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VINE VOICEon 11 February 2012
It certainly seems Kindle books draw in the crowds; I'm guessing it's the price otherwise 60000 sales would be a tall order. I believe the author has had great diffculty in getting her book published but now that it's out and about, she should be pleased with the production.

That said, this is not a book that stretches the imagination too much but it does ask you to suspend all belief in the American system. That part is probably quite easy. There are many books which do this, otherwise where would half the crime thrillers be now?

The storyline is quite ridiculous but, if you put that to one side, then there probably is a case for taking out Reality Show contenstants. However, this isn't what the book is about.

The main lead assassin who has killed on behalf of the government many times, suddenly has a twinge of conscience and sets out to find just who authorised such murders.

At the same time, dear Aunt Jolie is also tasked with the job of investigating a series of murders brought about by a hostage situation gone wrong. Not unnaturally, one thing leads to another. Aunt Jolie is, in fact, a detective, related to the ex-Attorney General, a couple of random nieces one of whom thought she was in love with the hostage taker (despite, or perhaps more likely, because of tender years), missing the fading memories of her dead husband, Danny and, as is usual, getting on with the job despite everything.

I quite liked this women, actually and was not overly impressed with the government killer. The storyline, as stated, is initially incredulous but, it does level itself out and the writing flows quite well. It has a bit of a folksy style to it in parts though there's seriousness enough in the killings as we progress through the book.

Obviously, both parties find themselves hunting the same people, trying to prevent a further bout of murders pepetrated by the owners of the book's title.

It kept me turning the pages and putting this author on my watch list. J Carson Black has written several novels in a series (Laura Cardinal) up to this release so I may well have a look at those on the strength of 'The Shop'.
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on 10 February 2012
This 'novel' is really quite bad - it has a mixed-up set of characters who all seem to be confused and not too bright.
I purchased this because of the low price, but I found its value is less than zero. Hard to believe that someone could write this - its like a daytime soap script that was rejected.
Don't bother.
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on 12 February 2012
Ok the positives!

The action is well written and there is certainly a sense of pace throughout the book. The writing certainly kept me reading but the plot does vary a bit and finding reasons for some of the actions is bit hard to take. The basic premise is also a bit flimsy and also quite predictable.

The characters; well, the main lead lady is quite well defined but has this (old hat) stereotypical fear of water. The lead male is somewhat of an antihero due to his work as a (government) hitman, or so he believes. He, with his team, have killed a lot of well known people and only after looking deeply at a photograph of his last victim is he suddenly emotionally connected and energised to question whether he has been doing the right thing! His motivation is entirely implausible and he still goes on to kill at least one entirely innocent person?

Most of the other male characters were fairly thinly written. The other female characters were also stereotypes and it was generally difficult to warm to anybody apart from the main female lead battling her subconscious issues and her weird family. I thought that the relationship with her 'friend'/cousin lacked any sense of validity.

We were taken through a fairly hectic finale - well written - and then left with a pretty depressing ending for most of those concerned. Personally, I prefer a book where there is, at least, some semblance of a reasonable outcome for someone. Of course not being dead is quite good, I suppose.

Maybe, this the first of a series of books. In any case I feel a little dissatisfied.
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on 19 May 2011
Wow! The Shop bursts out of the blocks with one of the most compelling, exciting first chapters I have ever read. Imagine if a pair of government spooks crept into the Celebrity Big Brother house and blew away the housemates one by one... It's the kind of opening that gives you tingles as you realise you have chanced upon something truly special.

J Carson Black really is a superb writer. Her hard-boiled prose gleams with menace. The plot is complex and intelligent but never confusing. The bad guys in particular, plus a naive writer, are strong characters who leap off the page. It reminded me a little of Michael Connelly or Dennis Lehane.

Apparently this book has sold huge numbers in the US and deserves to be a big hit in the UK too. If you like dark, well-written thrillers with original plots (er, who doesn't?) this is highly recommended especially at such a bargain price.

Mark Edwards
co-author of Killing Cupid and Catch Your Death
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on 7 July 2012
When I started reading this I found it a well written book, but when I read further I began to become lost with the plot. The story I found was far too complicated and vague. I know it is a tale of corruption in the high echelons of power, but I wish that more clarity should have been made with the characterisation and story. Overall not a bad effort that could have been simplified.
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VINE VOICEon 8 May 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When I first picked this up I thought it was going to be another Jack Reacher clone but was pleasantly surprised to discover I was wrong. The story is approached from two different angles as the characters investigate the conspiracy from opposite sides until circumstances push them together. Both characters were well drawn and believable and in this type of thriller we're not really looking for 100% authenticity. Overall this was a good book to take on holiday and I found it hard to put down.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I found this book annoying to be frank, it was complex, difficult to follow and implausible. It might appeal to conspiracy theorists who like violent, murderous and political tales, but for my tastes it was unpalatable.

I didn't like the characters, but I do think that it is a book my husband might enjoy - so if the genre is your thing then you might enjoy it - I just felt let down that my investment of time was not well spent.
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on 13 February 2012
Very badly written , disjointed plot jumping around in a way which makes no sense. Give this one a miss.
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on 21 February 2012
At the risk of being taken out by some shadowy government sponsored assassin, if I had to choose a word to describe this book it would be 'middling'. Like listening to a busker on the underground, I got some pleasure out of it, and do not begrudge too much the couple of quid I threw into the hat - but I won't be in any queue to buy the album. This is a pity because I thought that the initial premise of the book was good - but for me it didn't live up to its warrenty. On the plus side there is some reasonable descriptive writing ( as you might expect from a writer ) - and the characters are differentiated. On the downside, the plot hangs together like a badly fitted suit - it covers all the main areas, but tends to bulge in the wrong places ( for example why does Landry have to go to such extremes to find Cardamone when he could have just gone to his office? ), and many of the character motivations don't ring true ( Kay's seeming hatred of Jolie seems to have little basis ). To stretch the shopping analogy a little more, I won't be returning it, but equally I won't be returning either.
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on 28 March 2012
This book was promoted on Amazon's front page as being something special. it isn't. it is a run of the mill 'secret agency agent trying to make good' thriller. That's not to say that it is poorly written, because it isn't and the main character is well drawn, but there really is nothing to commend the book to readers other than those who like thrillers that stretch credibility.
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