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A Good Day to Die: A Novel (Dennis Milne Series) Hardcover – September 19, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Dennis Milne Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kernick (The Crime Trade) blurs the line between the right and wrong sides of justice in his fourth novel, a tense tale about a British cop turned vigilante-for-hire. Det. Sgt. Dennis Milne fled London for the Philippines after murdering innocent men he mistook for scumbags. Three years later, after changing his name to Mick Kane, he earns a living in Sabang Bay offing bad guys for pay; his latest target is a familiar London snitch who's wanted back in England for killing Milne's friend, Det. Asif Malik. Hungry for further vengeance, Milne risks his freedom and returns to London to track down others connected to Malik's murder. Milne re-examines the case Malik was investigating, sets up a meeting with a crime boss and gets ambushed for his troubles. From then on, Milne barely stays a step ahead of death. Though uneven at times, this action-packed page-turner will earn Kernick new followers. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Fans of Kernick's stellar debut (The Business of Dying,2003) will hail the return of pragmatic disgraced copper Dennis Milne to the series after a two-book hiatus. With a new face and a new name (Mick Kane), Milne is now incognito in the Philippines as a hotelier, dive instructor, and reluctant hit man, who kills only those who deeply deserve it, such as a homicidal pedophile on holiday, or the slippery fellow killer-for-hire who did in his old partner, Asif Malik. Returning to London to hunt down those responsible for Malik's death, Milne eases onto the brutal streets and into his old ways with all the relish of tucking into a plate of chips, a pint of bitter, and a pub brawl. Milne's arrival has been anticipated, and the tension doesn't let up for a single page as he dodges a nasty array of potential captors and killers, teaming with a comely journalist to go after very big bottom-feeders. Kernick spins a nonstop mystery thriller, leavening the grimy noir with a renegade hero every bit as likable as Spenser and as tough as Hawk. A good book for a breakthrough and a sure bet for fans of gritty Brits and hard-boiled thrills from Ken Bruen to Ian Rankin to Michael Connelly. David Wright
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: Dennis Milne Series (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (September 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312349955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312349950
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,185,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeff VINE VOICE on May 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As I've said in other reviews, Simon Kernick is building a multi-volume tale of crime in contemporary London, albeit one with striking variations in plot from typical noir. In his first book, we met Dennis Milne, a CID with the Yard, who is a hit man on the side. He gets set up for a job in the beginning of the debut novel which turns out to be anything than what it was supposed to be, and disaster for Milne ensues.

This volume finds him a world away, but compelled to return to London to avenge two former close CID colleagues. The twists and turns he must take to achieve his goal, especially in a CCTV blanked London where he is a most wanted criminal indeed, make for a very satisfying read, and I doubt few readers see the end unfolding as it does.

Despite the fact that Milne has done some terrible things, he has a moral compass and he manages to find some of it in this book. Needless to say, the dialog and characters are well drawn, and the book comes to far too soon an end. However, every new book takes Kernick's characters forward (or brings them to their end) and so in some sense, the story never ends even thought the book does.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
.The world is a hard dark place according to the Author. In the Jungle of big cities and in this case London,the Hero,a renegade policeman and contract killer tries to fight crime,yes fight crime,and dispense his own justice as he understands it.
Avoiding moral judgement,this is a very well written novel,with many twists and turns,sharply sketched characters,an original plot and tons of violence with blood flowing freely. It is happening in crime-infested London where the Police cannot stem the flood anymore,or sometimes are part of it.
The personality of the Hero is intriguing in its mixture of good and evil in his fight against a paedophile ring and to revenge the assassination of an ex colleague,the descriptions of the shadier parts of London and their inhabitants is fascinating in their vivid detail and the denouement is original and unexpected. This is not an Agatha Christie crime story. It is more as if Bram Stoker took to writing police thrillers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thrillers are not my favorite crime novels. I prefer convoluted, slowly unraveling puzzles with complex characters. Even so, Simon Kernick is a master of modern thriller. He puts just a right amount of meat on the bones of this story. The plots are exciting, but reasonably logical, and he doesn't overdo the twist madness that so many thriller writers these days do, Harlan Coben, for example. This is a fun, but intelligent thriller, and needless to say, without fail, I buy every book this man writes.
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By JEMSON on August 9, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Average fare, but a decent enough read despite the unlikely plotting. Fodder for the masses, the kind of book that you pick up for an easy couple of days, the brain not required to work itself too hard.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This captivating and complex suspense story brings us back to the ongoing saga of disgraced ex-police inspector Dennis Milne. We were first introduced to Dennis in "The Business of Dying" and I suggest reading this novel first in order to understand why this intrepid protagonist ended up on the run as much from the police as from criminals. In this second installment, Dennis is now surrounded by low-life hoodlums, underworld overlords and corrupt upper figures of society.

Since our last encounter with Dennis he has had plastic surgery and moved to the Philippines and is known by locals as Mick Kane. He is now earning a living in the diving-supply trade with a former informant Tomboy Drake and moonlights for extra cash by working part-time as a hit man for London criminal Les Pope, an underworld contact of Drake's.

With Dennis's need to survive he has crossed over to the other side where morality is left behind and the use and abuse of power has become his new M.O. In this story Dennis reluctantly agrees to carry out a local hit on a major criminal and, in doing so, he stumbles upon a clue that could help solve the recent murder of his old friend and colleague, Asif Malik, back in London. As a wanted man Dennis is put in a very tough predicament however he still decides to risk everything by returning home to find out who ordered Malik's death and why.

I like the way M. Kernick had developed his protagonist Dennis. All through the story I found myself sympathizing and wondering whether he is good guy at heart who has been dealt a bad hand and will his luck change. The plot is action packed, fast-paced with plenty of hair raising twists. At times the action is a little far-fetched with the characters surviving impossible situations however it spices up an immensely entertaining read.
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