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Orphaned by an act of senseless violence that took their mother from them, half-brothers Clarence Luckman and Elliott Danziger have been raised in state institutions, unaware of any world outside. But their lives take a sudden turn when they are seized as hostages by a convicted killer en route to death row. Earl Sheridan is a psychopath of the worst kind, but he has the po Orphaned by an act of senseless violence that took their mother from them, half-brothers Clarence Luckman and Elliott Danziger have been raised in state institutions, unaware of any world outside. But their lives take a sudden turn when they are seized as hostages by a convicted killer en route to death row. Earl Sheridan is a psychopath of the worst kind, but he has the potential to change the boys' lives for ever. As the trio set off on a frenetic escape from the law through California and Texas, the two brothers must come to terms with the ever-growing tide of violence that follows in their wake - something that forces them to make a choice about their lives, and their relationship to one another. Will the boys manage to elude the dark star that has hung over them since their mother's death or will they succumb to the pull of Earl Sheridan's terrifying but exhilarating vision of the world?


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Orphaned by an act of senseless violence that took their mother from them, half-brothers Clarence Luckman and Elliott Danziger have been raised in state institutions, unaware of any world outside. But their lives take a sudden turn when they are seized as hostages by a convicted killer en route to death row. Earl Sheridan is a psychopath of the worst kind, but he has the po Orphaned by an act of senseless violence that took their mother from them, half-brothers Clarence Luckman and Elliott Danziger have been raised in state institutions, unaware of any world outside. But their lives take a sudden turn when they are seized as hostages by a convicted killer en route to death row. Earl Sheridan is a psychopath of the worst kind, but he has the potential to change the boys' lives for ever. As the trio set off on a frenetic escape from the law through California and Texas, the two brothers must come to terms with the ever-growing tide of violence that follows in their wake - something that forces them to make a choice about their lives, and their relationship to one another. Will the boys manage to elude the dark star that has hung over them since their mother's death or will they succumb to the pull of Earl Sheridan's terrifying but exhilarating vision of the world?

