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London Calling (Inspector Carlyle #1)

3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  303 ratings  ·  42 reviews
In the middle of a General Election, someone is targeting former members of hte ultra-exclusive Merrion Club, youthful hedonists addicted to excess transformed into pillars of the political establishment. Next in the killer's sights is charismatic, ruthless Edgar Carlton, the man poised to be the next Prime Minister. But, with power almost in his grasp, Edgar will not stan ...more
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Soho Constable (first published January 1st 2011)
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Helen Hart
As a big fan of crime thriller writers like Declan Hughes and Peter Temple, I was really looking forward to this book. I love the title, and reading the jacket blurb this appeared to be a welcome addition to the homegrown thriller genre.

In fact most of it was boring, and the bits that weren't boring were in bad taste. I struggled to the end because I felt I had to give the book a fair chance, but to be honest I don't know how on earth this was accepted for publication in such a competitive marke
Best Crime Books
With a debut novel, you have no expectations; you only hope that you manage to find another great author to read. In this case, the cover of London Calling wasn't what grabbed me, it was just the thought of a new British author writing in the crime genre. The synopsis of the book was average at best but I didn't let it deter me and picked up what looked like a reasonably short book (356 pages).

The first thing that made me falter was the first chapter being so detailed. I almost felt like the aut
London Calling is the first of a new series featuring Inspector Carlyle of the Metropolitan Police, and the first novel by James Craig. It is a fast-moving political crime book set in modern day London in the run-up to a general election. A crime from the past of both the supposed incoming Prime Minister and his close friends threaten to ruin their chances of being elected to power. It is up to Carlyle to try and solve the case whilst still getting justice for the victim of the past crime. In th ...more
I actually want to rate this a 3.5ish!

I got this book on Kindle as it had a pretty good rating on Amazon and was just 1. I also needed a bit of light relief, and a non-heavy detective story set in London was just the easy trashy read I wanted!

I’m feeling a little torn about this book actually. Overall it ticked all the boxes in the read that I was looking for – and it even ticked some better than I was hoping for, considering the genre.

BUT, I did have a slight problem with it – and this MAY well
Tonile {My Cup and Chaucer}
I’m always honest about the books I read. If this blog seems surprisingly positive, it is because I try my best to see the best in the books I read. With that said, I do my upmost to give honest feedback and can be critical where I feel it is deserved. I did not immediately like London Calling, debut novel of journalist-turned-author James Craig. It took a while to get in, and I was somewhat put off by the crass and uncompromising style of Craig’s writing. Upon reflection, now that I have finish ...more
London Calling is definitely NOT your run of the mill crime novel, Inspector Carlyle is a plodder, a square peg in a round hole, he's not very nice, complacent and impotent to the powers that be who surround him.
I found his inner monologues and observations wry, crude, witty, strangely insightful and honest, also very cynical. This point of view was refreshing and the rude tongue in cheek dark humour had me chuckling.
It does meander and jumps between every mundane thought he thinks to titbits of
Cleo Bannister
I love crime novels, and if it fits in with the story I'm not too squeamish about graphic descriptions of violence, which this book starts with. Inspector Carlyle has been in the Police Force for over twenty five years, the book has some chapters detailing his time as a PC during the strikes in 1984. This, and the likeable nature of a Police Officer who comes across of genuinely wants to do the right thing, unusually, happily married with a daughter he is devoted to makes a welcome change in thi ...more
P D James once said 'don't review a book you don't like'. But I must be honest. It is readable and very much, even too much, of its time, 2011. It felt as if a cynical journalist had listed all the selling points of successful tabloid newspapers, kinky sex, violence, celebrities, outrageous wealth combined with a dig at bankers and politicians to fashion a crime novel centred around a likeable if somewhat incompetent police inspector. It is doubtful whether what sells newspapers really makes for ...more
ARC for Review

Inspector Carlyle is a brash detective who does not play by the rules and the politics among the force. He finds himself in the middle of a homicide case where the male victim was sexually abused after he was killed. While further investigating, he finds another murder victim along the same manner years ago, This then leads him to the 1964 Merrion Club part of an elite Cambridge University club and to investigate the former members.

The secrets among these powerful group of men who
Don't know how I managed to actually finish reading this book. I was so tempted to jack it in really early on. I suppose the story itself was not that bad just the way it was told and how it unfolded was so tediously written.

The first 100 pages, ie a third of the book was just so bad.At one point there is a part where it goes on about which book the politician should put in his bike pocket. It went on for about ten pages.

Not going to bother with this author again I am afraid.
Zeb Kantrowitz
To be succinct, don’t bother to answer. Unfortunately, this book looked like it was going to be a winner but somewhere in between the covers it lost. DI John Carlyle is one of those people who rubs everyone the wrong way even when he’s not trying. He’s been on the force for over twenty years and he’s not going to go any farther than he has. He does have a good marriage and a young daughter and friends, but his superiors have all written him off.

