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Summary

When a body is hauled from the River Tyne, Sarah Tucker heads to Newcastle for a closer look. She identifies the dead woman as Private Detective Zoë Boehm, but putting a name to the corpse only raises further questions. Did Zoë kill herself, or did one of her old cases come back to haunt her? 

Coincidence is an excuse that soon appears pretty unconvincing. Sarah can’t leave until she’s found the answers to her questions, however dangerous they might turn out to be.

©2009 Mick Herron (P)2020 Isis Publishing Ltd

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  • CM
  • 23-10-20

Nice surprise

I ,like a lot of other reviewers, love the Slough House books. So I thought I would try some of Mick Herron’s other books. I chose this one because it is set in Newcastle, my home town. I always try to read books in order but this one is actually the last in the Zoe Boehm series. I don’t think it will matter as it is almost stand alone although there are references to previous story lines .The writing is wonderful , very precise and concise but also evocative . He describes place and characters beautifully without mountains of description , which keeps the action moving . I really enjoyed this book the plot was good with a few twists, certainly kept you guessing . The narrator was good , her Geordie accent was a bit “Vera-esque” but if you don’t come from the area you would probably not notice.

6 people found this helpful

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Not Mick’s finest

I am a great fan and admirer of MH’s thrillers, the audio versions of which usually make a long car journey go in a flash but this was convoluted and stretched my patience to - and beyond - its limits. And there wasn’t even the dark humour that usually illuminates his books.

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Loved the Story, Loathed the Narration

I've romped through all of Herron's Slough House series, which is fantastic, and thought I'd try one of his earlier non-spy books to see what they were like. This was interesting, and twisty, perhaps a tad slow. It was ruined by the narration. Choppy, breathy, at times adenoidal, weird intonations and inflexions, not to mention a sad and terrible attempt at the Geordie accent. If you can't do it properly, don't bother trying. The narrator also made the women sound shrill and shrewish, which made them less than sympathetic. IF I were tempted by another of these I would save money and get the Kindle version. I couldn't listen to this person reading a book again.

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Herronesque!

A new word will surely be added to the dictionary as Mick Herron's books grow in popularity, as they surely will, when Apple TV release their Slow Horses dramatisation very shortly.
Smoke and Whispers follows a typically Herronesque plot line.
As usual, every page includes description, thoughts and dialogue which bring smiles to the reader's lips.
I particularly like the dialogue which is followed by "she would/should have said/didn't say".
Such a simple yet effective device which I've never seen used by anyone other than Herron.
And the only way to understand that sentence is to read the book - you will not regret it.
Julia Franklin does her usual exceptional job with a slight dent in perfection being some of her Geordie accents but then I AM a Geordie so probably far more critical than a non-Geordie!