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CTM = Crime, Thriller, Mystery Genre Authors

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Category: CTM - Simon Kernick

  1. Kat's Review of One by One by Simon Kernick

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    Synopsis: The first part in a direct to digital short-story in a murder mystery three-part thriller from the bestselling author of Ultimatum, Stay Alive and The Final Minute.

    Six ex school-friends have been brought together on a remote island.

    They haven’t all been in contact since a fateful night twenty-one years ago, when their friend Rachel Skinner was found dead. The man arrested for her murder has now been acquitted, and the seven friends are fearing for their lives.

    But are they hiding from the right person? Or have they fallen into a deadly trap?

    Kat’s Rating: 3/5

    Kat’s Review: Okay I have to say I am totally unimpressed by Kernick’s Publishers. Why do they keep releasing his books in three parts it’s REALLY annoying. I LOVE Simon Kernick’s books and they are the sort of books that go from 0-100 in seconds and the pedal rarely comes off the gas. Unfortunately, this means that if you buy the book in parts as they are released you have to wait. I know this is a great money maker for the Publisher’s but I would rather pay MORE for a book and have it all in one. This particular ‘short story’ is a step too far at about 36 pages! Parts 2 and 3 amount to little more than 30 pages, so all in all this is a short story in 3 parts?!?!? WTF.

    Normally I would explain a little about the story but to be honest the synopsis would cover a page so it seems pointless to go over something you can read yourself. Yes the writing was Kernick and typical in its style, however by the time I had turned a few pages I was nearly done.  The sad thing about this is that although his style was there, there was little else of substance. I figured out what was what pretty early on and felt gutted that I had even tried to get my head around it.

    All in all I was seriously unimpressed. I hope that the Publishers stop doing this. Let Kernick do what he best (the writing) and they should just sell the damn book…not as parts, just as a good old fashioned book.

  2. Kat's Review of Dead Man’s Gift by Simon Kernick

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    My Rating: 4/5

    Availability: Sold as 3 parts on Kindle (short story, approx 50 pages per part)

    Synopsis: MP Tim Horton arrives home to find his seven year old son has been abducted by a ruthless gang of kidnappers. All they have left behind is the brutally murdered body of the Horton's nanny. The gang's demands are simple: Tim must sacrifice his own life in order to save his son's. It's the ultimate dead man's gift .

    My Review: I really love Simon Kernick’s books, but if I’m being 100% honest when I saw this was part of a ’short story’ series of books my heart sunk a little bit. I’m not a fan of short stories at the best of times and to buy a book in parts is actually one of my pet hates! Putting that to one side, when I realised this featured Scope (the fabulous character from The Siege) I wanted to read it anyway! The story wastes no time in getting started (well it can’t afford to really!), and we meet Tim Horton as he arrives home and is told by his wife that his child Max has been kidnapped.

    Tim Horton is frankly a despicable man but his character was written well and then before long Scope appears (YAY). Scope is one of my favourite Kernick characters so I was glad to see him back. As usual he has been called upon for his unique way he manages to get things done. All in all, although this was a short story it was paced fabulously and had the right amount of drama going on. Although the three parts collectively are just about 150 pages I thoroughly enjoyed the book, except that I just wanted to keep reading!

    For a short story this was a great read, for a Kernick book it was also his usual pacey thriller that you need to finish before you put down. This would be a great read for somebody who hasn’t maybe read Simon Kernick and wants to know whether to buy his other novels. I will wait for the next ‘proper’ length novel which I can no doubt sink my teeth in to.Rated

  3. Kat's Review of The Final Minute by Simon Kernick (Tina Boyd #7)

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    Availability: Hardcover, Kindle & Nook (15.01.15), Paperback (21.05.15) 

    My Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: The lights are on, and I’m standing outside a half-open door. Feeling a terrible sense of foreboding, I walk slowly inside. And then I see her. A woman lying sprawled across a huge double bed. She’s dead. There’s blood everywhere. And the most terrifying thing of all is that I think her killer might be me …’

    A traumatic car-crash. A man with no memory, haunted by nightmares. When the past comes calling in the most terrifying way imaginable, Matt Barron is forced to turn to the one person who can help. Ex Met cop, turned private detective, Tina Boyd. Soon they are both on the run .….

  4. Kat's Review of Stay Alive by Simon Kernick (Scope #2)

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    Simon Kernick Stay AliveMy Rating: 5/5

    Synopsis:

    ONE WITNESS: You're on a trip with your family, miles from anywhere. A shot rings out - and your whole life changes in an instant.