The book starts off with the anal rape of a drunken
Mallory Heart Reviews

This is the newest entry in the Inspector Carlyle series, and the first for me, but I plan to look out the rest. Carlyle is a down-to-earth detective, about as far up the promotion ladder as he will ever be, middle-aged, and consciously working-class. This latter is worth mentioning because of his current nasty case, which casts a sheen of entitlement. An exclusive Cambridge gentlemen's club of the early 1980's, of boys who've all become wealthy, powerful, en
Kelly Lawrence
I only got as far as the first five chapters. The writing itself was good, but I just couldn't 'get into it'. I didn't engage with the characters and it didn't grip me from the beginning, so abandoned it for another novel, which is not my usual reading style.
Karen C
The story itself was interesting but I was surprised at the language and what I consider vulgarity. I wasn't expecting that and could have done without it.
John Powell
I have read so many American crime novels, I was excited by the hype about an English one. While the writing was not bad, and in fact vivid in places, the storyline wasn't my cup of tea. The main character has doesn't care about anything, so why would I care about him. I understand what the author wanted in his character, but didn't quite get the balance right. The explicit sex scenes are quite frankly disgusting and a case of TMI! Sometime the outline of a picture is only required to get across ...more

Książek które nie przypadły Wam do gustu chyba nie powinno się recenzować? Choć z drugiej strony nie można tak słodzić i jeśli coś człowiekowi się nie podobało to też powinien o tym wspomnieć.

Powieść Jamesa Craiga jest kryminałem osadzonym w Londynie. Głównym bohaterem jest inspektor Carlyle, który prowadzi śledztwo morderstw na ludziach którzy okazują się członkami elitarnego klubu studenckiego na uczelni Cambridge. Pozostali członkowie w chwili obecnej należą już do ś
Huda Sarkowi
Fairly decent for an investigation/crime solving book. But no one does dry humor as good as the English. Read between the lines and the author is clearly mocking the contemporary lower/upper class. A rapist elected as the PM, a honest policeman who makes fewer per year than his drug dealer friends, a reporter who rejected the most scandalous news ever even the thought of Inspector John Carlyle's choice of informants baffled me. I enjoy reading the author satirical point of view of today society, ...more
John William Boundy
Very contemporary thriller.

I found this book an excellent start to a new police series. The main protagonist Inspector John Carlyle is something of an anti- hero, an outsider inside the Met. Through flashbacks to his early career you find he has made more enemies than friends, not that it seems to bother him.

I liked the way that many recent events and history were woven into the story. The characters were well formed, the plot well paced.

I will be looking forward to the next instalment.
Anthony Fisher
I partly enjoyed the book. It kept my attention and had some nice twists. A bit graphic and violent at times, though I could see it was necessary and did relate to the main story. That said, it does nothing for me and did make me a little uncomfortable. The characters were a little stereotyped from the 'privileged' politicians, to the tired and put upon policeman adding to the mix the career media attention seeking female senior officer. To be honest the Inspector frustrated me at times due to h ...more
Bernie Gale
A good romp through UK politics and the upper tiers of London society. I am not normally a fan of this sector of society but this worked and could be belived
This schlocky police murder mystery was OK but I can't really recommend it. Sex and violence and politics - it's been done before and with more skill by other authors, I'm afraid. The story sailed close to the wind with barely veiled characters bearing close resemblance to current public figures in Britain. While this may have seemed like a smart idea, I thought it lacked imagination and smacked of cut and paste. The character of Inspector Caryle was less of a caricature but again, the underachi ...more
A new London crime detective takes to the big city streets with a vengeance. There is a little political intrigue mixed up with the murders John Carlyle is investigating...the case involves a former Cambridge University club filled with future politicos who are being killed off one by one years later. Carlyle is a believable London inspector who fights crime with a passion, though the writing could be a little better and the book does have its fair share of cliches. Not the best British mystery ...more
This was, perhaps, too bloody and violent
a mystery for me. Even the cause of all the
murders was a terrible, brutal event.
Colin Galbraith
Enjoyed this book immensely, from the geographical descriptions to the mix of politics, media, and crime. I couldn't help but visualise Xavier and Edgar as the Miliband brothers!! :-)

Inspector Carlyle is a copper who is hard to like at times, and a bit of a lazy sod, but his heart is in the right place and mean when it matters.

Wasn't too surprised to discover the twist, but it was led into well and the whole story executed at a good pace; the more I got into it, the more I enjoyed it.

I'll be loo
I expected to dislike this book based on the reviews and was glad that I didn't. I liked the main character. Others have said he's a standard sort but he was happily married, is very cute about his daughter, had good friends in low places and has a sweet tooth. His relationships come across as genuine as does the dialogue. The sex scenes seem to exist for the shock factor but are really just gross. I don't think "shocking" scenes are the right way to make a book stand out. I won't be reading any ...more
Not sure if I should find this as good fun as I did.
Set at the end of an election in which the patently Conservative leader is in a close run race. He is an ex public school boy who was the member of a secret society at Oxford with his brother who is foreign secretary and the Mayor of London. Suddenly the members of this society are being horrifically murdered and it is up to the police to find out although they are not getting much help from the powers that be.
this is the first of James Craig's books I have read, and I was not disappointed, although it had a political feel to the story which is not what I usually would go for. It kept me interested throughout and I only twigged who the perpertrator was towards the end so it was not a disappointment when I had worked it out. I will definitely read more of his books, and will look for his stuff next time I am in the library.
Robert Godden
Good first outing. Shades of better books to come.
Debut novel so probably not authors finest. It was OK. Might read another by author before I make a decision to continue to read his novels.
Mary G.
It was a nice debut novel. I did have high expectations and was slightly disappointed with story. There was some unfilfulled potential with the characters and story. Despite my disappointment, I am curious to see where the characters will be going.
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James Craig has lived in London for more than thirty years, working as a journalist and consultant.

He lives in Bloomsbury with his wife and daughter.
More about James Craig...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Carlyle (7 books)
  • Never Apologise, Never Explain
  • Buckingham Palace Blues
  • Then We Die
  • What Dies Inside
  • A Man of Sorrows
  • Shoot to Kill
Never Apologise, Never Explain Buckingham Palace Blues The Circus Then We Die A Man of Sorrows

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