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The gripping first novel in an explosive new crime series by Tony Parsons, bestselling author of Man and Boy. If you like crime-novels by Ian Rankin and Peter James, you will love this. Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter's Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable. Detective Ma The gripping first novel in an explosive new crime series by Tony Parsons, bestselling author of Man and Boy. If you like crime-novels by Ian Rankin and Peter James, you will love this. Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter's Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable. Detective Max Wolfe has recently arrived in the Homicide division of London's West End Central, 27 Savile Row. Soon he is following the bloody trail from the backstreets and bright lights of the city, to the darkest corners of the internet and all the way to the corridors of power. As the bodies pile up, Max finds the killer's reach getting closer to everything - and everyone - he loves. Soon he is fighting not only for justice, but for his own life ...


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The gripping first novel in an explosive new crime series by Tony Parsons, bestselling author of Man and Boy. If you like crime-novels by Ian Rankin and Peter James, you will love this. Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter's Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable. Detective Ma The gripping first novel in an explosive new crime series by Tony Parsons, bestselling author of Man and Boy. If you like crime-novels by Ian Rankin and Peter James, you will love this. Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter's Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable. Detective Max Wolfe has recently arrived in the Homicide division of London's West End Central, 27 Savile Row. Soon he is following the bloody trail from the backstreets and bright lights of the city, to the darkest corners of the internet and all the way to the corridors of power. As the bodies pile up, Max finds the killer's reach getting closer to everything - and everyone - he loves. Soon he is fighting not only for justice, but for his own life ...

30 review for The Murder Bag

  1. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    Seven rich men met at private school twenty years ago and now one after one is being brutally killed. Detective Max Wolfe is new in the Homicide division of London's West End Central, 27 Savile Row and he and his colleague must find out who is behind the killings and why? The first time I became acquainted with Max Wolfe was in the short novella Dead Time that is set between this book and the next one; The Slaughter Man. I liked him and his family; daughter Scout and dog Stan immediately. So, whe Seven rich men met at private school twenty years ago and now one after one is being brutally killed. Detective Max Wolfe is new in the Homicide division of London's West End Central, 27 Savile Row and he and his colleague must find out who is behind the killings and why? The first time I became acquainted with Max Wolfe was in the short novella Dead Time that is set between this book and the next one; The Slaughter Man. I liked him and his family; daughter Scout and dog Stan immediately. So, when my mother saw a show on the telly where they discussed this book did I remember that I had it and of course, being the good daughter that I am decided to read the book to see if it would be something for my mother to read.  Well, that and because I wanted to read it, well mostly because I wanted to read it. Anyway, this was a real page-turner that in the end turned into my favorite kind of game; how long after midnight can I stay awake and read is it called. I stopped playing this game until around 00:45 am because my eyes started to get wonky. So, I continued next day and could hardly put the book down. This is a really good book, it's very dark, but so engrossing and I just adore little Scout and Stan. Max is a single father and you get to know why a bit later in the book and let me tell you, the knowledge of why made me really pissed off. I vaguely remember reading something about the situation in the novella, but I really need to read it again now that I have read this book. The murders are brutal and even I found some parts hard to read and I thought that I was quite used to read about the awful things men to each other, but it seems that there are still parts of me that find some readings hard. The Murder Bag was a well written and captivating book, full of twists all the way until the end of the book. I received this copy from the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maxine (Booklover Catlady)

