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Customer Review

112 of 127 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag, 2 May 2013
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This review is from: 48 Hours: A City of London Thriller (Kindle Edition)
The premise of this is great - 48 hours to find £250k, or your blackmailer will kill you. That's the main driver for the first victim we meet. Later victims, and some detective work by the City police, the Met and the victim + his security firm play out the who what and where.

One of the things that jarred me out of the story was the statement from the police about death threats: "It is our official position that such threats are almost always made by people who are simply letting off steam" (location 253). Sorry, but that bit doesn't work for me. The major foundation behind the story is that the polce won't help, at least initially. This is despite there being credible written warnings, long distance telephotos and a mock shooting with an army issue paintball gun.

The second is the police procedure is off by a country mile - statements being prepared at home, IT investigations being done 200 pages after a complaint etc. There's no explanation why the police allow civilians to sit in on all of the investigation. No police force would allow a victim to sit in, let alone his bodyguard, and certainly not on investigations into other crimes committed by the same criminal.

The third is the poor proofreading e.g. "I'd like you make a detailed statement" instead of "to make a detailed statement" (location 256), "He walked long the Greenwich High Road" instead of "along the Greenwich High Road" (location 295), partial capitaliations e.g. "close Protection Office", too many full stops in an ellipse ("Battery.....", location 481), misuse of terminology ("I suggest that befre you slander yourself", location 630), mistaken word use ("No-one ever entered the great halls of London with being awed" instead of without, location 689), missing words "He reached in a brough out a velvet pouch" rather than "and brought out".

As well as proofreading errors, there are inconstencies in the story detail. For example, the blackmailer wears a "City suit purchased from a supermarket back in Yorkshire" when buying a £1m painting. That sort of cheap suit would stick out like a sore thumb at a high end West London establishment. There are a number of other inconsistencies, but to avoid spoilers I won't name them here. Location 4512 is perhaps the most striking example of this.

Despite the flaws, this is actually a really good story. It's compelling, drives the reader onwards and the authorial voice is very pleasant. It feels like the version released is an unpolished manuscript rather than the finished article. A little more care and attention and I'd have happilly given this five stars. As it stands, I think this merits 7/10 or 3.5 stars.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Jun 2013, 20:02:37 BST
Vickitasker says:
Totally agree with the above.
My biggest bug bear was thee Americanisms used I.e "soccer" then a few chapters down the line reverts back to English "football"

Posted on 12 Aug 2013, 22:43:10 BST
S. McCarthy says:
I was unconvinced by the police as well, and the poor proof reading was just one example of lack of attention to detail. Others include Tunbridge Wells spelled as Tonbridge Wells (more than once), the time of noon in the Netherlands being equated to 1pm in the UK, and the Southern part of Cyprus apparently administered by Greece.

...but I did enjoy the read. 3 stars is about right

Posted on 25 Oct 2013, 15:56:51 BST
josofie says:
Thank you for the review of this book. Unfortunately I am a pedant and could not stomach the thought of reading a book with so many apparent inconsistencies and lack of grammatical correctness. A pity, because it sounds like a good story.

Posted on 20 Nov 2013, 11:57:52 GMT
I agree with almost all you said. You did however forget to mention that Josh is bit of a plonker. Never a good thing in a main character.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Mar 2014, 16:51:03 GMT
Kindlelover says:
Hi S. McCarthy, although the writer has made a mistake re spelling of "Tonbridge Wells", there is a a town called Tonbridge (correct spelling), that is situated near to Tunbridge Wells. I guess that the writer has made a strange hybrid of these two places. Just thought that might interest you.

Posted on 14 Jun 2014, 13:46:27 BST
I found the style and content engaging enough to be able to suspend belief over the police procedure, about which I have no personal experience.

I too am a grammar pedant but so far have only detected the use of "I" when it should be "me" - it did indeed grate but not enough to put me off. I'm not 1/4 of the way through yet and have been and downloaded the rest of his books.
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