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A Mersey Killing: When Liverpool Rocked, And The Music Died

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A skeleton and a missing woman. A doomed romance. A mystery spanning two generations. Liverpool, 1961. A group of young men come together seeking fame and fortune, as the fledgling sounds of the Swinging Sixties take root in the city. Soon, Liverpool becomes synonymous with the groups and music that shapes a generation. Liverpool, 1999. Skeletal remains found in the dock A skeleton and a missing woman. A doomed romance. A mystery spanning two generations. Liverpool, 1961. A group of young men come together seeking fame and fortune, as the fledgling sounds of the Swinging Sixties take root in the city. Soon, Liverpool becomes synonymous with the groups and music that shapes a generation. Liverpool, 1999. Skeletal remains found in the docklands lead Detective Inspector Andy Ross and Sergeant Izzie Drake into a journey through time, as the investigation takes them back to early days of the Mersey Beat. Whose bones laid beneath the mud of the River Mersey for over thirty years, and what links them to a young woman, missing for the entire time? Winner - Preditors & Editors Best Book Award. Over 100 five-star reviews in Amazon and Goodreads.


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A skeleton and a missing woman. A doomed romance. A mystery spanning two generations. Liverpool, 1961. A group of young men come together seeking fame and fortune, as the fledgling sounds of the Swinging Sixties take root in the city. Soon, Liverpool becomes synonymous with the groups and music that shapes a generation. Liverpool, 1999. Skeletal remains found in the dock A skeleton and a missing woman. A doomed romance. A mystery spanning two generations. Liverpool, 1961. A group of young men come together seeking fame and fortune, as the fledgling sounds of the Swinging Sixties take root in the city. Soon, Liverpool becomes synonymous with the groups and music that shapes a generation. Liverpool, 1999. Skeletal remains found in the docklands lead Detective Inspector Andy Ross and Sergeant Izzie Drake into a journey through time, as the investigation takes them back to early days of the Mersey Beat. Whose bones laid beneath the mud of the River Mersey for over thirty years, and what links them to a young woman, missing for the entire time? Winner - Preditors & Editors Best Book Award. Over 100 five-star reviews in Amazon and Goodreads.

30 review for A Mersey Killing: When Liverpool Rocked, And The Music Died

  1. 4 out of 5

    James

    Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to download the fourth book in the Mersey Murder Mysteries by Brian L. Porter. I enjoyed the book a great deal, and so, I've decided to go back to the beginning of the series and read them in order, starting with A Mersey Killing: When Liverpool Rocked, And The Music Died. Porter has kicked off a fantastic collection of novels involving the various detectives and police beginning with Detective Inspector Andy Ross and Sergeant Izzie Drake. If you're a fan Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to download the fourth book in the Mersey Murder Mysteries by Brian L. Porter. I enjoyed the book a great deal, and so, I've decided to go back to the beginning of the series and read them in order, starting with A Mersey Killing: When Liverpool Rocked, And The Music Died. Porter has kicked off a fantastic collection of novels involving the various detectives and police beginning with Detective Inspector Andy Ross and Sergeant Izzie Drake. If you're a fan of British crime fiction and methodical investigation, you're sure to love these books. In this series debut, a body is found in the Mersey River. It's often difficult to obtain clues when the water can wash away evidence, but what about if the body has been there for over 35 years? Izzie and Ross have their work cut out for them, but as readers, we're privileged to know a little bit more. Porter's weaved alternating time periods in this story by showing us what happened in the past to a group of Liverpool musicians in the 1960s. As we get to know about 6 to 8 talents, we wonder... which one falls prey to a killer? As the story unfolds, we learn who it is, but there's also someone else missing, too. Did they escape to America to form a band? Are they hiding out from someone dangerous? Izzie and Ross solve the case but not before tearing apart a family who's been devastated one too many times in the past. Porter's a definite talent. While his books are mysteries with a touch of suspense, love and thrills, they often wisely focus on the relationships between characters as the catalyst to drive the story. Whether it's getting to know the current day investigators, the past musicians, or who they've all become today, the plot and writing forces readers to care about what's happening to everyone. We see them going thru their days on all levels -- sometimes focused on the investigation, sometimes dealing with a personal issue. As the stories all begin to intersect, we begin to develop our own instincts as to who's guilty of murder and who's guilty of leading us astray. Porter's style is very strong, clear and direct. His main investigator team works with different departments to determine the murder weapon, to check passports from 35 years ago, and to learn how to interpret clues that no longer make sense. We see the leads meet with their colleagues and form their own opinions, but hold back a bit of reserve knowing they haven't unearthed everything they still need to know. And when it all comes to a crashing finale, we worry whether the punishment fits the crime. That's the sign of a good storyteller -- to make us think critically. Kudos to Porter for proving why building the right characters and setting can lead to a very promising and worthy book series. I'm looking forward to picking up the next one this fall... and getting invested in a series with 5 books already in the author's pocket. I'm sure there will be more just as sure as I am that I'll love them all!

