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Deadly Virtues di Jo Bannister
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Deadly Virtues (edizione 2013)

di Jo Bannister (Autore)

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
724290,450 (3.91)3
When an inmate who knew he was about to be killed gives him a cryptic message before being beaten to death, Ash, a man from an English town where the low crime rate is linked to a chief's zero-tolerance policy, shares his knowledge with police recruit Hazel Best, who risks her career to uncover the truth.… (altro)
Utente:ke62
Titolo:Deadly Virtues
Autori:Jo Bannister (Autore)
Info:Minotaur Books (2013), Edition: 1, 304 pages
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca
Voto:***1/2
Etichette:Mystery, England, Hazel Best, Gabriel Ash

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Deadly Virtues di Jo Bannister

Aggiunto di recente daArina42, ke62, VivienneR, mml85821, pjpfodl
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The first of a series in the countryside of England, with a man who is in shock after his family is kidnapped, a police woman on probation for being a rule follower, and a homeless teenager. ( )
  MichelleConnell | Sep 26, 2018 |
This is my first Jo Bannister book and I am looking forward to reading the second in this series. What I enjoyed most about this book was the quality of the writing. So engaging, down-to-earth and unpretentious. No long-winded passages or 10 dollar words. Characters were really easy to get interested in. Suspenseful plot and great ending. Really had everything I could want in a murder mystery - more of a cosy mystery than one with a lot of gratuitous action or violence but then this is one of the many things I prefer about British authors over American. ( )
  MitchMcCrimmon | Apr 27, 2018 |
I was surprised to see a new release by Jo Bannister at my local library. I used to devour her books – the Brodie Farrell series in particular though I think I’ve read most of the others as well – but if you’d asked me if she was still writing today I’d have guessed not. Somehow she fell off my reading radar during the past half-dozen or so years. It only took me a few pages of DEADLY VIRTUES to realise I needed to slap myself for allowing this to happen. The book is a treat, offering the same combination of totally compelling storyline, characters to really care about and writing that exhibits its author’s obvious love of language that I’d always enjoyed about Bannister’s novels.

This one opens by introducing us to Jerome Cardy, a young, black law student living in what I assume is the fictional town of Norbold, England. Jerome is convinced he is going to die. When he ends up in the local nick after a minor traffic accident he is so convinced of his impending death that he implores his cell mate to remember him and his prediction of his own death. Problematically Jerome’s cell mate is Gideon Ash who’s only at the station to sleep off the beating he received earlier that night from some of the town’s delinquents. But even without the probable concussion Ash wouldn’t have been anyone’s first choice for a reliable witness. He’s generally known around town as Rambles with Dog due to the fact that his only employment is to walk the town talking to his dog (though what fewer people know is that Patience occasionally talks back). However when Ash learns that Jerome did die later that evening he tries desperately to make sure someone in authority knows what Jerome told him. The person he manages to connect with is Hazel Best, a young policewoman with loads of potential but who is new to the town with few solid contacts. The pair of unlikely heroes join forces and uncover some nasty, nasty secrets about the town with the lowest crime rate in England.

This book made me smile. A lot. That doesn’t mean it’s all rainbows and unicorns or that it’s a flawless novel. But its overall tone and gentle, intelligent humour are simply delightful. I don’t remember if I’ve had this thought before (if so, I didn’t write it down) but Bannister’s writing has the same effect on me as that of Douglas Adams or Bill Bryson: regardless of any exciting plot or character development the words might convey I am even more keen to find the linguistic treats and jokes the author has shared when carefully constructing each sentence.

It would, I think, be impossible to read this book and not want to wrap Gideon Ash in a warm blanket and look after him (and his dog) for the rest of his life. Though he might not welcome the affection. The tragedy in his past past is worn with a mixture of bewilderment and desperation that it made my heart ache. Which is the only explanation for me allowing myself one of my soppier moments in not getting annoyed at the presence of an occasionally talking dog (a device that usually makes me roll my eyes and throw the book against the nearest wall). Hazel is nicely drawn too, though I’m in agreement with this review at Book’d Out that she is more naive than any modern policewoman could realistically be. But I liked the depiction of her internal struggle to do the right thing, even though it meant going against her fellow officers and resulted in her ostracism. It’s sometimes nice to be reminded there are good people in the world.

The story is typically Bannister, involving lots of twists and turns and even though some of them were fairly obvious to this seasoned crime reader none were out of place. And the way it is revealed – the piecing together of disparate facts and half-known snippets of information – is compelling. I was thrilled to re-discover this old favourite author and highly recommend DEADLY VIRTUES to all.
  bsquaredinoz | Aug 19, 2013 |
Part police procedural, part cozy mystery, Deadly Virtues is an engaging crime fiction novel from prolific British author Jo Bannister.

When Jerome Cardy dies in police custody, brutally beaten to death by his cellmate, the incident seems likely to be written up as an unfortunate accident. But the law student’s last panicked words referencing Othello, nags at Gabriel Ash with whom the young man briefly shared a cell. Rookie cop Hazel Best is inclined to dismiss the word of the man known as ‘Rambles with Dog’ but when Ash is the subject of an attempted kidnapping, and then a journalist curious about the case is killed in a fatal hit and run, Hazel is forced to consider that Jerome’s death was not an accident at all.

There aren’t too many surprises in this tale of murder and corruption but it is an engaging, well plotted mystery. The small English town of Norbold boasts one of the country’s lowest crime rates attributed to Chief Superintendent John Fountain’s zero tolerance policy but Gabriel Ash and new recruit, Constable Hazel Best soon discover that all is not as it seems.

I particularly liked the well developed main protagonists of Deadly Virtues. Gabriel Ash is considered the town’s ‘crazy’ due to his mumbled conversations with an adopted stray Lurcher, hence the label ‘Rambles with Dog’. But four years ago Ash was a government official whose diligent work in counter terrorism resulted in tragedy and subsequently an emotional break down. Ash is a sympathetic and intriguing character and I really enjoyed the way in which he evolved through out the story.
Hazel Best is an idealistic new constable who is torn between honour and duty. Doing the right thing is important to her but when the cost may be her career, and even her life, Hazel is faced with some difficult decisions. Though I find it hard to believe Hazel could be quite as naive as she seems to be at times, I felt her internal conflict was believable and admired her strength of character.

I thought the issues that were posed with the denouement of the story were interesting and gave the story additional depth. Nothing is ever as black and white, or as simple as it seems – even the truth.

Deadly Virtues is an entertaining and satisfying mystery with appealing characters and I expect dog lovers will find it hard to resist Ash’s faithful hound, Patience. Though written as a stand alone, there is potential for Bannister to revive these characters and I would certainly be interested in seeing Gabriel, with the help of Hazel, find answers regarding the fate of his family. ( )
  shelleyraec | Aug 16, 2013 |
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When an inmate who knew he was about to be killed gives him a cryptic message before being beaten to death, Ash, a man from an English town where the low crime rate is linked to a chief's zero-tolerance policy, shares his knowledge with police recruit Hazel Best, who risks her career to uncover the truth.

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