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(Daniel Dayton thriller series #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Some family trees are meant to fall.

On the run from his criminal family, Daniel Dayton returns home to Newcastle Upon Tyne when his abandoned daughter is attacked.

But his family have problems of their own. Targeted by a brutal mercenary, their empire is destined to be destroyed should Daniel refuse to help.

Betrayed by his parents. Despised by his brother. In love
Kindle Edition, 290 pages
Published March 28th 2018 by Thistle Publishing
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  81 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Woodcutter is a brutal and unforgiving story that leaves you in a cold sweat as you try to navigate the deception, threats and continuous revelations around the Dayton criminal empire.

Daniel Dayton is hiding out in Scotland from his father and his brother when he is eventually tracked down and presented with a compelling reason to return to Newcastle Upon Tyne and help his family. A killer (Fairbanks) is systematically dismantling the Dayton Empire by killing off main figures and cut
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A dark and gritty crime novel based in Newcastle, Woodcutter follows Daniel Dayton as he seeks to track down the mob responsible for injuring his family and get his revenge.

Baines writes a sympathetic protagonist in Daniel Dayton, a stereotypical bad man turned straight. He’s easy to sympathise with and has a decent, well thought out backstory that supports his current mentality and actions. I like that he’s rather ambiguous in na
Woodcutter is a dark, mean, drama involving some of the most despicable people you ever will come across in a book and, yet, it also was one of the most gripping novels I have read in a long time. 

This is the debut novel of Shaun Baines, a writer from Scotland, who focuses on noir story-telling about the underbelly of Scotland;  the dark, Scottish streets. Woodcutter is primarily the story of Daniel Dayton, son of one the most powerful mob bosses in Scotland. Daniel left home to escape the killi
Deanne Patterson
Apr 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book starts out violent and stays that way. I honestly didn't like any of the characters. Their ruthless killers so I guess I'm not supposed to.This is the debut novel by this author and it just wasn't for me. The plot was too unrealistic for me with too much action going on. I mean if the characters were in real life and acted this way they would have been caught or dead before all this happened.
Pub Date 07 Jun 2018
I was given a complimentary copy of this book from Thistle Publishing thro
Susan Hampson
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There is only one problem about being at the top of any business and that is there is only one way that is left to go. The Daytons have ruled the roost, as far as being top dogs round Newcastle upon Tyne clubs and drug running goes, for more years than people want to remember. The only way that they have done that is through people’s fear of them but there is a new contender and he is running circles round them. Fairbanks isn’t impulsive, he plans and adapts.
Now I am in a reading situation that
Bonnye Reed
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
GA Shaun Baines brings us an excellent demonstration of the concept of nature or nurture in this his debut novel. Woodcutter follows two gangs in an English town, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Scott and Daniel are the sons of Ed Dayton and his first wife, Liz. Ed has raised the boys in his 'business' from an early age, has an extensive crew and controls most of the drug trade on the East End of Newcastle. In his twenties, son Daniel rebels and leaves England for a job is Scotland as a timber man, a woodc ...more
Stephen Bentley
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very good first novel by author Shaun Baines. It is a fast paced read with a good plot and some excellent characters. That deals with what I liked about the book. There were things I did not like but they did not spoil the overall experience of the read.

Mr. Baines tells us, through his bio, he writes crime noir. The trouble with such a claim and for all crime fiction, especially if UK based, it has to pass muster with this reader’s 30-years’ experience of law enforcement. In other word
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it
3 and 1 / 2 stars

This is an interesting debut novel by a new author to me. While it was not a bad read, it leaves this reader wanting a little more oomph to the story. The bad guys were caricatures of wanna-be gangsters. This must be due to the author’s newness at the writing game. He can only get better, right? They were supposed to be a frightening bunch of bad guys, but I found myself smiling at times because of their incompetent antics.

