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Sentence Of Death (Clavel and Snow Crime #1)
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Book Club Selection > June 2018 Value Read - Sentence Of Death, by A.P. Martin

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David Gooch | 4090 comments Mod
Sentence Of Death, by A.P. Martin

"‘Well, gentlemen,’ she says, as she squints up at me in the harsh artificial light. ‘We have the body of a male, I’d guess aged between late forties and sixty, who has suffered fatal trauma as a result of being beaten with a blunt object. I’ll be able to tell you more when we get him onto the slab.’

Looking at the bloody, pulpy mess of skin, hair and threadbare clothes, I’m frankly amazed that she can tell us anything at all about the victim.


It’s July 2016 and Tyneside is basking in glorious summer weather. Recently divorced Olivia flies back to her home town for a much needed holiday and to attend Opera North’s acclaimed production of all four of Richard Wagner’s ‘Ring Cycle’ of operas, which are to be performed over six days at The Sage in Gateshead.

But, just as the international audience has arrived and the music festival is gathering momentum, the city is shocked by a brutal murder. Keen to close the investigation as quickly and quietly as possible, senior police officers convince themselves that they have their man. But ambitious, ex-Met Detective Sergeant Sam Snow is far from convinced.

When a second violent death occurs, the police investigation runs into a brick wall, until Olivia suggests a bizarre and disturbing theory. As the killings continue, it falls to Sam and Olivia to risk everything, in a desperate race to uncover the truth and to prevent further loss of life. "

Discussion Leader - G.J.
Link to Book - https://amzn.to/2spbz8Z


David Gooch | 4090 comments Mod
The author himself has his own web page. Not a great deal on it but synopsis on his books and you can contact him should you wish.

The page is at http://www.apmartin.co.uk/


G.J. (buch-wurm) | 41 comments Hi all, I am G.J. I am really looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas about this book !


G.J. (buch-wurm) | 41 comments Has anyone started reading yet ?


Erunyauve | 168 comments Yes - it was a bit slow at first (though I think that was partly due to the formatting on Kindle), but it's got my attention now.


G.J. (buch-wurm) | 41 comments Erunyauve wrote: "Yes - it was a bit slow at first (though I think that was partly due to the formatting on Kindle), but it's got my attention now."

I read it on Kindle, luckily had no probs with it, I like how it is told from two different POV


Beth Stewart | 607 comments I am reading it now


Beth Stewart | 607 comments Finished. I am surprised that this one has received such high praise on both Amazon and goodreads. It was an ok read but won't be getting 5 stars from me.


Shera (goodreadscomShera) | 57 comments I agree with you Beth. This book was better than some of the authors Amazon has tried to force on us lately.You know what I mean, the books that have all the personality of an Air Force mission debriefing. I don't know who writes those but I wish our members would stop nominating them.
This one was about a 2 1/2 star for me. I'm not sure it has the bones to develop as a series but stranger things havehappened


message 10: by G.J. (new) - rated it 5 stars

G.J. (buch-wurm) | 41 comments Wow ladies, we all know books are liked or disliked according to our personal tastes, seems a bit harsh to be criticized for nominationing a book I personally found to be very enjoyable!


message 11: by Beth (new) - rated it 2 stars

Beth Stewart | 607 comments G.J. If we all like the same books life would be boring I am glad you enjoyed it and you certainly aren't alone. It has very high ratings on both Amazon and goodreads. I suspect I am in a minority.


AngryGreyCat (angrygreycatreads) | 565 comments I have this one on my kindle. I'll be starting it shortly.


AngryGreyCat (angrygreycatreads) | 565 comments G.J. wrote: "Wow ladies, we all know books are liked or disliked according to our personal tastes, seems a bit harsh to be criticized for nominationing a book I personally found to be very enjoyable!"

I haven't started it yet. I'm looking forward to trying it, it is a "new to me" author.

Don't worry if people don't care for a selection - I nominated what I think was one of the worse books we read - Brass in Pocket - it happens to everyone after you've nominated a few. Usually it is just that a book doesn't appeal to someone for some reason. I know for myself I am not a big historical mystery reader, I read classic mysteries from earlier time periods, but I just don't tend to enjoy modern mysteries set in the past.


David Gooch | 4090 comments Mod
I am underway on this and it is ok so far.
At the moment I am nearly half way and struggling to see the point of all the pre Ring sessions and the Olivia preamble.
I do understand from synopsis that she gets involved but at nearly half way it seems to me perhaps a little late on in the book but we will see.


message 15: by G.J. (new) - rated it 5 stars

G.J. (buch-wurm) | 41 comments David wrote: "I am underway on this and it is ok so far.
At the moment I am nearly half way and struggling to see the point of all the pre Ring sessions and the Olivia preamble.
I do understand from synopsis t..."


