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The Crime Trade: A Novel Hardcover – April 21, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (April 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312340591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312340599
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,889,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The third entry in Kernick's loosely knit London gangland series opens with a bang, as the ironically named Colombian narcotics sting, Operation Surgical Strike, dissolves into a bloodbath when uninvited thugs make the scene. Among the dead is the partner of nasty undercover cop Stegs Jenner. Things get perplexing fast as DI John Gallen, whose recent promotion seems to have rubbed off some rough edges, finds the probable leak shot dead and must include Stegs among a dwindling pool of suspects. In Kernick's world, coppers mostly come in three varieties: bent, twisted, and broken; not surprisingly, then, much of this book's suspense hinges on just how far Stegs will go and whether we will end up respecting or loathing him when the smoke has cleared. Although Stegs is not as compelling as Milne, the antihero at the black heart of the series debut, The Business of Dying (2003), this remains a solid, morally ambiguous mystery with some great tricks up its sleeve. Kernick belongs on the second tier of Brit noir, right below Bruen, Lawrence, and Harvey. David Wright
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"I love this book...it blasts through the London underworld like a cigarette boat on the Thames."-Lee Child,bestselling author of Persuader on The Murder Exchange

"British author Simon Kernick shows every sign of being a major talent...Powerful prose, tight plotting and a clever fair-play puzzle add up to a remarkable first effort."-Publishers Weekly on The Business of Dying (starred review)

"Murderous thugs, heartless babes, bent cops, sex, sadism...compulsively readable."-Kirkus Reviews, (starred review) on The Murder Exchange

"Impressive...with a voice not unlike James M. Cain's in Double Indemnity."-Kirkus Reviews

"Kernick's debut is compelling, dark and suspenseful."-Booklist

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Stegs Jenner and Paul Vokerman are undercover cops working a drug deal near Heathrow with the Colombians. Stegs steps out promising to return within ten minutes while Vokes nervously waits with two of the Cali Cartel when they receive a call. Without a reply to the caller, Manuel "Manolo" Lopez executes Vokes. Stegs returns in time for the police to attack. Others die as all hell breaks loose in the final phase of Operation Surgical Strike.

Nearby at about the same time, the informant who set up the deal Slim Robbie and his mother are murdered. DI John Gallan and his partner WDS Tina Boyd lead the inquiries and quickly find out that DCS Noel Flanagan who headed the police sting blames Stegs for the fiasco. Stegs is angry over the death of his partner and needs to avenge Vokes' death while Gallan and Boyd try to learn what went wrong and how to rein in the loose cannon before Stegs causes a third deadly incident.

The return of Detective Inspector Gallan and several of his cronies is always a thrill for British police procedural fans, but his third appearance is his best yet (see the BUSINESS OF DYING and THE MURDER EXCHANGE). The story line predominantly moves on two major subplots that follow the actions of either Gallan or Stegs. Interestingly, Gallan provides a first hand account of what is going on so the audience sees behind the scenes of the police investigation; on the other hand Stegs stars in a third person account, which leaves readers to wonder which side is he really on. This duality works tremendously as Simon Kernick provides a fabulous exciting thriller.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Simon Kernick started with The Business of Dying, and extended it in The Murder Exchange. Now he brings us The Crime Trade which stretches out his loosely strong tale of various investigators with the Series Crimes Squad based in contemporary London.

These works are strongly plotted, richly charactered, and move rapidly. There is extremely strong color and dialog. The plotting is unusual, and often times the reader will be genuinely surprised that his picture of what is going on turns out to be horribly amiss. In this, he reminds me of the late, great Margaret Millar who could drop clue after clue right under your eyes and still surprise you well at the end.

Kernick came out of the gate charging with The Business of Dying. he has not let up one single bit with The Crime Trade.

If you take him on, make sure to read the series in order as subsequent books drip with spoilers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Disappointed big time!

Starts with an undercover operation going wrong and one of the undercover cops gets killed, okay start with that.

Then---I got very bored just drudging through descriptions that aren't necessary but just page fillers, too many characters introduced and trying to keep track of who is who

Very confusing---I think the gist of this story is the investigation into what went wrong with the operation and who was the 'leak' that caused it to go wrong, yada yada yada

I had to skip and skim so many pages just to get to the story because of all the pages of unnecessary descriptions and that is huge pet peeve for me!

I didn't find the storyline very interesting at all, it was about crime alright but I thought just a confusing mess. At one point it refers to the movie Scarface? huh?

Kernick is a hit and miss for me, I always have high hopes for his stories because I know he can write good ones but this wasn't one of them.
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By J D on December 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Couldn't put this down. Kernick again weaves his magic. More depth with Gallan and Boyd and Malik. New twists, New villains, and more uncertainty about who the bad guys are. Loved it.
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By Toni Osborne on November 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
It is of no surprise to find as in his earlier installments that "The Crime trade" centers around the ganglands of north London where the good guys tend to mix quite well with the bad ones. It is a dark place with dramatic effects---shot outs in parking lots, police confrontations with drug smugglers, some elements of abuse and torture. But to say this crime thriller is depressing would be false on the contrary it has some underlying humour to it and sizzling dialogue that propels us through the twisted tales. By the end, one can fell as entertained as well as unnerved.
This story is unpredictable in every sense fresh twists and plenty of them kept derailing thoughts, so easy not to see them coming. It shows us what genuinely goes on under our nose with odd exaggeration here and there. However I did find this one not as lively and exciting as the other books and it is so easy to get lost in the description and the back stories.

Although this is not part of a series the tale involves interconnecting characters who weaves in and out of each books. They are part of a strong cast of familiar and new faces and the tight plot also includes a large group of secondary players.

"The Crime Trade" is a good read but is not my favourite in Mr. Kernick's library.
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