The basic story was a good one. Man who leaves a life o
Cherry London
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The name Daytons when mention sends shivers of fear through the recipients,
this English mafia style syndicate empire is falling and it was falling very fast, with a lot of death and chaos. Using a little girl to get her father back was a devious thing to do, money gives one a lot of bravadoes especially if they are involved in the criminal fiber of the society. To the king on the throne, Ed, the only one that could save them and help give them back their fearful countenance, was the one bird t
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
From the publisher ---
A gritty, contemporary crime thriller set in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Some family trees are meant to fall...
On the run from his criminal family, Daniel Dayton returns home to Newcastle Upon Tyne when his abandoned daughter is attacked. But his family have problems of their own. Targeted by a brutal mercenary, their empire is destined to be destroyed should Daniel refuse to
David Peat
Apr 18, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sam Law
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read

A dark thriller, set in a grim version of Newcastle, England. A Family is under attack, and as its once all-powerful aura begins to slip and smash, old wounds re-open, and secrets are brought into the light.

Main Characters:
Daniel Dayton: Prodigal son of the powerful Dayton crime family, he is sucked back into that world when he hears his daughter, whom he left behind, has become collateral damage in this new war.

Fairbanks: Clever
Mike Siedschlag
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received an e-copy of Woodcutter by Shaun Baines for review.

A dark, grisly, intricate tale of a mafia-type family. Full of action, violence, brutality, familial intrigue and peripheral sex. Pretty much what a reader expects from this genre. Not to say it is predictable or mundane. It is able to still be full of surprising twists and turns.

The problem for me? No body was sympathetic! The main character Daniel tries but just can't pull off likability. Every character had such unforgivable flaws
Claire Davis
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received Woodcutter by Shaun Baines in exchange for an honest review. I have given this book five out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Dark, malicious and full of drama, Woodcutter was just the raw, brutal book I needed to get my hands on.
Baines created such a brilliant descriptive story, which really helped my imagination kick in, so I managed to conjure up what the characters looked like and set the scene well. This is a slow paced story which Baines used to the best of his advantage as all of his ...more
Dora Okeyo
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Every family has issues and as far as they go, the Daytons are messed up! I received an ear from the Publisher in exchange for my honest take on the story and so here it goes.
This book has a slow pace and serves characters who are both well developed and those who just don't cut it.
When a major opponent threatens their cartel, Daniel, finds himself looped into the family business that he'd left behind nine months ago. His daughter is in a coma and he seeks revenge. When he arrives home he reali
A.B. Funkhauser
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fans of gritty British noir will love this big cast with messy pasts that work at cross purposes to come out on top. I loved it. From thug-trying-to-go-straight Daniel to mendacious snake-in-the-grass brother Scott to aging lothario and patriarch Ed, WOODCUTTER is ripe with choice euphemisms only guys from this world could pull off. It was like heading through the looking glass and coming out in a place so morally ambiguous that everything makes sense after a round at the pub an
David Savage
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
a fantastic, thrilling, gripping and exciting debut novel by Shaun Baines. I found it to be well-written and went along at a good pace. It is filled with violence, secrets and kept me guessing right until the end. A very intriguing story, it was very hard to put down.

A story of a brutal gangland family that use fear and violence to control their empire but when put at risk by an unknown rival it soon exposes the fractures within their family and organisation.

It has some great characters, very vi
Lilli Rose
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So I do not usually read crime thrillers, as in I never read crime thrillers. However, I adored this book. Just a forewarning, almost no one in this book is a good person, however, I found myself rooting for the main character, Daniel, more often than not. With that being said, just the entire feel of the novel is amazing and I found myself drawn in from the very first page. What is even better is that this is a debut author. I had the pleasure to email him and give a quick little Q&A and he’s a ...more
Henk-Jan van der Klis
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
In Woodcutter you meet two violent, mafia-like families operating in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Fairbanks, and Dayton. Daniel Dayton, one of the main characters, is strong, deadly serious, and eager to take revenge on the one who attacked his abandoned daughter Eisha and caused her current comatose plant life in a Newcastle hospital. The number of casualties throughout the plot, narrowing possibilities for survival and finding out whodunnit, keeps the reader engaged until the end. No father or brother ...more
20/52 books read in 2018.
Provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This is the story of Daniel Dayton. Being the runaway son of an English crime family, he is forced to return to avenge his daughter who is hurt and in a coma. Upon his return he finds out that his family's empire is under attack and his family members have a lot of secrets. Leaving him no choice but to act and thus threaten his plans to leave the criminal life for good.