30 review for Bad Signs

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    Every once in a while a book comes along that you know, without question, you will never forget. Beautifully written, incredibly descriptive and you actually feel like you are watching a film; this is one such book. It's simply breathtaking. I actually cried so hard at the end; I felt like I was mourning a loved one; I had come to love and care for most of the characters that much. This is an incredibly violent and gruesome story of a serial killer and it's very disturbing but the violence and c Every once in a while a book comes along that you know, without question, you will never forget. Beautifully written, incredibly descriptive and you actually feel like you are watching a film; this is one such book. It's simply breathtaking. I actually cried so hard at the end; I felt like I was mourning a loved one; I had come to love and care for most of the characters that much. This is an incredibly violent and gruesome story of a serial killer and it's very disturbing but the violence and cold bloodied murders are essential for the depth of the plot. The story is mostly set in and around the 1960s. Elliot Danzinger and Clay Luckman are half brothers who, as small children, witness their mother being brutally murdered by her husband and father of one of the boys. Elliot becomes hugely protective of Clay as they're are put into a home for orphans and then later a juvenile facility for a petty crime. Fate plays a hand when an escaped convicted murderer, Earl Sheridan, takes the boys (when they are teenagers) hostage. Things take a turn for the worse and the story rockets into space in an incredible way with the pieces all fitting into the jigsaw at the end. Detective John Cassidy, one of my very favourite characters, becomes involved in the case and sets out to investigate. The final quarter of the book I actually couldn't read as I realised I wasn't breathing so had to walk away from it for a time, even though I was anxious to finish it. I will never forget this incredible book. Massively recommended but be warned, as I've said above, it's very violent and disturbing. I am coming back down to earth slowly now :-)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Every now and then, along comes one of those books. The sort that makes you look at people who make statements like "I NEVER read genre fiction" with just that little bit of sadness for what they are missing. That's not to say that BAD SIGNS is the sort of book that everyone is going to enjoy, but for any readers looking for something that will really make you think, take you into some very uncomfortable places, and be profoundly challenged, then it will be an outstanding book. Strange as it may Every now and then, along comes one of those books. The sort that makes you look at people who make statements like "I NEVER read genre fiction" with just that little bit of sadness for what they are missing. That's not to say that BAD SIGNS is the sort of book that everyone is going to enjoy, but for any readers looking for something that will really make you think, take you into some very uncomfortable places, and be profoundly challenged, then it will be an outstanding book. Strange as it may seem from the blurb, this is a book about hope. Albeit brutally wrapped up in human frailty. Returning to themes that Ellory has explored in earlier books - this is the story of young men confronted with an impossible situation, informed only by a deprived and desperate background, and the choices that they make. BAD SIGNS gives us two young boys, half-brothers, raised by the same mother, witnesses to the same violence and experiencing the desperation and degradation of State Care together, who make independent choices when pushed to the extreme. Fuelled by their respective ages, tempered undoubtedly by their allotted "roles" in their relationship, Clarence (Clay) Luckman and Elliott Danziger fight their dark stars in their own particular ways. BAD SIGNS is populated by difficult people to read about - be it because of who they are, what they become, or what could happen to them. Psychopathic serial killer Earl Sheridan is a violent, out of control madman, who for some reason chooses not to kill the brothers in the aftermath of his escape. Which makes reading about their present in his thrall terrifying. What happens to those two boys while they are dragged across the country by this lunatic, violently killing just about everybody he encounters is profoundly discomforting reading. As each of the early chapters end by flagging the horror that is about to occur, it's really difficult to see where any hope is going to come from. Until the boys make their own choices, and the affects of that start to play out. Even then, the tension remains as you worry about how this will play out for the boys. The story remains disturbing and confronting, and the tension is ramped up even more as the reader is dragged, kicking and screaming into the minds of these two boys. Somehow, it's not long before a sense of hope does rise, and with that the tension gets even worse as the reader is left fighting a range of emotions - identification, terror, worry for the future, nervous about the potential resolutions. It's clever this BAD SIGNS. It's incredibly clever. It's dark and dire, and frightening, disturbing and hypnotic. It's only when you've finished reading, when the resolution is known and the tension can finally abate, that there's a chance for this reader to look back and consider. What the book has done is take two characters from the same mother and childhood, with that slightly different genetic background, put them in dire circumstances and look closely, forensically at what becomes of each person. Whilst not everything is completely hopeless, and there are glimpses of bravery, belief, care, love, defiance and empathy, it is a careful study in human frailty, in madness, mistakes and the power of connections. It's a sobering reminder of how a single encounter can twist a life forever - good or bad, it just depends on how each individual plays the cards they are handed. There were points where I had to step away for a little while. The violence, the psychopathy of Earl Sheridan, the circumstances of these two young boys, it's in your face. It's pointed, almost grotesque. It's frequently overwhelming. But it's not gratuitous, it draws a very clear picture of the peril of Clay and Elliott, as well as anyone who innocently comes across the worst of them. Make no mistake, BAD SIGNS is not an easy book to read, it is, however, one hell of a very very very good book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    Tremendous book. Had all the usual attributes that I like in RJ Ellory books - the clever way that two stories come together as one; the references to true life events; the way that emotions/feelings are described which so brilliantly describe how the characters are thinking and make them seem so real; and the twist in the ending. But this one was different from the others and more ambitious and risky - it was told from the perspective of the criminals rather than from that of the good guys that Tremendous book. Had all the usual attributes that I like in RJ Ellory books - the clever way that two stories come together as one; the references to true life events; the way that emotions/feelings are described which so brilliantly describe how the characters are thinking and make them seem so real; and the twist in the ending. But this one was different from the others and more ambitious and risky - it was told from the perspective of the criminals rather than from that of the good guys that were chasing them and there was a twist early on (page 108) that was completely unexpected and which I almost had to reread to check that it had really happened. The way that the characters develop from then on is what really makes the book such a great read. Can't say much more without giving the story away but suffice to say that this is one of my all time favourites.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Bad Signs is set in the 1960s, in Texas in the USA and takes place during one week - only seven days, but an exhausting seven days, for the characters and for the reader. Elliot and Clarence are two half-brothers, better known as Digger and Clay, they were orphaned at an early age and have spent their time in 'juvy'. Life has not been good for them - were they born under a 'bad sign', will the dark star that has followed them through life always make life this bad? It certainly seems that way wh Bad Signs is set in the 1960s, in Texas in the USA and takes place during one week - only seven days, but an exhausting seven days, for the characters and for the reader. Elliot and Clarence are two half-brothers, better known as Digger and Clay, they were orphaned at an early age and have spent their time in 'juvy'. Life has not been good for them - were they born under a 'bad sign', will the dark star that has followed them through life always make life this bad? It certainly seems that way when they are taken hostage by a convicted murderer, Earl Sheridan - a mad, bad man with nothing to lose and who lets nothing get in his way. And so follows a fast-paced story, as the fugitives set off across Texas, in the hope of finding their own Eldorado. Earl Sheridan is possibly one of the meanest, psychopathic individuals that I have ever read about and it is these traits that are welcomed by one of the brothers. Not for him, the horror of murder and torture and totally meaningless death, instead it sparks something inside him that reveals the darkness within and soon he too starts to cause his own kind of havoc - leaving a shocking trail of misery and in his wake. The other brother finds himself caught up in a chase that he doesn't understand and is not really aware of whilst finding his first real friend of his life. There were times when I just had to stop reading. As much as I was desperate to know which way the story was going to turn next, the full-on details of some horrific murders, the sense of horror and the shock of some of the decisions made by the characters almost took away my breath, and stopping for breath was all I could do. There are some scenes in Bad Signs that shock, yet none of them are unnecessary to the story, and despite the horror they just add more depth to the story. This is no ordinary crime novel, this is a story of the evil that is hidden away inside some human beings and the depths that some people will go. The characters are flawed inside but brilliantly portrayed. The small-town image, the sleepy countryside, awoken by the terror that comes amongst them, and the unrelenting sense of not really knowing if justice will be done makes this another thrilling read from Ellory. Who knows just where he will go to next?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer (JC-S)

