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Summary

From the best-selling author of the Coroner Jenny Cooper series comes A Life to Kill, Matthew Hall's most gripping, moving and timely thriller to date.

If they're hiding something, we've got a right to know. We've got a right to know what Kenny died for....

The day they've all been waiting for is at hand. The last British combat soldiers in Helmand are counting the minutes until their departure for home. For their excited families in Highcliffe, it spells the end of an agonizing six-month wait.

But in the final hours, disaster strikes. Nineteen-year-old private Pete 'Skippy' Lyons is abducted, and the patrol sent out to locate him is ambushed. One killed, two injured. One still missing in action...

Their loved ones are left desperate for answers the army won't provide. How could Private Lyons have been snatched from a heavily fortified command post? And why are officers trying to disguise what happened during the mission to save him?

Their only hope lies with Coroner Jenny Cooper, who must take on the full might of the military to stop the truth being buried along with the boy soldiers. But in a town filled with secrets and rumours, it's not only the army that has something to hide.

A Life to Kill is the seventh instalment in the Coroner Jenny Cooper series.

©2017 Matthew Hall (P)2017 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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So good

This series is excellent. The character of Jenny Cooper doesn't spare her doubts and insecurities and the story is all the better for it. Alison her officer is also a significant character who contributes to the storyline. The narration is excellent and this story gives an insight into the army and the dichotomy of war and fighting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant!

This was a complicated, emotional and, at times, gut-wrenching story that captivated me up to the very last words. I only hope that the author will continue to write more books in this brilliant series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Insufficient research!

I have always enjoyed the Jenny Cooper books and was looking forward to another. Sadly this one did not live up to expectation. This was mainly due to Matthew Hall's poor knowledge of the Army in general, and in particular his ignorance of its rank structure, the relationship between ranks and the way in which he portrayed the imparting of bad news to relatives. Totally wrong. If you want to write a book that involves the Armed Forces, please get your facts right.

The personal ending for Jenny Cooper was ridiculous and completely out of context with the way her relationship with Michael had been portrayed earlier in the book.

In addition, I find Sian Thomas's breathy delivery very irritating.

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A Disappointing Instalment

Such a disappointment this instalment in the Jenny Cooper series. The military backdrop had such potential, yet it seems as though the author chose to go down the populist road of generalised platitudes of military representation. I don't know whether this is because it was a choice of not losing or alienating readers or not, but it failed to address the story realistically. Instead, full of clichés and polt twists that are all too familiar with similar generalised approach to a military-based story.

That's the maim reason why it took me so long to finish this book... I simply kept getting annoyed by these platitudes.

Then, it's the protagonist's personal life. On the one hand her deeply rooted mental health struggles appeared to have been resolved in the blink of an eye, (literally from one book to the next). And then her relationship gets dissolved within a few pages, randomly at the end, with a, (still very hard to stomach), one liner platitude of being better apart. Such a disrespect to a character that I'm sure, like me, many have grown to care about.... It all seems too 'marketing' and 'quick to get the next book out but make it more light' kind of thing.

Having said all that, looking forward to the next instalment of Jenny Cooper. Yet, if that one is as bad as this one, then it's farewell Jenny Cooper for me.

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Loved it!

Another poignant and thought-provoking story from Matthew Hall. It gripped my imagination throughout and I didn't see the denouement coming. Great characterisation too, with Jenny's personal life still causing waves. Looking forward to the next one!