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review 2018-04-08 12:03
In a word....Brilliant!
Die Last - Tony Parsons

For some reason I appear to be reading the DC Max Wolfe series in reverse order, not that this really makes any difference to my enjoyment of this first class creation by our very own home bred author Tony Parsons. What sets this crime series equal to and often above the everyday police procedural is the warmth and humanity that the author instils in Max Wolfe retaining so much of the charm from Parsons earlier books (Man and Boy, Man and Wife) Make no mistake Wolfe is a no nonsense operator with an unbreakable exterior yet at the same time shielding a gentle man possessing a deep understanding of the human psyche. Just observe this paragraph when Max is deep in concentration about his dead parents...."But I saw them both after they died, and the spark that had made them the man and woman they were had gone to some other place or dissolved from the Universe. I had no idea but their souls had flown".....

 

One early cold February morning in Chinatown central London a refrigerated lorry is discovered abandoned it's owner having taken flight. Discovered inside are the frozen remains of 12 women together with 13 passports. So the race is on to locate the identity of the only live witness to this senseless massacre. This story will take Max Wolfe into the core and past of London's criminal fraternity, and in so doing he will discover the senseless barbaric migration of a poor unsuspecting people making the journey to England for the start of what they hope is a new rich fulfilling life. They will ultimately discover that they are merely merchandise or goods to be traded effectively sold into the slavery of prostitution by evil men whose true intent is exploitation and greed...."Human Trafficking, Smuggling and Slavery, the CPS will call it. Enough to put someone away for fourteen years."....

 

The author is an expert at retaining the reader's attention with his tight descriptive prose using the colourful vibrant beating heart of London as his stage..."It was very cold and I was tired. I wanted to be under the same roof as my daughter and my dog. I wanted to be away from the liars and the desperate"...."a woman who had successfully carved a career from the desires of men".... Whatever the outcome there was never going to be a happy fix or a solution to the question of illegal immigration. DC Max Wolfe as a dogged investigator hunting out the evil but ultimately what he accomplishes is merely a sticking plaster over an open wound..."Of the twelve women we discovered on that freezing morning, only Hana Novak was ever identified and claimed. I felt we had failed them all and everyone who loved them"........

 

Many thanks to the good people at netgalley and the publisher Random House UK, Cornerstone Arrow for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written......in a word Brilliant!

 

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review 2018-03-26 21:15
Wonderful wonderful storytelling
Girl On Fire: (DC Max Wolfe) - Tony Parsons

Many moons ago I read Man and Boy by Tony Parsons and was pleasantly surprised by this warm and delightful story of family relationships and a father faced with the responsibility of being the sole parent for his small son. I was aware that he had written a detective series, for some years I avoided but often wondered how it could be possible to produce such emotive writing in a totally different genre. Girl on Fire has been an amazing read combining all Parson's warmth from his earlier books with a gritty fast paced detective story engaging and shocking in equal measures.

 

"I woke up and found the world was gone" These are the opening "explosive" thoughts of DC Max Wolfe as he recovers and surveys the aftermath of a terrorist attack at a local shopping centre. Wolfe is a member of a specialist firearms unit of the Metropolitan police. Following the explosion he and his team are tasked with finding the individuals responsible, made all the more urgent when it becomes clear that an unknown number of Croatian hand grenades have..."found their way across from the Balkans to our streets"....They have been traced to two brothers Asad and Adnan Khan who also appear to be linked in some way to the shopping centre explosion. The race is on to expose the terrorist cell before more death and destruction "bloodies" the streets of London.

 

This is an astounding, intelligent, up to the minute, thriller that not only addresses terrorism on the capital's streets but also the affects such acts of hatred has on both the individuals and families involved. What happens when different cultures and beliefs collide? When social media can be used to brainwash the bad and the vulnerable? And when angry young men and women are prepared to kill for what they feel is a righteous and just cause....But this story is much more than that. The warmth, the love and values that graced the earlier books of Tony Parsons is still present and adds an extra layer of brilliance to some of the best emotive prose I have read in a very long time. There is Scout, Max Wolfe' cherished daughter, living with him but now the subject of a court battle between Wolfe and his ex "model" wife Anne. There is the harsh reality that life in a dangerous frontline policing job means friends and colleagues may be present one day and sadly gone tomorrow. There is the unquestionable love that exists between man and (his) dog (Stan)..."I lie belly-up in the sunshine, happier than you will ever be. Today I sniffed many dot butts-I celebrate by kissing your face"....There is the complex often hypocritical belief in religious teachings and the affects and fallouts that all in society must bear witness to.

 

There is an explosive start to Girl on Fire and an equally harrowing "I never expected that" conclusion. Tony Parsons has accomplished what I never thought possible by creating something new and deeply heartfelt in crime fiction. In DI Max Wolfe we have a vulnerable antihero and a story that brilliantly moulds all the jagged edges of this sorry tale together. We as readers understand and appreciate Wolfe's weaknesses. The story is real, the action is real, the people the emotions, the daily turmoil, the highs and lows of modern living are all so real and on these pages..wonderful stuff...wonderful writing.