    ‘Eldorado. Where kids have moms and dads.’ When Clarence Luckman’s father kills their mother, Clarence and his half-brother Elliott Danziger , spend their childhood in various state institutions. By the time they are teenagers, housed in a juvenile detention facility, Clarence (known as Clay) and Elliott (known as Digger) are well acquainted with violence and the darker side of life in institutions. And things are about to get a whole lot worse when they are taken hostage by Earl Sheridan. Earl S ‘Eldorado. Where kids have moms and dads.’ When Clarence Luckman’s father kills their mother, Clarence and his half-brother Elliott Danziger , spend their childhood in various state institutions. By the time they are teenagers, housed in a juvenile detention facility, Clarence (known as Clay) and Elliott (known as Digger) are well acquainted with violence and the darker side of life in institutions. And things are about to get a whole lot worse when they are taken hostage by Earl Sheridan. Earl Sheridan, a man en route to death row with nothing left to lose, kills his way out of imprisonment and takes the brothers with him as hostages. Set in the 1960s, in Texas, the balance of the story plays out over the next nine days. Earl Sheridan is a psychopath who takes the boys on a killing spree. Digger is fascinated, and sees Earl as a hero and someone that he wants to emulate. And so he does. Clay manages to escape, but is caught in a different tragedy as a consequence of mistaken identity. This novel is both thriller and epic tragedy. Who will survive, and how? Are the fates determining who will live and die? Will the guilty be punished, and can the innocent survive? Both boys are seeking a happier life, both seem set on reaching their own Eldorado but each has chosen (or is drawn to) a different path. Other people, whose paths cross theirs, will have their lives changed. Or ended. Is it chance, or fate? Pre-destined, or self-determined? If self-determined, what factors determine the choices? I could not put this novel down. I was caught up in an atmosphere of dreadful expectation and fearful hope – of a brighter future for one of the brothers and his new-found friend. There are some horrific scenes in this novel, but none of them seemed gratuitous within the context of the story. ‘Bad Signs’ is disturbing but never entirely without hope. And the ending? Somehow it seemed appropriate. If you want to know why, you’ll need to read it yourself. Be prepared to be shocked and moved, and then haunted. ‘Doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you’re always looking at the same sky.’ Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  6. 4 out of 5