  2. 4 out of 5

    John Dizon

    A Mersey Killing by Brian L. Porter is a well-knit, tittilating novel focused on a murder mystery emanating from the Rock and Roll Revolution of the Sixties. Detective Andy Ross and Sgt. Clarissa Drake are committed to a murder nearly a half century old, its evidence lying along the shores of the River Mersey. Their investigation takes them back to way back when, a time when the British Invasion nearly convoluted the entirety of rock and roll itself. This introspective craftily interwoven into A Mersey Killing by Brian L. Porter is a well-knit, tittilating novel focused on a murder mystery emanating from the Rock and Roll Revolution of the Sixties. Detective Andy Ross and Sgt. Clarissa Drake are committed to a murder nearly a half century old, its evidence lying along the shores of the River Mersey. Their investigation takes them back to way back when, a time when the British Invasion nearly convoluted the entirety of rock and roll itself. This introspective craftily interwoven into this suspense tale makes it all the more intriguing to readers of all genres. Ross and Drake find themselves crossing the life cycle of Marie Doyle, an intrinsic figure who criss-crosses their investigation to their great consternation. Her footprints cross the 'beat' path of the rockers making their imprint on the cultural history of the Sixties. Only she swerves onto the straight and narrow incline of the nunnery, and Sister Mary Dominique becomes a key figure in the investigation of the death of Brendan Kane. The relationship between Ross and Drake is cleverly developed by the author, giving us not only a perspective of the times and dynamics of the era but the male/female relations that are explored throughout Porter's novel. What makes this work is the authenticity of Porter's Liverpool backdrop, from the historically accurate Mersey rock scene to the on-spot dialogue that makes us feel as if we're eavesdropping on the conversations. It gives us a been-there done-that feeling that can only be conveyed by someone who's been that close. A Mersey Killing by Brian L. Porter is testament to an immortal era that rock fans and cultural buffs will not want to do without.

  3. 4 out of 5

    J.M. Northup

    An Intriguing Tale of Passions and Crime! I really enjoyed the tragic story of Brendan Kane &The Planets and the beautiful Marie. The story was well laid out and believable, especially backed with real historical data. The transitions between the 1960's and the turn of the millennium were well done and enriched the overall story. I felt the premise of the tale was quite enthralling. Not only did it bring an age past back to life, commemorating incredible artists of the time, but it was an excellen An Intriguing Tale of Passions and Crime! I really enjoyed the tragic story of Brendan Kane &The Planets and the beautiful Marie. The story was well laid out and believable, especially backed with real historical data. The transitions between the 1960's and the turn of the millennium were well done and enriched the overall story. I felt the premise of the tale was quite enthralling. Not only did it bring an age past back to life, commemorating incredible artists of the time, but it was an excellent read. The continuous twists and turns of the plot were both fascinating and delightful. I certainly recommend it! If you love crime mysteries and suspense then this is a "must read!"

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    3.5 stars A good and gripping plot based on a crime which occurred 30 years ago in Liverpool.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stevie Turner

