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IT Can Be Dangerous

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***** Selected as one of the 'Ten to Taste 2014' by crime and thriller site Crime Fiction Lover. *****

Cynthia's had a rough day.

And now she's found Nathan's body.

This could impact negatively on her performance review. Not to mention that the police are bound to suspect her, seeing as how she has no alibi and was cutting code right outside his office when he was murdered.

Explaining that techies rarely interact with managers for long enough to kill them isn't going to sort the problem. There's only one thing to do before she's arrested - find the killer herself. How hard can it be? She has a hotline to Nathan's devilishly handsome son, enthusiastic friends and a lifetime’s expertise in armchair detection.

Cynthia's exploits soon reach the ears of the enigmatic Superintendent in charge of the case. She can handle that, but then she attracts the murderer's attention...

275 pages, Paperback

First published August 28, 2013

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Ita Ryan

2 books23 followers

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5 stars
25 (51%)
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11 (22%)
3 stars
8 (16%)
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2 (4%)
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3 (6%)
Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews
Profile Image for Yannis.
92 reviews
April 25, 2015
I don't review the books I read here in Goodreads but since I won a free copy from Ita's giveaway I suppose I should give an honest review.
At first I was a bit biased. I choose very carefully the books I buy but this is a special occasion. I didn't care that much because it was free. An unkown beginner (?) writer seemed a bad choice. Even the cover didn't seem good enough for me.
I started reading and I got into the story from the beginning. No boring chapters describing the everyday life of a programmer. The crime is introduced pretty soon and the hunt for the killer too. The description of the company feels right, I guess the writer knows it and it shows. The characters seem rather realistic though they seem to represent some stereotypes or at least that's how the main character sees them. And that's a tricky part. First person narrative. It's good because we know only what the character knows but it just doesn't feel right most of the time. She's describing the events that happened a few years ago and we read detailed dialogue over and over. Does she have an amazing memory or something? I don't think so, but that was a clever device Gene Wolfe invented for Severian in The Book of the New Sun aand I kinda hoped there was a similar excuse here. Also, the fact that we already know she's innocent and survived the events of the book was a sort of a disadvantage.
The heroine's behavior is somewhat erratic. Also, I think it's weird she doesn't get a lawyer. In fact where are the lawyers? Most people don't like them ut hey, there are suspects.

MAJOR SPOILER: I liked how her ex was introduced with various hints that he may be the killer. Bad thing was they didn't suspect him and I didn't understand why not. As a reader I thought he was introduced too late to be the killer but the characters shouldn't know that./END OF MAJOR SPOILER

Overall it was a pleasant read, perfect for a day on the beach or by the fireplace during a cold winter weekend. It's read quite quickly, so it qualifies as a page turner though without the overused hooks-at-the-end-of-the-chapters. There were these little things that bothered me but then again I wouldn't give more than 2 stars for something I didn't enjoy. 3 stars is a usual rating for PK Dick's books and he is perhaps my favorite writer. Ita did well but I expect her to do even better.
Profile Image for N.N. Heaven.
Author 6 books1,824 followers
July 8, 2014
Ever had a boss that just made your life a living nightmare? Now imagine you find his dead body and the number one suspect is you. This is the exact premise of "IT Can Be Dangerous" by Ita Ryan. Cynthia is working in the IT department of a British software company when she discovers her boss, Nathan, dead in his office. The worst part? She was right outside his office the whole time working on code. Soon enough, the police are narrowing down the suspects and she is deeply afraid they will arrest her for Nathan's murder. The solution? Don her sleuth cap and find the murderer before it's too late.

I love mysteries and this debut from Ita Ryan was superb! She kept me guessing until the very end and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Cynthia is a fabulous amateur detective and I want more!!!

Get this book now and transport yourself to London, England for this fun mystery!
Profile Image for Geraldine Byrne.
Author 16 books31 followers
April 8, 2016
I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel from Ita Ryan. It's a witty, well written murder mystery centred around a London city company, where Irishwoman Cynthia Hegarty works in IT. A rotten boss is compensated for by decent wages and fun co-workers until someone murders said boss, leaving poor Cynthia as the prime suspect.

