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3.54  ·  Rating details ·  371 ratings  ·  35 reviews
When career criminal Jack Farlowe's body is found washed up on a Suffolk shore, it looks to the police like a clear-cut case. Heartbroken at his daughter's death, he has drowned himself - good riddance and one less crime to solve, according to CID.
Then again, maybe not. For, one by one, Farlowe's enemies are being killed. And the horrific manner of their deaths makes
Paperback, 128 pages
Published May 18th 2006 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  371 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
A stand alone novel by author Val McDermid.
Criminal Jack Farlowe's body is found washed up on a Suffolk shore and it looks to the police like a clear-cut case. Heartbroken at his daughter's death, he has drowned himself and there the police are more than happy with one less career criminal on the streets. But like most good novels there are twists and turns and everything is not always as it appears.
When you read a Val McDermid novel you are sure to get a well written novel that generally
Annette Gisby
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
Very interesting novella. Despite being short, there is a full tale here and the pace is almost breakneck speed.
Figured out the twist pretty quickly.Short read can be done in a hour.
M.J. Perry
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm on a bit of a Val McDermid binge these days and this little book, a novella really, is a delight.

It's one of her her few stand alone books. In it she appears to experiment with her writing style a bit and it works. The title, as usual, has multiple meansings, this time both humorous and serous. Her sentences in this book are consdierably shorter than she usually employs, reminiscent of the "Black Mask" style of writing. It creates a different kind of tension within the book. Unlike her othe
Mark Hughes
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read this for my library reading challenge. They wanted us to read one of the books in the ‘quick reads’ series. This is like a crime novel with all the scene and character development stripped out. That being said, McDermid does an admirable job working within the confines of the series but it wasn’t really my cup of tea. I also found the murders gratuitously violent.
Balthazar Lawson
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short story about a clean skin criminal who's world is turned upside down when his daughter is burnt to death. The world of the police who have been investigating him for years is also turned upside down. It all makes for a very enjoyable and engaging story.

Well worth reading.
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
I thought this was really disappointing.

The ‘twist’ was pretty much spelled out well before it happened and there was really nothing compelling about the story.

The only positive was that it was quick. It took less than an hour to read.
Beth Monk
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I have read by Val McDermid. Look forward to reading more of her work. In Aug a short story she managed to get just enough action in to keep me interested.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was different format than your usual murder mystery. Engaged me right from the first paragraph right to the end. Quick read. Great read.
Jo Marchant
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a great twisty turning quick novel that I really enjoyed. I will definitely read more of this author but i need to start at the beginning.
David Highton
A novella starting with the death of young girl in an arson attack, followed by a suicide and a series of grisly executions. Tough stuff.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like VM’s stories, I knew this was a short one and it was well worth reading but to me suffered from being so short. Hard to say why, it just seemed rushed and it could have made a good long read.
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I regard this short book as a masterpiece of crime fiction writing.
It may only have been relatively short but it read like a full length book.
There were no shortcuts or rushing of the plot to finish the story, it was complete and it was is by this that the brilliance of the authors is revealed.
I would not hesitate to recommend this book especially to anyone like myself who has yet to read a book by Val McDermid
Laura Greenwood
Apr 11, 2016 rated it liked it

Title: Cleanskin
Author: Val McDermid
From: Amazon
Genre: Crime
Release Date: 18th May 2006
Challenges: 2016 Read the Books You Buy
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

When the crime boss that Andy Martin has been watching for years, turns up dead in a suspected suicide, it sets him on a course to try to discover exactly who is to blame for his death, and the trail of corpses that seems to have appeared in it's wake. When another body turns up it causes both a shock and a breakthr
Bev Walkling
This "quickread" book would fall into what is the novella category. Set in the UK,the daughter of a crime lord is killed in a fire set by an arsonist. DCI Andy Martin is called in as he has been trying to catch this crime lord for some time. The distraught father is subsequently found dead (recognized by his tattoos) and other bodies are found to follow - each one more brutally dispensed with than the last. Martin's friend with benefits, Stella ( a forensic pathologist), is off the the body farm ...more
Jun 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2010
Though this was my first time reading Val McDermid, I was already a fan. Her books are the basis of a great British crime drama, Wire in the Blood, and as soon as I discovered that all of her books found a spot on my wishlist. This was just a novella, but I think it’s a good taste of what McDermid can do. The story opens at the scene of the brutal murder of Katie Farrell, who has been burned to death in her own bedroom. Katie is the daughter of Jack Farrell, an organized crime boss that DCI Andy ...more
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book comprises 113 pages and uses extremely large print, it's part of the "Quick Reads" series and it took me about 3 to 4 hours to read it (but it would take a native English speaker less time to get through it).

I had never read a book from the "Quick Reads" series before and only got it because of the author, Val McDermid. I enjoyed reading it and certainly found it more enjoyable than some of the other books I've been reading lately but did not enjoy it quite as much as Val M
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
A quick read book and I have decided I like this author and have put her other books on my never-ending list of books to read in the future. This one sees a criminals daughter die in a fire. He then sells up his businesses. The police who are keeping an eye on him have no idea why. Then a body with an unusual tattoo turns up and the copper identifies it as the criminals. Before they have time to breathe another criminals body appears and then another and another. Someone is taking out all the ma ...more
Apr 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Crime novella written for the Quick Reads series. Andy Martin is a cop with the Serious Crimes section and is called in when the daughter of a known gangster is murdered. Cue lots of bodies killed in interesting ways and a nice little twist. As this was very short it took me little time to read. It was enjoyable enough but I prefer McDermid's full novels.
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adore reading Val Mcdermid's books. She never backs away from filling in the blood 'n' guts that some authors fade to black and imply. This is a short story or 'novella', I'm not sure of the difference, so it doesn't have the same character development as a full length book, of course, but it held my interest and I read it in one sitting (at work). Good, quick, bloody read. v
Sep 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
It was OK, definitely a quick read - more of a longish short story really, so not much time to get to know and be interested in the characters, and I guessed one of the twists quite easily in advance.
Jane Fenn
Fabulous size of book to keep you entertained whilst waiting doctor/dentist's waiting rooms, yet still retained the Val McDermid style and charisma!
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books-read
This is the first time that I have read anything by this author and I absolutely loved it, the only shame being that it was a quick read. I will definately be looking to read more of her books
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another quick read, and I did like this one too.
I haven't read anything by this author before, but now I am definitely interested in her other books.
Dec 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Good short story. However back cover had two mistakes - body found in Sussex not Suffolk and name of 'victim' had typo in name. Disappointing editing.
Devon Harper
Mar 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Good but too many characters for such a complex plot in little over 100 pages. Interesting unpredictable ending, however.
Not bad, not one of her best
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good story I enjoyed reading it. It was hard to put down.
Barb Hunt
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
A quick read, lots of twists and turns; as usual, a top book by Val McDermid
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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
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