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Those We Left Behind (DCI Serena Flanagan #1)

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3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  1,348 Ratings  ·  237 Reviews
When twelve-year-old Ciaran Devine confessed to killing his foster carer it sent shock waves through the nation. He said his older brother Thomas had tried to stop him, but the killing rage had burned too brightly. Seven years later, Ciaran’s release will set a new and even more deadly chain of events in motion.

DCI Serena Flanagan, then an ambitious Detective Sergeant, too
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 22nd 2015 by Soho Crime (first published June 25th 2015)
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Diane S ☔
Oct 31, 2015 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
Serena Flannigan has just returned to police work after a major health issue. She will soon find herself embroiled in a case that seriously affected her years ago. A case that will for a short time pair her with a young parole officer, finding themselves confronting something over which they have little control.

Flannigan is committed, dogged in pursuit of what she feels is right, very stubborn and uses some unorthodox methods. Not sure how I feel about her and how she handled things but I was in
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Fictionophile
What if you had only one person in all the world? What if that person was your older brother? What if your loyalty and love for that person was eclipsed by the fact that you are mortally afraid of him?

This is the dilemma of Ciaran Devine. At a tender age, he and his brother Thomas were put into foster care. At the age of twelve Ciaran confessed to the murder of his foster father. Both he and Thomas were put into a young offenders unit.

Detective Chief Inspector Serena Flanagan of the Belfast Poli
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Sean Peters
Oct 22, 2015 Sean Peters rated it it was amazing
Thank you very much to Net Galley, the publishers for an advance copy of this great book.

When 12-year-old Ciaran Devine confessed to murdering his foster father it sent shock waves through the nation.

DCI Serena Flanagan, then an ambitious Detective Sergeant, took Ciaran's confession after days spent earning his trust. He hasn’t forgotten the kindness she showed him – in fact, she hasn't left his thoughts in the seven years he’s been locked away.

Probation officer Paula Cunningham, now tasked with
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Lynx
Aug 30, 2016 Lynx rated it really liked it
After battling breast cancer DCI Serena Flanagan is back at work and thrown head first into an old case, one she is all to familiar with. When Ciaran and Thomas Devine, aged twelve and fourteen were brought in for the murder of their foster father it was her who got the confession out of younger brother Ciaran. While both were sent away for the crime it was Ciaran who got the harsher sentence. Seven years have passed and Ciaran is struggling to assimilate to life outside of juvinile detention. ...more
Steve
I received this from Edelweiss and Soho Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

This was a strangely compelling book. More of a thriller and character study mash-up than a police procedural, Stuart Neville adeptly entwines two timelines and three main storylines, all tightly woven together with hidden agendas on the part of almost all of the characters introduced in this first book of a new series.

DCI Serena Flanagan was the lead investigator that drew a confession from then 12-year Ciaran D
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Maureen
Jul 28, 2016 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Ciaran was just twelve years old when he was convicted of the murder of his foster father. He did it, he said, because his foster dad had been hurting his brother Thomas. Thomas was convicted of the lesser crime of accessory to murder. The story follows the boys after they are released into the community some seven years later, when doubts emerge about who really committed the murder, and exactly what did happen that day.

This is a thought provoking story, where on the one hand it's easy to empa
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Liz Barnsley
Really REALLY excellent Crime thriller - I've always loved this author's books and I was really pleased to see that this was going to be the start of a series. The main protagonist Serena was great so even better! I'm having a day off blogging today so full review will follow very soon :)
Susan Johnson
Aug 18, 2015 Susan Johnson rated it it was amazing
Serena Flanagan has returned to her job as Detective Chief Inspector with the Belfast Police Department after her fight with breast cancer. Almost immediately she is confronted with an old case, The Schoolboy Killer. Eight years ago a 12 year old boy, Ciaran, and his fourteen year old brother, Thomas, murdered their foster father. Ciaran is being released and his new probation officer wants to talk to her about him.

Flanagan has relied on a cancer survivor's group to help her with her struggle.
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Susan
Jun 03, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in a new crime series, featuring DCI Serena Flanagan. Flanagan has just returned to duty after having treatment for breast cancer and is unimpressed by the caseload she has inherited. However, one of her old cases is about to return and haunt her – not that she has even forgotten the events that happened seven years ago when a twelve year old boy, Ciaran Devine, confessed to murdering his foster father. Ciaran and his older brother, Thomas, were both suspects – but Ciaran ...more
Elaine
Apr 23, 2015 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers

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A story of two brothers.... but one is a killer...
At twelve years of age Ciaran Devine confesses to murdering his foster father. He tells the police that his brother Thomas had tried to stop him.
He did it because the foster father was doing bad things to Thomas.
DCI Serena Flanagan was the police officer sent to get the truth about that night from the boy. She gains his trust but just when the real events are about to be disclosed something happens and she walks away...