In best murder mystery tradition and with a nod to the greats like Agatha Christie, Cynthia investigates in an attempt to clear her name.
Filled with intrigue, humour and a dash of romance, the story is well developed and Cynthia is a very likeable character. Other characters are well drawn and move realistically through the novel, with plenty of red herrings and twists to keep the reader interested.

I was quite sorry to put it down, and can only hope Cynthia reappears in a sequel soon. Good read, very well priced, great fun
Profile Image for Deana.
85 reviews3 followers
September 15, 2013
As an Agatha Christie reader i have always enjoyed a good murder mystery. I bought this after listening to Ita updating us on her progress of this novel on twitter and could not wait to read it.

I was not disappointed.... A must read for everyone and cannot wait for the further adventures of Cynthia :-)
Profile Image for Alice.
559 reviews21 followers
April 5, 2015
Disclaimer: a free copy of this book was given to me by the author in exchange of an honest review. Thank you so much.
Also thank you for the dedication I found inside the book.

I was immediately captivated by the plot.
And one of the reasons is because we start the book with this witty and clever Irish woman who discovers her annoying boss' dead body on a Monday night when she worked overtime.
Who killed Nathan Boyle and why? How can she have not noticed anything? Is she now in danger?

Cynthia knows to be the prime suspect for the murder so she decides to set up her own investigation and no one can be trusted - not even her closest friends at work and the man she likes so much.
Cynthia tries to channel her inner Agatha Christie to gather clues, motives and a list of suspects but it's a dangerous game and there's a murderer on the loose.

It took me a while to find the time to read because when I received the book, I had just started a new job so I had to find a new rhythm within my day. Nevertheless, I tried to read some pages everyday and I reached the point when I couldn't put it down - I had to know who the murderer was.

I laughed so hard while reading James and Cynthia's mails exchange about Vicky's misspelling because I too know a couple of girls that do the same and I know it's not the nicest thing to do, but my friends and I always get a laugh out of it.
I know, I should be ashamed of myself.

I found it very realistic because people like Nathan really exist - arrogant, bullying and demanding - and I've known my fair share of them when I was a teenager.
I so felt for Liz when he was belittling her at the party.

Maybe Cynthia was too much braver than it would seem real - or maybe I would be shivering and terrified in a corner.
Maybe the possibility to be arrested for murder makes you going out of your way to prove your innocence.
I sure hope to never find it out.

English is not my first language, so feel free to correct me if I made any mistake along the way.
Profile Image for Kate Garrett.
Author 43 books50 followers
March 19, 2014
Contrary to the review I wrote for another detective novel last summer, I can no longer say with any conviction that I don't usually read mystery stories - I have a habit these days of picking them up. However, I stand by said review: I like my detectives quirky, usually women, and I'd really rather they were not even detectives.

Which certainly could be one reason why I loved IT Can Be Dangerous so much. Our heroine and super sleuth is C++ programmer Cynthia Hegarty, who concentrates so carefully on her coding she fails to notice a murder taking place in the office behind her. Being the most obvious suspect, she decides to find the killer herself.

Cynthia is a loveable protagonist; she felt like a real person and I cared what happened to her. The supporting characters are quite well rounded and interesting too - at times I even felt a bit of sympathy for the difficult Vicky. The only issue I had was that I was more interested in the Superintendent than Harold - and I don't think that was meant to happen. However, I do find myself hoping they're both recurring characters in future books.

The plot is carefully crafted, and kept me guessing about the identity of the killer (I didn't figure it out). The book also addressed some serious issues in sub-plots, such as violence against women. It would have been nice for that particular character to get a bigger comeuppance for his controlling and abusive behaviour, but to show him as a weak bully in the end was also effective.

Some parts made me laugh out loud, the dialogue was natural and believable, and the pace was perfect - when I reached 75% on the kindle edition, I stayed awake until 1am to finish reading. IT Can Be Dangerous kept me interested, entertained and hoping for more Cynthia Hegarty mysteries! Recommended.

