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The Business of Dying (Dennis Milne, #1)
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The Business of Dying (Dennis Milne #1)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  820 ratings  ·  80 reviews
It’s a typical cold November night and Detective Sergeant Dennis Milne, a very atypical policeman, waits in the Traveller’s Rest Hotel parking lot for the arrival of three men. Cynical and jaded, Milne earns money on the side by doing what he does best: punishing the bad guys. But this time he’s been duped. Instead of blowing away drug dealers, he kills three innocent peop...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Minotaur Books (first published 2002)
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Girl Afraid by Ciarán WestOn Her Majesty's Secret Service by Ian FlemingThe 39 Steps by John BuchanThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréFrankenstein by Mary Shelley
Good Old British Thrillers
9th out of 96 books — 48 voters
Siege by Simon KernickRelentless by Simon KernickSevered by Simon KernickThe Last 10 Seconds by Simon KernickThe Business of Dying by Simon Kernick
Favourite Simon Kernick Books
5th out of 12 books — 6 voters

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Apr 11, 2014 Paul rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Readers of Crime Thrillers
Shelves: crime-thrillers
The Business Of Dying - Simon Kernick The Business of Dying (Dennis Milne, #1) by Simon Kernick

'The Business of Dying' is the debut novel by the British novelist, Simon Kernick, published by Bantam in 2002. Since the publication of this novel Kernick has written twelve more novels, several of which feature Dennis Milne, the main character & first person narrator of this novel.

The Plot:

Dennis Milne is a full time police officer, part time 'killer-for-hire'. Milne is a 20 year veteran of the police force, who has become disillusioned & cynical...more
Kieran Delaney
I picked this up after reading Relentless - a book which didn't promise much but delivered beyond expectation.

The Business Of Dying is Kernick's first novel which is apparent from the off - not quite as polished as his later books it still revolves around his strongest idea yet, that of Dennis Milne full time cop, part time murderer.

A man with a twisted moral compass, he's sent to kill 3 drug dealers but it immediately goes awry when it becomes clear these men were not drug dealers and not corr

The novel starts out fast, with a coldblooded execution of three men. Within minutes the deed is done and the perpetrators even have time to change escape vehicles. It's just like Milne said at the beginning of the story: if you're going to kill someone, plan it. But, despite careful planning, there is a witness, and when the cop in him spares her life, his decision comes back later to bite him.
As the opening scene illustrates, The Business of Dying is not for the faint of heart; there is no la...more
Reinaldo Lourenço
Pronto, gosto deste gajo (autor) :)
Só tenho pena de ler lido o 2º livro do Dennis Milne antes deste mas pronto, na altura nao o tinha e tinha gostado bastante do livro que tinha lido do Simon Kernick.
O Dennis Milne nao é um detective tradicional, nem bonzinho, o que o torna, quanto a mim, original.
Nao sei explicar muito bem mas gosto da escrita do Simon, as coisas parece que fluem com muita naturalidade, nao se perde em descriçoes pormenorizadas e chatas dos cenarios/personagens...
É pena, nao te...more
Aug 06, 2014 Kathy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: book
After a shaky start so glad I persevered as thoroughly enjoyed this book and looking forward to the next one!
Simon Kernick's debut novel introduces DS Dennis Milne, a tough, jaded, boozing cop with a sharp mind but flexible morals. Milne has a sideline to earn some extra cash. He's paid by criminals to kill other criminals. Things get a little complex when he has to investigate a triple murder he's just committed. He discovers the dead men he killed were two customs agents and an accountant, which doesn't jibe with what he was told when he accepted the contract. In his legitimate job, Dennis is also in...more
The Business of Dying opens with a triple homicide. The killer? A cop who sidelines as a contract killer. In other novels, this would be the amoral lowlife using his badge to indulge in debauchery. Detective Sergeant Dennis Milne kills to invoke his own sense of justice. This time, he's made a mistake. As Milne works on his caseload, including an investigation into the murder of a young prostitute, niggling doubts start to plague him. Was he being used by his shady employer? Soon the hunter beco...more
Πάνος Τουρλής
Χλιαρούτσικο και φλύαρο. Έχει μια σωστή δόση αγωνίας κι ένα ωραίο στόρυ με ανατροπές που πλακώνουν όλες μαζί στο τέλος. Θα μπορούσε να παραλείψει πολλές καθημερινές ενασχολήσεις του πρωταγωνιστή (τι αιτήσεις ρουτίνας συμπληρώνει, τι πίνει, τι βλέπει, πού πάει), να είναι πιο δεμένο ώστε όντως οι ανατροπές να είναι συναρπαστικές. Έτσι είναι σαν να σε ανταμοίβει που έκανες τον κόπο να φτάσεις στο τέλος. Κι εδώ έχουμε έρωτα μπάτσου με ύποπτο στην πλεκτάνη, αμάν πια.

