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Past Imperfect #2 [Kindle Edition]

John Matthews
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

Past Imperfect #2:

Two boys.

One Murder.

Sometimes justice takes more than a lifetime.

Past Imperfect #2 is part of a two book set. Book #1 has a build up of events and characters with resolution to a number of these. However, book #2 is required for resolution to all events, which in total spans 30 years in a major crime investigation.

Book #1 is approx 280 pages and Book #2 approx 360 pages. Both editions are available on Kindle.

A car accident in California, a deadly assault in Provence, and two boys 30 years apart are left battling for their lives.

Dominic Fornier is the detective who finds himself at the heart of the investigation. A simple provincial case that becomes one of the largest and most important in French criminal history.

Fornier's only hope is to prove the link between the two boys thirty years apart. A compulsive journey through forensic, medical and psychiatric evidence between France, the USA and London; a breathless paper chase of clues from a young boy's psyche... and a desperate race against time with a killer who will stop at nothing.

Reviews for John Matthews:

John Matthews reviews:
‘Matthews maintains the suspense... an engrossing odyssey into the seamy side of a world that is so near, yet sometimes seems so far. Compulsive reading.'
- The Times

'One of the most compelling novels I've read... an ambitious and big novel which will keep you enthralled to its last page.'
- Cork Examiner

'A classy, well-written and unusual thriller.'
- Yorkshire Post

'Matthews delivers one of the best debut thrillers in years, brave, ambitious and remorselessly entertaining. Past Imperfect is a stormer.'
- Dublin Evening Herald

'Move over Grisham, your reign is over! Reminiscent of vintage Grisham, but Matthews has his own distinctive style. Strong, believable characters and a plot that grips from page one and won't let go, twisting and turning its way towards a nail-biting climax - they don't come much better than this. One of the best and most memorable thrillers I've read in years. A winner all the way.'
- Bob Burke. Mystery Readers International.

Distinctively written… all the forceful energy of the best thrillers.
- Kirkus UK.

‘A clever premise for an epic page-turner written with wit, compassion (and) highly evolved characters.
- Daily Telegraph.

‘… A chilling and thrilling novel, one in which real people start to wonder if they are insane, and have to come to terms with a terrifying reality that threatens their own life. Mesmerising.
- Books Monthly

John Matthews is a leading British thriller writer. His books span genres of crime, action, mystery and legal-thriller and include: Basikasingo, Crescents of the Moon, Past Imperfect, The Last Witness, The Second Amendment, Ascension Day, The Shadow Chaser and The Prophet.

They have been translated into 12 languages with total sales of 1.2 million. In 2007, Past Imperfect was included in a top ten all-time best legal thrillers list in The Times. He was one of only two British authors in the list.

Editorial Reviews


'Matthews maintains the suspense... an engrossing odyssey into the seamy side of a world that is so near, yet sometimes seems so far. Compulsive reading.' --The Times

From the Author

First of all, I have to thank Joe Konrath and Barry Eisler for the inspiration to put my past books on Amazon through Kindle. I have had enormous support and encouragement from readers in the USA over the years that books such as Past Imperfect and Ascension Day should be more widely available to a US audience.

Past Imperfect became something of a landmark bestseller in Europe, selling over 500,000 copies and in 2004 was included in a list of top ten all-time best legal thrillers in The Times (London). Notably, it was one of only two books by British authors in that list - the rest were all American. Stylistically, think in terms of John Grisham meets Stephen King - IOW, a legal/crime thriller with a difference.

I have also taken Joe Konrath's advice in pricing competitively with all my books - so this gives US readers the opportunity of reading quality crime thrillers with a rich pedigree at a fraction of the normal retail price. It also gives British readers the opportunity of reading the same works on Kindle for the first time. Enjoy.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1837 KB
  • Print Length: 640 pages
  • Publisher: E-media books (November 25, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0050P4N26
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,549 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious, haunting, tragic but brilliantly written August 21, 2006
By Kali
I took this book on holiday with me because I wanted a nice chunky novel to last me for my three weeks in the sun. It was the best book I read, in fact I read it twice and I enjoyed even more the second time around!

The plot, which at first seems complex but eventually follows several simple threads, follows a tragic car accident in California in the 1990s in which a young boy is left fighting for his life, and a horrendous assault in Provence in the 1960s where a young boy eventually dies from internal injuries. What ties these two boys together seems to be a life after death experience, and the California survivor suddenly finds himself able to recall the last days of Christian Roussel, viciously attacked then murdered by the debonair and sadistic Duclos, an up and coming French Politician.

The story jumps between America, France and England as the threads of these two young lives are slowly and inevitably bought together by a dogged and emotionally scarred French Detective, Dominic Fornier whose guilt over Christian's death 30 years previously has never died.

Moving back and forth between two continents and through time itself, the story steadily heads towards its staggering climax, proving that revenge and redemption can sometimes be served up in the same dish.

This is a cracker of a novel, and has the potential to be made into a really good movie.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read after a bit of a struggle July 3, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Past Imperfect

This was a hard book for me to rate.

The author says the book is "a crime thriller with a difference" and I think that is a great description to use. The book starts off with two separate story lines that eventually merge into one. I found the first story line and what I will call the merged story line to be excellent. I found the second story line to be slow, tedious and boring.

