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5.0 out of 5 starsSuch a pleasure
Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2017
It was with some delight I found this author with such well worked plots and characters. Being a North East lad it was a pleasure to have areas I recognised in such well written novels. And being a football supporter, there is only one "golden boot" I can recall and name in recent times. Hmmmm! Mind you he never went to gaol!
This was a brilliant end to the trilogy and it kept me guessing. I love reading about places I grew up and relating to them and the culture I know so well. Loved it! Thanks Mr Linskey, I love your books. No Name Lane is next on my list.
4.0 out of 5 starsGreat book, and a BRILLIANT series:-)
Reviewed in the United States on August 6, 2013
I was VERY excited to get the new Howard Linskey and thankfully I was not disappointed. This latest instalment did however leave me with a new sensation...fearful! I shall explain later. For those that haven't read the first two in the series stop right now, read no further and read the first two books. Inevitably this review will otherwise contain spoilers that I cannot help because you need the history with the characters. Linskey's third book brings back David Blake, a fantastic lead character which I have grown to love. David Blake is not your typical Gangster. He is a smart bloke with a girlfriend and child in his life. He is the head honcho in Newcastle and seems to have his legal and illegal businesses wrapped up nicely. Sadly his accountant manages to turn that idea on its head when he is arrested for drink driving, and then charged with murder. With his accountant knowing so much about the business, and the fact he has sewn up £5 million of Blake's money he has to make a decision. Does he help him and retrieve his money? Or leave him to rot and risk his whole organisation crumbling.
It took me only a few chapters to re-acquaint myself with members of Blake's firm such as Palmer and Kinnane. There is a lot going on and before long things unravel and very quickly that snowballs. It seemed like one disaster was cropping up after another and I wondered whether Blake would make it out of this current situation. At the end of book two there were certain elements of the story that left the reader with question, and this book certainly addresses all of them. The nice thing though, was that the story gave you the answers slowly and unravelled all of the history surrounding Blake and his family. In addition to the problems with his accountant, Blake has additional threats to his business from Serbian Gangsters, and then to top it all off some crazy Russian joins the party making for a pretty explosive read.
Towards the end of the book I actually had to stop walking and take a pew on a bench to finish the last few chapters. This was where the fear set in, I was shocked. I totally didn't see the end coming and when I finished the book I realised I didn't know how I felt. Was the ending a good thing or a bad thing? I still don't know, and without dropping major spoilers I just HAVE to read the next book to see where Mr Linskey goes. I can only assume that it will be upwards as he has shown with the last three books he is an absolutely brilliant author. I think people will love this book, and it certainly leaves a question mark as to what next. For that reason, and that reason alone I gave it 4 out of 5 (and his previous two were 5 star reads, no doubt). I for one will be waiting with baited breath for his next book and would highly recommend that you read this series from book 1. Thanks Howard for a fantastic read.
5.0 out of 5 starsA British gangster novel that'll leave you breathless . . .
Reviewed in the United States on May 23, 2013
THE DAMAGE is the third book in the David Blake series, featuring Tyneside's numero uno gangster, David Blake. Having returned to Newcastle to take control of his empire, Blake's days are spent taking care of business, unencumbered by the law, and doting on his wife and his daughter.
But when the startling identity of the dead girl lying on the river bank is confirmed, it looks like David Blake's comfortable existence will come crashing down around him. It's going to take all his nouse to keep his head above water on this one. It's the dead, see. They might not be able to talk, but they whisper - they whisper into the ears of the bereaved and they create images of desperate suffering, and they cry out for resolution. But it's not only the recently deceased Blake has to contend with. Blake's whole life has been filled with the dead and the dying and the missing. And when you've had a life like that, it's bound to catch up with you some time.
As in the previous two books in the serious, Linskey's prose crackles and burns and pops off the page. Blake is brilliantly written, as are his cohorts - Kinane and Palmer. There are sub-plots and side characters galore - deviant accountants, old time gangster associates, gun-wielding Serbians, and even a nutty Russian billionaire straight out of a Bond film. Indeed, the sub-plots are so strong each almost deserves a novel all to itself. THE DAMAGE stands defiantly in the gangster/crime genre with its gang turf and tangled webs of violent retribution, but something deeper lies beneath. There is a moral compass to David Blake, a notion that he was not born to do this work. And that's not a good thing for a man where one sign of vulnerability could spell the end of it all.
Blake might have a chance to deal with the dead of present - after all, that's his business - but it's the dead of the past, the ghosts that haunt his every waking moment that could be his undoing.
