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Still Waters (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) Paperback – July 14, 2009

7 customer reviews

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"The Lost Codex" by Alan Jacobson
Two ancient biblical documents reveal long-buried secrets that could change the world as we know it. The team's mission: find the stolen documents and capture—or kill—those responsible for unleashing a coordinated and unprecedented attack on US soil. See more
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Editorial Reviews


"McCrery's stellar thriller starts with a gruesome bang."
--Entertainment Weekly

"Creepy, menacing, and downright frightening. . . . A page turner teeming with tension."
--The Baltimore Sun

“First-rate entertainment. . . . Creepy and occasionally comical. . . . Still Waters is no garden-variety mystery. From its breathtakingly brutal prologue to its horrifying revelation of responsibility, it will leave you marveling at McCrery's storytelling skills. And how many mysteries can you name that quote Browning, Yeats and Eliot?”
--Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Chilling. . . . Violet Chambers is the dark side of Miss Marple."
--Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Highly original. . . . Arsenic and Old Lace meets the Galloping Gourmet in Still Waters, the first in a series of tasty mysteries."
--Madison County Herald

“Every writer needs a hook, and Nigel McCrery provides just that in the prologue of Still Waters. He throws out the line and snags the reader right away. This shocking opening is one tantalizing lead-in.”
The Post and Courier, Charleston, South Carolina

"This exquisitely macabre mystery will keep you firmly planted until the last page is turned."
--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Touted as the beginning of a series, Still Waters will rush by at a stunning pace. Nigel McCrery, author of the Dr. Samantha Ryan mysteries, brings readers a brand new slant on the detective novel and a fresh face in the police department.”

"A must read."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"Hook[s] a reader positively and absolutely. [McCrery is] expert at the fast-paced thriller."
--Library Journal (starred)

"Extremely creepy . . . Compelling."

"McCrery introduces an excellent new detective . . . Highly original."
--Daily Mail

"Arresting . . . Few readers will put the book down."
--Daily Express

"A fast-moving, original and often genuinely frightening novel."
--Euro Crime

"Arsenic and Old Lace run wonderfully amok."
--Time Out, London

About the Author

Nigel McCrery worked as a police officer before entering Cambridge University as an undergraduate. He is the creator of the acclaimed television series Silent Witness, and his screenwriting credits include several other programs for the BBC. He is also the author of many novels, including the Dr. Samantha Ryan mysteries. He lives in London.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard; Reprint edition (July 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307388700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307388704
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,159,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Lapslie of the Essex PD is a solitary man, but not by choice. Living with a rare condition known as synaesthesia, he can literally taste sound: "Part of him had expected a call. He'd been tasting strawberries very faintly all day." Married and the father of twins, Mark has seen his marriage disintegrate, the birth of twins accelerating the already disturbing confluence of tastes/sounds, the children exacerbating a strained relationship. Called to investigate an unusual case after six months on leave, Lapslie is once more assaulted by the overwhelming flavors of a busy department. Add to his dilemma an interesting pathologist, a young, attractive detective Sergeant, Emma Bradbury and a putative serial killer preying on lonely elderly women and the plot yields an unusual thriller defined as much by its characters as the facts.

The author's penchant for unusual description adds to the flavor of the novel, "hidden behind the impressive new façade the same way the ladies of Baudelaire's time used to hide their pox-ridden faces behind caked layers of makeup". Granted, the prologue is off-putting, an extremely grisly passage that is deeply disturbing, but the tale settles thereafter into a more sedate, albeit deceptive, "Arsenic and Old Lace" ambiance that belies the shocking motive at the heart of the crime. Tapping into the vulnerability of very lonely elderly women, London villages are sprinkled with those time has forgotten, living out their final days in obscurity, vague ailments intruding on the quietude of late-afternoon tea, carefully-tended gardens and early bedtimes. Such women fall easy prey to a particular predator, a kindly helper who offers assistance but delivers death.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Iris St John on March 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Core of Evil" is the same as the author's novel "Silent Witness," so don't buy it if you have read "Silent Witness." Apparently, one version was released in England, the other in the U.S., under different titles, which happens sometimes. Nonetheless, the book is very clever and well written. Not for the squeamish! You'll know in the first few pages whether or not this is the book for you. Hitchcock would have loved this novel!
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Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: "Granny, what are these?" shouted Kate.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Lapslie and Sergeant Emma Bradbury are called to the scene of a car accident, but that's not the reason they are there. The accident uncovered the decomposed body of a woman. Lapslie, doesn't understand why the crime is why the case has been assigned to him. Lapslie suffers from gustatory synesthesia where individual words and sounds evoke the sensations of taste in the mouth; and not always pleasant taste. The condition has such an impact on his life that he has separated from his family and has been on "gardening" leave. As he investigates, he is aware of being watched. Once he discovers there is a serial killer at work, his superiors want him to back off.

This is one graphically violent, gruesome and scary book; even more so for those of us who will probably be alone when we are older. It is also fascinating, haunting and well written. This is the second book I've read recently where the protagonist suffers from Synesthesia. In "The Fallen" by T. Jefferson Parker, his protagonist suffered from color synesthesia where tones were associated with colors. One knows the villain from the beginning, and the horrific motive behind the murders. However, the reason as to why the crimes are now happening is nearly as appalling as the crimes themselves.
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Format: Paperback
I was a little put off by the synaesthesia initially, thinking it sounded contrived, that if dealt with badly, it would distract from the story line. I was even more put off by the opening "with a bang", it was pretty horrific. But for some reason, perhaps the quality of the writing once I started reading, I kept going, and I am relieved I did. I haven't finished the book quite yet, but it is a joy to read, very well written, suspenseful, it's a good yarn so far, Lapslie is not entirely likeable, but he's alright. So I highly recommend it. I hope the ending does not disappoint.
One note: earlier reviews warned that this is the same book as two of Nigel McCrery's books. I did a little research, and it seems that Still Waters actually is the same as Core of Evil, so only buy one of the two.
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