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Deadly Virues

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  207 ratings  ·  47 reviews
In this fast-paced thriller, Deadly Virtues,acclaimed writer Jo Bannisterproves once again why she is considered"one of the genre's best" (Booklist)

The town of Norbold, England is famous for its low crime rate, thanks to the zero-tolerance policy of Chief Superintendent John Fountain. And Norbold’s newest police recruit, Hazel Best, is happy to help keep it that way. But n
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 19th 2013 by Minotaur Books (first published March 1st 2013)
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Gabriel Ash had spent the past four years in a fog of misery and grief, alone, lonely and quietly wondering if he had the strength to go on. His counsellor was his one constant and on her advice he got himself a dog. Patience was a perfect name for Ash’s constant companion; she was devoted to her master and even though they had only been together a few months, Ash found himself considering her, walking her and generally finding a little more to life than he had previously. But one night, out on ...more
How refreshing to read a well-done British mystery that's neither a cozy nor a depressing chronicle of the downward slide of a middle-aged, alcoholic, divorced inspector. Instead we get a cracking good tale of flawed people coming together to solve a horrific crime. All the wild threads are woven together in a narrative that creates tension right through to the very end.

The protagonist is a man with grief and trauma so severe he's become unmoored and deranged, walking around his village, talkin
The three-star rating is due to the genre, which is slightly Nancy Drewish, and an awful lot of thrashing going on: a young policewoman named Hazel Best is assigned to a town in Northern England with a low crime rate. When a promising young black law student is murdered in detention, Hazel teams up with the often beaten up guy referred to by townspeople as Rambles with Dogs to solve the coverup surrounding the death. Bannister knows her beasts; the portrait of Patience the dog is fetching, and t ...more
Gloria Feit
On page one of this novel by Jo Bannister we meet Jerome Cardy, a 20-year-old black man, a law student and the son of a respectable hard-working family, who is involved in a minor car accident. But this normally insignificant event sets off paranoia in Jerome, who flees the scene when the other person involved, whose fault it was, insists on calling the police. Jerome’s terror become only more portentous when, before the night is over, Jerome is found beaten to death in the prison cell where he ...more
Mona Harrison
I enjoyed this book's well-crafted characters, including (especially?) the dog, and look forward to reading more about Hazel Best in future work by Jo Bannister.
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Part police procedural, part cozy mystery, Deadly Virtues is an engaging crime fiction novel from prolific British author Jo Bannister.

When Jerome Cardy dies in police custody, brutally beaten to death by his cellmate, the incident seems likely to be written up as an unfortunate accident. But the law student's last panicked words referencing Othello, nags at Gabriel Ash with whom the young man briefly shared a cell. Rookie cop Hazel Best is inclined to dismiss the word of the man known as 'Ramb
Jo Bannister's gift is writing very appealing characters and placing them in well drawn believable settings where interesting things happen.

Hazel Best, the probational police officer, newly assigned to a town where virtually all the crime statistics (except drugs) are admirably low, is an idealist. Gabriel Ash, whom everybody thinks is simple-minded, is trying to put his life back together after a terrible loss. The only people he talks to are his dog Patience (a lurcher, who talks back to him)
A good fast-paced read in the traditional British police procedural but with the addition of a very plausible talking dog and a man recovering from psychological damage that resulted from his career as an undercover agent.
Colette Iacobellis
I enjoyed the characters Hazel and Ash and loved the dog Patience but ultimately the mystery and it's resolution didn't quite make up for the initial jolt of suspense I felt at the outset of the book. There were really no truly interesting surprises left for me in the last sixty or seventy pages of the book which made me want to just skim through to the end. I was engrossed by the characters and cared about them but the story needed to be built around a much stronger plot and mystery for me.
Gary Van Cott
3.5 stars. A reasonably good book. I hope it is the start of a new series and not a stand alone book.
In Norbold, England, a rookie cop and a traumatized man who holds conversations with his dog set out to uncover whether the death of a college student in a police holding cell is an accident or homicide. Great psychological suspense and captivating characters make this a treat. Highly recommended (four and a half stars).
Intriguing characters were the best part of this book for me--Gabriel Ash and his dog Patience along with Hazel Best. It would be lovely to see them appear in another book. This was my first Jo Bannister book; I've reserved another from the library.
Andy Plonka
Bannister really knows how to write a great mystery story without resorting to technology or specialized knowledge to provide the solution. Her characters are wonderful and she offers well placd humorous comments to lighten the mood.
Actually only a 3 star book but I'm a sucker for a dog!
I'm a huge Jo Bannister fan but somehow have fallen behind with her new series about Gabriel Ash. (My favorite is her Castlemere series.)

