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Ghost in the Machine

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Detective Constable Scott Cullen of Lothian and Borders has only been three months in CID as a full DC. He is assigned a Missing Persons case which has stretched his uniform colleagues. Caroline Adamson - a young, recently divorced mother from Edinburgh - has disappeared whilst on a date. The more Cullen digs into her disappearance, the more he unravels her private life. W Detective Constable Scott Cullen of Lothian and Borders has only been three months in CID as a full DC. He is assigned a Missing Persons case which has stretched his uniform colleagues. Caroline Adamson - a young, recently divorced mother from Edinburgh - has disappeared whilst on a date. The more Cullen digs into her disappearance, the more he unravels her private life. Who was she on a date with? What happened during her divorce from Rob Thomson? As Cullen's own private life gets messier and the relationship with his DI deteriorates, Caroline's body turns up and he finds himself hunting for a ghost in the machine. Book one of the Scott Cullen series.


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Detective Constable Scott Cullen of Lothian and Borders has only been three months in CID as a full DC. He is assigned a Missing Persons case which has stretched his uniform colleagues. Caroline Adamson - a young, recently divorced mother from Edinburgh - has disappeared whilst on a date. The more Cullen digs into her disappearance, the more he unravels her private life. W Detective Constable Scott Cullen of Lothian and Borders has only been three months in CID as a full DC. He is assigned a Missing Persons case which has stretched his uniform colleagues. Caroline Adamson - a young, recently divorced mother from Edinburgh - has disappeared whilst on a date. The more Cullen digs into her disappearance, the more he unravels her private life. Who was she on a date with? What happened during her divorce from Rob Thomson? As Cullen's own private life gets messier and the relationship with his DI deteriorates, Caroline's body turns up and he finds himself hunting for a ghost in the machine. Book one of the Scott Cullen series.

30 review for Ghost in the Machine

  1. 4 out of 5

    Vinay Leo

    I think this is the first time I've read a book with the setting in Scotland. This, the first of the Scott Cullen police procedural series, was definitely one of the best books of my short Kindle-reader experience to date. Though the Scottish accent filled dialogue felt a little confusing at first, I got adjusted to it. And it brought some originality to it. The case qualifies as a mystery and to a little extent, as a thriller too because it kept me interested and wondering. The characters are w I think this is the first time I've read a book with the setting in Scotland. This, the first of the Scott Cullen police procedural series, was definitely one of the best books of my short Kindle-reader experience to date. Though the Scottish accent filled dialogue felt a little confusing at first, I got adjusted to it. And it brought some originality to it. The case qualifies as a mystery and to a little extent, as a thriller too because it kept me interested and wondering. The characters are well put, and the twists at the right time. Though towards the end, you do have an idea who the perpetrator will be. A delightfulr read, and I'd say it rates 3.5 stars. Not quite moving toward the four, so a 3 here. A note to Kindle crime-fiction fans: as of this moment, this book is a free copy. So give it a try. You won't lose a lot of time here, the plot goes along very quick. So you could gain a good read here. Review at the blog: http://bit.ly/14wrTmY

  2. 4 out of 5

    James Rye

    This is my second Ed James and his first in the Cullen series. I liked several things about this book: his ability to draw the character of Cullen and his DC; the realistic dialogue; the details of the Kafkaesque police procedures; the ability to handle the slowly unravelling plot that becomes personal towards the end. The main reason for not giving it higher than three stars is that I found myself deeply annoyed by DI Bains. I found him to be so horrible and so stupid that he was unbelievable an This is my second Ed James and his first in the Cullen series. I liked several things about this book: his ability to draw the character of Cullen and his DC; the realistic dialogue; the details of the Kafkaesque police procedures; the ability to handle the slowly unravelling plot that becomes personal towards the end. The main reason for not giving it higher than three stars is that I found myself deeply annoyed by DI Bains. I found him to be so horrible and so stupid that he was unbelievable and therefore became a cliche. If characters like him exist in real life, heaven help the police force! I concluded that he was an invented device necessary to frustrate (and therefore prolong) the plot. For me he undid any good that had been created by the rest of the book. He needs toning down, murdering, or promoting to another force.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    i enjoyed this, but why do so many police detectives have to have a stupid boss (Frost Morse etc)in this instance it got in the way of the story by the end. I'd read more, but it's not up to Ian Rankin or Alison Bruce i enjoyed this, but why do so many police detectives have to have a stupid boss (Frost Morse etc)in this instance it got in the way of the story by the end. I'd read more, but it's not up to Ian Rankin or Alison Bruce

