Review: Next to Die by Neil White

Friday, 3 April 2015
Title: Next to Die
Author: Neil White
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 26th September 2013
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780751549447
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
Joe Parker is Manchester's most ingenious criminal defence lawyer.

Sam Parker is Manchester's most tenacious homicide detective.

Both bear the burden of the unsolved murder of their sister fifteen years earlier. And both have a stake in a new series of murders that has shaken their city to its core.

Ronnie Bagley is locked up and facing trial for the murder of his girlfriend and baby and there's only one lawyer he wants to defend him: Joe Parker. As Joe takes to the courtroom to represent Ronnie, little does he know that Bagley is smarter than anyone has given him credit for, and soon Joe will find himself pitched against his own brother, Sam, in a race to outwit the most terrifying serial killer the city has ever seen.

It isn't long before Joe and Sam's shared past comes crashing into the present in a pulse-pounding race to find out who is NEXT TO DIE...

Next to Die is another book that has been languishing on my Kindle for months, so now that I am reading a mixture of review, library and purchased books, it was the perfect time for me to pick this one up. I read and reviewed the second in the series, The Death Collector, last year, so I was excited to read this series opener to see how it would compare.

The first highlight of this series for me is its Manchester setting. Being from Liverpool I probably shouldn't admit it, but I do love Manchester as a city and feel that Neil has captured it brilliantly, bringing it to life on the page and in the mind of the reader.

Secondly the characterisation is really strong. Having two brothers as the main characters in a book is always an interesting dynamic. Whilst those obvious similar familial traits are there, brothers are also often very different and this is certainly the case with the Parker brothers. Both working for the law, but both working for it on opposite ends of the spectrum, and as in The Death Collector, this makes for a number of interesting developments. More so in their personal lives this time around. Theirs is a believable relationship.

Finally, the story. The build-up took a while for me to get into the book, as the scene was set and the story was established but by the halfway point I was well and truly engrossed, once again both annoyed and excited that yet another book was keeping me up until the early hours. The standout part of Next to Die has to be its ending, and having read most of Neil's books now, I have to say the last third of Next to Die is probably my favourite from all of his books. Just brilliant, heart-stopping stuff.

Having now read both books in the Parker brothers series, I am well and truly prepared and excited for the third book to be released in July. For those with this series on their TBR, or who are just reading about it for the first time, definitely check it out.

4/5

3 comments:

  1. Finally enough Shaun this is one I've had in my huge TBR pile (in the kitchen - as we've ran out of space elsewhere!) and I did look at it a couple of days ago and thought, "Must have a proper look at that soon, as I remember thinking it looked pretty good." That was probably when you were reading it, sending me psychic crime fiction recommendations through the ether from the North of England! Because I've basically ignored it for ages!! I think I might have The Death Collector too - blue writing on black background on the spine?? Must get to one of them at least - probably this one! I don't know what your plans are for September, and obviously there's always financial considerations, but it'd be really cool if you came up for Bloody Scotland! It's the only festival that's REMOTELY accessible for me, so I'm mentioning it to you now. The lineups announced June 3rd, Alex Gray said to me the other day (just a bit of name dropping, as I never get to do any!) but she says it's fantastic, and it'd be great to meet some bloggers in person, and have a blast! (As we so would!)

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  2. Definitely give them a read Linda, love Neil's books.

    And I do want to attend some sort of book festival this year so will have to look into that!

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  3. Be brilliant for yourself and as many other crime bloggers as poss to come up! And as you probably know, once you're in either Glasgow or Edinburgh, Stirling's right in the middle, 40-50 mins from either, so good and central. THINK it's Sept 11-13th, but we'll know more when the programme's out June 3rd!

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