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But Ciaran still remembe
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Sue1958
Jun 28, 2015 Sue1958 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


We have a lot going on in this book which only stresses and enhances the book itself.

This is the first book in a new crime series and its a brilliant start. I can't wait for me now.

DCI Serena Flanagan has been having treatment for her breast cancer, she is now well enough to return to work. Her first case is not something she wanted but its been passed to her as they feel she has the more "expertise" to handle it, plus she knew about it years ago when this crime came to light.

Its one of the old
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Emma
Jul 06, 2015 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This was one of those 'read it all in one sitting' type books.

It is a masterful character study, each individual multilayered and complex. While compelling, I found that I had no real liking for any of the characters. But this is not written in a 'Gone Girl' or 'Girl on the Train' style, rather the people are understandable, even relatable, just not particularly appealing. At the end of the novel, I knew them well enough to know why they acted the way that they did but I didn't agree with how t
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Sue1958
Jun 28, 2015 Sue1958 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
We have a lot going on in this book which only stresses and enhances the book itself.

This is the first book in a new crime series and its a brilliant start. I can't wait for me now.

DCI Serena Flanagan has been having treatment for her breast cancer, she is now well enough to return to work. Her first case is not something she wanted but its been passed to her as they feel she has the more "expertise" to handle it, plus she knew about it years ago when this crime came to light.

Its one of the old
...more
Cphe
A very dark and gritty psychological, police procedural, murder mystery. Ciaran and Thomas Devine were sentenced for the brutal murder of their foster father when they were young boys. It was Serena Flanagan who brought them to justice. Seven years later when the brothers were released there was a question mark as to which boy committed the horrific murder, the child like and softly spoken Ciaran or his older more vicious brother Thomas.

This author always manages to deliver a story that is thou
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Gatorman
Dec 01, 2015 Gatorman rated it really liked it
Solid thriller from Neville about the relationship between two brothers who serve time for the killing of their foster brother and the younger brother's relationship with the DCI who was both a friend and foe at the time of the killing several years ago. The younger brother is released, hooks up with the older brother released earlier, and trouble ensues. Not as good as Neville's The Ghosts of Belfast series, missing the grittiness and tension of those novels, but well-written and moves along ...more
Lee Thompson
Oct 08, 2015 Lee Thompson rated it really liked it
Great characters and pacing. Looking forward to reading more by Stuart Neville!
Sandy
3.5 stars

We all have a list of authors whose books we wait for like the drunk outside a liquor store first thing in the morning. When they have the temerity to (gasp) leave beloved characters behind & start a new series, it can be tricky. It's like your brother showing up with a new girlfriend when you really liked the old one. Dynamics are shaken up, expectations are altered & you're out of your comfort zone.
But hey, this is the latest from Stuart Neville.....an author who has given me
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Gary
Jul 25, 2015 Gary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Net Galley for an advanced copy of the latest Stuart Neville novel in exchange for a honest review. I received a forward copy this morning and instantly started to read it and I couldn't put it down. I have just finished it in almost one sitting. This is the first Stuart Neville book I have read and it won't be my last. I believe that the detective DCI Serena Flanagan is set to be Stuart Neville's new detective series and I can only imagine that with the development of the ...more
Sharon
Set in Belfast, 'Those We Left Behind' is an atmospheric and gripping psychological thriller. A 'must read' for all crime thriller fans. It follows four key characters, along two timeframes which are seamlessly executed.

Ciaran Devine is being released on parole after serving seven years for killing his foster father. His older brother, Thomas, released two years earlier is anticipating their reunion.
DCI Serena Flanagan has just returned to the department after recovering from breast cancer.
Proba
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Trev Twinem
Jul 23, 2016 Trev Twinem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emotional crime writing at its best At the finish of this story there are some notes by the author in which he attempts to explain difficulties he experienced in the initial writing of "Those we left behind" In particular the story was originally intended for DI Jack Lennon but after some soul searching and some rewriting the reader was introduced to DCI Serena Flanagan....and what a brilliant accomplishment that has proved to be.

You see, on the one level, we have a murder from some years ago an
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Best Crime Books & More
Well, well, well…looks like I’ve been missing out. When I had the opportunity for an early copy of a Stuart Neville book I decided to take it as I haven’t got around to reading his other stuff. It also looks to be the start of a series of books featuring CDI Serena Flannigan so I figured also a good place to start. I am SO glad I made that decision because this book was an absolute corker. Disturbing alright, but a corker all the same.

