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Cold Killing (DI Sean Corrigan) Paperback – 2013
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
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Detective Inspector Sean Corrigan, leader of one of South London’s murder-investigation units, arrives at a crime scene at 3 a.m. and finds a young man savagely murdered in his flat. It looks like a straightforward domestic crime, but the complete absence of forensic evidence and Corrigan’s near-synesthetic intuition tell him that this murder is something much darker. His intuition is correct: the culprit is a serial killer who changes his MO for each killing. First-novelist Delaney, once a London homicide investigator, has blended the police procedural with the psychological thriller. The result is a tense, fast-paced, believable look at London policing, complete with many fascinating details, for example, Scotland Yard views psychological profiling as of very limited value, preferring to maintain the Method Index, a searchable collection of unusual crimes. The serial killer functions as narrator on occasion, and his ruminations of omnipotence suggest that he misunderstands Nietzsche’s idea of the Superman. Delaney’s debut is stylish, ambitious, and a surefire winner. --Thomas Gaughan --This text refers to the Digital edition.
“A striking debut from a former Murder Squad detective. Delaney is not his real name, but there is no doubt about his inside knowledge and ability to convey it.” (Daily Mail (London))
“A confident, aggressive and very promising debut by a former Met detective.” (The Times (London))
“In this gritty and hard-hitting crime novel, Delaney manages to keep the reader’s attention from the first page, with gripping flashbacks from the perspective of the killer, to the very end.” (Iron Mountain Daily News)
“An addictive story . . . Delaney’s accomplished debut captivates and chills.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch) --This text refers to the Digital edition.
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The first chapter gives us a hint how excellent a book this is. This is the author, Luke Delaney’s first novel and, from what I have read his second novel is just as good. Luke Delaney worked in years in the Met murder squad in London, and he knows f what he speaks. His writing is authentic, the reactions of his characters are so well written that we become so engrossed in the characters themselves, we feel the emotions, the sweat, and the worrisome u certain future of all. DI Sean Corrigan had a very unsavory upbringing. A child of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, he feels akin to some of the criminals. He thinks like a murderer, and, at times leaves his colleagues wondering what he is all about.
Someone has killed a man with grisly effects. No clues, no part of the murderer have been left behind. If not for the extensive CCTV and high technology, no clues would be apparent. The story of the killings is told from two viewpoints, that of DI Corrigan and that of the killer. The killer's voice is so cold and calculating, we follow him, we are afraid of him, and we are rooting for DI Corrigan. Them killer is always two steps ahead of the police. He feels himself so superior to everyone around him, even his family. He leads the police astray and laughs all the while.
This novel is so well written, I was immediately taken in with the story and the characters. Luke Delaney has a talent for writing one of the best novels I have read.
Recommended. prisrob 09-06-13
My rating is still three stars – how I wish that I could could give it a 2 ½ star rating.
It took me six days to complete Cold Killing and that may be a record for time to complete a UK police procedural. I can't recall the last time that I put off reading simply because the whole book seemed so contrived. There are just dry husks of characters – there's no way to get to know them because the author just leaves them empty: even the main character – we're told that he was abused as a child but that instead of resorting to type, he controlled his emotions and became a police officer. A police officer who has such a dark gift that allows him to see a crime scene through the killers eyes, to mystically bond with the evil inside the killer. Sounds like hogwash.
Lacking any characterization talent (and having no skill at crafting a memorable sentence), the author creates a plot that just isn't interesting. Yes, you think that you're given the killer's identity early on but the revelation of the killer isn't built on any effort in gathering clues or evidence, or even the lead detective's intuition for identifying with the evil inside a killers mind.
All in all, I felt cheated by Cold Killing. Reading it was a chore but, as it had garnered some very good reviews, I stuck with it until the end yet never feeling anything worthy of praise (well, one thing... the author has a good grip on the basics of of the layout of London).
Cannot recommend this.
Original title for review – "Is this an American or English novel?"
I'm only 22% into the book thus far, so I will come back and edit this review when I've completed the book.
The three-star rating is only for what I've completed and reflects a pet peeve of mine that shows up in some imports from the UK: the Americanisation of UK English and punctuation.
We're told that the author is a former DI for the Met, so it's fair to assume, I think, that his education consisted of UK English. He certainly seems to have a good grasp of the layout of London...
...so who made the decision to Americanise the book? The publisher, thinking that an American audience couldn't grasp British English? It just baffles me when I see this happen! Should Faulkner be translated for the northern US dialogue and simply do away with the southern voice.
I really get bent out of shape when I see this occurring – but I will come back and edit this review. Yet I know that this peeve of mine will continue to have an impact on my final review.