    I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks for the opportunity. This is the first novel in a new crime series penned by Tony Parsons, author of Man and Boy and other novels, none of them crime related. I was keen to see how he went with venturing into this new genre of writing and was happy to find this book a really enjoyable and good read. I REALLY liked the plot, I thought it worked really well and the entire book moved a I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks for the opportunity. This is the first novel in a new crime series penned by Tony Parsons, author of Man and Boy and other novels, none of them crime related. I was keen to see how he went with venturing into this new genre of writing and was happy to find this book a really enjoyable and good read. I REALLY liked the plot, I thought it worked really well and the entire book moved at a solid pace, not too fast, not too slow, just right. Great plotting, great characters and some twists you won't see coming. Smashing! Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter’s Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable. Pretty horrific deaths going on that's for sure. The book starts with a scenario that kicks off the book sharply featuring these seven boys whilst they were in their school days, it's pretty in your face stuff to start out with. But it gives us important background to the rest of the novel. Detective Max Wolfe has recently arrived in the Homicide division of London’s West End Central, 27 Savile Row. He's a great character, I really liked him a lot, he's a bit of a maverick detective that is passionate about his work but I loved the way we got to see his softer side in his relationship with his daughter and the man when he is at home. He's soon hot on the trail piecing together not only who is killing these men, but what the connection is and the WHY of the killing spree, he's got a serial killer on his hands and he's determined to uncover the truth and get answers. He's not afraid to put himself in danger either, sometimes rather recklessly in his pursuit of the bad guys, he's a bold one our Max. There are secrets, lies and deception going on. It's messy and complex this case. I liked the writing style, it flowed well. He's not afraid to tackle some graphic scenarios, you need that in a good crime novel in my opinion. Especially where a serial killer is involved. It's good crime reading, it held my attention from the first page until the last, I was eager to see who the killer was, eager to see justice done and liked some of the moments in the book that complicated the investigation. I can tell Tony has done his research into terminology used in police procedures and investigations for this novel, he drops it in all the way through, perhaps a touch too much but it wasn't enough to interfere with my reading of the book. I like Max Wolfe and will be absolutely reading the next book in the series. A cracking read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This is Tony Parsons first foray into the crime genre. That he usually writes contemporary family dramas shows in his creation of his characters, particularly his detective, DC Max Wolfe. Max is separated from his wife who has left him for another man, leaving their young daughter Scout behind with Max. Recently assigned to Homicide, he must juggle the demands of the job with those of being a single parent. The prologue to the book throws us straight into a brutal gang rape and murder of a teenag This is Tony Parsons first foray into the crime genre. That he usually writes contemporary family dramas shows in his creation of his characters, particularly his detective, DC Max Wolfe. Max is separated from his wife who has left him for another man, leaving their young daughter Scout behind with Max. Recently assigned to Homicide, he must juggle the demands of the job with those of being a single parent. The prologue to the book throws us straight into a brutal gang rape and murder of a teenage girl. Twenty years later Max is involved in investigating the similar murders of two seemingly unconnected victims when he realises that they attended the same exclusive boarding School and that several other high profile men could be at risk. This is a clever story, quite gripping in parts with a number of twists and turns. The characters are well written and the research into police procedures and murder weapons held by the police museum added authenticity.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for letting me read this prior to publication. DC Wolfe, newly promoted to murder investigation, is part of a team looking into the death of Hugo Buck. It soon becomes apparent that Hugo and his school friends from Potter's Field school are under threat. I had problems with this read. I loved the opening chapters, with the dramatic scene of attack on the girl and the introduction to Wolfe. However it all went down hill from there. I found the scenes with Wol Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for letting me read this prior to publication. DC Wolfe, newly promoted to murder investigation, is part of a team looking into the death of Hugo Buck. It soon becomes apparent that Hugo and his school friends from Potter's Field school are under threat. I had problems with this read. I loved the opening chapters, with the dramatic scene of attack on the girl and the introduction to Wolfe. However it all went down hill from there. I found the scenes with Wolfe's daughter and the dog unnecessary and overly sentimental. The plot was pretty average and predictable. It was obvious that the writer had put a great deal of effort into research. I liked the Black Museum references and the ones relating to real life crimes. Overall I felt this was a fair attempt at a crime novel, but for me it sadly didn't work.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    Do some people deserve to die? In their schooldays, seven boys at Potter's Field, an exclusive school for the very rich, become friends. They look out for each other, not only as friends, but because they share a very dark secret. One commits suicide at the age of eighteen. So then there are six. Merchant banker, Hugo Buck, is found with his throat slit from side to side. So then there are five. Did his wife, sick of his philandering, pay to have him killed - or is there something more sinister goin Do some people deserve to die? In their schooldays, seven boys at Potter's Field, an exclusive school for the very rich, become friends. They look out for each other, not only as friends, but because they share a very dark secret. One commits suicide at the age of eighteen. So then there are six. Merchant banker, Hugo Buck, is found with his throat slit from side to side. So then there are five. Did his wife, sick of his philandering, pay to have him killed - or is there something more sinister going on? Detective Max Wolfe, newly arrived at London's West End Homicide Division believes the answer lies in the past and that the surviving members of the group, some very frightened for their lives, know the answer. But no-one is talking - yet. How many more of the group will have to die before the truth is revealed? This was a brilliant "I can't put it down" book - to the extent that I have pre-ordered the sequel The Slaughter Man due out May 21st (my birthday present to myself!). This book is fast paced, thrilling, compelling but with very, very human characters. A definite recommendation! Thank you Tony Parsons - I will be reading more from you.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    “The Murder Bag” aka The Murder Man (Max Wolfe #1) is the first novel in a new crime series by Tony Parsons, bestselling British author of Man and Boy. This is the author’s first outing into the crime genre, and it is definitely a winner. For clarification, there are two names for this book; Murder Bag and Murder Man. I believe Murder Bag was the UK title and Murder Man was the US title. DC Max Wolfe, is a single parent to his five year old daughter, “Scout”, and dog, ‘Stan”, a Cavalier King Cha “The Murder Bag” aka The Murder Man (Max Wolfe #1) is the first novel in a new crime series by Tony Parsons, bestselling British author of Man and Boy. This is the author’s first outing into the crime genre, and it is definitely a winner. For clarification, there are two names for this book; Murder Bag and Murder Man. I believe Murder Bag was the UK title and Murder Man was the US title. DC Max Wolfe, is a single parent to his five year old daughter, “Scout”, and dog, ‘Stan”, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Max had originally worked as a surveillance officer, under the Counter Terrorism Command, in London’s West end, until he was transferred to the Homicide & Serious Crime Command, under the direction of DCI Victor Mallory. I love how Max doesn’t follow orders…he follows his own tune! “Seven schoolboys in military uniform, grinning at the camera twenty years ago.” Potter’s Field College is a boarding school for boys thirteen to eighteen in the combined Cadet Force. The first one, “James Sutcliffe” committed suicide and had suffered from depression. Now there were six. Max is called to investigate a brutal murder, an Investment Banker, "Hugo Buck", is found with his throat slit. Now there were five. As more bodies turn up, DC Wolfe, suspects he is looking for a serial killer. The media are calling the serial killer, “Bob the Butcher”. But why were these men dying? What is the connection? The” Murder Bag” became the “doctor’s bag” for modern homicide investigation. The murder bag itself is a forensic bag used at murder scenes. This is a solid fast-paced steady crime novel that held my attention from beginning to end. Information and clues are revealed on a need-to-know basis. Great plot and moving characters. I enjoyed this book so much that I went ahead and ordered the next book in the series, “The Slaughter Man”, and was recently approved for “Dead Time” from Netgalley, a DC Max Wolfe Short Story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Raven

