On New Year’s Day, a wealthy family is found slaughtered inside their exclusive gated community in north London, their youngest child stolen away. The murder weapon is a gun for stunning cattle, leading Detective Max Wolfe to a dusty corner of Scotland Yard’s Black Museum devoted to a killer who thirty years ago was known as the Slaughter Man. But the Slaughter Man is now old and dying. Can he really be back in the game?
©2015 Tony Parsons (P)2015 W F Howes Ltd
"Spectacular! Tense and human, fast and authentic." (Lee Child on The Murder Bag)
"A relentless plot, evocative prose and compelling portraits of the characters, good and evil, conspire to make this a must read." (Jeffrey Deaver on The Murder Bag)
I enjoyed murder bag but slaughter man was a let down. Implausible decisions to place officers at risk and Max Wolfe ended up with enough injuries to place him in rehab for a few decades. And yet he just kept on going.
A bit drawn out, and at times fairly unbelievable. It tendered to lurch from crisis to crisis and although I enjoy the hero, (although I found him difficult to emotionally connect with) I do find the situations he finds himself in quite hard to comprehend. The murder of the call girl was a bolt from the blue and there appeared to be on occasions, violence for the sake of violence.
I will listen to the third book in the trilogy, when released, however will seek to now listen to something not as unpleasant in story line and characters.
This book is quite dark, but not overly violent, it is fast paced and I imagine it will make an excellent film, it put me in mind of 'Mr In-between". I found the characters mostly believable and over all I enjoyed the story, however I found the dialogue between the father and five year old daughter unconvincing - too old and mature - more like a 9-12 year old, I also found the narrators voice was mismatched for the main suspect, too soft and small compared to the description.
"Extreme gore, torture, and abuse"
Extreme violence and sexual abuse of women and children, plus detailed descriptions of torture -- and a likable little girl and adorable dog thrown in as palate cleansers between the scenes of gore. To me, this is just lazy, uninteresting writing driven by the easy shock "value" of ultraviolence. I like a bit of gore as much as anyone, but in small doses it can be more interesting and more shocking than lots and lots of goriness. The unknown and the unspoken can be way more terrifying. For example, see the movie "The Conversation" and the witty, character- and plot-driven crime novels of Adrian McKinty and Patricia Highsmith.
I can't understand how a great story would be muddied with silly police tactics over and over.
Why ruin what should have been a good thriller with inept drama that no one in their right mind would do, especially detectives. Not even Harry Bosch would do attempt this stuff. And he pushes reality, mind. Not defies it,
When in history did four cops walk into a crowd of hundreds of people who loath the sight of them, ready to kill all cops if they can with the slightest provocation..when would the senior officer of MET and senior offices walk in with no back up and arrest a poor bloke with the IQ of a tennis ball for a complicated multiple murder massacre? Never ... Only in this ridiculous yarn. When would four cops set upon like that get up and walk away from it? Never
Why why why, it is such a good bloody plot! It had everything going for it, pull this book. Republish without all the stupid confrontations made by these top investigators. They wouldn't do it, they'd be suspended the first time, and charged the second time for endangering life, causing death and paralysing a cop. They would be fired. They would be charged.
But no...on it goes to crazier unbelievable exploits, beyond the pale! Then a normal reader groans. It's defies reality. You push us too far.
I have no choice, I want my money back. I want very much to have really enjoyed the book. God knows the plot is dazzling!
The author has made improvements in the second book of the series and manages to elevate the book to average. The biggest improvement is in the plot: it is much tighter and flows at a better pace. The narrator continues to be the main attraction, and saves the book from mediocrity. The relationship between the main character and his daughter is also a highlight. Sadly, I don't think the book rises above average because of several ridiculous points. Is it necessary to have a cop killed or seriously disabled in each book? Why doesn't the author spend a little time on developing a few more strong characters instead of dropping numerous flimsy characters in just for killing targets? The protagonist also is almost killed in a riot, stabbed in the abdomen, beaten senseless, and buried alive; the sequence of trauma the hero tolerates without any real physical side effects is simply silly. The author could have created a greater emotional impact by cutting back on the action and inserting more realism. The overall experience is like watching "The Fast and The Furious": lots of action with minimal emotional complexity.
Nuanced, touching and suspenseful - I loved the writing and the narrator is wonderful. I highly recommend this. The father daughter relationship was resonant and finely detailed.
"Can't wait for the next one......."
I only got this the other day and have already told everyone how good it is.
If you liked the Murder Bag (I loved it) for sure you will need to read this one.
Max of course. But the policeman that maintains the Black Museum is also a great character.
Colin Mace has become my favorite narrator. When he tells this story and The Murder Bag I get to where I wish the book was much longer. I stayed up for most of the night because of the narrator but Tony Parsons writes a great book so he had good material.
I have really enjoyed both of Tony's books. Thanks
"Fine sequel to "The Murder Bag""
Very good series developing here, with multifaceted central character and solid writing. Keeping an eye on Tony Parsons - I expect even better things to come from him. Well worth the credit.
"Love this mystery series and narrator."
The casting of Colin Mace as protagonist Wolfe is perfection. The story line is fast paced, sometimes a bit too violent for my taste and Wolfe's endured beatings beg an extra portion of suspense of disbelief, however, it is almost balanced out by Wolfe's humanity, love for his daughter Scout, and their pet dog, Stan. Parsons' plots are unique, and imbued with London historical locations and reference; a fun ride to locale rarely seen by us tourists.
I found it hard to put my earbuds down!