    James Perkins

    Clarence Luckman and Elliott Danziger are orphaned half-brothers that started life rough, two teenagers who know little about the world except the unpleasant state institutions in which they grew up. Their lives change forever when they are taken as hostages by a convicted killer on his way to death row. Ellory's novel is a brilliant thriller that keeps you reading as you feel for his characters in the midst of desperation on the highways and small towns of south-west United States in the mid-19 Clarence Luckman and Elliott Danziger are orphaned half-brothers that started life rough, two teenagers who know little about the world except the unpleasant state institutions in which they grew up. Their lives change forever when they are taken as hostages by a convicted killer on his way to death row. Ellory's novel is a brilliant thriller that keeps you reading as you feel for his characters in the midst of desperation on the highways and small towns of south-west United States in the mid-1960s. The violence is sparing but graphic, and because the writer is British, he doesn't follow the American formula precisely, so it's quite hard to predict what will happen next: the looming threat edging into the mind of the reader not only has you guessing but actually makes you nervous as you turn the page. I enjoyed this book a lot. It's part thriller, part police procedural, part teenage philosophy. Despite all this, it's still missing something I can't quite put my finger on - that X-factor that makes a story as easy and sensual as running your finger along a swatch of velvet. But even his bad books are good - Ellory is a talented writer and I will be reading more of his work.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    My other half put me onto this book, as he so often does. We both usually enjoy the same authors. This book had me hanging on each character's story as the author rotates their experiences chapter by chapter. You really want to know where each cliff hanger leads! The violence is described in enough detail without being gratuitous & leaves your imagination processing the rest. All together an enjoyable read with some lovely twists that keep you guessing. My other half put me onto this book, as he so often does. We both usually enjoy the same authors. This book had me hanging on each character's story as the author rotates their experiences chapter by chapter. You really want to know where each cliff hanger leads! The violence is described in enough detail without being gratuitous & leaves your imagination processing the rest. All together an enjoyable read with some lovely twists that keep you guessing.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    Highly recommend this book. Lots of violence which I found quite upsetting many times throughout the book, but this intense story is so very well written. Absolutely loved this brilliant book...which did surprise me. Now to read more of this author.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Big Bertha

    On finishing this book I have to say "That was probably one of the best books I've ever read" Digger Danzinger and Clay Luckman were half brothers who never got a break, growing up in a Juvenile Detention Centre things weren't going to change. Then a freak storm bought killer Earl Sheridan to their door, en-route to his hanging it was the only suitable place for his guards to stop off for the night and when he makes a break for freedom, he needs hostages and Digger and Clay are the chosen ones. Th On finishing this book I have to say "That was probably one of the best books I've ever read" Digger Danzinger and Clay Luckman were half brothers who never got a break, growing up in a Juvenile Detention Centre things weren't going to change. Then a freak storm bought killer Earl Sheridan to their door, en-route to his hanging it was the only suitable place for his guards to stop off for the night and when he makes a break for freedom, he needs hostages and Digger and Clay are the chosen ones. This book is set over just 9 days. As Earl Sheridan and his hostages flee across country, they leave a trail of death and destruction behind them. Maybe not for the squeamish, there's a lot of violence and bloodshed in this book and parts of it are graphic and truly shocking as the evil in one individual is let loose on the community. The characterisation is what makes this book, each and every one of them are well written, believable and had depth. I found this book had a sort of 'car-crash fascination' for me, horrific but unable to stop reading until I reached the end. Whilst I'm very definitely a fan of RJ Ellory's I don't love everything he's done, this however is probably in my opinion one of his best. I really could not put it down.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Claude

    An unforgettable thriller. Perhaps the best one, in this genre, I have ever read. It's a hell (of a) ride. The tension is practically unbearable and despite the gruesome murders, there is so much tenderness to be found. Excellent! quotes: The most dangerous thing about Earl Sheridan was his confidence. Confidence was nothing more than certainty. Confidence was simply saying something you believed in. Trouble was that those with impressionable minds took certainty and self-belief as truth. Ever atte An unforgettable thriller. Perhaps the best one, in this genre, I have ever read. It's a hell (of a) ride. The tension is practically unbearable and despite the gruesome murders, there is so much tenderness to be found. Excellent! quotes: The most dangerous thing about Earl Sheridan was his confidence. Confidence was nothing more than certainty. Confidence was simply saying something you believed in. Trouble was that those with impressionable minds took certainty and self-belief as truth. Ever attempting to maintain an optimistic slant on things, he could not help but be aware of the fact that the social order was slipping… there seemed to be a brashness and superficiality appearing in society. Television was consuming people’s lives. The quality of things seemed to be deteriorating. People had less time for others.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Verity (The Cosy Reading Nest)