    I must admit I don’t usually choose to read this genre, but I had just returned from a visit to the Beatles museum at the newly refurbished Liverpool docks, and enjoy listening to music from the 60’s and 70’s. Therefore when I read the book’s description my interest was taken up straight away. The book is well written, with only a few typos which do not detract from the well thought out, suspenseful plot. Brian L. Porter weaves Liverpool’s musical past into the present seamlessly when Detective I I must admit I don’t usually choose to read this genre, but I had just returned from a visit to the Beatles museum at the newly refurbished Liverpool docks, and enjoy listening to music from the 60’s and 70’s. Therefore when I read the book’s description my interest was taken up straight away. The book is well written, with only a few typos which do not detract from the well thought out, suspenseful plot. Brian L. Porter weaves Liverpool’s musical past into the present seamlessly when Detective Inspector Andy Ross and Sergeant Izzy Drake lead an investigation when a human skeleton is found lying in the mud of the Liverpool docks. Forensic tests lead them into a most unusual murder enquiry, causing them to go back 33 years to the life and times of an up and coming pop group – Brendan Kane and the Planets. Another aspect of this story that I liked from the female point of view, is that Sergeant Izzy Drake actually carries out detective work, and is not there just to provide the token love interest. Thoroughly recommended. Mr Porter obviously has a deep knowledge of Liverpool and the 1960’s music scene. I want to read the next books in the series now!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    This is the first book of the Mersey Murder Mysteries, and I must say it's a grabber. When a body is found in the Mersey River, the police learn its that of a 60's musician who disappeared with his girlfriend. The two were part of a band that was in the process of breaking up. Was the musician, Brendan, killed because he planned to go to the U.S. in an attempt to hit it big on his own, or did it have anything to do with his secret relationship with the daughter of a staunch Catholic who wouldn't This is the first book of the Mersey Murder Mysteries, and I must say it's a grabber. When a body is found in the Mersey River, the police learn its that of a 60's musician who disappeared with his girlfriend. The two were part of a band that was in the process of breaking up. Was the musician, Brendan, killed because he planned to go to the U.S. in an attempt to hit it big on his own, or did it have anything to do with his secret relationship with the daughter of a staunch Catholic who wouldn't approve of a Protestant husband for his little girl? Find out in this absorbing read that includes many twists. You won't be able to put it down. I hope to read the rest in this series soon.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sian Morant

    A basic crime mystery/police procedural. As per the title this is set in Liverpool and is told from two time perspectives, the swinging 60’s and 1999. In 1999, a skeleton is unearthed in the docks area and it is up to Detective Inspector Andy Ross and his team. In the 60’s, we are introduced to Brendan Kane and the Planets, a pop group with delusions of stardom. These two themes continue in parallel till quite late in the book though it is relatively easy early on to make a guess at the identity A basic crime mystery/police procedural. As per the title this is set in Liverpool and is told from two time perspectives, the swinging 60’s and 1999. In 1999, a skeleton is unearthed in the docks area and it is up to Detective Inspector Andy Ross and his team. In the 60’s, we are introduced to Brendan Kane and the Planets, a pop group with delusions of stardom. These two themes continue in parallel till quite late in the book though it is relatively easy early on to make a guess at the identity of the skeleton. Overall, Brian Porter is a good story teller and the descriptions of Liverpool and historical descriptions are spot on. The book though is let down on two scores. A common fault with some police procedurals is the telling and retelling of everything which tends to slow the story down. The main fault though is poor editing and a number of basic grammatical errors which is a shame. Overall a good 3 stars and I will read more in the series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    A Mersey Killing is an example of a good story being let down by very poor editing. Run-on sentences, a man who forgot he'd taken his pants off so he took them off again, countless times when "then" was used instead of "than," and other errors were distractions that took away from a mystery set in a location and time period that I found very interesting. The characters all seemed to be Good or Bad with no middle ground, although I did like the main characters of Andy Ross and Izzie Drake. I'd ded A Mersey Killing is an example of a good story being let down by very poor editing. Run-on sentences, a man who forgot he'd taken his pants off so he took them off again, countless times when "then" was used instead of "than," and other errors were distractions that took away from a mystery set in a location and time period that I found very interesting. The characters all seemed to be Good or Bad with no middle ground, although I did like the main characters of Andy Ross and Izzie Drake. I'd deduced the identity of the killer very early on, but what kept me reading was-- as I've said before-- the time period and the Liverpool setting, as well as a cold case from the same period involving a missing woman. The missing woman was the most interesting part of the mystery. Since there are no guarantees that the editing has improved in the next books, I'll be giving the rest of this series a miss. I just don't have the patience to deal with keeping score on editing errors. It's a shame.