    Having already been well-received and incredibly widely reviewed, The Murder Bag marks the first foray of Tony Parsons into the world of crime writing. With all the pre-publicity hype and long build-up to its release, I was keen to read this, but was it a gripping read, or less of a murder, and more of a mixed bag? Knowing the blood, sweat and tears that accompanies the writing of a crime book, from crime writers of my acquaintance, I am always wary of being too critical of books, but as a vorac Having already been well-received and incredibly widely reviewed, The Murder Bag marks the first foray of Tony Parsons into the world of crime writing. With all the pre-publicity hype and long build-up to its release, I was keen to read this, but was it a gripping read, or less of a murder, and more of a mixed bag? Knowing the blood, sweat and tears that accompanies the writing of a crime book, from crime writers of my acquaintance, I am always wary of being too critical of books, but as a voracious and consistent reader of the genre, I was a little disappointed and perplexed by this book for several reasons, and would slightly question the plaudits afforded to it by other reviewers. So seeking to keep my ‘firm but fair’ reputation intact, here are my observations… The story is basic enough, with a group of men from privileged backgrounds, linked by their school years, finding themselves being picked off one by one, for some reason as yet unknown. Enter intrepid detective, Max Wolfe- not quite a believable maverick, not quite a complete dullard- single father of cutesy five year old girl with all the mawkish sentimentality that underpins this relationship- with a dog, Stan, who I felt more intimately acquainted with than many of the human protagonists. I think it’s fair to say that The Murder Bag, is not in any way re-inventing the wheel in terms of the crime fiction genre. Indeed, in my reading of it, I felt that quite possibly the author has invested a lot of time in reading a selection of other crime writers, and extracting the best elements of several to be combined into his plot. Hence, what is produced is a curious mix of the solidity of the British police procedural, combined with the more salacious brutality of an American crime novel, with neither really working in tandem with the other. Also, it is abundantly clear that some serious amount of research into police practices, forensic profiling, social networking, the Iraq War, etc had been undertaken, but in a similar way to other over-researched thrillers (Dan Brown- I’m looking at you), I did feel slightly bruised and battered by the amount of information crowbarred in, and its disturbance of the equilibrium of the plot overall. Consequently, I felt the book was rather stilted in its realisation and dialogue, and despite a promising opening did seem to lose its way from that point. There is a rather superfluous romantic entanglement for Wolfe along the way that added nothing tangible to the overall plot, and with the patchy unfolding of the murder plot itself, I found my attention wandering although I did not quite reach the point of giving up on it altogether, which does count for something I suppose. Overall a pretty disappointing read, but sure that with an endorsement by Lee Child and the solidity of the author’s previous fictional output it will do well enough. Not a ground-breaking criminal debut for Parsons, but will undoubtedly not be the last of this series, as there is enough to warrant another foray with Max Wolfe in the future.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    This is a very modern book which will not appeal to all fans of crime fiction, indeed I expect it may split people 50:50 a bit like Marmite. It is an action thriller about a maverick police office, DC Max Wolfe who to say is impulsive is to imply the Pope may be Catholic as they say. He, that is Wolfe, not the Pontiff, is head strong, follows his hunches rather than the line of command and ultimately is instinctive. Happily he is flawed, prone to mistakes and not always the best with people. A se This is a very modern book which will not appeal to all fans of crime fiction, indeed I expect it may split people 50:50 a bit like Marmite. It is an action thriller about a maverick police office, DC Max Wolfe who to say is impulsive is to imply the Pope may be Catholic as they say. He, that is Wolfe, not the Pontiff, is head strong, follows his hunches rather than the line of command and ultimately is instinctive. Happily he is flawed, prone to mistakes and not always the best with people. A senior police officer implies that Wolfe is the reason the Police are not routinely armed. However, for all his many faults he is a great Father and loves his daughter more than life itself. The book takes a while to settle down; more like modern poetry with stylised prose rather than simple narrative or engaging story telling. Yet it is gripping and if you can get over this you are swept along it what quickly becomes a compelling read. All the elements of a clever crime/murder/serial killer plot with original situations and elements. I personally enjoyed Max and the dwelling on his personal/home life had me worried for his nearest and dearest throughout the book. This is the first of what promises to be a new series based around this character. That bodes well as although he is well defined here there are plenty of aspects to explore. I must say though I found it strange that for someone who exists to love his daughter so much is so blasé about his own personal safety. He seems to spend more time in hospital than a Consultant. Tony Parsons is an excellent journalist and reviewer, as seen on TV, with this book he will enhance his reputation as a novelist. With The Murder Bag he has laid out his credentials as an author of crime drama, detective fiction at its thrilling best for a modern time, I for one will follow this new career path with great interest, but then I love Marmite.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Claire Mkinsi

