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on 5 October 2013
This book started off really well with some excellent descriptive narrative. Although I felt the development of the main character was cold and it was difficult to feel very much empathy with him, I came to the conclusion that was a deliberate statement of the de-humanising effect that war can have on a soldier, particularly when involved in the liberation of Nazi death camps. Even without the empathy the story line was compelling and I easily got drawn into the darker side of post war Glasgow. At this point the book was easily worth four or five stars. Then suddenly, it it seemed change from a well written narrative to a very poorly written plot outline for a Hollywood blockbuster and our "hero" changed from a bitter ex-soldier dragged unwillingly along by circumstance into an invincible super-hero. The plot became disjointed and in places ludicrous. After killing a notorious gang leader, how likely is it that the gang leader's wife would make you a cup of tea, pour you some whiskey and then tell you where the rest of the gang were? It seemed such a shame that a book which started off so well, written by someone with obvious writing talent, should suddenly descend into such poorly written pulp fiction. It was as if about two thirds of the way through he got bored with it and handed it over to someone far less talented, to finish off.
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on 13 April 2011
I had seen this book advertised at £1 as it gradually worked its way up the ratings and toyed with the idea of reading it for a while. However, despite the fact I particularly enjoy crime fiction especially when set in Scotland, for some reason it wasn't until the beginning of March that I downloaded it.

I didn't know what I had missed!

I certainly wouldn't describe it as unputdownable but it was an enjoyable and easy read. It felt to a certain extent that I had gently been led through the story of Brodie, now a journalist but formerly a soldier and then policeman, as he tries to save his childhood friend from execution. Set in the west of Scotland after WW2, the descriptions and lifestyle gave an indication of "the way it was" and conveyed the atmosphere of the period very well.

Hopefully there will be other stories based around the character of Brodie - in the meantime I will read more of this author's work as I still cannot understand why I had not been drawn to it sooner - that's definitely been my loss!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 June 2011
This is a new author for me and I must say I was impressed. Not only is this a compelling, "page" turning thriller but also a rich evocation of Scotland just after the Second World War and more particularly Glasgow and the the West of Scotland. Characters are fully developed and believable and, as a Scot, there is much authentic material about the geography, history and customs of the country that enriches the story. The author really gets over the hand-to-mouth existence for some folk in this time of austerity.
I put the word page in parentheses as I read it on my iPad and must say that as a new recruit to Kindle this is an excellent way to read a book, particularly in bed as the back-lit screen means not disturbing ones non-reading bed partner with a bed-light (and in hotels rarely provide a decent light for reading in bed) and e-readers (even the iPad) weight the same or less than a hard-back book without the hassle of physically having to turn a paper page.
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VINE VOICEon 20 November 2012
Set in Glasgow just after the war, Brodie is called back from London where he has settled to help save his friend from the gallows, for the murder of a child.

Slowly he works out something of what has been going on, and with a lawyer gets close to saving his friend. The realities of crooked cops, a judiciary less interested in action and truth than process, and the angry violence of the Glasgow gangs are the fabric for a wonderful first Brodie book from Ferris.

Any more detail will contain spoilers - suffice to say that the writing conjures the taste of smoke in the pubs, the fear of hard men and the savagery underlying Glasgow in the aftermath of the war.

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on 19 March 2017
Ferris paints a great canvas of post war Scotland from which the characters leap out in his descriptive narrative. He has a wonderful ability of creating early on an empathy between the reader and the main characters. The opening few pages draw you in very quickly and take you on a fantastic journey through the dark side of Glasgow where no one can be trusted and has you routing early on for the hero. Easily as good as Rankin. Arguably Ferris has created a more interesting character in Brodie than Rebus, time will tell! I finished the Hanging Shed in two days and I have just started Bitter Water
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on 23 January 2011
Along with other reviewers I was given a Kindle for Christmas and was looking for a first good read. I could not have chosen better, I was transported immediately to the 1940's with totally believable characters some of the people feel sure I have met at some time in my life. Brodie is a hero in the old style of heroes I simply could not put it down I was gripped from the beginning until the very end. Brodie is an adult "boys own" hero absolutely brilliant. The only disappointment is that I have now finished the book. I am really looking forward to Brodie's next outing.
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on 16 March 2013
I wasn't sure I'd enjoy this, as I don't tend to go for historical novels, but the taut writing and compelling story drew me in from page one, and I couldn't put it down. Nothing about this novel was predictable, and the gritty realism only contributed to the high stakes of the narrative. The language was incredible, the story seamless...I'd have to call this a literary thriller, in the very best sense.
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on 19 February 2012
This is an excellent read and it is a book that I found very hard to leave down. I haven't finished it yet, but I'm very close to the end of it. It is so well written and the plot is simplicity in itself but it still leaves you guessing at the twists and turns it takes right up to the very end. Gordon Ferris is an excellent author and I look forward to reading more of his material.
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on 18 January 2011
I didn't know if I'd enjoy this book, but for £1 I had nothing to lose. My first book to read on my new Kindle and i was not dissappointed, The story builds up
to a great climax.. and unlike some books i really didn't guess what was going to happen! Likeable characters and a good plot with a few surprises along the way, all
in all a very good read.
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on 4 April 2017
A good story - well told - a fine series - with a heart
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