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The Murder Bag

(Max Wolfe #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  5,762 ratings  ·  617 reviews
The gripping first novel in an explosive new crime series by Tony Parsons, bestselling author of Man and Boy. If you like crime-novels by Ian Rankin and Peter James, you will love this.

Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter's Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable.

Detective Ma
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published May 8th 2014 by Century
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  5,762 ratings  ·  617 reviews

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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
Seven rich men met at private school twenty years ago and now one after one is being brutally killed. Detective Max Wolfe is new in the Homicide division of London's West End Central, 27 Savile Row and he and his colleague must find out who is behind the killings and why?

The first time I became acquainted with Max Wolfe was in the short novella Dead Time that is set between this book and the next one; The Slaughter Man. I liked him and his family; daughter Scout and dog Stan immediately. So, whe
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crime Fans, Serial Killer Fans, Everyone
I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks for the opportunity.

This is the first novel in a new crime series penned by Tony Parsons, author of Man and Boy and other novels, none of them crime related. I was keen to see how he went with venturing into this new genre of writing and was happy to find this book a really enjoyable and good read.

I REALLY liked the plot, I thought it worked really well and the entire book moved a
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
This is Tony Parsons first foray into the crime genre. That he usually writes contemporary family dramas shows in his creation of his characters, particularly his detective, DC Max Wolfe. Max is separated from his wife who has left him for another man, leaving their young daughter Scout behind with Max. Recently assigned to Homicide, he must juggle the demands of the job with those of being a single parent.

The prologue to the book throws us straight into a brutal gang rape and murder of a teenag
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for letting me read this prior to publication.

DC Wolfe, newly promoted to murder investigation, is part of a team looking into the death of Hugo Buck. It soon becomes apparent that Hugo and his school friends from Potter's Field school are under threat.

I had problems with this read. I loved the opening chapters, with the dramatic scene of attack on the girl and the introduction to Wolfe. However it all went down hill from there. I found the scenes with Wol
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
Do some people deserve to die?

In their schooldays, seven boys at Potter's Field, an exclusive school for the very rich, become friends. They look out for each other, not only as friends, but because they share a very dark secret.

One commits suicide at the age of eighteen. So then there are six.

Merchant banker, Hugo Buck, is found with his throat slit from side to side. So then there are five.

Did his wife, sick of his philandering, pay to have him killed - or is there something more sinister goin
May 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Having already been well-received and incredibly widely reviewed, The Murder Bag marks the first foray of Tony Parsons into the world of crime writing. With all the pre-publicity hype and long build-up to its release, I was keen to read this, but was it a gripping read, or less of a murder, and more of a mixed bag? Knowing the blood, sweat and tears that accompanies the writing of a crime book, from crime writers of my acquaintance, I am always wary of being too critical of books, but as a vorac ...more
“The Murder Bag” aka The Murder Man (Max Wolfe #1) is the first novel in a new crime series by Tony Parsons, bestselling British author of Man and Boy. This is the author’s first outing into the crime genre, and it is definitely a winner. For clarification, there are two names for this book; Murder Bag and Murder Man. I believe Murder Bag was the UK title and Murder Man was the US title.

DC Max Wolfe, is a single parent to his five year old daughter, “Scout”, and dog, ‘Stan”, a Cavalier King Cha
Claire Mkinsi
Jul 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Dear, oh dear, oh dear… Clunky, cliche-ridden and horrible writing… There are a few good ideas - like the Black museum - and the beginning was quite thrilling and well-paced but after that I really should have stopped. There are some terribly cliched characters - the posh headmaster (Peregrine!?) - some sexy bint in need of physical consolation from the detective - the "good egg" female police officer… Often awkward to the point of embarrassment… and writing so graceless I was afraid someone wou ...more
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
This is a very modern book which will not appeal to all fans of crime fiction, indeed I expect it may split people 50:50 a bit like Marmite.
It is an action thriller about a maverick police office, DC Max Wolfe who to say is impulsive is to imply the Pope may be Catholic as they say. He, that is Wolfe, not the Pontiff, is head strong, follows his hunches rather than the line of command and ultimately is instinctive. Happily he is flawed, prone to mistakes and not always the best with people. A se
Heena Rathore P.
This book is by far the best crime book I've read in last couple of years!
This book kept me on the edge of my seat all the time and it was unbelievably impossible for me to not read it in one sitting. I was totally blown by the ending and all the other twists and turns. It is a page turner and I'm definitely going to read all the books in this series and probably all the other's as well!
Tony Parson's is my new favourite crime author!!!