Many thanks to the publishers Random House UK, Cornerstone Century and netgalley for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written. Highly highly Recommended.

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review 2017-03-22 01:57
Chasing after the killer who took a child
The Slaughter Man - Tony Parsons

It is hard to believe that Tony Parsons who brought us Man And Boy could write such detective story.

 

I started with this one because it was on sale. But then detective Max Wolfe is a character that seems complex enough to be real. He has a daughter and now chasing after a killer who murdered a family and took a young boy.

 

The going to the "Black Museum" is a bit strange as homicide detective could not just clock out to visit the library. A plot device to link this murder to a old murder because of the unique murder weapon.

 

Like the story because it has tension. Not enough to be an action movie. More like a dark British style drama that has some kind of reveal in the end.

 

The build up is okay. 65% done and already got some confrontation that landed the detectives in the hospital.

 

The other dimension of the story is this very detective Wolfe has a young daughter and a dog. An ex-wife who had a new family, and has pushed the daughter towards him. So, in a sense, this is Man and Girl, with a detective and a daughter who made him promise to be there for her.

 

Good story telling.  I would probably read the first one after this. 

 

 

Also, I like the additional stuff that built around the series. 

 

Like having a map to the story. And the photos of the offices. 

 

I just googled Max Wolfe and this come up. 

 

http://dcmaxwolfe.com/

 

Image result for Max Wolfe

 

Pretty cool. 

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review 2016-08-14 22:17
Dort, wo sie nie hatte sterben wollen.
Dein finsteres Herz: Detective Max Wolfes erster Fall. Kriminalroman (DS-Wolfe-Reihe, Band 1) - Tony Parsons

Das Buch startet im Prolog fulminant, mit einer düsteren, atmosphärisch dichten Szene: Ein junges Mädchen wird von einer Gruppe Jugendlicher auf grausamste Art vergewaltigt, versucht mit letzter Kraft zu fliehen, schafft es sogar noch, einen ihrer Peiniger schwer zu verletzen... Und das grausame Ende, es ereilt sie trotzdem. Ein Auftakt wie ein Paukenschlag!

Danach springt die Geschichte 20 Jahre in die Gegenwart.

Die Täter von damals werden grausam abgeschlachtet, einer nach dem anderen. (Ich muss zugeben, mein Mitleid hielt sich schwer in Grenzen.) An dieser Stelle hat man als Leser natürlich einen enormen Wissensvorsprung vor dem Ermittlerteam - man kennt zwar noch nicht das WER und WIE, aber zumindest schon das WARUM, während Max Wolfe und Co. erst einmal herausfinden müssen, was ein Politiker, ein Alkoholiker, ein Lehrer, ein Soldat, ein Künstler und ein Lebemann überhaupt gemeinsam haben.

Dieser Grundaufbau hat an sich durchaus seinen Reiz und enormes Spannungspotential! Denn die Spannung ergibt sich quasi aus der Hilflosigkeit, die man als Leser empfindet: man muss ohnmächtig mit ansehen, wie die Mordkommission im Dunkeln tappt, während der Mörder ihr immer einen Schritt voraus ist... Und jede falsche Entscheidung, jede Sackgasse und jede falsche Fährte zieht die Daumenschrauben enger.

Paradoxerweise hatte ich zwar nur Verachtung übrig für die Vergewaltiger, wollte aber dennoch, dass der Mörder geschnappt wird, bevor er ein weiteres Mal zuschlagen kann - ich konnte den Verlauf der Ermittlung jedoch oft nicht nachvollziehen, und manche in meinen Augen naheliegenden Ermittlungsansätze wurden komplett ignoriert oder zumindest nicht näher untersucht. Mir fehlte daher das Gefühl, als Leser sozusagen Teil der Ermittlung zu sein, und das dämpfte die Spannung für mich erheblich. Dazu kommt noch, dass es eine falsche Fährte gibt, die zwar viel Raum einnimmt, aber weder Max noch den halbwegs aufmerksamen Leser lange täuschen kann.

Mit dem nagenden Argwohn, das irgendetwas nicht ganz stimmte, schlug ich das Buch zu. Es dauerte eine gute halbe Stunde, bis ich darauf kam: mich plagte die Frage, was der Protagonist der Geschichte, Max Wolfe, eigentlich zur Aufklärung des Falls beigetragen hatte - und zwar durch tatsächliche Ermittlungsarbeit, nicht durch Bauchgefühl, Zufall oder die Arbeit bzw das Wissen anderer Leute. Mir fielen nur zwei oder drei Dinge ein, die im Grunde allerdings gar nicht so wichtig für die Auflösung waren!

