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on 11 September 2013
Life as a gangster has been going well for David Blake. Years have passed and his daughter is almost two, he has settled easily into domestic life with Sarah Mahoney, business is doing well, and no one has died... Until he gets arrested for the murder of a police officer's daughter. Not long after, his bent accountant is arrested for the brutal rape and murder of a child. Amongst all the events taking place, Davey is summoned to the UK home of an über rich Russian oligarch and pressure is put on him to use his narcotics supply route via Amsterdam to smuggle a "Joe" into Russia to kick start his plan to overthrow the Russian government. On two separate occasions, Davey is marched to a secluded spot for imminent execution, only to be saved at the last moment. No longer can he refer to himself as a "plastic" gangster as he has thoroughly immersed himself in his new role. Amongst all the mayhem, Davey desperately searches for the truth around his father's disappearance and subsequent death, only to he confronted with some harsh truths. The only way he can see matters resolving is if he dies, and a lot of thought and planning is put in place to deal with that possible eventuality. Without a doubt, this book is the best of the three. Linskey tackles some very topical issues in the book such as money laundering, terrorism, the life and influence of an exiled oligarch, not to mention the daily problems of a crime boss. The writing is fabulous. The characters are likeable and utterly believable (Palmer is now my hero with his ex-SAS background). And the storyline it magnificently unpredictable and thrilling. Whatever you do, read this book and make sure you read the other two first. It will make it so much more enjoyable. I can't wait for the next one. Well done Howard Linskey!
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on 6 November 2016
A very good final book in the David Blake trilogy. My favourite of the three, but you really do need to read the first two to grasp the full story. Less repetitive than book two, for which I was grateful.

It's contemporary and shows how organised crime has developed to become an international business which would not function without the benefit of technology.

Characters were believable and David Blake likeable, With a nice ending a very good read
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on 3 November 2017
Howard Linskey is a brilliant author and I really enjoy his books. He is head and shoulders above many of the big names in crime stories. My reason for knocking off a star is, I don't really enjoy reading books about gangsters and am glad that this is the last one in the series and hopefully, he will concentrate on police stories.
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on 12 December 2013
I love this series, each of the three books are good stories in their own right, but it helps to have read the previous ones to "The Drop" and "The Damage" before reading this. We once again follow David Blake; this time as he attempts to maintain his somewhat inherited shadowy empire, primarily set in the gritty northern streets of Newcastle. There are a few twists and turns along the way and it's a very easy read with believable prose.I like Howard Linskey's punchy straight to the point style. Overall another great addition to the David Blake series. Hope there will be more.

It doesn't make much sense but the books and characters therein remind me of scenes from "Get Carter" - (The Michael Caine version) and for no sensible reason I always imagine David Blake as Ray Liotta as he appeared in "Goodfellas"
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 September 2013
This is the third, and presumably final book in Howard Linskey's series about a Newcastle Mr Big, David Blake.

The violence and unpleasantness has stepped up a few notches from the previous book. Having said that, Linskey does not dwell overmuch on the violence, at heart this is another well paced thriller with a sympathetic but rather unpleasant hero. The book had me hooked pretty much immediately, and never let up from there. I thought the ending was particularly well done. Structurally the book follows the same pattern as its predecessor, and it is likewise lean, trimmed of any surplus prose, or meanderings. It will be interesting to see what Linskey writes next, there is so little fat in these books, that it is difficult to guess what his preoccupations might be. Personally I would suggest that he might want to dabble in writing adult graphic novels, like Greg Rucka and Andy Diggle.
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on 29 January 2014
This the third one the series which I've read and I've been saving it up as I had enjoyed the first two so much. It's a bit more far fetched than the others but I still loved it. David Blake is a gangster and a nasty piece of work but you can't help but root for him as he wrestles with various problems in his complicated life. The dialogue is brilliant and true to life with many great one-liners thrown in amongst the action and violence which moves the novel along at a terrific pace from beginning to end.
New readers should read the trilogy in order.....it makes more sense that way.....and I would love to read more about Blake, a clever, ruthless but strangely compassionate villain...
I rarely award five stars but this is worth it.
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on 8 September 2013
Unfortunately I read the three Howard Linskey books out of order and wished that I had followed David Blake from his introduction in The Drop. This was a great read, the most surprising aspect being that I was rooting for his success throughout. I never thought I would find myself siding with criminals and approving of their methods. One man allowed to serve time for a crime he did not commit, but then he deserved to serve time for others he got away with. Another left to the mercy of the victim’s father - also deserving his punishment. Good! Perhaps I would have joined the vigilante lynch mobs in past centuries.
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on 6 June 2016
Another rivetting and beautifully written story from Mr Linskey, as we follow David Blake's criminal career to it's conclusion. There is tension all the way, violence is commonplace and there is corruption in high places. Add to this criminal intrusions from the old Soviet bloc, eager to take over territory here, and you have a blockbuster of a tale - once again!
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on 1 November 2016
The final book in the David Blake trilogy and a great finale.
It's well plotted,with believable characters. The three storylines work well together.
I've really enjoyed reading this series and I'll look out for more books by Howard Linskey
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on 26 March 2016
This is basically a whole lot of little stories strung together but they all have a connection. A very nice ending and solution to a very difficult problem. I can recommend it
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