The Murder Bag by Tony Parsons (Max Wolfe #1)


Synopsis: Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter’s Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable.

Detective Max Wolfe has recently arrived in the Homicide division of London’s West End Central, 27 Savile Row.

Soon he is following the bloody trail from the backstreets and bright lights of the city, to the darkest corners of the internet and all the way to the corridors of power. As the bodies pile up, Max finds the killer’s reach getting closer to everything – and everyone – he loves. Soon he is fighting not only for justice, but for his own life …

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

Kat’s Review: Okay, I have to admit I found this a little tough going. There was nothing wrong with the story, and I certainly liked the main character but there were things that just didn’t work for me in this debut crime novel by Tony Parsons’. It’s clear that Tony Parsons has a fabulous career as a writer, but for me there were parts of this book that felt disjointed. This book centres on a group of privileged school boys who are now grown men, and it seems being killed one at a time. This had all the ingredients to be a cracking read, but it seems there were parts that just weren’t right to make it the perfect dish.

I didn’t dislike the main character Max Wolfe, but with the crime genre, I prefer to gain snippets of their private lives with the sole focus being on the murder or crime that has been committed. In this book it seems the balance is largely on Wolfe’s private life. There is also one particular point regarding Wolfe’s ex-wife which grated on me. I don’t want to add spoilers but you are led to believe one thing and then it becomes apparent it’s another, and this didn’t sit right with me. There also seems to be a large emphasis on Max Wolfe’s daughter. I have nothing against family being involved in the story, but this seemed like overkill.

I also felt like there were elements to the writing where you were getting into the flow of one thing, and then it abruptly stops and moves on to something different. I think this is the reason it feels so dis-jointed. Aside from those negatives, I liked the story and they crime side of it was good, it was just overshadowed for me by too much of his personal life. Having said that, many authors like to give you a solid starting point for a character in book 1, hence the reason we get so much information on Wolfe’s personal life.

I will certainly be looking to read book 2, and hope that the latter is the reason for the heavy sway on Wolfe’s life rather than his job. Overall this wasn’t a bad book, just too unmemorable. Fingers crossed book 2 is a better read.

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