    Dear, oh dear, oh dear… Clunky, cliche-ridden and horrible writing… There are a few good ideas - like the Black museum - and the beginning was quite thrilling and well-paced but after that I really should have stopped. There are some terribly cliched characters - the posh headmaster (Peregrine!?) - some sexy bint in need of physical consolation from the detective - the "good egg" female police officer… Often awkward to the point of embarrassment… and writing so graceless I was afraid someone wou Dear, oh dear, oh dear… Clunky, cliche-ridden and horrible writing… There are a few good ideas - like the Black museum - and the beginning was quite thrilling and well-paced but after that I really should have stopped. There are some terribly cliched characters - the posh headmaster (Peregrine!?) - some sexy bint in need of physical consolation from the detective - the "good egg" female police officer… Often awkward to the point of embarrassment… and writing so graceless I was afraid someone would ask to see what I was reading. Awful, crude syntax. A mystery to me that anything so amateur could have been published. My first and last in this series...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heena Rathore P.

    This book is by far the best crime book I've read in last couple of years! The plot is TOTALLY AWESOME! This book kept me on the edge of my seat all the time and it was unbelievably impossible for me to not read it in one sitting. I was totally blown by the ending and all the other twists and turns. It is a page turner and I'm definitely going to read all the books in this series and probably all the other's as well! Tony Parson's is my new favourite crime author!!! This book is by far the best crime book I've read in last couple of years! The plot is TOTALLY AWESOME! This book kept me on the edge of my seat all the time and it was unbelievably impossible for me to not read it in one sitting. I was totally blown by the ending and all the other twists and turns. It is a page turner and I'm definitely going to read all the books in this series and probably all the other's as well! Tony Parson's is my new favourite crime author!!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    RM(Alwaysdaddygirl) Griffin (alwaysdaddyprincess)

    Note- I miss adding this book. I finish this book last month. I took it out from the library before the shutdown. I did not start it until May of this year. I love this book but I do have a soft heart for single dads. I will be reading the next in the series. 🇺🇸🦋🐼💀