Serena Flannigan is a bloody fabulous woman. Although a lot o
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Josh
Aug 17, 2015 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THOSE WE LEFT BEHIND is more than a crime novel. It's an emotionally charged story that takes brotherly love to another level while focusing on the manipulative ways of the murderous and the malleable alike.

A murder separated them and time reunited them. Yet the bone chilling incident that set them on their separate ways continues to haunt the brothers, who, at a young age, were forced into foster care and into the hands of a young couple with a child of their own. For the father, taking the br
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Robert Intriago
Oct 11, 2015 Robert Intriago rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-noir, 2015
The subject is disturbing regardless of how hard the author tries to cover it up with a message of the failure of the justice and social systems. DCI Serena Flanagan and Probation Officer Patricia Cunningham are trying to deal with the release from juvenile hall of teenager Ciaran, who had been accused of murder. He has troubles dealing with daily grind of life since he has not been taught the basics of living. The matter is complicated by the presence of Ciaran’s older brother, Thomas. The ...more
Barbara
This is the first Serena Flanagan novel and as it is number 1, it appears this will be a series. Flanagan is a Detective Sergeant in PSNI stationed in Belfast. She has just returned to work after sick leave. She immediately becomes embroiled in the case of Ciaran and Thomas Devine. Seven years earlier before they were sent to juvenile detention, Flanagan tried to get to the bottom of the case by developing trust with Ciaran. She suspected he was innocent and covering for his older brother.
Flana
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Larraine
Oct 17, 2015 Larraine rated it really liked it
Cieran Devine murdered his foster father at the age of 12. Now he is 19 and has been released after serving seven years in a juvenile detention center. His brother, Thomas, also served time as an accessory to murder, but was released prior to his Cieran. Thomas has a hold over his younger brother that is both bizarre and dangerous. Cieran has an assigned probation officer, Paula Cunningham, who meets with DCI Serena Flanagan who was instrumental in getting Cieran's confession but who has always ...more
Sandra
Jan 01, 2016 Sandra rated it it was amazing
Twelve year old Ciaran Devine confesses to killing his foster father. His brother tried to stop him. Seven years later he's back on the streets which sets a deadly chain of events in motion.

DCI Flanagan who was involved in solving the case all these years ago as DS and Probation Officer Paula Cunningham think there is more to the case than was uncovered at the time.

Flanagan is a great character who goes beyond her superiors orders if she thinks she can solve a crime. Fast paced and unputdownabl
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Karin Meinen-Benjamins
Met stip mijn favoriete (psychologische) thriller van dit jaar! Recensie op Samenlezenisleuker:

https://samenlezenisleuker.wordpress....
Aoife
There are many lists with writing tips on the internet. Some are good, others not so much. I once came across one that had some really good advise. It also had one point that said Make everything the could go wrong go wrong. My immediate reaction after reading that was a burning desire to take out my copy of Henning Mankell's The White Lioness and hit the creator of this list over the head with it. And then force them to read the book (which would be so much more painful) and then ask if they st ...more
John
Jun 22, 2016 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first experience of Neville's fiction (except for a fine short story of his that appeared in an anthology we shared, Requiems for the Departed ed Gerard Brennan and Mike Stone) and, while I'm inclined to read more of his work, I'm not entirely convinced by this particular novel.

Some years ago 12-year-old Ciaran Devine was convicted of brutally murdering his foster-father David Rolston; Ciaran's brother Thomas, two years older, received a lesser sentence as an accomplice. Now Ciaran, j
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Joseph - Relax And Read Reviews
I would like to thank Random House, Vintage Publishing and Netgalley for allowing me to read an ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review.

This book is the first in a new police procedural series featuring DCI Serena Flanagan. I have to say that from the outset I liked this, brilliant, iron-willed but at the same time sensitive woman.

How far are you prepared to go to protect your brother?

Seven years ago, David Rolston was bludgeoned to death in his home. Ciarin Devine, the younger of his t
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2880615
I have been a musician, a composer, a teacher, a salesman, a film extra, a baker and a hand double for a well known Irish comedian, but I'm currently a partner in a successful multimedia design business in the wilds of Northern Ireland.

I have published short stories in Thuglit, Electric Spec and Every Day Fiction. THE TWELVE is my first novel, and will be published in the UK and Commonwealth by Ha
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More about Stuart Neville...

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