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The Dead Sit Round in a Ring (DS Stella Mooney, #1)
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The Dead Sit Round in a Ring (DS Stella Mooney #1)

3.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  143 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Jimmy Stone died of a broken heart. Literally.

"A really interesting set of main characters, taut plotting, fine writing, and some engrossing subplots make this a highly satisfying read and a series to keep an eye on."
--Morning Star (U.K.)

"Four people sitting in a ring. Two men and two women. All of them dead."

Thus begins a case that will take detective Stella Mooney from t
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published May 10th 2004 by Minotaur Books (first published February 27th 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 259)
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Jul 26, 2014 John rated it liked it
A better than average, highly readable, extremely cruel and bleak piece of London noir -- a description that makes the book sound as if it should be absolutely up my street. Which it is, sort of. And yet . . .

It starts with an intriguing incident, the discovery of four dead people sitting together in an apartment. Three are elderly and are soon discovered to have had a suicide compact. The fourth, much younger, was murdered by a stab to the heart, the thinness of the blade used making it possibl
I picked up this British thriller at the library as the opening premise seemed intriguing: why would there be four corpses sitting calmly in a room? However, while the book is well done in its own way, I wasn't all that wild about it. Only one of the dead gets followed up, the odd man out, because the other three are soon explained. Well, I was more interested in the three pious dead and their lives than I was in the remaining jerk and his ties to organized crime. It's not odd that the author wa ...more
Apr 01, 2012 Martin rated it it was ok
Shelves: library
Disappointing. The plot was fairly interesting, but the lead character (a female Detective Sergeant with the Met) was as bad as the title. She's supposed to be the usual skilled investigator, but spends the whole book getting knocked about by various villains while failing to catch them - too incompetent to ring true.
I cannot remember ONE thing from this book.
Oct 07, 2009 Spuddie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#1 DS Stella Mooney mystery set in London. Stella is a haunted character, a street smart rogue cop who grew up in the tough projects and has maintained her toughness. Smart enough to escalate up the promotion ladder if she wanted to, Stella elects to stay a Detective Sergeant so she can keep her fingers on the pulse of the street, keep close to the people instead of becoming a paper pusher. I have to say that in this book, the role of DS seemed to be a lot more expansive than it is in many other ...more
Linda Strong
Jun 17, 2013 Linda Strong rated it it was amazing
I'm relatively new to books/mysteries that are set in countries other than the US. This one is right up my alley. Stella Mooney is one British Detective you don't want to miss! She is so full of contradictions, but the author makes it work. She lives with the love of her life, yet feels herself falling in love with a journalist. She believes in the law, but regularly breaks the rules. She has secrets that she keeps from everyone and at times has turned to alcohol to cope. All the secondary chara ...more
THE DEAD SIT ROUND IN A RING (Police Proc-London-Cont) - Poor
Lawrence, David – 1st book
Thomas Dunn Books, 2004-Hardcover
Detective Stella Mooney takes on the case where four people, two men and two women, have been found sitting in a ring, all dead. Three are quickly identified and classified as suicides, but the fourth person was murdered and is unknown. But Stella also needs to worry about a problem with vodka, terrible nightmares, her attraction to a newsman and a relationship she no longer th
May 28, 2016 Sera rated it it was ok
This was 'fine' I quite liked the main character & essential storyline - though at one stage he has the bleached, noticed, siliconed gangster wives in 'Versace, Donna Karan & Issey Miyake" - really? Versace yes but the other two.........made me laugh to imagine it though. This book probably suffered from my severe withdrawal after finishing a David Mitchell full of vivid & complex highs & lows - this felt pretty bleh by comparison.
Kathy Davie
Mar 18, 2011 Kathy Davie rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
First in the DS Stella Mooney mystery series, the story is set in current-day London with Detective Stella Mooney at a crisis point in her life.

