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Kick Back (Kate Brannigan, #2)
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Kick Back (Kate Brannigan #2)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  765 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
'Kate Brannigan is truly welcome. Hot on one-liners, Chinese food, tabloid papers and Thai boxing, she is refreshingly funny' Daily Mail
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1993)
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The Cats Mother
Second in this series about Manchester-based PI Kate Brannigan, this has her investigating 3 separate cases: one fizzles out as someone else solves it for her, while the other two - missing conservatories, and a friends lost property deposit - which both involve highly confusing mortgage scams - are excruciatingly boring. She spends most of the book driving around, on stake-out, or eating Chinese food, when she's not explaining all the technology which was clearly super-snazzy at the time, but 2 ...more
Stef Rozitis
I reread this as it had been more than 10 years since I read it. Back then McDermid was my favourite author so I was worried I would now (being far more critical than formerly) ruin it for myself. I needn't have worried. It was long enough ago so that I didn't remember too much. As to the quality of the book- I am sure it had flaws but I was having too much fun to notice them. Kate Brannigan is a feisty, witty, brave protagonist and is surrounded by a support network that manage to respect and m ...more
Sep 22, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a pretty good mystery with a resourceful heroine- a PI in a small firm, asked as a favor to her secretary to look into a case where a builder installs conservatories, which later disappear. She is also asked as a favor to a friend to look into a land sale fraud. When she is run off the road and injured, she can't be sure which case (if either) made her a target. As I said, pretty good, a bit more convoluted than I cared for with the fraud schemes, but still good.
Jackie Cain
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These earlier books of Val McDermid are not as complicated as the later thrillers but they are pleasure to read.

Kate Brannigan is a likeable character and the description of her every day life, the precise information about how she drives around the North West of England, all conjure up an atmosphere of a time I remember - the mid 1990s after Mrs T became Baroness T.

The way the action and the activities of the PI are described recall the style of American writers like Sara Paretsky and Sue Graf
John Toffee
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
The second of Val McDermid's Kate Brannigan books about a feisty Manchester based private detective. This gains points for me because of the unusual subject matter; mortgage scams and missing conservatories!
Kate is asked by the firm's secretary to have a look into the case for her as a bit of a favour anyway lots of investigating and eating Chinese with boyfriend Richard occur to produce an interesting novel.
Recommended and will keep me interested in the series.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really like this series, very different from her more recent stuff.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Not as good as the first Kate Brannigan, but still a good read.
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
another excellent read from one of my favourite authors
Ian Brydon
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Now best known for her often gruesome novels featuring Detective Inspector Carol Jordan and Dr Tony Hill, Val McDermid also wrote a very entertaining series of novels following Kate Brannigan, a feisty private investigator based in Manchester.

'Kick Back' is the second in the series and starts on a rather low key note when Kate is commissioned to look into the problems faced by a local building firm that specialises in constructing conservatories. The director has been advised by his bank that th
Jul 19, 2016 rated it liked it
We were so charmed by McDermid’s private eye Kate Brannigan in her first appearance in “Dead Beat” that we hurried to this second in her 6-book set, “Kick Back”. While Kate was still a fun and resourcefully persistent character, the plot did little to engage us – indeed, many readers were as buffaloed as the novel’s players by the convoluted mortgage refinancing scheme that dominated the story. A sub-plot involving a land-swindling conspiracy, complete with a cross-dressing lawyer, wasn’t really ...more
Jan 27, 2016 added it
Shelves: read-2016
This is the only the second Val McDermid book I've read, I can't recall the other, only that I didn't finish it & it did put me off bothering to try more.....I fared much better witb this one.

This was an easy read but I did find the fraud schemes a bit convuluted (not helped by the fact that I kept forgetting that the land sales & conservatory cons were completely different scams!) The fact that the conservatories "disappeared" didn't seem to make sense to me & the one sentence of ex
This book featured private investigator Kate Brannigan and had a couple storylines; Kate was looking into some land sales and some missing conservatories. I thought the writing was good, but that being said I am not sure I understood all of the details of the property transfers and financials and there were a lot of characters to keep straight with my somewhat sporadic reading of this book. I never really connected with Kate as a protagonist. I have really enjoyed other books by this author, but ...more
Nov 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars - Visiting the Kate Brannigan series is a chance to see McDermid developing her writing chops. (Carol Jordan and her team are possible because of the work McDermid did here.) In this book, there are technology elements that are a bit dated and the real estate cons seem to be a bit complex, but overall a good enjoyable read.

This is the fifteenth book I've read by Val McDermid. The next one pushes her past the "James Patterson" line on my Most Read Authors list on GR. It's always a good
Balthazar Lawson
This is the second book in the Kate Brannigan series and Kate has to deal with two cases of fraud and along the way find out who is trying to killer her. It's an entertaining read, though it does get bogged down a bit, unlike the previous book in the series.