  12. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    The main character in this gritty thriller is Detective Constable Max Wolfe, who lives alone with young daughter, Scout and their dog Stan, in London. We are shown from the very start of this novel that Wolfe is a man who flagrantly breaks the rules – sometimes, of course, that can be a good thing, but had one of his hunches in this book gone wrong his career might have ended rather swiftly. Quite often his behaviour seems rather too impulsive and you understand why his superior, Elizabeth Swire The main character in this gritty thriller is Detective Constable Max Wolfe, who lives alone with young daughter, Scout and their dog Stan, in London. We are shown from the very start of this novel that Wolfe is a man who flagrantly breaks the rules – sometimes, of course, that can be a good thing, but had one of his hunches in this book gone wrong his career might have ended rather swiftly. Quite often his behaviour seems rather too impulsive and you understand why his superior, Elizabeth Swire, becomes infuriated with him. However, a rather important act where he breaks several rules at once, at the beginning of the book, means that he is promoted to homicide. This is important for Wolfe, who has longed to work with Detective Chief Inspector Victor Malloy; someone he has immense respect for and looks to as something of a mentor. Wolfe’s first case in homicide is when he and Molloy are called to investigate the death of a banker, whose throat has been violently slashed. An obvious suspect is his wife who, having caught him being unfaithful, had posted their marital bed to his office (meaning I liked her before I had even met her). However, shortly afterwards, there is another death – this time of a homeless man. At first, it seems that there can be no discernable link between the City banker and a down and out drug user, but it turns out that the two men both went to the same school – the exclusive, and expensive, Potter’s Field. Wolfe finds a photograph of a group of schoolboys who have something in common; they are being murdered. .. The answers to these crimes lay in the past and a crime which took place many years before. Worse, someone on the internet is claiming to be the killer and people are applauding the deaths of these ex-public schoolboys , while their friends are now fearful of being the next victim. This is a fast paced and exciting book, with a good cast of characters. I did, however, find the over emphasis on Wolfe’s love of dogs rather wearing. Almost everyone in the book has a dog, loves dogs, and they are linked to Potter’s Field as well. I felt like saying, “we get the dogs, please shut up about them now!” At times I felt as though I was in some awful ‘cozy’ gone wrong, where a dog would end up solving the case. Secondly, I was not thrilled with the way female characters were represented in the storyline. Wolfe’s boss, Swire, is described as a kind of Thatcherite warrior, while other women are either headstrong, but need rescuing, are having affairs, are bad mothers or show various other disagreeable character traits. When Wolfe was actually out solving the case, the whole book came to life. The class of schoolboys, now successful lawyers, army officers and MP’s, are wonderfully realised and it is obvious that they are not telling the police all that they know. This is the first in a series and it was well plotted, but hopefully, by book two, the author will concentrate slightly more on the mystery (which was really good) and less on the detective’s problems at home. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, for review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rhian Eleri

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Spoiler alert ** I can't remember the last time I gave a book 1 star 😏. I just feel I have no choice here as I was absolutly disappointed. What saved the story a small amount was the opening chapters, they were so exciting and I could see where the story could go and its opportunities. But it all fell flat after that I felt. Too many things were just not working for me. The chapters felt too cramped with information that didn't really need to be told. There were sentences that felt too 'frilly' f Spoiler alert ** I can't remember the last time I gave a book 1 star 😏. I just feel I have no choice here as I was absolutly disappointed. What saved the story a small amount was the opening chapters, they were so exciting and I could see where the story could go and its opportunities. But it all fell flat after that I felt. Too many things were just not working for me. The chapters felt too cramped with information that didn't really need to be told. There were sentences that felt too 'frilly' for a crime novel!! The language was sometimes romanticized and confused me in the context of the story. The killer ended up being someone irrelevant to the whole thing! And this is what really pushed my rating down to 1 star. Because I kept thinking, despite the cheesy one liners, the crazy coincidences maybe the big reveal of the killer would surprise me or at least shock me a little. My main annoyances are that I liked Stan the dog more than any of the characters. And that two of the 7 group of boys who were being killed off one by one jad a glass eye. That's just weird is it not!? And how come the girl in the prologue mentioned the boys raping her and doing allsorts but never mentioned the headmaster!? Who we later find out he had a lot to do with it all. I didn't enjoy this at all appart from the distant promise of a gripoing plot right at the start. 😏. But most reviews are very positive and lots have enjoyed it. Its good that we are not all the same 👍.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bookread2day