I actually thoroughly enjoyed
Trey Stone
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
True British crime, is what this is. We follow Daniel Dayton, younger brother of Scott, and son of Ed, head of the Dayton crime empire. Daniel has since left that life behind, wanting no part of it, but external forces and threats to the Dayton name forces Daniel back into the fold.
Shaun is the kind of writer that makes you feel, and you feel a lot. There's action, grit, suspense, but what grips me the most is the evil. Not an otherworldly, supernatural evil, but a pure, basic, human evil. There
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is an interesting book that has potential. The story it selv was nice, but there are some holes. When I read I missed the rounding up of the story. Why was this happening, what was the motive for the different characters, and why did they behave as they did. Some of the characters was put in to fill the page, they were such a small part of the book, that they could easily have given their part to a main character in stead. But I am sorry to say that then the book would just have 3 female ch ...more
J Fearnley
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.5

This quite gritty crime novel set in the criminal world of Newcastle is a first book from Shaun Baines. It is reasonably paced and tells of a criminal family being targeted and destroyed by the enigmatic Fairbanks. It’s a good read which would benefit from a bit of tightening up to give it more pace, stop the (assumed) unintentional humour and perhaps loose bits that did not enhance the story (eg HMP Frankland). Nevertheless, these bits were mere distractions. It’s an interesting stor
Sreevarsha Sreejith
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Woodcutter by Shaun Baines is a dark and incredibly twisted drama that details the workings of the Newcastle based Dayton criminal empire. The protagonist of the story is Daniel Dayton, the quintessential black sheep of the family, who tried to leave the life of crime behind and start afresh in the relative wilderness of Scotland as a 'Tree Surgeon'. But something happens, as it so often and inevitably does and Daniel is forced to return to Newcastle to settle scores with someone who has been ha ...more
Martha Brindley
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent first book from the author. I read it over a 48 hour period as I just got so engrossed in the story. It is fast paced with great characters. At times, I laughed out loud, although I don't think I was supposed to find some parts amusing. The nicknames of the characters were spot on, especially Colon! The plot centres around the notorious Dayton family and Daniel finds himself drawn back into the business he tried to leave behind. The ending leaves it open for a follow up.I wo ...more
Chris Hannon
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Woodcutter is dark and action-packed northern noir featuring a broad cast of well-thought through characters and antagonists. Warring gangs, new rivals and uncompromising actions take place against a Newcastle backdrop. The thrilling pace and numerous plot twists make this is a must-read, highly entertaining, and with scope for more to come, i'll definitely be looking out for more from Shaun Baines. ...more
Patricia Bello
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was an unexpected book...not the usual thing found in my booklist. But I really liked it. It's a little gruesome in the violence and an interesting take on the fall of a mafia family. I can almost see it as a movie. I wish Daniel was more intelligent though. And though it was a little difficult to understand the motives of Fairbanks, he was interesting.

I received a copy of this book for my honest opinion.
Suzanne Maughan
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A darkly compelling story with many twists. Unfortunately, I didn't like any of the characters (although Daniel had more saving graces than others) but they're gangsters, so I'm not supposed to, right?

I look forward to seeing more from this writer!
Paul Mageean
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A gritty well written fast paced thriller
The black sheep returns to try and work out what’s really being going in the Dayton empire in his absence
Read it over 2 days as I didn’t want to put it down

Look forward to Shaun’s next book
Hannelore Cheney
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Thank you NetGalley and Thistle Publishing for the eARC.
I read about a quarter of the book and decided it wasn't for me. I'm sorry.
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