This book is nearly 20 years old and shows how times have changed with debate about getting a mobile phone and there is mention of the M63, but this road no longer exists. Where would a private investigator be without a mobile phone in this d
Kay Robinson
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Kate Brannigan is on the trail again, doing what she does best, and, as usual under pressure. What seems like a little favour for a friend soon turns out to be a major financial fraud. Long before she gets anywhere near the truth she finds herself in danger, an attempt on her life. This is one of the fastest-paced novels I've read in a long time. Val is on top form as she has Kate racing round the North West looking for clues and stirring up muddy waters as she does. I loved this, a cracking goo ...more
Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: detective
The second McDermid book I've read, and not a patch on the first one, "Fever of the Bone". The characters are a bit stilted, and speak with annoying TV glib phrases. The plot is a bit convoluted, revolving around property conveyancing, mortgages and conservatory sales! Not sure I'll try another McDermid in the near future. It's an easy, light read, but leaves you not feeling that your time was well spent.
Dave Riley
Mar 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Relies on 'attitude' to drive the interest in a sort of fem take on hard boiled fiction. Far too smart for my liking. This is worsened by a complicated plot. The writing is nonetheless quite good with some stand out throw away lines...and the lead character -- Branigan -- is humble enough to make mistakes and admit to them as this is all first person story telling. I would have thought this was early McDermid but it was published as late as 2006.
Apr 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Definitely a 3.5, as compared to Dead Beat, the first in the series, which I gave a 3. (This is what I said about Dead Beat: "a well-written, smart, and occasionally humorous mystery - the first in a series - by Val McDermid, a well-known Scottish author. I decided to keep going after reading this, which was a little light in content but good in character development, and I'm enjoying the subsequent ones.)
Sep 11, 2012 rated it liked it
I agree with others here - not the author's strongest or most dramatic work, and I'm not sure I totally understood the ins and outs, but I still read it very quickly and wanted to know what happened. Also agree about the technology being so dated - what really tickled me was that a laptop was presented to the reader as impressive for being able to hold 60 novels, and I read the book on my Kindle, which can hold thousands!
Apr 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I think I put this on the Kindle list and checked it out before I'd read the first Kate Brannigan. I decided to give this series another try. Yep, I jsut don't care for it that much. The main character is sort of a cookie-cutter brash woman, and while it's great to see a strong female character, she seems a bit two-dimensional. There are so many other great books out there, and this series is not one of them.
Apr 02, 2012 rated it liked it
I kept thinking there was going to be some kind of overlap between the two cases that Kate was working in this book; it just seemed too coincidental that she'd get two really big mortgage fraud cases to work at the same time.

Oh, and this book had me craving Chinese food every day I was reading. Kate and Richard really need to branch out on their food habits.
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The second Kate Brannigan, P.I., novel. An interesting tale of fraud and murder. Brannigan makes an interesting character with strong intelligence and a novel approach to her work. She is not afraid to skirt the law to get her man.
It was OK but feels terribly dated because of the references to mobile phones (huge, clunky & rare) and computers - floppy discs, computers without hard drives. Feels like it's set shortly after Henry VIII died rather than early 90s. Nothing ages worse than technology.
Irma J. Klein
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Always a page turner

Val McDermott is a master craftswoman who spins a wicked tale with twists and turns and keeps you breathlessly waiting for her next book. love her plots, she is absolutely diabolical.
Naomi Blackburn
Jun 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
I am a huge fan of the majority of Val McDermid's works. This series is a bit weaker than her Wire in the Blood series and a large number of her stand alones. Because I am such a fan of this author, I will continue with the series, but wish it would include some of the classic McDermid twistedness.
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Love these books- this story was another clever journey through dodgy dealings; friendships, relationships set in and around Manchester.
Chris Porter
Aug 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Easy to read. Her quips rate alongside Harlan Coben's.
Jean Kinloch
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
It was OK. Of its time I suppose. losing interest in Val I'm afraid.
Feb 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Not one of my favorite in this series, but I do like Val McDermid's writing!
Really enjoyed this one. Easy read, same sassy writing, and who knew real estate fraud could be so interesting
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Val McDermid is a No. 1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies.

She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cart
More about Val McDermid...

Other Books in the Series

Kate Brannigan (6 books)
  • Dead Beat (Kate Brannigan, #1)
  • Crack Down (Kate Brannigan, #3)
  • Clean Break (Kate Brannigan, #4)
  • Blue Genes (Kate Brannigan, #5)
  • Star Struck (Kate Brannigan, #6)
“He frowned as he struggled to remember. It was like watching an elephant crochet.” 21 likes
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