  9. 4 out of 5

    A.J. Griffiths-Jones

    Loved this. A nostalgic read with a good murder plot. Loved the scenes of the 1960's, transported me back in time. Looking forward to the next book by this talented author. Loved this. A nostalgic read with a good murder plot. Loved the scenes of the 1960's, transported me back in time. Looking forward to the next book by this talented author.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mari

    A Mercy Killing Ross and his crew are up against a thirty-three year old murder case. A skeleton of a young man with his knee caps blasted off and a huge hole from a bashing is in the skull. The author provides just enough meticulous police work and a couple of lucky breaks to start an investigation into not only what happened to this young man, but the disappearance of the lovely young woman he loved. They are able to track down his friends and her family. The appearance of a nun will hover in t A Mercy Killing Ross and his crew are up against a thirty-three year old murder case. A skeleton of a young man with his knee caps blasted off and a huge hole from a bashing is in the skull. The author provides just enough meticulous police work and a couple of lucky breaks to start an investigation into not only what happened to this young man, but the disappearance of the lovely young woman he loved. They are able to track down his friends and her family. The appearance of a nun will hover in the background and then they discover the young woman’s father’s relative is not only from Ireland, but is involved with the IRA, the Irish Rebellion Army. There’s one problem. Someone kills the man before they are able to go to Ireland and question him. Why after all these years, has someone killed their main suspect? Then the phone call from the mysterious Miss Jones comes in detailing what she claims to have seen that night so many years ago. Follow these crime fighters as they put to rest the last of those involved in this heinous crime.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Peter Adams

    Flashback: Outstanding -The flashbacks: Seductive Flashback - I came by The Mersey Mysteries in the middle of the currently 6 book series; I read book 3 and then 6, for heaven’s sake; what was I doing? I have heard it said that this can spoil a series. That you can never go back? Really? This was not the case here. I of course already knew this charismatic team of this Liverpool elite Murder Squad detectives, and grown fond of them. However, I probably enjoyed it more reading how the team was for Flashback: Outstanding -The flashbacks: Seductive Flashback - I came by The Mersey Mysteries in the middle of the currently 6 book series; I read book 3 and then 6, for heaven’s sake; what was I doing? I have heard it said that this can spoil a series. That you can never go back? Really? This was not the case here. I of course already knew this charismatic team of this Liverpool elite Murder Squad detectives, and grown fond of them. However, I probably enjoyed it more reading how the team was formed; the raw personalities. How they established their reputation; a murder dating from 1966 to be solved in 1999. Flashback – I was as impressed with the flow of the narrative as I was with the intriguing plot: 1999 - A Skeleton is found in an old Liverpool dock. A young male, knee-capped and murdered. 1961 – The music scene. The Mersey-beat is just beginning to take off; the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Cilla Black et al (here I did allow myself to luxuriate in the exquisite nostalgia and, I suspect the author may have grown up right there, it is so alluringly written). The story in 1999; the conundrum that seems almost impossible to solve – the team of detectives start and, it is a fascinating procedural from there on. Switch The story 1961 to 1966 – a seductive tale as we get to know the youngsters who revel in the music, the lifestyle of the period, and the difficulties this causes with the older generation who struggle to comprehend the freedom of the youth of that time and, this part is very well written – I know, because I lived it also. Not all make it through; one is murdered. What I really loved was the almost imperceptible way the switching from the historic narrative to the present day investigation, came ever closer. The narratives eventually, subtly blend and then, became one. To understand that you have to read the book, because it is a joy. It is a delight every bit as pleasurable as the solving of a past crime that grows in complexity as the story-line is revealed. No more – no spoilers – just read it and revel in a fine novel – I loved it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Jackson

    Detective Inspector Andy Ross and Detective Sergeant Izzie Drake have been called to a scene where construction work uncovered skeletal remains. Finding out the remains are at least 30 years old, the detectives at the Merseyside Police Headquarters have a mystery to solve. But where do the detectives begin? This is a great murder mystery story that will keep you guessing until the end. The story is engaging and well-paced. It takes the reader on a journey back to the 1960’s in Liverpool, England Detective Inspector Andy Ross and Detective Sergeant Izzie Drake have been called to a scene where construction work uncovered skeletal remains. Finding out the remains are at least 30 years old, the detectives at the Merseyside Police Headquarters have a mystery to solve. But where do the detectives begin? This is a great murder mystery story that will keep you guessing until the end. The story is engaging and well-paced. It takes the reader on a journey back to the 1960’s in Liverpool, England where up and coming rock and roll bands strive to make it big. And then to the 1990’s where detectives from the Merseyside Police try and solve a 30-year-old murder and the disappearance of a young woman. I recommend this to anyone who likes mysteries, and even if you don’t, give it a try. It’s an intriguing read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sandi Wallace