    From beginning to end this story had me gripped and I simply could not stop reading. The pace of the book is relentless and you really get caught up in the danger and suspense of it all- at times I realised I was even holding my breath waiting to see what was going to happen. The relationship between the two half-brothers that this story centers around is beautifully described, and the people that they meet along the way equally add to the beauty of the story. The way that this beauty is juxtaposed From beginning to end this story had me gripped and I simply could not stop reading. The pace of the book is relentless and you really get caught up in the danger and suspense of it all- at times I realised I was even holding my breath waiting to see what was going to happen. The relationship between the two half-brothers that this story centers around is beautifully described, and the people that they meet along the way equally add to the beauty of the story. The way that this beauty is juxtaposed against the horror and the depravity of the main action within the story will leave you breathless. This book is a must read!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Janie

    I wasn't expecting much from this book after reading the synopsis but, boy, was I wrong! It is one of the best books I have ever read - and that is many. It is beautifully written and Ellory does a wonderful job in exploring the nature of human beings and how growing up and the building of character can go tragically wrong in an instant and with the added ingredients of further adversity can create a human monster, on one hand, and a caring good person on the other; in fact, mirror image persona I wasn't expecting much from this book after reading the synopsis but, boy, was I wrong! It is one of the best books I have ever read - and that is many. It is beautifully written and Ellory does a wonderful job in exploring the nature of human beings and how growing up and the building of character can go tragically wrong in an instant and with the added ingredients of further adversity can create a human monster, on one hand, and a caring good person on the other; in fact, mirror image personalities. This is a book I need to reflect on for a while, and enjoy, before taking another from my growing pile.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    There's an epic Rush album from the late 70's called Hemispheres. Google it if you don't know it, because you should. Anyway, it's a prog-rock concept album about the idea of the two sides of man, yin and yang, the different hemispheres of the brain, and the balance between them. (Seriously, google it) So... If the larger idea behind R.J. Ellory's Bad Signs is a similar notion -- where the two principle characters, the brothers Digger and Clay, are meant to represent two opposing hemispheres of ma There's an epic Rush album from the late 70's called Hemispheres. Google it if you don't know it, because you should. Anyway, it's a prog-rock concept album about the idea of the two sides of man, yin and yang, the different hemispheres of the brain, and the balance between them. (Seriously, google it) So... If the larger idea behind R.J. Ellory's Bad Signs is a similar notion -- where the two principle characters, the brothers Digger and Clay, are meant to represent two opposing hemispheres of man -- then I think that's a pretty cool concept. But if this is just supposed to be nothing more than the kill-a-palooza odyssey it clearly is, well then that's pretty disappointing. As odysseys go, I like how adeptly Ellory humanizes all the many fleeting characters that come along with just enough back-story to help you absorb the scene and relate to the characters. R.J. is very very good at this. And the cover says it's a "thriller", but I would liken the "thriller" aspect of this book to that of the extreme carnival ride where they hoist you up on a giant cable hanging from a crane and then drop you to plummet and swing: the ride might be "thrilling" but the path you are going to take is pretty clear from the get-go. So goes the plot of this book, it may be "thrilling" I guess, but the path you are on seems pretty well pre-determined. Which leaves me hoping there was more to this, some comment perhaps about those who feel that life has dealt them a losing hand (see what I did there Rush fans??) and the choices they can make (with their own free will) from there. If the two brothers are the "hemispheres", then bravo. But the truth of the matter is -- the problem is -- I just don't know. I can't give this book high marks because I'm left with the nagging feeling that maybe the extreme violence is just that -- the gratuitous gore-fest that it seems at first glance to be. So, I'm caught between the two hemispheres of good or bad on this one, in the middle between zero and five: Three Stars. ( and here you go, you don't have to google it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfloB... )

