate post war London and a plot that will keep you clicking the 'Next Page' button until the early hours.
I'm now about to read the follow up, The Unquiet Heart, which will no doubt be equally enjoyable.
My only query is..where on earth has Gordon Ferris been hiding all these years? As a storyteller he is up there with the best and in Danny Macrae and Brodie (from The Hanging Shed) he has created two superb characters who can certainly live on through many more books.
Not to be missed and at the Kindle price, an absolute bargain.
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on 27 August 2007
Do you enjoy reading thrillers? Can your bed time reading keep up with the twists and turns of a complex plot and simultaneously appreciate well-developed characters and attention to historical detail? Then maybe this novel is for you. Set in the gloom of post war London the damaged mind of Danny McRae struggles with demons from the war while trying to make sense of the complications of the peace. Will he succeed or is he doomed ..and can he really make a living as a private detective? Read the book and discover for yourself ... but save it for a quiet evening because you won't be able to put it down.
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on 2 September 2007
This is a gripping and intelligently written first novel. Ferris mixes a pacey intertwined plot with great characterisation and evocative descriptions of the grey, uncertain, haphazard London immediately after World War II. He changes pace very well, and applies some very sharp dialogue in his character development. The baddies are pretty bad, the goodies suffer a lot of fear, doubt and uncertainty before their goodness starts to shine through. Altogether, a very potent and addictive cocktail - I can't wait for the next one!
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on 19 June 2009
Danny McRae is a demobbed SO agent and now that the war is over has set himself up as a private investigator. All the world at that time was trying to get back to normality but for Dann, who has no memory of a year of his life what is normality? He knows that he was in France on a mission and he knows that he was captured by the Germans, but for the rest.....
His first case is very reminiscence of what we know of the Golden Age, as beautiful elegant, upper-class Kate Graveney hires Danny to investigate the death of her lover - she says she is not certain whether she killed him, or if it was the bomb that ravaged the flat in which they were both staying.
Danny set's out on this his first investigation, but Danny is still subject to black-outs that are a result of his head injury which account for his loss of a year's memory. As he sets off on a hunt through bomb-ravaged London, he meets Valerie who seems to be on his side, something he dearly needs - someone on his side. But Valerie is elusive giving no address and just turning up out of the blue and disappearing just as abruptly.
As Danny attempts to establish whether Tony, Kate's lover died in a bombing, his blackouts raise for him questions as he reads about a brutal killer stalking London's red light district, and he wonders of just what he could be capable of when out of it.
Gradually, he begins to piece together the events leading up to his arrest in France and as he does so he becomes a threat to someone, someone who cannot risk him recovering his memory. With his handicap of not knowing Danny is stabbing around in the dark and the fact that an Inspector Wilson has it in for him doesn't help.

This is an excellent mystery with a wonderful ambiance of the mysteries of the late 1940's. It has a truly wonderful ending . Highly Recommended.
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Lizzie Hayes
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on 21 March 2011
The story is good - I won't repeat the "official" review and those from other readers. I largely agree with the other reviews, but it's clear that no-one does any proofreading at the publishers these days; instead, the authors rely totally on their "Microsoft Word" spellchecker or whatever. This book is full of capital letters in the middle of sentences and, at one point, the author says that the car "broke" when he meant "braked". Good for you if you can ignore such things and still enjoy the story, but such primary school English errors just leap out of the page at me like listening to good music with a 'jump' in the disc.

At another point, the main character apparently takes the train to Millport - a good trick considering that this small town on Great Cumbrae island in the Firth of Clyde [and not Little Cumbrae as on Google maps] can only be reached by a short ferry crossing from Largs! I found myself wondering how a Scottish author got this sort of thing wrong.

One other point, the author was clearly trying to reach a word tally for the book, so he just filled the space by going on and on about the hero's smoking habit.

Still a promising author, but one who should employ a proofreader.
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on 29 December 2007
A very enjoyable thriller. Some wonderful twists as the various threads develop and the Author created a compelling picture of downtrodden seedy post-war London. I look forward to a follow-on story of similar genre.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERon 27 November 2016
I like Gordon Ferris books - and in particular the Danny McRae series. These books area gripping read - and I can't put my Kindle down until I've finished. I always know a good book - I am disappointed when I've read it cover to cover and have to read something else. That's certainly true here. An excellent book and well worth the read.
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on 3 March 2011
A fantastic book. Like many of the other reviewers I read it via Kindle after reading The Hanging Shed - it is equally good if not better and what I want to know is why had I not heard of Gordon Ferris before now? Another book that's difficult to put down - I got off to slow start over a few days but on a rare afternoon off today finished the back half in one go, and there are very few books around that can tempt me to spend that much time on them at a sitting!

The central character is another damaged ex-Serviceman, ex-Policeman turned Private Investigator in post war London. The story works around his quest to fill in his wartime memory gaps and through a current wave of murders in Soho - the author works the scenes and characters superbly and keeps the reader guessing right to the very end whilst building suspense that keeps the pages turning effortlessly.

The quality of the writing and the utterly absorbing storyline make this book an absloute pleasure to read but on the Kindle version there is also quite a high incidence of typos and presentation issues such incorrect capitalisation and whole sections in inconsistent fonts and sizes; but whilst these can pique the pedant in you they don't really detract overall from the joy of reading it. Well done Gordon - I'm off to the Unquiet Heart now and hoping it will live up to the expectation reading this book and the Hanging Shed has raised.
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on 24 May 2011
After reading through this book in record time, it's clear to see why Gordon Ferris is the "new kid on the block", so to speak. Born in Kilmarnock, Gordon's Scottish roots are portrayed to some extent through Danny McRae, although you'd never tell the author was a former accountant by trade! For those of us too young to have experienced any or the aftermath of WW2 (me included) this is a salient introduction to life in the immediate post war period. On his website, Gordon talks about storytelling being about "life, death, love, justice, revenge", well he covers all of these in this novel and all in under 300 pages. That's what differentiates this book from the plethora of the 21st century espionage genre titles on sale today, it manages to convey all those things in a strikingly short amount of space. Before you know it it's over and you just want to get on with the sequel.

Danny McRae is not your typical all out action super hero with bulging biceps and good looks. The opposite couldn't be more true. You could say he is damaged goods, badly savaged by the Gestapo after being caught on duty somewhere between the French and German borders. He is so badly beaten he loses all recollection of one year of his life - the problem is it's a pivotal year of his life that explains his implication in several murders. Gordon Ferris therefore does a great job of intertwining life in the immediate aftermath of the war with deceit, betrayal and the hunt for a serial killer all whilst delving into the deep psychological impact of an ex war participant.

A good book should always want you craving more, the fact I just downloaded the Danny McRae sequel "The Unquiet Heart" says it all. I hope it's as good as the first. Kudos to Amazon and the kindle for making this such a bargain, it makes you wonder why people even bother watching all the garbage on TV these days, the kindle really is the future.

Enjoy!
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on 24 March 2017
One of my favourite authors. I really enjoy reading novels written in a modern style, but dealing with life before modern technology. Cannot imagine just what it was like living in the period immediately after the war. Very good book.
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