    More in my next Good Reads blog at www.sandiwallace.com/blog/. More in my next Good Reads blog at www.sandiwallace.com/blog/.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Monty Bates

    30 Year Old Mystery Up against a 30 year old murder case DCI Ross and his team have to search deep to unlock clues. The author, Brian L. Porter, transports us back in time to our early teens when British rock was young. I think the plot is brilliant and enjoyed the book immensely. He keeps you turning pages and weaves everything smoothly.

  15. 5 out of 5

    C.F. Rabbiosi

    I really enjoyed this murder mystery. At an old dock in Liverpool, a skeleton is found embedded deep in the watery sediment and it is up to detectives Ross and "Izzy" to find out what happened to the young man who died brutally thirty years earlier. The chapters take place in the present time, well, 1999 anyway, but also take you back to another time and place- 1966 where you get a dose of the times and get to know the victim Brendan and his band mates. I liked being there, and feeling what it w I really enjoyed this murder mystery. At an old dock in Liverpool, a skeleton is found embedded deep in the watery sediment and it is up to detectives Ross and "Izzy" to find out what happened to the young man who died brutally thirty years earlier. The chapters take place in the present time, well, 1999 anyway, but also take you back to another time and place- 1966 where you get a dose of the times and get to know the victim Brendan and his band mates. I liked being there, and feeling what it was like to be a hopeful young person in another era, looking up to the Beatles with high hopes of their own, and falling in love. Already the book is fascinating, but when I found that there was another mysterious element- Brendan's missing girlfriend Marie, I was really hooked. I kept turning the pages to find out not only who killed the boy, but because I wanted the whole story of what really happened the night they both went missing. The investigation was a lot of fun to follow: Could it have been one of Marie's own brothers? Phil, the fourth band member due to some infatuation with Marie? Or was it her mean father that was somehow responsible? All questions I couldn't wait to have answered! And wow, I did not see the ending coming. Tragic and meaningful, I was left feeling a bit sad but in awe.

  16. 5 out of 5

    R.L.

    I wish I could give this more stars, but the constant telling and informing the reader was too much. The author needs to believe that readers are intelligent people who can do with less info and more action in order to avoid the "talking heads" problem throughout this book. For instance, here is a section early on where the author is informing us through dialogue between two characters about what is going on: "You know as well as I do that identifying the victim has to be our first priority. We don I wish I could give this more stars, but the constant telling and informing the reader was too much. The author needs to believe that readers are intelligent people who can do with less info and more action in order to avoid the "talking heads" problem throughout this book. For instance, here is a section early on where the author is informing us through dialogue between two characters about what is going on: "You know as well as I do that identifying the victim has to be our first priority. We don't have a lot to be going on with but at least Hannah Lewin has given us a couple of scraps that might help." "You mean like the broken leg, for example?" "Exactly. Assuming our victim is local, it might help if we can start by getting local hospitals to check their records for all youngsters between, let's say ten and fifteen to begin with, let's say twenty five to thrity five years ago...." It continues from start to finish in this way.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Charles L.

    Ho-Hum The plot of a thirty year old murder, an unidentified corpse, and no one reported missing held some interest. The work of identification was slow, and the story around the murder developed even more slowly - painfully slow. The police work drug on, interviews were lifeless, and in general the development was boring. The author failed to stimulate suspense or surprise from the start, and by the time the real story was out, I just didn't care. Ho-Hum The plot of a thirty year old murder, an unidentified corpse, and no one reported missing held some interest. The work of identification was slow, and the story around the murder developed even more slowly - painfully slow. The police work drug on, interviews were lifeless, and in general the development was boring. The author failed to stimulate suspense or surprise from the start, and by the time the real story was out, I just didn't care.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Susan SM Martin

    Tedious dialogue. Potential for an excellent mystery, but the dialogue was so distracting it kept me from becoming involved with the story and characters. How many times is it necessary to say, "Go on," when having a conversation with someone? Story is also bogged down with too much non-essential details. Tedious dialogue. Potential for an excellent mystery, but the dialogue was so distracting it kept me from becoming involved with the story and characters. How many times is it necessary to say, "Go on," when having a conversation with someone? Story is also bogged down with too much non-essential details.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Poorly written, the "historical background" badly incorporated (almost like detail added in solely to get idiots like me to buy the book). Poor characterizations, run on sentences, ..... Poorly written, the "historical background" badly incorporated (almost like detail added in solely to get idiots like me to buy the book). Poor characterizations, run on sentences, .....