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bogdan

    This was probably one of the most violent and bloody books I've ever read. A Song of Ice and Fire does not have this many notable/heart wrenching deaths throughout a series of volumes. My opinion of this novel has changed as I carried on reading it. It became easier to read and started to flow more, the more I acquainted myself with the style. There are plenty of typos and grammatical errors, but the author definitely has a gift for building up the suspense. There were moments when I just knew so This was probably one of the most violent and bloody books I've ever read. A Song of Ice and Fire does not have this many notable/heart wrenching deaths throughout a series of volumes. My opinion of this novel has changed as I carried on reading it. It became easier to read and started to flow more, the more I acquainted myself with the style. There are plenty of typos and grammatical errors, but the author definitely has a gift for building up the suspense. There were moments when I just knew something bad was about to happen... AND IT DID! And I punched my desk once because of it. But this is part of the book's charm. There are some lovely paragraphs and some very deep and philosophical thoughts, some real gems of wisdom hidden there if you have the eye to look for them. They contrast quite well with the delusions of the mad man and with the ones belonging to one who always sees oneself as a victim. The concept of a road trip, which sets the scene, contributes really well to the overall impact of the book. I would recommend this book!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Haroutunian

    Amazing writing, amazing story! Ellory builds a world and a depth of character unlike any other. Unexpected twists occur along the way and you’re taken along to the perfect ending — there could be no other ending than this one. This book ISN’T for the faint of heart. But at the same time, the darkness is balanced with the light and with some of the most beautiful scenes and words of all. Reminds me of Cormac McCarthy, but with a different touch of magic added to the darkness. For me, it’s McCart Amazing writing, amazing story! Ellory builds a world and a depth of character unlike any other. Unexpected twists occur along the way and you’re taken along to the perfect ending — there could be no other ending than this one. This book ISN’T for the faint of heart. But at the same time, the darkness is balanced with the light and with some of the most beautiful scenes and words of all. Reminds me of Cormac McCarthy, but with a different touch of magic added to the darkness. For me, it’s McCarthy with a touch of Nowhere Man and Orange Girl. Highly recommended. I look forward to reading other works by the author.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book. It was so amazing. But oh my wordddddddd. It was one of the most (gratituously) violent books with graphic sexual attacks that I have ever read. This was completely plot driven, bu the characters -- including most of the victims -- were very well defined. The reader connected with the characters and engaged with them throughout. I loved Bailey and Clay. But I think the heroes of the novel were John Cassidy and his amazing wife. If you can get past the violence, grab this. It was a bit This book. It was so amazing. But oh my wordddddddd. It was one of the most (gratituously) violent books with graphic sexual attacks that I have ever read. This was completely plot driven, bu the characters -- including most of the victims -- were very well defined. The reader connected with the characters and engaged with them throughout. I loved Bailey and Clay. But I think the heroes of the novel were John Cassidy and his amazing wife. If you can get past the violence, grab this. It was a bit much for me, so 4/5 stars.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ginny

    Half brothers Clarence (Clay) and Elliot (Digger) are orphaned when their mother was killed and are raised in an institution. On his way to Death Row, a convicted killer is temporarily housed there but manages to escape taking Clay and Digger as hostages. Clay sees Earl Sheridan for what he is--a psychopath. Digger is mesmerized by Sheridan and wants to follow in his footsteps. As all of this plays out the book gets brutal and tense and thrilling. You'll be glued to the book as it comes to its c Half brothers Clarence (Clay) and Elliot (Digger) are orphaned when their mother was killed and are raised in an institution. On his way to Death Row, a convicted killer is temporarily housed there but manages to escape taking Clay and Digger as hostages. Clay sees Earl Sheridan for what he is--a psychopath. Digger is mesmerized by Sheridan and wants to follow in his footsteps. As all of this plays out the book gets brutal and tense and thrilling. You'll be glued to the book as it comes to its conclusion. Great writer.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