In this initial tale, Stella is investigating the deaths of four people sitting together in the living room one of whom seems to have wandered in already dead. The original three are fairly easy to suss out it’s the fourth who presents a problem and leads Stella into a deeper and more intense investigation based on her own gut instincts. One of those wh
Jan 06, 2011 Ria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rechercheur Stella Mooney wordt naar een appartement in het Londense Notting Hill geroepen waar vier doden zijn aangetroffen. De doden zitten in stoelen in een kring. Van geweld van buitenaf is geen spoor. Vermoedelijk is er sprake van een collectieve zelfmoord. Bij nader inzien blijkt echter een van de doden wel degelijk vermoord te zijn. Op een subtiele en dus professionele manier. Een executie. [return][return]Maar wat doet deze verdwaalde vermoorde man te midden van de drie door zelfmoord om ...more
Apr 11, 2008 David rated it it was amazing
Here's the first of a gorgeous new British crime series featuring Detective Sergeant Stella Mooney that is bleak, brutal, and beautifully written. The elements of this hard-hitting procedural will be familiar to fans of contemporary London noir: the troubled detective making her daily descent into a grim urban nightmare; gangsters who range from merely brutal to wantonly sadistic; the sinister traffic in Eastern European flesh. What sets this title apart is the writing — apparently Lawrence has ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Stephanie rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
This was a real cliffhanger, a very exciting read, but I think the genre was written more for men than women, even though the main character was a feisty woman cop.
P.D.R. Lindsay
Oct 14, 2013 P.D.R. Lindsay rated it did not like it

Oh dear! I hate the star system when it's my personal state of mind and there is nothing wrong with the novel. I am sure many people will enjoy this well written and researched police procedural novel.

I just found it so hard to read and didn't finish it because it is one of those gritty, bleak and grim ones where the police officer's personal life is falling apart and her work load is killing her.

It is not a book to read, as I found, when your own personal life is a bit grim. I found it too depr
Apr 09, 2008 Valerie rated it really liked it
A promising new series. Though a bit heavy on the police procedures (I believe the word 'paperwork' appears on every other page), the story is stimulating, the mystery intriguing, and Stella Mooney, the new detective, plausible and sympathetic. A touch of the hard-boiled made this a winner for me.
Aug 04, 2008 Leslie rated it it was ok
I seem to be on a female hard case detective streak. I'm think I'd have enjoyed this more if I hadn't read the Ana Grey mysteries just before.

Good read-alike for those wanting something like Val McDermid.
Feb 02, 2013 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very dark thriller. Female detective. Set in England. if you like dark thrillers this one is for you. You won't get any warm and fuzzies. I am starting to like the British thrillers more and more.
May 02, 2013 Yan rated it did not like it
One of very few books I couldn't finish. Boring like hell. The characters are flat and every bright point immediately being followed by a zillion of dull, empty episodes.
Sep 20, 2013 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grim, terrifying and way too real. Detective Stella Mooney had recurrent nightmares and after reading this book so did I.
Mar 31, 2013 Joan rated it really liked it
maybe 3.5....but benefit of the doubt. going to read the next one, so that says something.
Saskia (Smitie)
Ik kwam er niet door heen, dus na 60 paginas heb ik dit boek gelaten voor wat het was.
Jun 23, 2008 Suzanne rated it really liked it
Recommended to Suzanne by: Cincinnati Public Library
Shelves: mysteries
A new author for me - just as complex but 'grittier' than Elizabeth George.
Sep 01, 2013 Sandra rated it liked it
A very good crime novel . It is well written, good plot and great characters.
Jul 24, 2007 Nathanielk rated it really liked it
Decent, hardbitten British police procedural, particularly for a first novel.
Feb 21, 2013 Johanne rated it really liked it
Well written and very good, but creepy.
Jul 16, 2010 Linda rated it it was ok
One of this series is enough for me.
M rated it did not like it
Jul 20, 2016
Teresa marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2016
Larissajw rated it liked it
Jun 20, 2016
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David Lawrence is a pseudonym for screenwriter and playright David Harsent who also writes under the pen names of David Pascoe and Jack Curtis. He lives in Barnes, West London.
More about David Lawrence...

Other Books in the Series

DS Stella Mooney (4 books)
  • Nothing Like the Night (DS Stella Mooney, #2)
  • Cold Kill (DS Stella Mooney, #3)
  • Down into Darkness (DS Stella Mooney, #4)

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