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The Business of Dying: A Novel (Dennis Milne Series, 1) Paperback – September 1, 2005
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The clock is ticking and everyone's watching their backs as a war of morality is fought in the mind of one renegade policeman in this gripping first novel by a talented young crime writer.
It's a typical cold November night in London and Detective Sergeant Dennis Milne, a very atypical policeman, waits in the Traveller's Rest Hotel parking lot for the arrival of three men. Cynical and jaded, Milne earns money on the side by doing what he does best: punishing the bad guys. But this time he's been duped. Instead of blowing away drug dealers, he kills three innocent people, their deaths starting an investigation that sees him and his conscience heading for trouble.
Less than twelve hours later, Milne is out on the streets again. Eighteen-year-old Miriam Fox has been found dead by Regent's Canal---her throat slashed. Desperate to find Miriam's killer, Milne uncovers a web of depravity far more shocking than he could ever have imagined. Can he evade arrest for his own crimes and solve a case so sickening that it may provide the key to his personal redemption?
“The Business of Dying caught me with its gut-wrenching reality. A compelling debut.” ―Gerald Seymour, author of Dead Ground
“Powerful prose, tight plotting and a clever fair-play puzzle add up to a remarkable first effort.” ―Publishers Weekly(starred review)
“Impressive...Nicely plotted and briskly paced, with a voice not unlike James M. Cain's in Double Indemnity.” ―Kirkus Review
From the Back Cover
"[Kernick is] a writer to be reckoned with." ---Mark Billingham, bestselling author of Sleepyhead
Praise for The Business of Dying
"Gallows humor and a sardonic voice mark Kernick's remarkable debut. Pathos, pace, twists, and a savage sense of place make this a guilty pleasure." ---Guardian [U.K.]
"Gripping and thought provoking, Kernick weaves his web with the assurance of a seasoned professional." ---Time Out [U.K.]
"The crime debut of the year so far...Kernick tells it straight with no embellishments, which is exactly how I like my crime fiction. A prizewinner if ever I saw one." ---Independent on Sunday [U.K.]
"An exquisitely tortuous piece of characterization that should challenge both author and readers in the books to come." ---The Times [U.K.]
"An uncommonly assured first novel, quite brilliantly plotted...done with the kind of dash which inspires total reader confidence and involvement...formidable stuff. There is a pro at work here." ---Literary Review [U.K.]
"Taut, gripping, disturbing---a most assured and original debut." ---Reginald Hill
- ASIN : 0312314027
- Publisher : Minotaur Books; First edition (September 1, 2005)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0274870037
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312314026
- Item Weight : 14.7 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.75 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,004,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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I have a new collection of his books. I just hope that the volume of his writings have not diluted his originality!
Dennis Milne is complex character sometimes loveable but a lot of the time repreneshable just don't know what to make of the guy
It's very detailed which shows that the author researched the police and their ways of thinking and of carry procedures out in particularly well
I won't be reading the followups.
Top reviews from other countries
This is the first in a series of three books featuring DS Dennis Milne. Published in 2002 it is also Kernick’s first publication. Milne is a corrupt cop who operates as a hit-man on the side. He tends to focus on those that justice appears unable to convict.
Milne carries out a hit on three individuals who appear to be drug-dealers. He later discovers that this is not the case and he has been conned into carrying out a hit for organised crime. A woman witnessed the hit and Milne was reluctant to silence her. He hopes she did not get a clear sight of him.
In his job as a detective Milne is investigating the murder of a teenage prostitute. He discovers that a number of similar individuals have disappeared in recent months and the one common denominator appears to be a children’s home run by the local authority. Social services appear to be reluctant to assist in that aspect of the investigation. When a man is arrested the police believe the case is closed but Milne has his reservations and starts looking into the matter further despite his superiors telling him to leave it alone.
The police investigation into the hit appears to bear fruit when the witness describes Milne almost perfectly. His likeness is in the cover of the newspaper and he wonders how long he has before he is brought in for questioning. His criminal masters now see him as a loose end and decide that the only way to deal with it is to kill him. Milne knows he has only a short period of time to resolve the matter and still live.
A very readable book and I admit to wondering as I read it just how different Milne is from the rest of us. A corrupt cop is something nobody agrees with but at the end of the day society wants retribution on criminals especially on those who use the legal system to ensure their criminal activities are never revealed in court.
Too many criminals, not enough coppers; the law, in practice, only serves to help the criminal. The gripping first thriller in the series about anti-hero, Detective Sergeant Dennis Milne, starts with three witnessed murders. The complicated, unpredictable story kept me reading long into the night. Murder & redemption; it’s all here. I was reminded of the importance of strategic planning and ...... that normal people murder each other all the time.
A good introduction to Dennis Milne with a cleverly crafted novel to do this. Going to be interesting to see where this goes next with the second book in the series.