    I found this first novel nputdownable The story about The Murder bag. Two bodies have been found with their throats cuts. Investment banker Hugo Buck was found by his cleaner with his throat cut. A homeless man Adam Jones hooked on heroine was found with his throat cut. Both Hugo and Adam were friends when they were both at boarding school together. Can new Detective Max Wolfe of Homicide division of London find who is responsible for these wicked knife attacks? And find out why this serial killer I found this first novel nputdownable The story about The Murder bag. Two bodies have been found with their throats cuts. Investment banker Hugo Buck was found by his cleaner with his throat cut. A homeless man Adam Jones hooked on heroine was found with his throat cut. Both Hugo and Adam were friends when they were both at boarding school together. Can new Detective Max Wolfe of Homicide division of London find who is responsible for these wicked knife attacks? And find out why this serial killer decided to kill Hugo and Adam. I am looking forward to detective Max Wolfe who will be back in 2015 in The Slaughter Man. I recommend The Murder Bag to everyone who likes reading a good page turning thriller.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    A first police novel by the writer Tony Parsons who is very gracefully about the folks who helped them and recognised their toils and work. Max Wolfe, what a powerful name albeit a wee bit cliche, is a policeman whom is not so much a team player and views the world somewhat different than the average policeman. When the book opens Max is busy with a known terrorist and he alone sees him taking action. What happens next you'll learn reading the story but it leads to him getting a job at the homici A first police novel by the writer Tony Parsons who is very gracefully about the folks who helped them and recognised their toils and work. Max Wolfe, what a powerful name albeit a wee bit cliche, is a policeman whom is not so much a team player and views the world somewhat different than the average policeman. When the book opens Max is busy with a known terrorist and he alone sees him taking action. What happens next you'll learn reading the story but it leads to him getting a job at the homicide squad. The commanding officer of the squad being a bit Yoda, their superior is the token nitwit who is busier stroking politics than doing police work. Wolfe gets involved in a series of murders that involve the victims being part of a private school where they did some major misbehaving and it is biting their backsides or better put it is cutting their throats. The whole attitude is a wee bit cliche and for the better reader of thrillers the actual killer(s) are not that difficult to guess once they have made their entry in Parsons tale. Even the ultimate baddie is recognizable fairly quick (it being a wee bit of a cliche too). The best bits in the book are about Wolfe his daughter Scout and their dog Stan. Is it a bad book?- Heck no it is very well written albeit a bit to predictable for my taste. There are far better books about serial killers this one while well written and easy to read is just too average in a genre that has brought far better, original & unpredictable novels.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    A very different novel from the author of Man and Boy, and one which i thoroughly enjoyed. DC Max Wolfe is an outsider, he gets things wrong, he disobeys orders, but above all he wants to discover the truth. His investigation of a series of deaths is told from the first person perspective, and very little feeling or description is left out. The plot is a little convoluted, and on a couple of occasions the coincidences a little too obvious, but overall it was a very enjoyable read. This gritty firs A very different novel from the author of Man and Boy, and one which i thoroughly enjoyed. DC Max Wolfe is an outsider, he gets things wrong, he disobeys orders, but above all he wants to discover the truth. His investigation of a series of deaths is told from the first person perspective, and very little feeling or description is left out. The plot is a little convoluted, and on a couple of occasions the coincidences a little too obvious, but overall it was a very enjoyable read. This gritty first Max Wolfe novel, already has me wanting to read the next in series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Curlyhair

    I was into this from the get go. Loved it. Even though it’s the first in a new series, it had me hooked straight away and not all first books are like that. I enjoyed the book on all levels - the crime story and the personal story of the main character and the fact it was quite an easy read and didn’t feel bogged down. I instantly liked all the characters and can’t wait to read the next.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah England

    Not bad, and I'd certainly read the next one. Plenty twists and turns so - although I'd guessed a couple, not everything was entirely expected. My only gripe is something Kathy Reichs is terrible for - shoe-horning in exposition and explanations in the most contrived way. For example, if some acronym or bit of jargon is used, they will feature some character looking confused thus signalling someone else to carefully explain in the most excruciatingly artificial way. Just stick it in the normal t Not bad, and I'd certainly read the next one. Plenty twists and turns so - although I'd guessed a couple, not everything was entirely expected. My only gripe is something Kathy Reichs is terrible for - shoe-horning in exposition and explanations in the most contrived way. For example, if some acronym or bit of jargon is used, they will feature some character looking confused thus signalling someone else to carefully explain in the most excruciatingly artificial way. Just stick it in the normal text, for godsakes. Besides, Parsons went too far here, and got his history completely wrong - not only referring to the War of the Roses (rather than WarS - it was hardly a standalone event) but also putting it in entirely in the wrong period. A school chapel founded (so insistently in this book) by Henry VIII could not have been 'interrupted' in its building by the "war" of the Roses. They had finished 24 years before he came to the throne. Numpty.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Linda Strong

    I received this book from the Dead Good Crime Book Group. And I am so glad I did! This is another new author for me ... and now I am a great fan! I loved,loved, loved The Murder Bag by Tony Parsons. DC Max Wolfe is a wonderful character. He's right when he's right and he doesn't give up jut because no one else believes he's right. He's a great father to his young daughter, Scout. Up until the last half of the book, I thought his wife had died. There is a serial killer loose, killing in a particul I received this book from the Dead Good Crime Book Group. And I am so glad I did! This is another new author for me ... and now I am a great fan! I loved,loved, loved The Murder Bag by Tony Parsons. DC Max Wolfe is a wonderful character. He's right when he's right and he doesn't give up jut because no one else believes he's right. He's a great father to his young daughter, Scout. Up until the last half of the book, I thought his wife had died. There is a serial killer loose, killing in a particularly gruesome way. When DC Wolfe finally figures out the connection, several people have already died and there may be more in danger. The book kept me guessing ... first I thought it was this one, then I thought it was that one.... honestly wasn't sure almost until the very last page. Lots of turns and twists and false leads. I gave it 5 stars! This author has a new fan!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anke