**I received a free kindle copy of this book in exchange for a fair and balanced review.

Profile Image for Devi Nair.
458 reviews37 followers
February 11, 2015
Check out the complete review at IT Can Be Dangerous > Review

A very annoying and controlling boss, who everyone hates, including Cynthia. And suddenly he is dead and Cynthia is the suspect. Like she did not have enough on her plate already. And also she is the only one in the office when Nathan is found dead. So even she knows she is the most natural suspect. So how can she convince everyone she did not do it?

Ita Ryan has created a nice web of intrigue and suspense around the murder of Nathan and Cynthia being the suspect. The way the story is written is also different. The book starts with the murder. Then goes back into the circumstances and then comes forward to the present. The back and forth is truly interesting and does not disturb the flow of the story. The brief romance between Cynthia and Harold, Nathan's son is also shown with a dark cloud on top.

The way Cynthia then takes upon the investigation herself and figures out who is the killer is also a systematic and proper procedure. It is a bit slow in between though and a tendency to skip comes over you. But overall a good read.
1 review
September 22, 2013
The hero of 'It Can be Dangerous' is a girl detective / computer programmer caught up in a crime that happened in her office(in one of London's I.T. hubs), right behind her while she was concentrating hard on work. The reader gets little glimpses into the world of programming - not much, just enough to remind us that these are the people making new stuff now, as the heroes of Victorian novels were engineers, the movers and inventors of their day.
This is a crime novel with lots of characters, it whisks one along - the protagonist is witty and friendly, there is a romantic interest as well as friendship, a supportive sister and more than one mystery (why did the beautiful, distinguished ,wealthy dame wed the uncooth, unsavoury manager anyway?). A good lighthearted read, enriched by the solid milieu of people and place.
Profile Image for Magda.
439 reviews26 followers
February 18, 2014
The book was immensely enjoyable! The first thing that jumped out at me was the possibility of reading the title in two ways, as in 'it' or "IT (Information Technology)' and I thought it was very clever and made me want to read the book even more.

The novel reads smoothly and is a delightful combination of humor and suspense. At the beginning the main character annoyed me a bit but soon she grew on me and I came to like her. Other characters are also likeable, and each of them are their own person, all are different not just the mass of the same people disguised as different ones.

"IT Can Be Dangerous" was a very entertaining read full of surprises. Ita Ryan created a novel in which the amount of humor matches the amount of crime solving which makes it a unique combination bound to enthrall the reader.
Profile Image for Lauren.
12 reviews3 followers
May 17, 2014
I received this as a first read in a giveaway by the author.

I found it to be really enjoyable and a lot of laughs until the very end. From the very first page your dying to find out who is the culprit and with Cynthia being completely unaware a murder happened several feet away, you wonder, how didn't she hear or see anything ? I was glued from the first page and was unable to put it down. I loved Cynthia, she was a well put together character. I really enjoyed the book and I hope as others win or buy in the future they get the same enjoyment I did.
Profile Image for Cottageunderhill.
466 reviews7 followers
August 11, 2014
This book sucked so bad that by Chapter 4 I just gave up and tossed it out the window. My biggest complaint (among many) is that the main character Cynthia is a die hard mystery reader, loves mysteries, and you would think that if she has read so many mysteries then she would have been smarter in not blundering in the real life murder she is a suspect in... but no. The sheer stupidity of the woman just made me roll my eyes and wish I could throw up the garbage that was written. Perhaps next time, the author could research a little more on character development.
Profile Image for Ita Ryan.
Author 2 books23 followers
September 6, 2013
I wrote this book, so naturally I think it's wonderful! If you read it I hope you enjoy it.
130 reviews8 followers
March 29, 2015
I won this book from Goodreads.

Loved it. A breezy read, quite humorous and a cracking good story.
Profile Image for Al.
1,168 reviews29 followers
November 5, 2013
If you look at the title and wonder what IT is and whether there is a typo, IT is Information Technology (computers), not the word it in all caps. I work in IT in my day job, yet kept looking at the title (even after I figured it out) and getting confused again, so I suspect others will make the same mistake.