THE DAMAGE proves Linskey to be at the forefront of British crime writing. The quote from The Times on the front of the book reads: 'A Tyneside Dashiell Hammett to put Martina Cole firmly in her place'. Not sure I agree with the Dashiell Hammett bit - more Ed McBain. And as for the Martina Cole reference, Howard Linskey is in a whole different league.
The Dead is the third book in the successful crime series written by talented author Howard Linskey. The series follows the saga of a Newcastle crime empire run by David Blake. Blake’s empire now extends to three major cities but he’s still haunted by events from his turbulent past. As he tries to find out the mystery of his father’s disappearance when he was young, he suddenly finds himself the chief suspect in the brutal murder of a senior policeman’s daughter. The only way out is for Blake to track down the real killer himself. As the threats to his empire begin to grow then cracks start appear in the once invincible Northern Godfather. When you’re swimming with sharks sooner or later they’re going to bite. The Dead is a gripping story right from the first page, fans of previous novels in the series The Drop and The Damage won’t be disappointed. The Dead delivers a satisfying conclusion to the powerful crime trilogy.
5.0 out of 5 starsAwesome. The series just seem to be getting better by the book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 11, 2013
Life as a gangster has been going well for David Blake. Years have passed and his daughter is almost two, he has settled easily into domestic life with Sarah Mahoney, business is doing well, and no one has died... Until he gets arrested for the murder of a police officer's daughter. Not long after, his bent accountant is arrested for the brutal rape and murder of a child. Amongst all the events taking place, Davey is summoned to the UK home of an über rich Russian oligarch and pressure is put on him to use his narcotics supply route via Amsterdam to smuggle a "Joe" into Russia to kick start his plan to overthrow the Russian government. On two separate occasions, Davey is marched to a secluded spot for imminent execution, only to be saved at the last moment. No longer can he refer to himself as a "plastic" gangster as he has thoroughly immersed himself in his new role. Amongst all the mayhem, Davey desperately searches for the truth around his father's disappearance and subsequent death, only to he confronted with some harsh truths. The only way he can see matters resolving is if he dies, and a lot of thought and planning is put in place to deal with that possible eventuality. Without a doubt, this book is the best of the three. Linskey tackles some very topical issues in the book such as money laundering, terrorism, the life and influence of an exiled oligarch, not to mention the daily problems of a crime boss. The writing is fabulous. The characters are likeable and utterly believable (Palmer is now my hero with his ex-SAS background). And the storyline it magnificently unpredictable and thrilling. Whatever you do, read this book and make sure you read the other two first. It will make it so much more enjoyable. I can't wait for the next one. Well done Howard Linskey!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 1, 2013
This is the third, and presumably final book in Howard Linskey's series about a Newcastle Mr Big, David Blake.
The violence and unpleasantness has stepped up a few notches from the previous book. Having said that, Linskey does not dwell overmuch on the violence, at heart this is another well paced thriller with a sympathetic but rather unpleasant hero. The book had me hooked pretty much immediately, and never let up from there. I thought the ending was particularly well done. Structurally the book follows the same pattern as its predecessor, and it is likewise lean, trimmed of any surplus prose, or meanderings. It will be interesting to see what Linskey writes next, there is so little fat in these books, that it is difficult to guess what his preoccupations might be. Personally I would suggest that he might want to dabble in writing adult graphic novels, like Greg Rucka and Andy Diggle.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 12, 2013
I love this series, each of the three books are good stories in their own right, but it helps to have read the previous ones to "The Drop" and "The Damage" before reading this. We once again follow David Blake; this time as he attempts to maintain his somewhat inherited shadowy empire, primarily set in the gritty northern streets of Newcastle. There are a few twists and turns along the way and it's a very easy read with believable prose.I like Howard Linskey's punchy straight to the point style. Overall another great addition to the David Blake series. Hope there will be more.
It doesn't make much sense but the books and characters therein remind me of scenes from "Get Carter" - (The Michael Caine version) and for no sensible reason I always imagine David Blake as Ray Liotta as he appeared in "Goodfellas"
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 5, 2016
A very good final book in the David Blake trilogy. My favourite of the three, but you really do need to read the first two to grasp the full story. Less repetitive than book two, for which I was grateful.
It's contemporary and shows how organised crime has developed to become an international business which would not function without the benefit of technology.
Characters were believable and David Blake likeable, With a nice ending a very good read