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Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf Kindle Edition
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‘Halfway through this … and we already want a sequel (in hardback!)’ Carabas.co.uk--This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
A former biomedical research scientist, one day Terry hung up his electron microscope and started writing jokes for radio, musicals, feature films, TV and the stage. He is especially known for his political satire, writing for several series of RORY BREMNER, WHO ELSE?, BREMNER, BIRD AND FORTUNE, DEAD RINGERS and THE WAY IT IS. His theatre work has won the 2004 Fringe Report Drama Writer of the Year and a Headline Highlight Award, and he was made a Writer in Residence at the Canal Café theatre. Terry spends his spare time happily writing songs in his summerhouse in sunny Sussex. He can be found on Twitter @adeadelf--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- Publication Date : December 18, 2014
- File Size : 1182 KB
- Print Length : 240 pages
- Publisher : HarperVoyager (December 18, 2014)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B00MT9E4IO
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #584,927 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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While most mash-ups rely soley on the novelty of their chaotic premises, the author manages to actually craft a compelling tale. It's a bit tongue in cheek, giving plenty of humorous nods to cliches and tropes, and never takes itself too seriously. The swaggering, self-deprecating, coffee-addicted, private eye dwarf is the perfect embodiment of everything this novel stands for.
If you're looking for a break from the grim and the dark and want something funny and fast paced, Detective Strongoak and Case of the Dead Elf will not disappoint.
I don’t read much fantasy these days. I’m sick of magic and the tired old tropes used over and over with little or no imagination. Dr Newman has, in my opinion, successfully given us a fabulous fantasy world with no magic in it. And it works!
The novel was easily a five-star effort. However, for me, there was one element that knocked it down to four. At times, particularly towards the end, the author got on his soapbox and as a result the flow of the story got interrupted. The opinion dumps were too big, IMO, and became distracting.
I don’t mind fiction with a message. In fact, I think fiction is a far better vehicle than non-fiction to convey a message. And the author does convey his. It was just a bit too heavy-handed for my tastes. It needed to be woven more into the fabric of the story.
However, all that said, there are so many good things about this book, I do recommend giving it a read.
The writing is accomplished and witty, even downright hilarious. The author knows how to turn a phrase. His characters are well-drawn. The world is thought out and satisfying, and so is the mystery. I won't go on, as other reviewers have pointed out a boatload of good things -- and they are all on the gold.
Let’s hope the wait for Detective Strongoak’s second case isn’t too long.
This is the world Nicely inhabits, and in which he tries to make his living. He's a former cop (of course) now working as a private eye. He smokes (a pipe), he drinks, he gets hit over the head from behind, he even gets taken for a ride to see the "boss"-- all the traditional attributes of the noir detective. I found him written too broadly at first, as the author set the scene, but soon came to enjoy the style of writing, which would be reminiscent of Dashiell Hammett if it wasn't taking place in a city of dwarves, elves, and goblins.
And yet, as you read it, you start picking up on other, less obvious (at least at first) antecedents to the Case of the Dead Elf. The various inhabitants of the Citadel, it's soon clear, don't merely match those of all the various fantasy works since Tolkien-- they match Tolkien. J.R.R. Tolkien never specified what would happen with the passing of Middle Earth. Terry Newman has the answer, and it's worth reading.
The only thing that was a little disappointing was the mystery, mainly because the bad guy was telegraphed almost from the beginning. But that's a minor quibble in an otherwise really enjoyable read.
Top reviews from other countries
Not many woud think to put together two such apparently diverse genres as fantasy fiction involving elves, goblins etc and the hard-boiled Raymond Chandler-esque world of crime, but this is remarkably achieved here with such confidence and style, that something completely new seems to be born. Not only that but the world the author creates is vivid and realistic, so one can picture it fully while reading, with the Chandler influence cleverly grounding the fantasy in a rather unique way, bringing it down to earth and resolving many of the traditional problems with fantasy - simply that of believability. Not only that but the author's background in comedy is very obvious, as the jokes just keep coming, timed to perfection. The characters are warm, sometimes quirky, and very engaging, so much so that I can see this being adapted as a film or animation very successfully. Another area where fantasy can be found wanting is in providing an interesting and convincing plot-line. Again here the author has counteracted this with aplomb, using the crime genre to provide a story that holds you all the way, twisting and turning to its gripping conclusion. I was so enjoying this novel, I was sorry to see it end .. the best you can say for any book.
All in all I think the author has done something rather remarkable here, walking a tightrope of genres that might have defeated many people, but here providing quite a thrilling spectacle. Heartily recommended.