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sue Gardner

    Pedantic So many unnecessary words, what could be a good story, drowned in ‘extras’. I hope I’m the only one who feels like this!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    When I couldn't decide between 1 and 2 stars, I decided to think about how I felt while forcing myself to finish this book so I could legitimately review it, and as soon as I reflected on the misery and time-dragging that involved, I had my rating...without question, a solid 1-star. It may be the worst book I've read this year, although the fact that I was able to finish it says something because I have quit reading several other books because they were just impossible to waste my time on. So, a When I couldn't decide between 1 and 2 stars, I decided to think about how I felt while forcing myself to finish this book so I could legitimately review it, and as soon as I reflected on the misery and time-dragging that involved, I had my rating...without question, a solid 1-star. It may be the worst book I've read this year, although the fact that I was able to finish it says something because I have quit reading several other books because they were just impossible to waste my time on. So, at least this books was readable enough to get all the way through. There were lots of negatives though, beginning with PC McLennan's name. Are you kidding me? Yes, I get that this is taking place in Liverpool, home of the Fab Four (of which I am an original, die-hard fan, and one who has actually been to the real Cavern and visited Paul's former home on Allerton Rd in 1965!) I found that coy little homage to be gag-inducing, but there was even worse to come! There were very confusing mistakes about whose van belonged to who's dad, who played what gig, what year were events taking place, etc. The book took forever to establish the "Pop Group" background which should have been covered in a few deftly written pages, but instead the poor reader is inundated with a plodding, dull, repetitive narrative that could have come straight from a police report, with its insistence on boring, irrelevant details that lead nowhere. The entire book relied on the most exhausted, lifeless phrasing I have ever come across in a published book. Among the most mundane: "you could cut the atmosphere with a knife," (presented at least twice as if the freshest metaphor ever devised!) " drowning his sorrows," "like a light bulb flashing on in her mind." To give some credit, the pace picked up about 3/4's of the way through and it finally became more cohesive and moderately interesting. If the ending had been the conclusion of any other book, I would berate it for leaving out vital information which led to the reveal, but here it was such a relief to get ANY substance at all, that I could only muster a grim kind of satisfaction that something was finally happening!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Frank Watson

    A MERSEY KILLING by Brian L. Porter fulfills one of the purposes of a novel – transporting the reader to a different time and place – in two ways. Because this is essentially a police procedural, the (American) reader is exposed to a murder investigation in England, where the police organization is different from in the United States and where, apparently, people are more polite. Can you imagine an exchange like this in an American mystery: “Been here a month, Inspector,” he replied as he passed A MERSEY KILLING by Brian L. Porter fulfills one of the purposes of a novel – transporting the reader to a different time and place – in two ways. Because this is essentially a police procedural, the (American) reader is exposed to a murder investigation in England, where the police organization is different from in the United States and where, apparently, people are more polite. Can you imagine an exchange like this in an American mystery: “Been here a month, Inspector,” he replied as he passed the warrant cards back to the detectives. “Sorry if I seem over careful, but we've been instructed to be very fastidious and only allow authorized personnel into the actual examination suites.” “No need to apologise for doing your job the right way, Mr. Foster,” Ross replied. “It's a rare thing to find nowadays.” Foster smiled, grateful to the inspector for putting him at ease. Ross assumed not everyone was as understanding as he was about being held up in their attempts to enter the 'business end' of the mortuary, as he thought of it. “Thank you, Inspector,” Foster smiled again. “I presume you know your way to the autopsy rooms?” A second way the reader is transported is that the investigation involves a “cold case” from 1963 that involves a group of young musicians from the days of the “English Invasion” of the Beatles et al. The author provides flashbacks to that time in parallel to the police investigation. I am not sure how “realistic” is the modern-day police work or the rock and roll scene of those early years. It does, however, provide a pleasant diversion for the reader.