    More like 4.5 stars The fact that it took me some time to finish has nothing to do with the book, but lots to do with my vacation in San Francisco:) The book was a gripping and engaging tale with several twists and turns. I especially like the developing private life of Max Wolfe and I really feel sad for his daughter, Scout. As I started this series with book #2, now I have to wait til Nov for book #3. Thankfully there's a short story I haven't read, so now I have to get that.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Denisa Arsene

    It was not a waw, but it was nice. What I really enjoyed here was not the action - which was poorer - but the insights of the main character. I didn't guess the murderer, not even the fine network between the characters' development - which is good (and could be becsuse I read it with other parallel books, or because I didn't read it in a short time). But, I think it coild be a bit shorter regarding the action and the story. I liked the style. All in one, was a nice book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Julian Lees

    THE MURDER BAG started very well but it began to fade about half way through. It was well written but lacked a wow factor. I also found the bit about the glass eye at the end silly. That said, I would like to give it 3.5 stars.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    This wasn't my usual type of book but I really enjoyed it. Lots of mystery and action. You kind of have an idea of the story from the beginning but there is a lot more to it than you first think, there are actually quite a few answers and reveals before you really find out what happened. The narrator sounds like a bit of a tough guy which suits the main character quite well.

  24. 4 out of 5

    _speedy

    Do some men deserve to die? In 1988 a girl was raped and murdered. Twenty years later a rich banker is found in his office with his throat slashed from side to side. So, is the banker dead because some crazy maniac who calls himself Bob the Butcher is killing rich and privileged men, or is there more to the story? I liked the prologue. I really did. I expected some gruesome and gripping story about revenge on the behave of the poor girl who deserved justice. But... I didn't get that. Not even close. Do some men deserve to die? In 1988 a girl was raped and murdered. Twenty years later a rich banker is found in his office with his throat slashed from side to side. So, is the banker dead because some crazy maniac who calls himself Bob the Butcher is killing rich and privileged men, or is there more to the story? I liked the prologue. I really did. I expected some gruesome and gripping story about revenge on the behave of the poor girl who deserved justice. But... I didn't get that. Not even close. My biggest problem was the main character. Enter DC Max Wolfe, a single father with a cute little dog (to give him depth I suppose), an impulsive cop who doesn't think about his actions and even though he is engaged in boxing gets beat up on a regular basis while chasing the killer. Everything about Max was just odd - his working hours, his thoughts, the fact that he didn't have a partner and his flirting with a suspect in a murder he was investigating. I felt as if he didn't know what he was doing most of the time and quite often his behaviour seemed rather too impulsive. I wasn't impressed with his personality, I had a feeling that Parsons wanted us to feel like Max is a man with scars, but didn't want to turn him into an bitter alcoholic who has a dark past, so instead he gave him chronic insomnia and a woman who left him for a better life. The mistery wasn't really that big. Once the second body was found everyone could figure out that the boys raped the girl and that their past is now catching up with them. I think the cops could have solved the case much sooner if they knew what they were doing and haven't wasted so many time on some freak on the internet who clearly just wanted some attention. The side characters were so poorly written that I didn't really care about them. That was a huge part of why I gave this book a low rating. There were so many unnecessary details and places that did nothing for the story. I mean, it's obvious Parsons did a lot of research, but I think that he should have focused more on building good characters and a better mistery than writing about the Black Museum, some shop for freaks who like guns etc. I also had a problem with the chapters. The ended oddly and I just didn't understand why the writer was jumping from one thing to another with no particular reason. Every little thing that happens in this book happens to service the plot and I think that's why I had the feeling that the cops were morons while Max Wolfe just went from place to place with no reason. I liked the whole thing with Potter's Field. I'm a huge fan of stories about rich kids who seem to have it all on the surface but when you dig deeper you realise they don't have anything. The resoultion felt like a huge strech. The killer was just so unrelated to the story in general. The whole thing with multiple glass eyes was just plain stupid, I mean what are the odds that two of seven friends have a glass eye. Again - everything that happens, happens to serve the story. I was so disappointed by this book. The prologue was so powerful but the rest...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Foy

