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A Question of Despair

(Sarah Quinn #1)

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3.4  ·  Rating details ·  45 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
First in the thrilling new Detective Inspector Sarah Quinn series - When a baby is snatched from outside a Birmingham newsagent’s, ‘Ice Queen’ DI Sarah Quinn and feisty TV reporter Caroline King clash head-on in the desperate search to find her. Quinn’s cool investigative methods contrast with those of the fiery King, who’ll stop at nothing in pursuit of a good story. But ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Creme de la Crime (first published March 31st 2011)
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Kay Robinson
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The first of the Sarah Quinn mysteries and the first one that I've read. Does Sarah stand up as the brilliant character Bev Morriss? It would be unfair to make any judgement after reading one book, however, I can say that I enjoyed the read, as ever Maureen Carter has put together a moving and brilliant plot, one that leaves the reader using only guesswork until the final chapter. Maybe I was so enthralled to be reading another Maureen Carter novel, or maybe the book is shorter than Maureen's pr ...more
Kit
Aug 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
Derivative, badly-written tosh. The narration is plodding, condescending and cliche-ridden and has the irritating sexist habit of referring to men by their surnames and women by their first names. The characters are shallow and the dialogue trite; the police banter in particular is excruciatingly unfunny. The plot has the bones of something interesting, if hardly original, but is fatally undercut by the bad writing, characterisation and on occasion a lack of credibility. A crucial witness suffer ...more
Monica
Feb 19, 2012 rated it liked it
I like Carter's Bev Morriss series a lot. It's smartly written police procedurals with interesting characters, good plots and a real sense of Birmingham life.

This book is a respectable beginning to a new series with a new protagonist, another female Birmingham cop. Sarah Quinn is known as the Ice Queen, both for her look and her demeanor. She and her team are charged with investigating the kidnapping of the infant daughter of a young single mother. The dynamics of the police team are portrayed w
...more
Carol
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
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First in the thrilling new Detective Inspector Sarah Quinn series - When a baby is snatched from outside a Birmingham newsagent 19s, 18Ice Queen 19 DI Sarah Quinn and feisty TV reporter Caroline King clash head-on in the desperate search to find her. Quinn 19s cool investigative methods contrast with those of the fiery King, who 19ll stop at nothing in pursuit of a good story. (Amazon review) Karen Lowe falling in love wither step father and having a baby was a bit of a stretch but on the whol
...more
Lynda
Jun 06, 2012 rated it liked it
This novel is a very dark British police procedural. The first in a series, the book introduces Detective Sarah Quinn who is investigating a baby's kidnapping outside a news stand. The plot was interesting and I was in the dark as to the criminal's identity until just before the author revealed it. However it seemed to me that too much time was wasted on the antagonism between a reporter and Sarah. The reporter's actions are crucial to the plot but a lot of the exchanges could have been condense ...more
Jacky
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is a bout DI Sarah Quinn. Some good festures: good descriptions, and one or two good characters, but most were from Central Casting.
The plot was fairly good, but some loose ends were left untied, and I guessed the perpetrator very soon in.
I wouldn't seek this series out.
Just as a co-incidence, this book is about kidnapped babies. I am just listening to one of the Paul Temple mysteries with a similar plot on the rdio, and it is interesting to note the contrast in police handling 60 yesrs on!
Richard
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who like mysteries, English police, strong female characters.
Recommended to Richard by: I read a review.
If everyone lies to the police, it's a wonder any of these mysteries ever get solved. This is a very twisted story of infant abduction with an interesting setting (Birmingham, England) and quirky characters. With more than one mystery involved, our hero, DI Sarah Quinn perseveres.

I needed a glossary of B'ham slang, but other than that, it was a well crafted story with a strong but strange finish.

I will be looking for more of Ms. Carter's work.
Caroline Ingvaldsen
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Strong characters, cleve plotting and good pacing make palatable this dark police procedural depicting child abduction and murder.
Smithhemb
Nov 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Didn't feel like a waste of time, but not a series (or author) I'll be following.
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Former BBC Newsnight presenter Maureen has worked extensively in newspapers, radio and television. She still freelances in the business, when she's not busy novel writing. As a journalist she's worked closely with the police, covering countless crime stories, including several murders. She's also interviewed victims and seen villains sent down.

Maureen was inspired to write Working Girls by a polic
...more

Other books in the series

Sarah Quinn (5 books)
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  • Dying Bad
  • Child's Play (Sarah Quinn #4)
  • Next of Kin