  23. 4 out of 5

    John Wood

    The first thing this reader noticed about A Very Mersey Murder was its smoothness. I was immediately pulled in as if I were at the cinema watching a good movie. The dialogue is natural and the scenes are bright and clear. Three murders were committed in 1966 and then nearly four decades later two more murders with similarities that catch the attention of a retired policeman who worked the case. Soon the Merseyside Police Force’s Special Investigation Team is brought in and given the case. As a f The first thing this reader noticed about A Very Mersey Murder was its smoothness. I was immediately pulled in as if I were at the cinema watching a good movie. The dialogue is natural and the scenes are bright and clear. Three murders were committed in 1966 and then nearly four decades later two more murders with similarities that catch the attention of a retired policeman who worked the case. Soon the Merseyside Police Force’s Special Investigation Team is brought in and given the case. As a former police officer (in the 1960’s by the way) I was immediately hooked on trying to solve the case as I read; I failed. Mr. Porter drew me in and held my interest because if the new murderer holds true to the past, someone else is going to be raped and murdered. It looks like that victim will be a female police officer, and the cold case team has only days to prevent it. Porter’s descriptions of the murder victim’s families and the interviews of potential witnesses rung true. Mr. Porter is excellent at giving each of his characters his or her an individual personality; which the author has artfully blended into real-life scenarios. There are many reasons why Brian Porter is the best-seller author that he is; A Very Mersey Murder is one of them. I highly recommend this mystery/thriller.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michele E.

    This well written, juxtaposed story deals with both the `present´ and the past. It´s 1999, and bones are found which date back more than thirty years. Detective Inspector, Andy Ross and his sergeant, Izzie Drake are on the case, and find themselves thrown into a world of forbidden romance, religious bias and rock and roll. As their investigation progresses, there are flashbacks to a group of friends and a murder which took place in the 1960´s. The plot is well researched and the reader can easil This well written, juxtaposed story deals with both the `present´ and the past. It´s 1999, and bones are found which date back more than thirty years. Detective Inspector, Andy Ross and his sergeant, Izzie Drake are on the case, and find themselves thrown into a world of forbidden romance, religious bias and rock and roll. As their investigation progresses, there are flashbacks to a group of friends and a murder which took place in the 1960´s. The plot is well researched and the reader can easily immerse themself in the world of the swinging sixties, with constant allusions to the pop culture of that time: The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers and even Cilla Black , plus the political and cultural references of those bygone days. The story keeps you guessing from beginning to end as the writer drops little clues into the storyline which will tie your mind in knots! And believe me, you will never surmise the final outcome. (I was nowhere near!) Don´t miss out on this intriguing read. Well worth the 5 stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    John Irvine

    Review of A Mersey Killing I've read a lot of books in my 79+ years and lot were police thrillers, like Jo Nesbo's. But it's only recently I bought this first book in a series by Brian Porter. It's not very long ago that I began it, and let me tell you that I can't wait to finish this review so I can get back to book # five!!! This author really took me by surprise as I knew nought about him except that he is a serious doggie lover, as am I. Porter is a genius at assembling the good guys (and gals Review of A Mersey Killing I've read a lot of books in my 79+ years and lot were police thrillers, like Jo Nesbo's. But it's only recently I bought this first book in a series by Brian Porter. It's not very long ago that I began it, and let me tell you that I can't wait to finish this review so I can get back to book # five!!! This author really took me by surprise as I knew nought about him except that he is a serious doggie lover, as am I. Porter is a genius at assembling the good guys (and gals) and the bad guys (and gals) who grace his book. They, and the story line, are complex but not complicated, They are believable and it is easy to love or hate them!!! Set in Liverpool, UK, the amount of research Porter must have done is collosal! I mean, really and truly. Of course he is writing from his earlier life!! This man has eight books alive in the series with the ninth already bounding from his keyboard! Do yourselves a favour, people, where ever you are and take a looong, succulent taste!!!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tango Dancer