    Hugo Buck, an investment banker, is found with his throat cut open in gruesome fashion. Then a homeless man, Adam Jones, is murdered in the same way. At first it looks as if they have nothing in common until the same photograph of seven students at an exclusive private school turns up in each of the men’s possessions. As the other students in the photograph are being picked off and murdered Detective Max Wolfe has to find the killer..and soon. This book started off so well with the prologue depic Hugo Buck, an investment banker, is found with his throat cut open in gruesome fashion. Then a homeless man, Adam Jones, is murdered in the same way. At first it looks as if they have nothing in common until the same photograph of seven students at an exclusive private school turns up in each of the men’s possessions. As the other students in the photograph are being picked off and murdered Detective Max Wolfe has to find the killer..and soon. This book started off so well with the prologue depicting the murder of a young woman which is both shocking and disturbing. If the rest of the book had concentrated on the crime it would have made a much better book. Tony Parsons usual fare is based on relationships, so I suppose it’s fairly natural for him to want to include a lot of his detective’s relationships in this book. Unfortunately the relationships are wholly sentimental and do not work in the midst of a crime book. Whole chapters devoted to his daughter and their dog. Picking a fight with a man because he’s laughing at his dog. It was really wearing. I like some background on the protagonists, you need to get to know them but this was just mawkish sentimentality. I also had a large problem with one aspect of his relationship with his wife. I don’t want to give any spoilers away but we are given information at the start of the book that strongly suggests one thing and your feelings are in accordance with what has been suggested. Then later on in the book it turns out that it is something else entirely and I was not impressed. I love twists and turns in a book but this was neither; I felt this was dishonest and the character was deceitful for no reason whatsoever. The issue had nothing to do with the crime and could easily have been set out honestly from the start. I lost any empathy I had and really couldn’t be bothered with Wolfe’s domestic situation after that. It may have bothered me more than it should but that’s the way it is. I did enjoy the crime story. There was decent plotting and lots of real twists and turns that were well done. There was lots of research into police procedurals, which really didn’t all have to be transferred to the page: trying to find the knife used in the attacks was long-winded. The detail about The Black Museum, an actual museum of criminal artifacts in London, was really interesting. Overall, the crime story was enjoyable but be aware there is a lot of background sentimentality and if you can cope with that it’s not a bad read. I give it three stars but it’s probably nearer two and a half for me. *** Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for sending me the copy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kortessa Giachanatzi

    The "Murder Bag" is a book which I started reading with great anticipation. The opening was really dynamic. It created a tension. It made me want to read further on. Also the first chapter had the traits that keep the reader's interest alive. Sadly for me though, all these stayed at that level. Onlyto be expectations. The plot pace was slow. The ending was predictable. Some descriptions were dull and did not offer much to the progress. What I liked though was the Black Museum description. That wa The "Murder Bag" is a book which I started reading with great anticipation. The opening was really dynamic. It created a tension. It made me want to read further on. Also the first chapter had the traits that keep the reader's interest alive. Sadly for me though, all these stayed at that level. Onlyto be expectations. The plot pace was slow. The ending was predictable. Some descriptions were dull and did not offer much to the progress. What I liked though was the Black Museum description. That was really interesting, but I think that this is the only thing that comes to mind when I think of this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Noelle

    I was pleasantly surprised by this book. After reading the first few pages I thought the storyline was fairly obvious. However the author has a way of drawing you into the story with a few good twists along the way. I will definitely keep my eye out for other books by Tony Parsons now and be recommending this to friends.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Austra

    "There is no greater stranger than someone we used to love." His own words actually. This Tony Parsons is stranger to me - quite weak writing, lots of repetitions, very predictable and way too drawn out ending. Ah, yes, and the main character just always has to mention he's driving X5, not just any car. Idea itself is ok, it was a fast read, but not very impressive job.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    2.5 - 3* If this is an intended series, it's off to a mild start. Better than average writing but the unspectacular police procedural and resulting whodunnit plot didn't quite keep me on edge. I'm not convinced Max Wolfe can carry a big series but I'll probably pick up at least book #2 before I cross Max Wolfe off my list.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jo Jenner

    I have a habit of reading books in a series out of order just because I tend to buy 'best sellers' when they are on discount. Luckily for me I read Max Wolfe #3 first. Luck because #1 was not great. Max is a DC who runs over a potential terrorist in the first chapter of the book and stops him blowing up King's Cross Station. However there is no mention of the fact that in real life he wouldn't have got a medal for disobeying orders. He is a DC and he repeatedly goes off on his own and does his own I have a habit of reading books in a series out of order just because I tend to buy 'best sellers' when they are on discount. Luckily for me I read Max Wolfe #3 first. Luck because #1 was not great. Max is a DC who runs over a potential terrorist in the first chapter of the book and stops him blowing up King's Cross Station. However there is no mention of the fact that in real life he wouldn't have got a medal for disobeying orders. He is a DC and he repeatedly goes off on his own and does his own thing. He meets the DCIs wife for a cup of tea half way through the book and by the end of the book she is suddenly attending his daughters nativity. He spends the first half of the book hamming up the fact he is on his own bringing up his daughter and how much he misses his wife and then it turns out she only lives down the road and isn't in fact dead as was implied. The worse thing about this book is that as one of the victims is being brutally murdered I am fairly sure the supposed murderer is standing in full view of Max and his DCI all the time. Max Wolfe gets better as my review of #3 shows but this one really isn't worth the time.

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