RM(Alwaysdaddygirl) Griffin (alwaysdaddyprincess)
Note- I miss adding this book. I finish this book last month. I took it out from the library before the shutdown. I did not start it until May of this year.

I love this book but I do have a soft heart for single dads. I will be reading the next in the series.

Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main character in this gritty thriller is Detective Constable Max Wolfe, who lives alone with young daughter, Scout and their dog Stan, in London. We are shown from the very start of this novel that Wolfe is a man who flagrantly breaks the rules – sometimes, of course, that can be a good thing, but had one of his hunches in this book gone wrong his career might have ended rather swiftly. Quite often his behaviour seems rather too impulsive and you understand why his superior, Elizabeth Swire ...more
Rhian Eleri
Jan 01, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing

I found this first novel nputdownable
The story about The Murder bag.

Two bodies have been found with their throats cuts. Investment banker Hugo Buck was found by his cleaner with his throat cut.

A homeless man Adam Jones hooked on heroine was found with his throat cut. Both Hugo and Adam were friends when they were both at boarding school together.

Can new Detective Max Wolfe of Homicide division of London find who is responsible for these wicked knife attacks? And find out why this serial killer
Jul 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the popular police detective genre
Recommended to Mark by: Heena P.
Shelves: 2015, police-stories
A first police novel by the writer Tony Parsons who is very gracefully about the folks who helped them and recognised their toils and work.

Max Wolfe, what a powerful name albeit a wee bit cliche, is a policeman whom is not so much a team player and views the world somewhat different than the average policeman. When the book opens Max is busy with a known terrorist and he alone sees him taking action. What happens next you'll learn reading the story but it leads to him getting a job at the homici
Jun 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very different novel from the author of Man and Boy, and one which i thoroughly enjoyed.

DC Max Wolfe is an outsider, he gets things wrong, he disobeys orders, but above all he wants to discover the truth. His investigation of a series of deaths is told from the first person perspective, and very little feeling or description is left out. The plot is a little convoluted, and on a couple of occasions the coincidences a little too obvious, but overall it was a very enjoyable read.

This gritty firs
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 2018, wom-2018
I was into this from the get go. Loved it. Even though it’s the first in a new series, it had me hooked straight away and not all first books are like that. I enjoyed the book on all levels - the crime story and the personal story of the main character and the fact it was quite an easy read and didn’t feel bogged down. I instantly liked all the characters and can’t wait to read the next.
Sarah England
Feb 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Not bad, and I'd certainly read the next one. Plenty twists and turns so - although I'd guessed a couple, not everything was entirely expected.

My only gripe is something Kathy Reichs is terrible for - shoe-horning in exposition and explanations in the most contrived way. For example, if some acronym or bit of jargon is used, they will feature some character looking confused thus signalling someone else to carefully explain in the most excruciatingly artificial way. Just stick it in the normal t
Linda Strong
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I received this book from the Dead Good Crime Book Group. And I am so glad I did! This is another new author for me ... and now I am a great fan!

I loved,loved, loved The Murder Bag by Tony Parsons. DC Max Wolfe is a wonderful character. He's right when he's right and he doesn't give up jut because no one else believes he's right. He's a great father to his young daughter, Scout. Up until the last half of the book, I thought his wife had died.