    ** Spoiler Alert ** As a proud Scouser and reader of detective fiction I was looking forward to reading this book. Sadly, I was disappointed. The first part of the book seemed like an endless catalogue of pop artists and their hits from the 1960's, with the main characters shoe horned between the music references. My real problem was with the historical inaccuracies, one of which is quite central to the plot. I can overlook the nonsense of a colour TV in 1962, but I must complain about the murdere ** Spoiler Alert ** As a proud Scouser and reader of detective fiction I was looking forward to reading this book. Sadly, I was disappointed. The first part of the book seemed like an endless catalogue of pop artists and their hits from the 1960's, with the main characters shoe horned between the music references. My real problem was with the historical inaccuracies, one of which is quite central to the plot. I can overlook the nonsense of a colour TV in 1962, but I must complain about the murderer being a member of the Provisional IRA in 1966, an organization which along with its trademark punishment of "kneecapping" did not exist until 1969. The shame is that if the author had reeled back on the pop culture references and had left the murderer as a simpler religious bigot (which God knows my beloved City has suffered from over the years), the story would probably have held up better.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Janine

    A great read. This is the first I've read by this author. This is set in the 1960's before I was born but my parents era so I recognised songs and groups I'd heard them listening to them as I grew up. The group in this story are trying to get noticed by a record company but it wasn't to be so they split up and went their separate ways well except Brendan Kane and Marie Doyle who was the sister of 2 of the band mates. The story comes to the future of 1999 when skeletal remains are found in an old dra A great read. This is the first I've read by this author. This is set in the 1960's before I was born but my parents era so I recognised songs and groups I'd heard them listening to them as I grew up. The group in this story are trying to get noticed by a record company but it wasn't to be so they split up and went their separate ways well except Brendan Kane and Marie Doyle who was the sister of 2 of the band mates. The story comes to the future of 1999 when skeletal remains are found in an old drained dock which turn out to have been there for many years. The story is in the local press which triggers old memories, a report of a young woman missing for 33 years, 2 murders then a suicide.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ken Grant

    I struggled to rate this book. The story is solid and the method by which the author gets there is creative. The story-telling is true to life, but almost too much so. At times the detail feels both unnecessary and overly-detailed. I often found myself wondering why the author was telling me certain obvious things. The book is best when it remains in the presence and refers back to the past. The writing about the past was less rich and not consistent with the tone of the work. The level of profa I struggled to rate this book. The story is solid and the method by which the author gets there is creative. The story-telling is true to life, but almost too much so. At times the detail feels both unnecessary and overly-detailed. I often found myself wondering why the author was telling me certain obvious things. The book is best when it remains in the presence and refers back to the past. The writing about the past was less rich and not consistent with the tone of the work. The level of profanity at times was overwhelming and the sex scene far too detailed to be consistent with the overall work. There is some good here, but it gets lost in too many unnecessary things. Definitely a disappointment for me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Heher

    1966 Liverpool I have read many many mysteries set in England and Ireland, this is the first set in Liverpool. Although I am a few years younger then Marie and Brendan , I enjoyed the trip back to the 60s. The description of the social change erupting at that time was reminder of a very important phase of my own life. Thankfully without the culmination of violent reactions to the outdated bigotry of Mr.Doyle. I am also very interested in the impact of the “ troubles” upon individuals and familie 1966 Liverpool I have read many many mysteries set in England and Ireland, this is the first set in Liverpool. Although I am a few years younger then Marie and Brendan , I enjoyed the trip back to the 60s. The description of the social change erupting at that time was reminder of a very important phase of my own life. Thankfully without the culmination of violent reactions to the outdated bigotry of Mr.Doyle. I am also very interested in the impact of the “ troubles” upon individuals and families. Would love to see more of that described in future stories. All in all an excellent read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This book was very long winded for me. I almost gave up and skipped to the last few chapters but stuck with it because I liked the characters and the plot. It wrapped up nicely at the end. But there was way too much narrative and description that I did end up skipping over for my own sanity. I’d be interested to see if the author shortened future books in this series to improve them. If I can download another book in this series for free, I may give it a try. But I wouldn’t spend money for anoth This book was very long winded for me. I almost gave up and skipped to the last few chapters but stuck with it because I liked the characters and the plot. It wrapped up nicely at the end. But there was way too much narrative and description that I did end up skipping over for my own sanity. I’d be interested to see if the author shortened future books in this series to improve them. If I can download another book in this series for free, I may give it a try. But I wouldn’t spend money for another book in the series based on this first book’s long drawn out writing.

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