Der Schluss konnte mich auch nicht vollends überzeugen. Das WIE war zu diesem Zeitpunkt schon lange geklärt, das WARUM trug der Leser schon seit dem Prolog mit sich rum, und das WER hatte für mich einen schalen Beigeschmack, denn es erschien mir wie eine seltsame Mischung aus vorhersehbar und unglaubwürdig. Die Hintergrundgeschichte der jugendlichen Vergewaltiger, über die man am Ende noch mehr erfährt, bedient außerdem das ein oder andere Klischee.

Auch Max, die Hauptfigur der Geschichte, entspricht einem gewissen Archetyp: er ist der Querschläger, der gegen den Strom schwimmt und sich auch über direkte Anweisungen seiner Vorgesetzten hinwegsetzt, wenn es sein muss - denn er sieht mehr als andere, verkauft seine Ideale für nichts und niemanden, kann auch mal hart zuschlagen und hat einfach im Gespür, wenn jemand schuldig ist (oder auch nicht). Außerdem ist eine Ehe (natürlich) gescheitert.

Schön fand ich, dass Tony Parsons aus diesem Schema ausbricht, indem er Max zum liebevollen Vater einer kleinen Tochter und ebenso liebevollem Herrchen eines kleinen Hundes macht. Die Szenen mit den beiden gehören für mich zu den authentischsten, lebendigst geschriebenen des Buches.

Die Liebesgeschichte erschien mir dagegen sehr aufgesetzt. Sie kam für mich aus heiterem Himmel, da habe ich mich allen Ernstes gefragt, ob ich zwischendrin ein Kapitel überblättert habe! Ich fand sie vollkommen unnötig, denn sie hat keinen wirklichen Einfluss auf den Verlauf der Geschichte.

Der Schreibstil gefiel mir ausgesprochen gut. In ein paar Rezensionen habe ich Meinungen gelesen, er sei hölzern, gestelzt, übertrieben literarisch oder auch langweilig, aber das habe ich überhaupt nicht so empfunden. Gerade in einem Krimi oder Thriller finde ich den Widerspruch sehr reizvoll - den Kontrast zwischen dem grausamen Inhalt und einem Schreibstil, der verschiedene Nuancen von rasant-brachial bis leise-poetisch beherrscht.

Fazit:
"Dein finsteres Herz" ist in meinen Augen ein Debütroman mit viel Potential, der dieses Potential aber noch nicht vollständig ausschöpft. Die Grundidee ist interessant und verspricht atemlose Spannung, diese Spannung wird aber immer wieder ausgebremst von einem Ermittler, der genau genommen wenig ermittelt. Max Wolfe war mir zwar sehr sympathisch, er konnte mir in diesem ersten Band aber noch nicht wirklich zeigen, was in ihm steckt - allzu oft kommt er nicht weiter durch brillante Ermittlung, sondern durch Zufall, Intuition und die harte Arbeit anderer Leute.

Der größte Pluspunkt war für mich der interessante Schreibstil, das größte Manko eine halbherzige, unnötige Liebesgeschichte. Im Ganzen aber fand ich das Buch trotz einiger Kritikpunkte durchaus unterhaltsam.

Source: mikkaliest.blogspot.de/2016/08/dein-finsteres-herz-von-tony-parsons.html
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review 2016-05-19 19:39
The Hanging Club by Tony Parsons
The Hanging Club (DC Max Wolfe) - Tony Parsons

BLURB:

 

A band of vigilante executioners roam London's hot summer nights, abducting evil men and hanging them by the neck until dead.

SENTENCED TO DEATH
- The gang member who's abused vulnerable girls.
- The wealthy drunk driver who's mowed down a child.
- The hate preacher calling for the murder of British soldiers.

As the bodies pile up and riots explode across the sweltering city, DC Max Wolfe hunts a gang of killers who many believe to be heroes.

And discovers that the lust for revenge starts very close to home ...

 
REVIEW
 
It was quite wonderful to once again return to DC Max Wolfe world. There are some series where characters really make a deep impression on me and this is certainly one. Max is probably not the only man ever to have to raise a daughter by himself. However, I find his situation sadder just because of why he is a single father raising a daughter. A situation I won't reveal, you just have to read the books. 
 
The case in this book is one that really makes you think about justice and what happens when the law fails and the ones that should be punished is let go too easy. When people take the law into their own hands and it just seems so right that they do. When bad people are finally punished. It's one thing when the police are hunting down dangerous criminals, but in this book are they trying to catch a gang of people that are really doing what most people in the book feel is probably just. Since the capital punishment is gone in the UK are the group taking the law into their own hands by hanging men they feel should have been punished with death.
 
DC Max Wolfe is the one that has to take charge of the case when his boss has to focus on a personal crisis and the case will get very close to him and it will take an ugly turn that I never expected. It's a great book, a book that makes you think, but thanks to Max daughter Scout and their dog Stan are there also some lighter moments. And, there is a woman that Max met that could bring love back into his life, but of course, there are obstacles...
 
This is a favourite series of mine and I'm looking forward to next year and see what will happen next for Max and his family.
 
I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! 
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