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The Mercy Seat (Joe Donovan #1)

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  77 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
"Martyn Waites stands out in the crowded field of young British noir writers . . . with his bruised characters, raw-edged dialogue, and extraordinary night vision."-"The New York Times Book Review" "London's dark heart has seldom been exposed with such surgical precision. Brutal, mesmerizing stuff."-Ian Rankin

"A huge talent."-"TimeOut London"

"One of the brightest stars in
...more
Hardcover, 421 pages
Published March 14th 2006 by Pegasus Books (first published January 3rd 2006)
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Kinga
Jul 03, 2010 Kinga rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, thriller
This is me leaving my comfort zone and reading a thriller/suspense/whatever it is called. I don't know much about the genre, and haven't read enough to be able review it properly but I thought it was ok. There were dead bodies, blood, chases, fights and a mysterious minidisc.
However, Mr Waites should leave love scenes to Danielle Steel. Really. Check this one for example:
"They looked at each other. Their eyes locked.
'Everything changes,' he said.
'Nothing stays the same,' Maria replied.
They kisse
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Chris Laskey
Mar 31, 2016 Chris Laskey rated it it was ok
A classic case of reading all these little praise clips on back of book and scratching head wondering if they read the same book as me? I wish I could say I had some interest in the characters but they are so vaguely fleshed out and so typical that I could barely finish the book. The writing is just not great and borders on boring which makes even the few dramatic violent scenes not really all that intense. a definite sense of the author being reluctant to delve deeply. On top of that the plot i ...more
Ross Hamilton,
Jul 13, 2008 Ross Hamilton, rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent crime novel!
Stephanie
Sep 10, 2013 Stephanie rated it really liked it
After doing a bit of internet research for a crime novel set in Newcastle, I discovered this series by Martyn Waites and thought I'd give it a try. It was initially just going to be a little light, side reading while also reading some heavier nonfiction. As it turned out, I became completely engrossed and had a hard time putting it down. I have a three month old baby at the moment, and suddenly the middle of the night wake ups became something to look forward to because it gave me more time to r ...more
Johnny
Jul 12, 2010 Johnny rated it liked it
This is one of those instances where I think the reviews that I read about this book hurt my read. Maybe my expectations were too high, but there just wasn't anything about this novel that really set it off from other books in the genre.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad book. The prose is well-written, if maybe 50 pages too long. Often the story is more complicated than it is complex. But there are some fun set pieces and good action.

The main flaw to me was that the characters (save for a coupl
...more
Wendy
Feb 13, 2014 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Fantastic author with great story thread that weaves through - wish there were more!
Sue Kelso
Jan 22, 2013 Sue Kelso rated it really liked it
I discovered Martyn at BCon 2011 by buying the latest in the Joe Donovan series. After reading, I immediately ordered the rest of this series so I could meet the characters and find out how they got to this point in their lives.

In this one, a newspaperman goes missing. A woman out of Joe's past comes to him for help. Joe is promised help to keep looking for his missing son and agrees. There are a lot of characters but once you get into the rhythm, it becomes easier to keep them all straight.

I'm
...more
Jennifer
Jan 22, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it
This book wants to be new, edgy, a reinvention of the noir thriller genre. What it is is serviceable. A good read, efficient pacing, crisp plot. But there is nothing "new" here. A protagonist, destroyed by a horrible event in his recent past, ruined career, broken man syndrome, etc., brought back to life by a new job, good people, getting the bad guy. The first in a trilogy, this book sets up the next two, creating the team of characters who will pursue the serial killers, mad men, etc. Nothing ...more
Kaninu
Jun 04, 2008 Kaninu rated it it was amazing
The Mercy Seat by Martyn Waites is an suspensful novel that takes place in London. It is a book about a twelve year old named Jamal who overcomes things such as crimelords and police. Jamal hustles his way through life just to get by. I learned a lot from this book, I would like to read more books about Martyn Waites. She is a good author who knows how to write intersting books that are about daily life. i would recommend this book to anyone who likes books about drama.
Diane
Jul 02, 2009 Diane rated it it was amazing
This author is described as the Michael Connelly of English fiction. While I was unfamiliar with some of the dialect, I found the story keeping my interest. The main character is a former journalist, down on his luck who gets involved in a case of murder. As he joins forces with other characters to solve the crime, he leaves journalism to start his own business of investigative jobs with his new team. I really enjoyed this change of pace.
Antonia
Jun 17, 2010 Antonia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i just finished the last third in one sitting and can finally breathe easily. what a read. dark and gritty and whenever you thought - surely, it can't get any more worse - it actually did get worse. not easy to swallow some of the scenes and themes, let alone some of characters which you might encounter in any street of any biggish town these days.
marvellously well written, a perfect crime noir novel.
Sandi
Set mostly in Newcastle and featuring a former journalist with a tragic past, this book was dark and extremely violent but compulsively readable.
Lisa Fox
Apr 22, 2010 Lisa Fox rated it really liked it
Well written, though not as creepy as it could have been. Still a good thriller/mystery. I would like to read more of his work.
Marjorie
Dec 07, 2009 Marjorie rated it liked it
Well written, but very dark and violent. Not an easy read and not for everyone.
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Martyn Waites (b. 1963) is an English actor and author of hard-boiled fiction. Raised in Newcastle upon Tyne, he spent his post-university years selling leather coats, working in pubs and doing stand-up comedy. After a stint in drama school, Waites pursued life on the stage, performing regionally in theaters across England. TV and commercial work followed, and he continued to act full-time until t ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Joe Donovan (4 books)
  • Bone Machine
  • White Riot
  • Speak no Evil

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