    ONE SECRET: A woman is racing towards you, chased by three gunmen. Although you don't know it, she harbours a deadly secret. She's in terrible danger. And now you are too.

    NO ESCAPE: You're running, terrified, desperate to find safety. You know that the men hunting you have killed before. And if they catch you, you'll be next .

    My Review: Holy Shit! You know that feeling you get when you’re watching some really intense thriller and the music gets a bit slower, and the tension mounts…..that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach…do I watch? Do I turn away? Yep that one! Well this started from page 1 and finished pretty much when I had finished. If you haven’t read Simon Kernick before (first of all where on earth have you been) then you can compare his work to one of those movies! Sometimes SK books are hit or miss for me, some people (I agree occasionally) think that they are too unrealistic. Other times they are amazing. To date my favourite read has always been Relentless, until now! Although it may be a joint winner this latest book is certainly up there with his best stuff!

    Amanda Rowan finds herself in a dangerous situation and is forced to flee her home. When she moves away she figures that her life is relatively safe and she can go about her normal day to day life. When she realises that this couldn’t be further from the truth she inadvertently drags a family into her mess. Jess is the elder sister up visiting her sister when Amanda Rowan drags her and her family into her dangerous world. From the moment this part of the story begins my heart was racing even faster than it had been up until that point. Mike Bolt makes a welcome return, although in my opinion we didn't see nearly enough of him. Having said that I was so wrapped up in the story I soon forgot that!

    Kernick has certainly exceeded my expectations and has produced an absolute heart thumping page turner. It was a book that I literally couldn’t put down. Every time I picked it back up that all too familiar sick feeling in the pit of my stomach returned. You almost feel like you are taking the journey with them. Every chapter throws up new danger, violence and more twists and turns than the best rollercoaster in the world! The pace was bordering on frenetic but the story had me gripped from the outset. Towards the end I thought I knew where the book was headed but boy was I wrong! I finished with a real feeliong that I may be visiting a cinema to see the movie version as this book has MAKE ME INTO A MOVIE written all over it. This latest Kernick is a true delight that his fans will be itching to get their fingers on!

  5. Kat's Review of Ultimatum by Simon Kernick (Tina Boyd #6)

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    My Rating: 3/5

    Okay let me point out firstly that I am a big Simon Kernick fan and there aren't many of his books that I don't like. Sadly I felt a bit let down with this latest offering. His last book The Siege was a 5 star read that was absolutely brilliant and I literally couldn't put it down. When I realised this was a follow up of sorts I looked forward to it. What I found frustrating was the beginning seemed so difficult to get into. Kernick has a magic touch when it comes to writing in that fast paced `what's going to happen next' kind of way. His writing is still just as brilliant but I found myself irritated with this book for a number of reasons.

    Tina Boyd is currently a DC as she has been demoted because she tends to break every rule given to her. Mike Bolt is also back and running a special operation on Terrorism. These characters I have previously really liked, but for some reason they just grated on me this time around. How on earth Tina Boyd still has a job is beyond me! That aside, the story once again features Terrorism at the heart of it which I can understand especially in this day and age. We also see the return of William Garrett (AKA The Fox) who featured in The Siege. Boyd and Bolt are racing against the clock to stop an atrocity before it's too late.

    Like I said the writing quality is still there but this time around I just felt like the story was falling a little flat. I think aside from the characters irritating me, I would have liked to see Kernick make a departure from UK based terrorism and maybe do something a bit different. I know that a lot of people will enjoy this book, however I just felt like Kernick could do better. By no means do I mean that to sound condescending, I just wonder how I can be blown away by one book, and indifferent with another. The second half of the book was a lot easier to read and was much better than the first half as the pace picked up and there was a lot more going on. However, overall I was left feeling a little bit hard done by.

    This latest release from Kernick will probably satisfy most readers, but is certainly not what I would call a shining example of his best work. I can only hope that the next one is just as brilliant as his books normally are.

  6. Kat's Review of The Siege by Simon Kernick (Scope #1)

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    Simon Kernick SiegeMy Rating: 5/5

    I am a huge Kernick fan and love his style of writing. I can only compare reading his books to driving a Ferrari at full speed and no brake pedal in sight! This book was no different for each of the 368 pages. The awful thing about this book is that the world we live in today presents many situations like this one. This situation is where people are held hostage fearing for their lives; while others fight their own war.