Gabriel Ash is a man suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Once he worked for the government, in a behind-the-scenes computer job. But he apparently got too close to something and was warned to stop. When he didn't, he came home to find his wife and children gone. Disappeared without a clue. It's been four years, and he still doesn't know what happened
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This was just too wordy -- obviously a set up for a series, but still. When you read from the points of view of too many different characters, and they all kind of think the same way, it's tiring. This would have been better, thriller-wise, if it was tighter, and it would have been better, mystery-wise, if there were more of a mystery.
Hazel Best has joined the police department of Norbold, known as a very crime free place. Jerome Cardy knows he is going to die, and he does, in a cell in the police department. Gabriel Ash is under psychiatric care and is know as Rumbles with Dog by the locals. However, after he was beaten up by young hoodlums and resting in the unlocked police cell, Jerome is put with him and then transferred. As he leaves he whispers a cryptic message to Gabriel. Shortly thereafter he is beaten to death by a ...more
Mike Gabor
A young police recruit, Hazel Best, is the lead character in this book. A man, Jerome Cardy, is found in his cell beaten to death by another inmate. Before his death Jerome told another inmate, Gabriel Ash, that if something should happen to him it isn't an accident. Unfortunately Gabriel Ash has some very severe mental problems and isn't the most reliable witness. The only one who seems to take him seriously is Hazel and she will surely be risking her career if she persues this matter.

I was dis
I'm always looking for a new (to me) crime writer, and Jo Bannister ticks a number of boxes. Her characters are three dimensional and the plot well thought out. I'll definitely look for another of her books, and hopefully another in this series to follow the protagonists.
Good mystery, sited inf Norbold England, with interesting characters that are well-developed.
Always enjoy Jo Bannister's books, in whatever series - or stand alone. Feel she is under-known, and under appreciated, in the States. (her Castlemere series is very good, IMHO) This was a good story - showing how a sensitive, thoughtful police officer, by listening to a witness, can make a difference. And enjoyed the witness and his relationship with his dog, as well. Recommend the book -
I have read two standalone books by Jo Bannister and found them both great reads. Completely different. Glad our Mystery Book Group recommended the author. Now I will have to try out one of her series! Highly recommend this author.
I wanted to really love this book. I found the characters to be very engaging and well written. My problem is, I'm a story person. I've said it many times, you need to tell a good story. The story in this book with great characters, was blah. Really, from the beginning of the book I knew, or suspected very strongly, who the "bad guys" were. The reason for their heinous act was a mystery, but not who did it.

I kept reading only because I really liked the characters, all of them, even the bad guys
Really fun. Loved these characters!
Intriguing tale of the death of a bright, young black man who was incarcerated for reasons unknown. He initially shared a cell with a troubled gentleman and his companion dog. He told this man that he was afraid for his life and had a cryptic conversation with him. He was transferred to another locked cell where another violent, racist prisoner was also put. So enraged right from the beginning, he beat the young man to death. A rookie cop and the troubled gentleman make it their mission to find ...more
Rita	 Marie
Granted it's fairly obvious who the culprits are almost from the first page. But I didn't care. It's a classic plot, very well constructed, with a wonderful narrative thread.

The joy of this book is in the characters. They are all sympathetic (even the bad guys!), and many are both interesting and involving. I was rooting for rookie cop Hazel and poor Gabriel Ash all the way.

Will definitely be looking for more books by this author.
The characters here were more interesting than the story itself, which was a little predictable. A new (female) constable in a small English town gets caught up in the murder of a prisoner in the local jail. Also involved - a local man, a loner who talks to his dog which a very bizarre history.

Hoping there's a sequel if only to find out how our loner's story reveals itself.
Read this after the second book in the series. Definitely preferred this book. The characters in the second book annoyed me so much I almost stopped reading a few times. But this kept me reading even though I knew the general outcome because of the backstory provided in the second book.
Technically, we know "who done it" but who is the clever master pulling the strings? A different, fresh take on the police procedural. A fresh new face in Homicide, Hazel Best, ends up working not with colleagues but with
the local "crazy" guy to solve a mystery. I'm a big fan of Bannister's Castlemere series as well.
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Jo Bannister lives in Northern Ireland, where she worked as a journalist and editor on local newspapers. Since giving up the day job, her books have been shortlisted for a number of awards. Most of her spare time is spent with her horse and dog, or clambering over archaeological sites. She is currently working on a new series of psychological crime/thrillers.
More about Jo Bannister...
Echoes of Lies (Brodie Farrell, #1) Perfect Sins: A Mystery True Witness (Brodie Farrell, #2) Death in High Places Liars All (Brodie Farrell #9)

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