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mark Tilbury

    DC Scott Cullen hasn’t been a detective for very long before he is given a missing persons case. A single mother has disappeared whilst on a date and her private life and events surrounding her divorce get examined. The use of social media sites and internet dating are a big part of the story and they are used to show how the characters tie together. The first chapter is eventful and pacey, and this sets the tone for the rest of the book. The story continues at the same speed with DC Cullen atte DC Scott Cullen hasn’t been a detective for very long before he is given a missing persons case. A single mother has disappeared whilst on a date and her private life and events surrounding her divorce get examined. The use of social media sites and internet dating are a big part of the story and they are used to show how the characters tie together. The first chapter is eventful and pacey, and this sets the tone for the rest of the book. The story continues at the same speed with DC Cullen attempting to solve the case in the midst of workplace bullying and backstabbing, whilst the people he is investigating hide behind their on-line personas. The setting of Edinburgh took me away from the usual settings of more southern cities and the use of local dialect made the events in the story seem all the more real. Much of the story is written in dialogue so as I was reading it I felt as if I was there in the investigation listening to all the conversations. This police procedural story stands out from many others due to its originality. Its use of social media and other technologies is effective without being complicated. The author’s use of dialogue kept the focus on the characters and what their roles and responsibilities were in the investigation. A great first installment of a series and a main character that readers can relate to and want to be successful.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lasciel

    The story was in general good, but I felt like the book lacked emotion and momentum. DI Cullen was a touch dull, his thought process was admirable, but he seemed to lack passion at least from my perspective. There was very little momentum, ordinarily murder mysteries spark this thrill to find the killer. This seemed to much like hard work. I don't think the characters were deep enough. Maybe all these things improve in the later novels, at least I hope so as I liked the style of this story. The story was in general good, but I felt like the book lacked emotion and momentum. DI Cullen was a touch dull, his thought process was admirable, but he seemed to lack passion at least from my perspective. There was very little momentum, ordinarily murder mysteries spark this thrill to find the killer. This seemed to much like hard work. I don't think the characters were deep enough. Maybe all these things improve in the later novels, at least I hope so as I liked the style of this story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lexie Conyngham

    A slightly under-stated but thoroughly enjoyable book with real characters and slightly too real settings - I was alarmed to find one scene set in the hotel I was just about to stay in the following night! It showed a thorough knowledge of Edinburgh (not just the usual aspects) and its people, and the plot was a good page-turner. I look forward to another one in the series.

  7. 5 out of 5

    edifanob

    First in series of the cases of Detective Constable Scott Cullen set in Scotland. I really liked this police procedural novel. Schoolbook which is the Facebook in Scott Cullens world and plays an important role. I will definitely continue to read the series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Edward Beavers

    Unusual read Unusual read I wouldn't say this book was better than expected it was a good read but was too much into Bain's incompetence and should have spent more time in "police work" in finding the killer. Unusual read Unusual read I wouldn't say this book was better than expected it was a good read but was too much into Bain's incompetence and should have spent more time in "police work" in finding the killer.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Bacon