""Perfectly" constructed hero in an imperfect plot"
Wolfe (Re-e-ally!?!) seems artificially fabricated from calculated hunks of macho mythology: Tortured Victim (can't help lovin' that ex-wife), through Ideal Dad (although his perfect daughter rarely sees him), and bumbling professional (twice barging into predictably perilous situations w/o waiting for easily accessible back-up), and irresistible Ladies' Man, thence to superhero Man of Steel (beaten up, knifed, beaten up again, clobbered with a champagne bottle and buried alive, and oh yeah,the rat) who still heroically manages to make the arrest. The author seems unaware of the medical repercussions of acid burns, knife wounds, concussion, or TBI. Oof.
Unbelievable, kinda like a True Crime Comix.. A police procedural with flawed methodology, no impulse control, and apparently no DNA testing totally stretched incredulity.
The narrator was pleasant but often slipped into whispered and/or mumbled passages. Since I often listen while at the gym, I lost whole passages to his sotto voce, which led to tedious decision-making about whether those extracts were worth retrieving.
"Slaughter Man .. I loved this book , very dark !"
Didn't read the print version.
I like all the times when he visited the black museum , and used a lot of research to help him. I love to do this myself. Like a really strange puzzle.
Colin Mace is one of my favorite narrators. Always perfect with mystery books.
No, it was not that type of book. To me. I didn't delve beneath the surface , because it would not be enjoyable. I'm a very analytical person, therefore books are an escape/respite for me.
I listened to this book all the way in one sitting.
"Excellent Story, but TRULY Realistic???"
Tony Parsons is one hell of a writer. He either does excellent research into a lot of different things like boxing, various ways to die, history of different murders, etc. or he makes it very believable. The narration is also spot on!
I only have two issues - one is somewhat minor and one that I often overlook in books and that is the time between when things happen. Sometimes the timing is simply not possible or unbelievable. The biggest issue I have is that some of things that the detectives do in this book - I HOPE - would never happen. EX: Going back to the Travelers camp without back-up, to confront the killer after the Travelers had already nearly beat the crap out of them. Also, going into a huge mansion with known pedophiles without back-up only a few hours after being released from A&E after the Travelers beating. The injuries the team sustained during that raid would have been taken to court in the U.S. and the head of the unit would have likely been charged with negligence. I don't really think that the UK is that different.
BUT - this will not keep me from loving this author and DC Max Wolfe. DC Max Wolfe is a wonderful character. The stories are well written and well researched. If you like a good, sometimes gory, murder mystery - check this out. You won't be disappointed.
Many places this book is hard to listen to, it's deep, scary, shocking, and some of the violence is quite graphic, the research the writer has done is incredible
Don't expect a light-hearted, they all lived happily ever after thriller, it's not that
Listened to 40 books this year and this ranks number 2
"Second outing for Max Wolfe "
Another enjoyable story from Tony Parsons.
Max Wolfe's team investigate the brutal murders of a family with what seems to be an ideal life style.
Through a series of unfolding events they track the murders down.. or do they?
I enjoyed this book and wait to see how the character develops in future additions to this series.
Interesting- well read and left me hanging on every word. Can't wait for the next in this series- if only to hear about Scout and Stan!!!
"Started well and then ...."
I enjoyed the first third of the book and then it just went for a story that could build and take the reader on great journey to something that was random facts and information with a storyline that more and more unbelievable. Enjoyed a previous book but this seems like a desperate effort to push something out for the sake of it.
OMG.. there is suspending disbelief and then there is just plain ridiculous... if this officer was assaulted ,stabbed ,shot, buried alive, blah blah as often he has been in these two books he would have been dismissed for gross stupidity and his senior officer for plain old gross misconduct which is sad as the plot was reasonably good..
"Good story - just a few issues with the procedures"
I do like Tony Parson, I do like his characters and don't get me wrong, it's a good story but every now and then I found myself saying, what? what? what policemen would charge in there on his own? What detective would take a key clue off to show a witness before bagging tagging and printing it? I'm not a big fan of police procedurals, but there are limits. Perhaps just a bit more of an edit before publishing?
A book you will not want to switch off. The story builds and draws you in. Narration spot on.
"Fabulous & heart wrenching"
I loved this book. I loved it honesty and its tackling of some hard hitting topics. It's tough, it's truthful and its totally gripping. I love Max Wolf. I hope to see him again. He's tough & gentle, intuitive & kind. I love his relationship with his small daughter. Read it, you'll not be disappointed.
I am a great fan of Tony Parsons.
great book! I hope there is another.
The story is say and very dark but brilliant. well written.
Hope there will be more books just as fab.
"Good but so depressing!"
I thought this a very bleak story, excellent in many ways, but I couldn't bear to listen or read it again. Tony Parsons is a thoroughly involving author and I found this novel really hard to cope with. The fact that there was so much undeserved horror hardly balanced by some comeuppance to perpetrators was difficult to contend with - so many ruined and damaged lives. The central character Max Wolfe is rather too much of an idiot for my wholehearted approval - he got caught out too often in my opinion especially as he's a boxer but at least he's not a superhero I suppose. All in all a thoroughly involving book but I felt so sad listening to what happened to the victims (no unnecessary gore I believe though not easy to listen to or read) that I was left at the end unbearably depressed! Colin Mace does a good job of delivering the audio version though there are some inexplicable short pauses during his narration and after two books he's certainly become Wolfe's voice for me. Intriguing book, I love the glimpses into the "black museum ", but I need to be very careful about the next audiobook I listen to or I shall slide into the proverbial slough of despond! I'm going to have to wait a few books before listening to The Hanging Club!
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