Στα ελληνικά από τις εκδόσεις Bell...more
I was looking for another UK crime writer to get into, and I thought at least there will be no poncing about in stately homes with this one. It's kind of a superior Mark Billingham, has an interesting proposition (cop also hired assassin), but it doesn't keep the attention all the way through, and gets into some particularly tiring scenes of "who stood where when the shooting started". Nevertheless I've scooped up another few of Simon Kernick's, they'll be great for hospital reading if I break a...more
Toni Osborne
“The Business of Dying” is this author’s first book so after enjoying his latest books immensely I knew I had to go back in time to search out the roots of this author’s imagination.

Mr. Kernick’s first novel is a mystery with a twist providing the reader with plenty of action and intrigue. The engaging protagonist, Dennis Milne, a full time cop and part time murderer, is always at the heart of it all. The storytelling flows smoothly and delivers a saga that engulfs your imagination till the last...more
Lukasz Pruski
This novel seems to begin as a police procedural, but it ends, basically, as a thriller. It is an excellent read even though it gradually declines from a totally delightful, bizarre (and deeply amoral) first third of the book to the tired Ludlum-style idiocy of non-stop action in its last third. Lots of revenge-style action too, for the revenge-loving reader. This is a very brutal book and it includes some gory passages, which I do not mind because they serve the purpose of emphasizing the under...more
Other than a few missteps, THE BUSINESS OF DYING plays to the greatest strengths of what a crime novel can be. By creating unique moral dilemmas and character lost in an ethical limbo, Kernick is able to explore some very dark and interesting themes.

It is only when the book turns conventional and he relies on a more mainstream approach that he lost me a little. The plotting and structure begin to rely on convenience and the story becomes predictable toward the end (although no less violent).

Joe Stamber
I've only read one other of Kernick's books so far and found it to be an entertaining if unremarkable thriller. The Business of Dying sounded intriguing and had the potential to offer something more. The idea of a troubled, deeply flawed cop who wants to do the right thing but circumstances keep choosing other paths for him appealed to me and I wasn't disappointed.

Dennis Milne is a fascinating protagonist and is ably supported by the rest of the cast as he stumbles from one disaster to another....more
Myles Anderson
Crime fiction is not my genre of choice but I do like to consider myself an open minded chap, and as a well-earned break after reading Bleak House I was passed this book.

As a first novel I found the plot to be well delivered, and the opening set piece definitely sets you up to need to finish the story.
I found the characters to fit in rather too well to my preconceptions of the types of characters one finds in crime fiction. Whilst the moralistic stand point of our crime-fighting-turned-criminal...more
Blood Rose Books
In his first novel Simon Kernick explores what happens when a police officer is also a part time hit man.

DI Dennis Milne is a police officer (copper) who has seen too much and has realized that the system does not work in their favour. However, this does not mean that Dennis is above turning things back in their way. Dennis has crossed the line but not one that hinders his own morality, he has become a hit-man and he newest assignment is to kill 3 men, 3 drug dealers. But things go wrong and his...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I think I'm growing to like crime fiction as I liked this more than I expected to! Don't be put off by the size of the book, there is a lot of white space on the pages and is actually quite a quick read. The story is fast paced and Kernick holds the reader's attention until the end. It centres around DS Milne who is not above earning money on the side as a professional hitman. As a character Milne is interesting as his actions often appear to be fuelled by revenge and he takes a debatable approa...more
Der Auftakt zu einer Thrillerserie, bei dem ein Polizist gleichzeitig ein Killer ist (was mich gerade etwas an Dexter erinnert). Er übernimmt zuerst kleine Aufträge für einen Ganoven, doch ein dreifacher Mord erweist sich als fataler Fehler für Dennis Milne.

