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on 7 September 2008
I have no idea how I came by this book, a signed copy no less. It appears to be a debut novel from an author who had a reputation for writing shorter pieces. It's not my usual fayre, but I'm glad I did come by it.

This has a sense of being an old style crime novel, with old style gangsters in coastal settings and the costa del whatever. The throwback feeling sits well alongside the two chief protagonists, a freelance investigative reporter who has a mysterious camp paymaster (Charlie's Angels came to mind but as she's a reporter it would have to be Charlie's Office Angels...) together with a deceptively louche PI.

I suspect it's Magson's debut novel. If so, he is to be doubly congratulated. It works well. It is nicely paced, evenly developed, coherent, and the characters stand up well. The chief villain lacks depth but the intermediary figure he uses (an ex army fugure) has a central ambiguity which adds a little uncertainty to how the plot will resolve itself. Magson's work is short on the sort of fine detail you will find in a Crichton or a Forsythe - and he does not attempt that forensic approach, although a little more detail may evolve as he writes more, and clearly, here is a writer with more ahead of him.

The key is that we want to keep reading and we want know the answers to some things Magson holds back from us - their private lives, their futures, their motives...and wanting to know more means the author has succeeded in telling his tale. I feel sure these chracters will be back. There are open ends here sufficient to jump start any number of sequels. The fact it does feel dated is not a criminal offence. Not everything revolves around modern technology and the future of western civilisation. I can see myself quite happily ordering "another Magson".

Good stuff.
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I have been having a great time discovering the author’s works, really enjoyed the Harry Tate series and the Watchman series. This was my introduction to the first in the Riley and Palmer series, written over ten years ago. Riley is a tough female investigative reporter and Palmer is brought in to assist her and back her up. He’s ex-military police so he knows both how to investigate and to work the streets. Very pleased that he was slightly older and no ex-SF commando. Anyway the pair are investigating some murders that suggest a new power is emerging in the British underworld…
Enjoyed it, but didn’t love it as much as the other series I mention above. A solid standard thriller but less of a page turner.
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on 8 March 2009
I first read this book a few years ago, but only recently re-read it again. Adrian Magson is a great writer of believable characters and dialogue. Riley Gavin and Frank Palmer - his main characters from this series of books - are a fine addition to crime fiction. When you pick up a Magson book you can be assured of a great, fast paced and enjoyable read.
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on 9 February 2012
Once I started to read books by Adrian Magson, I had to read them all. I have enjoyed all of them. They are beautifully written, they demand that you turn the pages, the plots and characters are extremely credible; all are an excellent read.
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on 17 April 2005
Brilliant, fast moving book.
Recieved and read within 24 hours, I couldn't put it down.
Really looking forward to the next one.
Recommended to anyone!
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on 8 November 2012
this is the first book by adrian magson involving gavin & palmer an is equaly as good as his other books now looking forward to the next.
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on 16 August 2014
Love the Gavin and Palmer characters - really engaging and well-drawn - this was a really well-written page-turner ... look forward to reading more.
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on 16 February 2013
Good book but a bit predictable. I usually like books with a sting in the tail. I will most probably read another one by this author
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