Cynthia is a programmer in the IT department. After working late one day she discovers Nathan, her boss, was murdered while she was sitting at her desk, just outside his office door. Although notorious among her co-workers for being oblivious to what is happening in the office when she’s focused on a problem, Cynthia is convinced the police are going to try pinning the murder on her, unless she can find the culprit first.

IT Can Be Dangerous should appeal to fans of cozy mysteries. With several viable suspects (Nathan wasn’t a very popular person) Cynthia has a plethora of people to investigate and try to rule out.

I had a few nitpicky issues with the story  the way a poker tournament in one scene is described was, at a minimum, unconventional, and there was at least one technical error in the author’s description of the play of poker. But those were minor and more than offset by getting the details right in other areas, for example how an IT department functions. The characters, even the more minor office mates, were well drawn and realistic.

As for whodunit, the clues were all there, but I never suspected until the culprit was revealed at the climax. For me, that is the acid test of a good murder mystery, to keep me guessing until the end while feeling that the clues I needed to solve the puzzle were there, if only I’d managed putting them together.

**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
Profile Image for Sara.
81 reviews4 followers
August 4, 2014
So I read this as part of a book club, and utterly hated this book.

I don't typically read a lot of straight forward crime scene detective books, mine usually have more paranormal / science fiction / fantasy involved, so maybe that is biasing my opinion. It was a struggle to read this, I absolutely loathed the main character and found her extremely naive and frustrating. For a character who's supposed to be obsessed with detective books, shouldn't the first thing she did as the police fingered her for the crime, is to hire a lawyer/attorney?? She kept repeatedly saying or doing something that would incriminate her more and would continually get upset about it. She had no growth or story arc. None of the other characters really had any development or growth, save maybe Liz, and even then hers was only slight improvement.

Maybe the few smart things she did were to stay in a hotel rather then her flat. But honestly, she just started telling the whole world where she was staying towards the end. If you start blatantly investigating a murder, and telling potentially suspects you are...I would think you'd take better precautions and maybe pay more attention to people and your surroundings, and I don't know not trust anyone or anything they say?

How is it the cops, who also has a copy of the emails from Nathan, were not able to see the other motives other characters could have? They honestly had the emails longer then our main character. They mentioned they too looked through them, so the love affair, the embezzlement, the people who got fired all would have been clear as day. Really painted the cops as completely and utterly dumb and incompetent.
Profile Image for Tiffany.
606 reviews
October 11, 2014
I just don't know how to write a review on this.

I just...it was...The main characters drove me nuts! NUTS! The "humorous" emails made me cringe...I mean...why? What purpose did they serve? They just took away from the story and made me start rolling my eyes. The characters were supposed to be adults, but most of them acted like kids in high school.

You find someone murdered within 15 feet of where you have been working all night...and you want to go to work the next day? Really?!? I don't think so. You want to keep digging into said murder after someone ransacks & destroys your apartment? Um...no! Granted she stopped staying at the apartment, but she told almost everyone where she was staying eventually...way to rule out people!

I just...I can't say more without spoiling stuff for those who would love to read this. If you like mysteries and gossip, check it out.

It just didn't shine for me.
29 reviews
January 25, 2015
I received this as a First Reads giveaway.

I don't normally read murder mysteries but as the central character is a programmer (both my partner and I are too!) it might be interesting.

And it was. It is reasonably fast paced and definitely a page turner. There are twists and turns but they appear quite naturally and aren't forced or ridiculous.

If you work in IT (not as a manager) there are lots of bits that will give you a good giggle (I laughed out loud around page 10 so that was a good start). I also like that the protagonist hasn't worked at the company for too long because that gives the author a let off for not developing some of the other characters (there are quite a lot of them).

This is the perfect book to take on holidays or on a flight. I read it really quickly and very much enjoyed it.
13 reviews
July 14, 2014
A wonderfully intriguing summer read. Very reminiscent of Marian Keyes and Janet Evanovich. Ms. Ryan made IT work sound very interesting, not to mention dangerous. Hard to put down once you start it!
37 reviews4 followers
February 4, 2017
Sounds so interesting, I really really want to read it!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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