The writing is fantastic, the author really knows how to tell a great tale. The characters, events and locations are very well developed and believable. There is plenty of action and suspense in the first story line and merged story line to make you not want to put the book down. I found those parts to be top quality reads.

I was a tad slow to work out how the two story lines tied in and, to my great dismay, when I did there was still a lot of tying in to go. This is the part that I found slow, tedious and boring. It was a real struggle for me to read it BUT I can see where others might not mind the approach taken. A lot of copies of this book have been sold and it has a high rating so I can accept that I am in the minority here but I need to tell it how I found it. I have not described this story line in detail as I do not want to spoil it for the reader.

Would I read another book by this author? Definitely YES!, and probably in the very near future.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been great if it were 30% shorter. December 20, 2012
By Nicole
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Full Disclosure: I bought this book when Amazon was offering it for free for the kindle. The same offer seems to come around every couple of months.

The story is fine; there are two overarching plots throughout the book: the story of a young boy murdered in the 1960s and the surrounding investigation, and the modern story of another young boy experiencing psychological issues after a car wreck. The book is described as a mystery, but since the reader knows everything about the murder, the real mystery is the connection between the two stories.

This could have been a great book if it wasn't so ridiculously bloated. Nothing else about this book could possibly be called a "mystery" since the author is determined to tell us everything that has ever crossed every character's mind, ever. There is a scene from the point of view of just about every major character, including the murderer, so for me there was no real intrigue.

Matthews also never uses one word when ten will do. Here's an example: "Dominic noticed Poullain openly flinch; then his head cocked slightly, as if he hadn't heard properly, his eyes darting fleetingly across the desk top for explanations before looking up again. The surprise showed in his face."

Basically, either of those sentences could have told us that Poullain was obviously and visibly surprised, but for some reason we had to have both. It would be a minor quibble if it didn't happen multiple times on every page. The very next paragraph tells us that a character "...exhaled audibly and waved a hand to one side. A dismissive gesture, as if the whole affair was suddenly unworthy of his emotions."

One of the cardinal rules for writing fiction is: "Show, don't tell".
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Past Imperfect by John Matthews (Pinguin Books) July 5, 2008
I picked up Past Imperfect by John Matthews and couldn't put it down until I finished. The character description, plot and local knowledge is incredibly detailed. This is one of the best books I have had the pleasure of reading in quiet a long time. No cookie cutter writing here. I do not understand why John Matthews doesn't have a big following in the U.S.A. already. Can't wait to read his other books, even if I have to order them from the U.K.
A MUST READ for any serious crime/mystery fan with the wits for more involved stories.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected ending!
Unexpected ending. An enjoyable detective novel.
Published 12 days ago by Heriberto Rios
1.0 out of 5 stars Vile reading
This book (we had Past Imperfect #2) is for those that don't object to being immersed in the mind of a child rapist while he is enjoying himself. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Timken
4.0 out of 5 stars I am greatly disappointed that this book was only partially offered to...
I am greatly disappointed that this book was only partially offered to the reader. In order to finish the story, I had to purchase the remainder of the book. This disturbs me. Read more
Published 1 month ago by JMM
5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner, you won't want to put down.
You cannot read Past Imperfect #1 without reading Past Imperfect #2 to find out how the story ends. It's not reincarnation. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jacqueline A. Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and atmospheric
One of the best books I've read in years. Can easily see why it was entered in a top ten all time best legal thrillers list. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Cassandra K. Petty
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Published 5 months ago by lc raney
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it, twists and turns throughout kept one gripped from start to finish.
Published 6 months ago by RGB
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I liked it
Published 6 months ago by Paul L.
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
VERY slow and hard to follow.
Published 6 months ago by patricia dawson
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved that there were several threads running through and that ...
Such a different kind of suspense story. Book one is a must read as you would be lost in this book. Read more
Published 6 months ago by LadyDi
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More About the Author

As any Hollywood executive will tell you, there are three main acts in a film - and I suppose it could be said that my writing career has followed the same path.

The first act was two novels written in my twenties, Basikasingo and Crescents of the Moon. Published by Hutchinson/Arrow Books in London, both did well, selling 100,000 plus. But I became distracted with other publishing ventures and didn't return to writing novels for some while.

That return (Act Two, if you will), was with one of my strongest books to date, Past Imperfect. A crime thriller with a difference - think in terms of John Grisham meets Stephen King, but with an atmospheric 1960s French setting - Past Imperfect went on to sell over 500,000 copies in 8 countries. The Last Witness, The Shadow Chaser and Ascension Day followed in similar crime-thriller style. This in turn led to me penning a film treatment for Past Imperfect and also a fresh film script, 'Blind School' (Act Three).

Part of this has also involved a book in a different style, crossing the mythology-political thriller genre, which has been particularly succesful with foreign rights sales, adding Brazil, Turkey, Portugal and Bulgaria to my existing list of teritories. Putting my back-list on Kindle - which has seen the three titles so far listed all in the top-ten legal thrillers list on Amazon (again!). And finally penning a new novel in collaboration with TV producer Richard Belfield (for which we've become J.R. Mattfeld) to kick-start a crime-detective series set in 1890s New York, the first of which involves Jack the Ripper (yes, you heard right!). More on that later...

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