    I was so disappointed with this. I've read seven other Ellory books, and this is the only one I haven't liked. The plot was driven so much by coincidence, with such stereotypes, that I just couldn't enjoy it. A main character that seems to change with no reason to do so, and a plot that depends mainly on taking for granted that a criminal is telling the truth to the cops don't make this as compelling as it could and should have been. I was so disappointed with this. I've read seven other Ellory books, and this is the only one I haven't liked. The plot was driven so much by coincidence, with such stereotypes, that I just couldn't enjoy it. A main character that seems to change with no reason to do so, and a plot that depends mainly on taking for granted that a criminal is telling the truth to the cops don't make this as compelling as it could and should have been.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stargazer

    Loving getting through these books, my author of the moment. Would make a great movie. Unputdownable, with good solid plot and the best and worst of human nature explored. I was peeking through my fingers at some points, well, squinting my eyes a bit dreading what the baddies were going to do to their victims. Great read. Onto the next!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kris Van Laer

    love these kinds of stories, it reads like a thriller, a road movie, a coming of age and love story all in one. Yes it gets more brutal and brutal along the story and you sometimes wonder how can a young guy like that turn into a monster in such short notice but it didn't bother me at all. Cannot wait till the moment they make a movie out of it love these kinds of stories, it reads like a thriller, a road movie, a coming of age and love story all in one. Yes it gets more brutal and brutal along the story and you sometimes wonder how can a young guy like that turn into a monster in such short notice but it didn't bother me at all. Cannot wait till the moment they make a movie out of it

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    My first RJ Ellory novel in a few years and this was a thoroughly enjoyable read. The story is set in the 60’s and the author does a great job of providing the background and ongoing emotions of the 2 brothers. Very violent and graphic in places but this is a fascinating read and highly recommended.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Therese Burke

    My first time reading an R. J. ELLORY book. What a fantastic read. Very well written and cleverly put together. I loved the back story of the characters,, nothing was left unexplained. Kept me gripped right til the end. Very satisfied with the ending too. I'm just about to start A Quiet Belief in Angels. Will post review when I finish. Thank you 😊 My first time reading an R. J. ELLORY book. What a fantastic read. Very well written and cleverly put together. I loved the back story of the characters,, nothing was left unexplained. Kept me gripped right til the end. Very satisfied with the ending too. I'm just about to start A Quiet Belief in Angels. Will post review when I finish. Thank you 😊

  23. 5 out of 5

    Baz

    Terrific book Didn't want to put it down. Probably the best R.J. Ellory novel I've read so far. Very clever plot with extremely descriptive writing which keeps up a speed of light plot. Thoroughly recommend this book. Terrific book Didn't want to put it down. Probably the best R.J. Ellory novel I've read so far. Very clever plot with extremely descriptive writing which keeps up a speed of light plot. Thoroughly recommend this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Grada (BoekenTrol)

    I liked this book. It was interesting, quite a quick read, unpredictable and the end was satisfactory, although all threads were quite nicely followed & attached. How two boys head to their respective destinations, it certainly felt like it was all predestined while I was reading.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Henderson

    It is hard to rate this because I think it was a great story line and had potential but I found the writing to be confusing and sometimes I wasn't sure what brother they were talking about or what they meant It is hard to rate this because I think it was a great story line and had potential but I found the writing to be confusing and sometimes I wasn't sure what brother they were talking about or what they meant

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brucie

    Documentary style kept this story interesting, but fatalistic character development and jerky contrived plot are unsatisfying. I suppose there was a point to make about the human condition, but I didn't get it from this story. Documentary style kept this story interesting, but fatalistic character development and jerky contrived plot are unsatisfying. I suppose there was a point to make about the human condition, but I didn't get it from this story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Manon Klaassen

    A good story from the get-go. I was excited to learn more. It was hard to remember all the characters. I liked John Cassidy and his wife, Bailey's story and ofcourse the two brothers. This could very well be an awesome movie. A good story from the get-go. I was excited to learn more. It was hard to remember all the characters. I liked John Cassidy and his wife, Bailey's story and ofcourse the two brothers. This could very well be an awesome movie.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dora Okeyo

    Thank heavens for the persistent Detective Cassidy.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Diane Felci

    Lost count of how many senseless killings took place.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bougainvillea

    Gripping from beginning to end

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