    From the very beginning of the story we are plunged into the horrific situation that many will find themselves in. You are quickly introduced to quite a lot of characters and in the beginning I wondered why there were so many. However, pretty soon you realise that all these people are going to collide in the most horrific of circumstances.

    The short sharp chapters kept me turning the pages until I realised it was past my bedtime and I had demolished over half the book in one sitting! The characters in the book seem to grab at your emotions for one reason or another and there are so many different stories about why people are there you become intrigued to the point of distraction. One character named Scope really caught my eye and I would just love to see him feature in other books, but who knows what My Kernick will bring us next.

    There are plot twists and surprises by the bucket load, so you won't be disappointed in that sense. The only un-nerving thing for me is that this is all too much of a reality. Working in any major city on the world you will feel all too easily the reality bursting through the seams of the pages. Simon Kernick has once again released a book that will have you on the edge of your seat and as ever I end up disappointed that I have to wait so long for the next one!

  7. Kat's Review of The Murder Exchange by Simon Kernick

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    Simon Kernick The Murder ExchangeMy Rating: 4/5

    I am slowly working my way through Simon Kernick's books and this is the second book he released. Simon Kernick has a very certain type of writing style. His books are usually very fast paced and normally it takes only a matter of a chapter or two before you are thrown in at the deep end of a story.

    This book followed the same format and we dive straight into Max Iversson's bad decision and when it all goes wrong. However, although you are thrown in at the deep end very quickly, the suspense level is not as high as I am used to with a Kernick book. I think this is a sure sign of the amount of time he has been writing. The fact that I read his newer stuff first and have gone back to his older work has the disadvantage of showing his weaker points at the beginning of his career.


    Although slightly weaker than usual the story itself was a good one. Max Iversson was a great character, and although he usually stays within the law, he finds himself inadvertently being drawn over to the other side in his fight for the truth. John Gallan was also a pretty good character and although the typical `copper' we see in books, there was no glossing over his very mundane personal life which actually brought more realism to the book in my eyes. We flit between characters by chapter and as the story progresses you see more and more of each one and they eventually overlap.

    Other characters making a brief appearance is Tina Boyd (who appears in later Kernick books) as well as the Holtz family who are a central part of the plot. As ever there is no holding back on the levels of violence and gore, although it's all done in keeping with the story. As usual towards the end we pick up even more pace before getting to the climax and pretty good ending. Overall I really dud enjoy the book, but for some reason there seemed to be something lacking. I have thought about it and really do think this is a case of reading his newer books first. This is certainly not a bad book by any means, but think that it certainly isn't a good example of the first class work that he has gone on to produce. Another solid read, but slightly lacking that magic something!

  8. Kat's Review of Deadline by Simon Kernick (Tina Boyd #3)

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    Simon Kernick DeadlineMy Rating: 4/5

    I am slowly working my way through Simon Kernick's books ever since picking up the book Relentless. Now I have to point out that after reading Relentless which is a 10 out of 10 book, the expectation was high. I also had the misfortune of not reading the books in order of publication which I dislike doing, even if they are stand alone novels.

    In this book we meet Mike Bolt, a member of the SOCA. I get the impression that he may have appeared in previous books but you still get an overall history of him so this book can be read on its own. Mike is dragged into the investigation but has no idea that Andrea Devern is the lady in trouble. This is a major part of the storyline which adds to the tension of the story itself.

    Andrea Devern is a woman in distress and as usual Simon Kernick manages to translate the fear onto paper. You can almost imagine yourself standing right next to this woman whose daughter's life is being threatened. The first few chapters we are thrown in at the deep end with Andrea and see her making split second decision in order to try and save her daughter. There is also an underlying element of suspicion with the woman.

    As usual the pace is frighteningly fast and before you know it you are halfway through the book. One of the things I love about Kernick is that when you start reading his books you feel like you are being physically dragged in and you are powerless to stop reading. There are many twists and turns in this book and the suspense level is cranked high. We get to read about Andrea chasing her daughter, Mike chasing the case and surprisingly we also see a glimmer of Andrea's daughter Emma and the nightmare she has been dragged in to.

    We also see Tina Boyd make an appearance on the case, and she can be seen in other Kernick books. I love Simon Kernick's style of writing and don't think for that he can be faulted. This isn't my favourite book of his (as Relentless is just the best), but this is definitely an easy to read, high octane thriller with lots of plot twists. Overall another corker of a read from Kernick, sit down and hold on tight for the ride.