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3.9 out of 5 stars
27
3.9 out of 5 stars


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on 12 August 2013
Another cracking, page turning Ryan Kyd adventure from Roger Hurn! This is a fast paced, exciting thriller in which the hard boiled London private detective peels away the facade and penetrates corruption at the highest echelons of the political world. I loved the previous Ryan Kyd story but think the author has written an even better one here. This is a thoroughly entertaining and darkly thought provoking read.

So in what ways is it better? First of all the introduction of the feisty Carly Bloom as Ryan's sidekick is inspired. She is a sharply drawn and sharply spoken character who delights in puncturing Ryan's occasional arrogance. The chemistry between them sparks and, once again, Roger Hurn has created a character and a relationship which has enormous potential for development in future cases. Incidentally I loved the characters of the two girls who were Carly's friends - hilarious! More of them in future cases please!

Secondly the plot has greater depth and complexity. It is far darker and, once again, the author explores ambivalent and ambiguous moralities; there are no neatly tied up, comfortable resolutions here: Roger Hurn hits hard and doesn't pull his punches.

The story contains two superb set pieces as the narrative reaches its climax that I won't go into - no spoilers here! Suffice to say, Roger Hurn's style is very visual and cinematic. The pacing is superb - it is very hard to stop reading at the end of each chapter, one is compelled to read on! Perfect for a Kindle single.

The language and dialogue crackles and contains the exaggerated similes of a Chandleresque character, this is clearly a strength of the author's. Some of his similes caused me to laugh out loud!

I really like the way Ryan exemplifies the cynicism of someone who has witnessed the corruption of the financial, commercial and political worlds; and yet Ryan is not purely an anti hero, we know that deep down it's because he cares, this is revealed through his interjections and observations to the reader. Here we have a potential Marlowe or Hammer for London in the 21st century.

My only frustration is that having read this one I genuinely want to go straight on to read more of Ryan and Carly's cases but will have to be patient! A resounding 5 stars!
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on 6 August 2013
Ooh, so excited to see a new Ryan Kyd novella. I'm coming over all fan girl, which is not at all like me! I love the way London's underbelly is uncovered in this story, the pale slime from the heart of power, to the forgotten, lost and alone.

The dialogue sparks and crackles between Ryan and his spunky assistant Carly in a way that reminds me of 'Moonlighting' in its heyday. But just when you think you can see how the plot will go, it suprises the bejesus out of you.

I just love the way this series is heading. More Ryan Kyd. More Carly. Are you listening Roger Hurn?!
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on 2 November 2015
Ok I'm of the theory that if I read enough if Roger Hurn's books then I will ultimately stumble across a crap one!! This however was not it. Yet another fantastic well written and fast moving book. The search goes on!!!!!
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on 22 December 2015
What is not to like about a PI and his attractive partner investigating a dodgy cult; old country houses with secret rooms and passage ways. Introduce corrupt politicians and Russian Mafia and you have a feast of old fashioned sluthing and young boy or ardent crime fan would lap up.
A young pretty teenager seems to have been lured into the grasp of a religious sect that wants the young and the beautiful to be part of their church. Novice PI Ryan Kyd with his new secretary/gopher,(assistant/associate in her eyes), Carly are keen to take on the case as business isn't great.
Ryan finds himself relying too much on Carly as initially she offers herself as bait and then threatens to go undercover.
It seems the Church of the Dark Light may be a front for the rich and the powerful, but their case to find the missing girl brings little reward other than threats and warnings to drop the investigation.
Almost fearing who to trust, Kyd is in deeper than he could imagine and unable to see any light amid such darkness and unchallenged evil.
Great writing with a story telling voice, Hurn has an ear for dialogue and a heart for justice.
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on 4 June 2015
The second story featuring London PI Ryan Kyd has a more sinister and grittier plot than the first, although the location and rationale are more 'escapist' than 'real life',

Asked by a client to find her missing younger sister, who had been lured by a cult called 'The Dark Light', Ryan and Carly try to infiltrate the cult's headquarters.

Discovering that the cult is a 'front' for an enterprise being bank-rolled by an emigre Russian gangster, Ryan is 'warned off' and Carly finds her life in danger.

This story introduces a new acquaintance for Ryan, the ruthless Crispian Hunt, who will both assist and manipulate Ryan in future stories.

(This story is included in the compendium volume 'Hard Cases', recommended as better value than buying the first three stories separately ; see my review of 'Hard Cases' for a fuller description of PI Ryan Kyd.)
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on 2 September 2013
Nice easy reading book, no complicated plots to confuse. Finished it very quickly but enjoyed it. Would recommend to people that don't want a book that will tax their brain too much
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on 24 August 2013
Really enjoyed this one. Main characters especially interesting. Looking forward to the next one.
Bit of an abrupt ending though.
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on 4 October 2013
Well-drawn characters and setting... a tight plot, and a feeling for terror. not the greatest crime novel, but well up the scale.
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on 5 September 2013
This was an 'entertaining' book, an easy read to have on hand between the heavier type of book. Good to pick up between jobs.
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on 6 October 2013
Couldn't put it down!! It carried me along. &i I Thoroughly enjoyed it & have bought book 2 straight away!
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