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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 21 star ratings
2 reviews

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4.2 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Never Go Back

    I have avoided Ben Elton's books, even though I know he has published A LOT I have always written him off as an author because of my own prejudices. He will always be the 1980's, sequin besuited, mouth whose politics I didn't agree with but who could still make me laugh. I fully expected his books to both tout his personal politics and have that very clear Ben Elton stage persona voice. I WAS SO WRONG! A work colleague advised me to try his books as she has read all of his output and hasn't had a bad one yet, so this one was on sale and I figured "why not?". As she would say - WHAT A BOOK! It has everything going for it. A bit of a police procedural, a bit of a thriller, a bit of a romance and a lot of grit. Edward Newson is our hero and a more self-deprecating chap you couldn't hope to meet. The humour is dark and wry; Newson certainly has few illusions about himself but he comes across as charming in an unlikely way. Couple this with his unrequited obsession with his Sergeant, Natasha and his insecurities about his appearance, his ability to do his job and, well just life really; you can't help but fall a little in love with his gingerness. When a brutal murder takes place and it is assigned to his Murder Team you know things aren't going to run smoothly for Edward and with little to go off forensically or by way of motive they appear to be at a dead end, until there is another murder just as bizarre. The investigation is also set against Newson's decision to revisit his past and he joins, the now defunct, Friends Reunited website. Oddly his secondary school years coincide with mine so all those nostalgia references really hit home. Not only does it bring back bad memories of school, it also brings back warm ones of one Christmas Disco and catapults him on to the radar of two women from his past; two women who are soon to be instrumental in the murder enquiry. This isn't a book for the squeamish as some of the murder scenes are described in lurid detail. There are also a couple of graphic "intimate" scenes - now, normally I find these a real nuisance but I have to admit as weird as the acts described are they are written exceptionally well. Unfortunately, I did figure out who did around 3/4 of the way through but I really enjoyed watching Newson and Natasha flounder about trying to get there - and they do a fair bit of floundering. Fun, frightful and relentlessly gripping. Seperate the Stand-Up from the Author and you are in for a genuine treat!
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    Post mortem

    Good original plot, easy read and did not know who the murderer was until half way through the book. Once started found it difficult to put down the book.

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