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on 13 June 2017
"Clunk, clunk, clunk" - the sound of the prose in this book. I generally enjoy genealogy-based mysteries and was short of some reading material while on holiday so I purchased 3 of John Nixon's works. Mistake! What I had forgotten was how much I had disliked the previous book of his I had read. This was really no improvement.
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on 8 December 2016
The hectoring tone continues with the second book... once again an implausible plot which gets tied up far too neatly... family tree research is fraught with potential minefields but the jumping to the right conclusion, without supporting paperwork, when its so ridiculous is making me itch with irritation... the description has got better but in all the wrong places.. he describes in detail a meal that bears no relevance to the plot yet fails to describe anything about this "newly furnished house" beyond a thick carpet... over describes Jean who polishes the brass but fails to pad out the people who are leading the story... its so difficult to empathise with characters that are less than half formed by the writer... I don't know who Tina really is because we have limited description and she suddenly stops sobbing and being weak and pathetic and becomes as hard as you like... its weird...
Other reviews seem to feel this was a marked improvement on the first one but I think its just as bad.
Oh, yes, please for heavens sake number your books... its irritating having to download the lot and then try to put them in publication order... gggrrrr...
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on 25 November 2013
I am wondering how much time has elapsed between novels. I had down-loaded this one, a sequel to "Family Shadows", at the same time and did not expect to enjoy it much. However, I was pleasantly surprised, as the writing style has improved enormously. I really warmed to the characters this time and the genealogical side was not only factual, but also intriguing. No sense of being lectured to, (this time) and far more realistic dialogue made for a much more enjoyable read.
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on 15 April 2016
I wasn't over-impressed by the first book in this series, "Chasing Shadows", but having read reviews saying that the writing style had greatly improved, I decided to give the second book a try. However, I am sorry to say that I didn't find a great improvement. The writing is still very formal and verbatim and written in such an unemotional way that it is difficult to connect with any of the characters.

Although the underlying story was quite emotional, the matter-of-fact writing style prevented the emotion from coming through. And there is still an inordinate amount of time spent putting the kettle on and providing tea and biscuits. This became quite irritating after a while.

I don't think I will rush to read any more books in this series.
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on 6 July 2013
I was looking forward to this author's second book and was not disappointed. I enjoyed every bit of it and although I did manage to work out the ending before I got there I found myself unable to put the kindle down till I had finished it.
Well worth the purchase and look forward to the next one
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on 27 November 2014
ThIs book started well with a mystery of a man driving off a cliff edge while his wife lay injured in a cottage nearby. It is investigated by Madeline an amateur genealogist. The story quickly became tedious with many uninspiring characters and confusing with lots of name changing. As I read through to the bitter end I have given two stars.
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on 1 October 2016
After reading 'Family Shadows' I hadn't intended to read any more by John Nixon as, whilst the story was good, I'd found his writing style very difficult. In particular the dialogue was hard going and there was a great deal of description which attempted to set the scene but didn't provide any atmosphere. However, I allowed myself to be influenced by the reviews for his second book and I'm glad that I did. The story is good, the dialogue is better and the descriptions more atmospheric. I like the characters. As other have said, there's still a lot of tea making but even that is better, not needing a step by step description. And anyway, we're English, we make tea when chatting, discussing important events, imparting bad news and at many other important times so why wouldn't Madeleine Porter do so?
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on 23 September 2015
The story line in this novel is unbelievable especially the series of coincidental but connected events. The writing style was rather amateurish rather reminiscent of old style women's magazines. I gave it 1 star as I did finish it but I will not be purchasing any more of this authors books.
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on 22 November 2016
Way better than the first book by this Author....Lets hope the books continue to improve...I enjoyed the story much more this time...But the writing & telling of the story is still amateurish...Great not to have all the mistakes like the first book though !!!!
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on 23 September 2013
Yet another great genealogical story from John Nixon. Love the way he interweaves several stories from total strangers and the resultant connections. And loved the twist at the end about the clock.

Hope Mr. Nixon is going to give us more of these style stories. Comparable to Dan Waddell and Steve Robinson (and from me that is saying something!!).

One problem - he mentions a woman in 1955 getting Family Allowance, now if he means child benefit, that is wrong, you never got that for the first child until around 1969. I know I was born in 1953 and my parents got nothing, in fact it was not brough in for the first child until the year I left school (1969).
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