Tag: Max Wolfe Series

The Hanging Club by Tony Parsons (Max Wolfe #3

51rKq3naAZL._SY346_ Synopsis: A band of vigilante executioners roam London’s hot summer nights, abducting evil men and hanging them by the neck until dead.

As the bodies pile up and riots explode across the sweltering city, DC Max Wolfe hunts a gang of killers who many believe to be heroes.

And discovers that the lust for revenge starts very close to home …

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: So, it seems Tony Parsons has just made me do a full about turn on opinion. The first two books in this series I admit I struggled with. Sometimes with a new series I struggle to feel connected to the characters and small things seem to niggle. This series featuring DC Max Wolfe was no different and the first two books left me feeling a little indifferent. However, I recently read one of the short novellas and it was brilliant. I was actually looking forward to reading the next book, and I was right to look forward to it!

DC Max Wolfe just seemed to fit more this time around. Maybe enjoying the previous novella got me ready for the next instalment, who knows? Seeing the return of Max, his daughter Scout and their little dog Stan was wonderful. This time around a gang of people are hanging known criminals, and although they have the backing of some of the public, Max knows that they need to be caught. The hangings themselves are described in all their graphic glory and the feeling of disgust was very apparent to me when reading. I always take this as a good sign and ploughed on. I absolutely LOVED the addition of a friend Jackson from Max past and can only hope he makes a reappearance in future books.

The story keeps up a massively heart pounding pace and I found myself thrown into the case at the deep end along with Max colleagues and Boss Whitestone. There was an additional thread involving Whitestone which made me warm to the characters a whole lot more and by the end I felt like the MIT team was one big family. This book truly did have everything and kept me reading into the early hours. I read it in one sitting and felt that familiar disappointment that I didn’t have another to read. For me the surprise was that I loved this book SO much in comparison to feeling so mediocre about the other 2. This series just shot way up my increasingly long list of Must Reads. I literally cannot wait to see what comes next for Max and will be counting the days off until the next release!

Dead Time by Tony Parsons (Max Wolfe Short Story)

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Synopsis: Not DC Max Wolfe. He is looking out of his loft apartment at the deserted streets below.

A van has just drawn up. Two men get out. Dressed in black and wearing ski-masks, they are dragging something. 

It’s a man. Half-naked. Half-dead. But still alive.

Not for much longer.

Soon Max Wolfe is hunting a gang of killers who decapitate their victims

And this time it’s personal …

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: I only recently discovered Tony Parsons and although I enjoyed the first Max Wolfe book, I then went straight on and read the second and felt the same. They were good, but something was missing. Stupidly I didn’t realise that this was a short story which I should have read prior to book 2. Not letting that put me off I picked it up at lunchtime and lo and behold finished it by the time my lunch was over. What surprised me more was how much I enjoyed the short story (which I am not traditionally a fan of). I would probably go as far as to say I enjoyed this more that the full length novel!

What I loved about this book was that you get stuck straight in with no warning. With the book being a short story it seemed like Parsons was making the most of each page. Although Max is running the show in this latest book, the fact that it happened so close to his home means he can’t stop himself getting involved. Instead a DCI Flashman of New Scotland Yard has taken the lead, but there is no way Max will let that stand in his way.

This little gem was a fantastic read and full of pace, grit and murkiness. Although I read this in the wrong order, I’m glad I did as it gives me renewed hope for this series. I really am now looking forward to what comes in the next book.

The Slaughter Man by Tony Parsons (Max Wolfe #2)

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Synopsis: 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 – a gun for stunning cattle before they are butchered – leads 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 has done his time, and is now old and dying. Can he really be back in the game? 

And was the murder of a happy family a mindless killing spree, a grotesque homage by a copycat killer – or a contract hit designed to frame a dying man?

All Max knows is that he needs to find the missing child and stop the killer before he destroys another innocent family – or finds his way to his own front door …

Even the happiest of families have black, twisted secrets that someone is ready to kill for…

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

Kat’s Review: I really wanted to like this, and there were certainly elements I enjoyed but…yes there’s a but. There are major things missing in this book and it almost feels like a puzzle with some key pieces missing. I read the first book in this series and felt rather middle of the road about it. This time around the story was certainly engaging but I couldn’t gel with Detective Max Wolfe. There is a large lack of description for the characters which irritates me as I like to build up a picture in my mind. I have reads numerous books between the last one and this one so I still have no idea what he should look like in me head which is never a good sign.

The story line in this one seemed a lot more engaging and kept me more entertained than the last, but again there seemed to be some rather key elements to the story line either missed or overlooked. I really feel like there is potentially a really great series lurking behind these pages, but certainly things need to improve for me to continue on with the series. Even the supporting characters such as Max daughter Scout and his colleagues did little to leave an impression on me. This book was readable, but not memorable and these reasons can certainly be changed with future books.

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

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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.