Das Buch gliedert sich in zwei Geschichten, die eine Hauptgeschichte nimmt dabei mehr Raum ein. Milne ermittelt in einem Fall bei dem minderjährige Prostituierte plötzlich verschwinden und stößt dabei auf die Leiche eines der vermissten Mädch...more
This is an exciting fast paced thriller that is in fact Kernick's first book. It follows a somewhat unusual (at least I hope he's unusual) policeman, Detective Dennis Milne, as he completes yet another job on the side as an assassin for Raymond Keen, a 'businessman' who he has worked for for a number of years. While Milne tries to justify what he does through the loose morale high ground of justice being done he uncovers that all is not as it seems and the web of lies that he, Keen and others ha...more
Vishal Ithape
"There were a couple of drawers in there containing various knick-knacks; some books, including two by Jane Austen, which caused me to raise my eyebrows (how many whores read Jane Austen?)".

I wondered that too.There are too many such references leaving you pondering about reality behind stories.It's so well narrated , you can't help but imagine these characters so closely.It's fast paced novel , with violence which becomes unbearable at times,if you've got too active imagination.Author draws ver...more
Simon Kernick's breakthrough debut featuring DS Dennis Milne, a cynical cop who no longer believes in the law he's supposed to uphold. He's on such a downward spiral that he's become a hitman for a horrible London gangster.

Like Kernick's other novels, this is very readable and Milne's dry observations about society and how the law protects criminals are enjoyable. But, for me, the hero of this story of redemption is somehow too appealing. Milne is a set of opinions and attitudes without profound...more
Tom Tischler
It's a cold November night and Detective Sergeant Dennis
Milne is sitting in the parking lot of a hotel waiting for
three men. Milne earns money on the side by doing what he
does best. Punishing the bad guys. This time though he has
been duped and instead of blowing away three drug dealers he
kills three innocent people. This starts an investigation
that sees him heading for serious trouble. Twelve hours later
Milne is on the streets again, an eighteen year old girl
named Miriam Fox is found with h...more
There is a lot to like about this police procedural/mystery/thriller. Dennis Milne is a Detective who happens to work both sides of the law to further his own ends.

Dennis is an interesting character, morally ambiguous but works to his own set code of ethics. He's weary, cynical and jaded. When an assassination he is involved in goes horribly wrong he finds himself beseiged from all sides.

I really enjoyed this. Milne isn't your average character, and at times it was very difficult to feel any emp...more
Sunjay Vyas
Outstanding for a first ever published novel. Gripping plot, not predictable, and an excellent writing style.

Simon Kernick is a Londoner, you can tell, he describes the settings in this book like only a Londoner can (being one myself I can easily relate). He provides an excellent account of what goes on behind the tourist/postcard views of London delving into the London underworld.

A frustrated police detective who takes matters into his own hands, The Business of Dying documents his latter days...more
This was my second book by Kernick. Whilst not letting me down, it wasnt as good as Ultimatum. I couldnt quite like Milne. I had no problem with him being a part time killer for hire. It was quite a good idea, a copper that is also a killer. However I dont feel as though Kernick got the maximum out of the formula. The book could have been better. Whilst I have given it three stars, its a weak 3 stars, probably deserves 2.5.

Will I be reading in the next Milne book, I am not so sure. Its dropped...more
Milne is a great character and the story is very engaging. I enjoyed this thriller very much.
Elaine Browne
Great debut novel fantastic descriptive writing great knowledge of the police and their procedures
A good read, a real page turner. Kept me engrossed and thinking right through
The book had a very interesting plot especially the philosophical angle , Can anyone be justified in taking a life irrespective of the nature of the crime committed by another individual especially if the crime has nothing to do with you. ? Vigilante is always an interesting theme for books and movies where they hardly make mistakes. The book does keep the focus to the point and the feelings of the main character is effectively brought out.
Some of the twists in the book were predictable however...more
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Simon Kernick (born 1966 in Slough, Berkshire) is a British thriller/crime writer now living in Oxfordshire with his wife and two daughters. He attended Gillotts School, a comprehensive in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Whilst he was a student his jobs included fruitpicker and Christmas-tree uprooter. He graduated from Brighton Polytechnic in 1991 with a degree in humanities. Kernick had a passion...more
More about Simon Kernick...
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“Contrary to popular belief, most detectives couldn't detect a heartbeat on a speed addict, but you never know when you might be up against the next Ellery Queen.” 8 likes
“Dennis, please. I don't know what-"
"Shut the fuck up, and stop playing me for an idiot. And secondly, and more importantly, I've unearthed some disturbing information about you which I want to discuss in more detail before I fill you with holes.”
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