There is a serial killer loose, killing in a particul
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
More like 4.5 stars

The fact that it took me some time to finish has nothing to do with the book, but lots to do with my vacation in San Francisco:)

The book was a gripping and engaging tale with several twists and turns. I especially like the developing private life of Max Wolfe and I really feel sad for his daughter, Scout.
As I started this series with book #2, now I have to wait til Nov for book #3. Thankfully there's a short story I haven't read, so now I have to get that.
Denisa Arsene
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
It was not a waw, but it was nice. What I really enjoyed here was not the action - which was poorer - but the insights of the main character. I didn't guess the murderer, not even the fine network between the characters' development - which is good (and could be becsuse I read it with other parallel books, or because I didn't read it in a short time).
But, I think it coild be a bit shorter regarding the action and the story.
I liked the style.
All in one, was a nice book.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Do some men deserve to die?

In 1988 a girl was raped and murdered.

Twenty years later a rich banker is found in his office with his throat slashed from side to side.

So, is the banker dead because some crazy maniac who calls himself Bob the Butcher is killing rich and privileged men, or is there more to the story?

I liked the prologue. I really did. I expected some gruesome and gripping story about revenge on the behave of the poor girl who deserved justice. But... I didn't get that. Not even close.
Kortessa Giachanatzi
Aug 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
The "Murder Bag" is a book which I started reading with great anticipation. The opening was really dynamic. It created a tension. It made me want to read further on. Also the first chapter had the traits that keep the reader's interest alive. Sadly for me though, all these stayed at that level. Onlyto be expectations.

The plot pace was slow. The ending was predictable. Some descriptions were dull and did not offer much to the progress. What I liked though was the Black Museum description. That wa
Julian Lees
Apr 06, 2015 rated it liked it
THE MURDER BAG started very well but it began to fade about half way through. It was well written but lacked a wow factor. I also found the bit about the glass eye at the end silly. That said, I would like to give it 3.5 stars.
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't my usual type of book but I really enjoyed it. Lots of mystery and action. You kind of have an idea of the story from the beginning but there is a lot more to it than you first think, there are actually quite a few answers and reveals before you really find out what happened.
The narrator sounds like a bit of a tough guy which suits the main character quite well.
Carla Johnson-Hicks
I received this book in a draw from the Dead Good Crime Book Group and am so glad I did. The prologue sets the stage for the story. A young girl is gang raped, then killed. Flash forward 20 years and a group of men that went to school together are getting killed. It is easy to see the connection to the rape and murder, but the story that follows is who is killing them and will the original crime ever be discovered. The main character is DC Max Wolf. He is a single father raising his 6 year old d ...more
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. After reading the first few pages I thought the storyline was fairly obvious. However the author has a way of drawing you into the story with a few good twists along the way. I will definitely keep my eye out for other books by Tony Parsons now and be recommending this to friends.

Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime
"There is no greater stranger than someone we used to love."

His own words actually. This Tony Parsons is stranger to me - quite weak writing, lots of repetitions, very predictable and way too drawn out ending. Ah, yes, and the main character just always has to mention he's driving X5, not just any car. Idea itself is ok, it was a fast read, but not very impressive job.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
2.5 - 3* If this is an intended series, it's off to a mild start. Better than average writing but the unspectacular police procedural and resulting whodunnit plot didn't quite keep me on edge. I'm not convinced Max Wolfe can carry a big series but I'll probably pick up at least book #2 before I cross Max Wolfe off my list.

Jo Jenner
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I have a habit of reading books in a series out of order just because I tend to buy 'best sellers' when they are on discount. Luckily for me I read Max Wolfe #3 first.
Luck because #1 was not great. Max is a DC who runs over a potential terrorist in the first chapter of the book and stops him blowing up King's Cross Station. However there is no mention of the fact that in real life he wouldn't have got a medal for disobeying orders.
He is a DC and he repeatedly goes off on his own and does his own
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There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Tony Parsons (born 6 November 1953) is a British journalist broadcaster and author. He began his career as a music journalist on the NME, writing about punk music. Later, he wrote for The Daily Telegraph, before going on to write his current column for the Daily Mirror. Parsons was for a time a regular guest on the BBC Two arts

Other books in the series

Max Wolfe (6 books)
  • The Slaughter Man (Max Wolfe, #2)
  • The Hanging Club (Max Wolfe, #3)
  • Die Last (Max Wolfe, #4)
  • Girl On Fire (Max Wolfe, #5)
  • #taken (Max Wolfe, #6)

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