Interesting David, I found the relatively measured build up in this story one of the things I liked. It enabled me to think about what was going on and more importantly why. Afterall isn’t one of the reasons we all love books the fact that we see them differently. 😀📚


Erunyauve | 168 comments I've been enjoying the Ring group discussions - I assume our killer is someone in the group (Leonard is too obvious), so they do the part of introducing us to suspects. And it's also central to the killer's thinking. It also doesn't hurt to give the reader a bit of a synopsis of the opera - I have your basic cultural literacy knowledge - I recognise the music and have a general idea of the plot - but I've never seen it performed. (Actually, I know most of it through its influence on Tolkien.)

Snow is a bit of an interesting character - I'm not sure I altogether like him. Olivia, however, seems very real and well-drawn.


message 17: by Beth (new) - rated it 2 stars

Beth Stewart | 607 comments I agree that Leonard seems too obvious. Perhaps had more time Been given to filling out some of the other characters, he would not have stood out?


message 18: by G.J. (new) - rated it 5 stars

G.J. (buch-wurm) | 41 comments I found The Ring group discussions very interesting too, but then I like opera even though I am not very knowledgeable about it!


David Gooch | 4090 comments Mod
Three quarters through the book and it's so far to me an average read. It certainly isn't anything that jumps out and grabs you and makes you want to keep reading the next chapter or bit.

I understand the idea of the Opera and linking it with a killer as it is likely original but apart from the petty bickering between the group and their dislike of Leonard it all seems not required but I maybe proved wrong.

I must say that halfway through the book I thought I knew who the killer is and be interesting to see at the end.


Erunyauve | 168 comments Ack! I got to the part where the murderer is revealed just as my train pulled into the station. I suppose I could have finished it at home last night, but I like to have some incentive to get moving in the morning.


David Gooch | 4090 comments Mod
Ok so I'm done.
It turned out I was right who the killer was and I thought everything pointed at him by half way through the book.
The book itself has a good idea for basing the crimes around the opera but for me it just wasn't what you call a page turner.
It is probably as well this was our group read as I doubt I'd have read it otherwise. That said it was a pleasant enough read and as it is the authors first it is a reasonably good attempt.


message 22: by G.J. (last edited Jun 07, 2018 07:31AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

G.J. (buch-wurm) | 41 comments I really liked this book because of its originality, and I personally think the author succeeded.
It was refreshingly different from the almost extremely predictable young/old policeman/woman with all manner of skeletons in the cupboard, huge psychological issues,massive stress from all kinds of past partners/cases/ nightmares etc. Last but not least it did not once feature my biggest gripe at all = missing children or child abuse. Do we really always need to have these features and or themes ?
@ David, it is good you liked the book as a pleasant read, I am glad.


David Gooch | 4090 comments Mod
Yes GJ it was a good easy read. Sometimes its nice to have one of those now and again. And I do agree that the theme of the opera was original.


Shera (goodreadscomShera) | 57 comments Well, since other people were enjoying it,I started over again and discovered something. Until I got further into the book I didn't realize we weren't expected to like Olivia.
She actually says she's beautiful and is a little miffed when two other women are facing the mirror. Rather than sit with them she moves around the table to sit next to the moderator and criticize most of his opinions. She reminds us constantly that she is the expert in most areas etc... If I hadn't caught on before, the episode where she clacks her heels across the floor of the restaurant to be sure she interrupts all other conversations proves she is really over the top.
Poor Sam on the other hand has no personality, but there is hope for him in other books. Since we know nothing about him he can jump out of the cookie cutter and become a lead in another station in Newcastle I hope. I'll give it 3 stars


message 25: by G.J. (new) - rated it 5 stars

G.J. (buch-wurm) | 41 comments Shera wrote: "Well, since other people were enjoying it,I started over again and discovered something. Until I got further into the book I didn't realize we weren't expected to like Olivia.
She actually says sh..."


That’s a really interesting observation ! In my mind Olivia is just regular looking, though I believe the author says she has lovely hair ! I liked her because I thought she seems “normal” for want of a better word :-)


message 26: by Beth (new) - rated it 2 stars

Beth Stewart | 607 comments I agree with you GJ; I did not get the impression that Olivia was anything special or thought herself as special. To me, she just came across as a woman, an academic, trying to rebuild her life after divorce.

But I do agree with Shera on the "cookie cutter" description of Sam.


Brian Kirk | 24 comments I just finished the book, and I agree with some of the other comments so far. I enjoyed the book but figured out who the killer was very quickly. I think they could have given more information on the others in the opera discussion group to throw us off. I do look forward to more books in this series in the future and I found the two characters worked well together.


AngryGreyCat (angrygreycatreads) | 565 comments Brian wrote: "I just finished the book, and I agree with some of the other comments so far. I enjoyed the book but figured out who the killer was very quickly. I think they could have given more information on t..."

Yes - I agree that if the writer would have revealed more about the other members of the group outside of when they met, it would not have been as obvious.


message 29: by G.J. (new) - rated it 5 stars

G.J. (buch-wurm) | 41 comments AngryGreyCat wrote: "Brian wrote: "I just finished the book, and I agree with some of the other comments so far. I enjoyed the book but figured out who the killer was very quickly. I think they could have given more in..."

Its an interesting thought.... but I wonder how the author would have done this successfully given that the book was written from just two perspectives...


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