    Irish Who Dunit I love a good mystery that keeps you turning the pages such as this particular book. Some women start turning up murdered and Scott Cullen is on a hunt to find the murderer. Bain, who is Cullen's boss has assumed who it is by the connections and a grainy security tape but Cullen is not 100% it is that guy. Many twists in this plot keeps you guessing to the very end. I may need to read more in this series. Irish Who Dunit I love a good mystery that keeps you turning the pages such as this particular book. Some women start turning up murdered and Scott Cullen is on a hunt to find the murderer. Bain, who is Cullen's boss has assumed who it is by the connections and a grainy security tape but Cullen is not 100% it is that guy. Many twists in this plot keeps you guessing to the very end. I may need to read more in this series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Ed James has done a good job in crafting this debut indie Scottish police novel, which is a fairly fast read considering it runs 800 pages. The plot is logical, put together well, and James keeps the "whodunnit" answer a mystery until the end. My only minor negative note was that I was quite annoyed by the character of Bain, who is the protagonist's commanding officer. This is a bit unfair of me since Bain is designed to be an irritating person, consistently hindering those he directs and impedi Ed James has done a good job in crafting this debut indie Scottish police novel, which is a fairly fast read considering it runs 800 pages. The plot is logical, put together well, and James keeps the "whodunnit" answer a mystery until the end. My only minor negative note was that I was quite annoyed by the character of Bain, who is the protagonist's commanding officer. This is a bit unfair of me since Bain is designed to be an irritating person, consistently hindering those he directs and impeding progress, but James has made him so darn pompous and unlikeable that I couldn't help myself! I'll look forward to reading the next book in the Scott Cullen series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nigel Bird

    Facebook has a competitor. It’s called Schoolbook and it hooks up old friends. It also leaves some of those friends dead. Ghost In The Machine opens with a blind-date that ends in the murder of a woman in an Edinburgh hotel. This sets off a chain of events that we watch unfold from the point of view of Scott Cullen, a detective who is new to me and who brings a wonderful energy to the world of the police procedural. Cullen’s good at his job and is keen to do what is right. That’s not always as ea Facebook has a competitor. It’s called Schoolbook and it hooks up old friends. It also leaves some of those friends dead. Ghost In The Machine opens with a blind-date that ends in the murder of a woman in an Edinburgh hotel. This sets off a chain of events that we watch unfold from the point of view of Scott Cullen, a detective who is new to me and who brings a wonderful energy to the world of the police procedural. Cullen’s good at his job and is keen to do what is right. That’s not always as easy as it might be, given that his bosses are playing political games and looking after their reputations, while his juniors are often rather incompetent. As he battles against the lack of imagination of his seniors, Cullen moves off on tangents by following a mix of instinct and logic. It’s a good job he does, too, even if it does get him into hot water with the powers that be. The thing is, he’s the one with the handle on the case and he’s the only one likely to come up with the right result. I really enjoyed this one. The setting is colourful and the characters well put together. The process of Cullen’s investigation into technologies using ultra-modern techniques is fascinating and well-explained. The pace of the story is terrific and the plot really accelerates from the off. There are plot-twists that came totally unexpectedly for me, yet made complete sense once the pieces of the puzzle were put together. There’s also enough in Cullen’s personal life and general manner to make him a pleasure to get to know. Most interestingly for me was the style of the book. To me it goes against the writing rules I often read about and discuss, namely in the way that it tells the tale almost entirely through dialogue. It’s a great example of how to buck the norm; in so doing, James creates something that feels fresh and exciting. It helps that he uses strong differentiation between the voices of the characters, whether that be through accent, manner or phrasing. This rhythm adds to the style and pace of the work and helped this reader to shift through the gears with perfect ease. It’s fair to say that I was bolting along as the climax played out. I was totally hooked and had been from pretty early on. This is a bonus as it helped me save on battery life on my TV remote control, the telly being switched off for the past few days to make way for the real action. Recommended to anyone who likes a solid police story. I’ll definitely be reading more in the series.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lynda Kelly

    This story wasn't bad although it seemed to drag for me hence the time it took to get through it. It's taken me 6 days ! Every night when I put it down I didn't seem to have progressed very far through it for some reason. A real irritation for me, too, was that it was too Scottish. A lot of the phraseology started to get on my nerves-I imagine they're unique to there-like chapped on doors or the back of eight ?? I take it the latter means just past in English. It was used a lot and annoyed me a This story wasn't bad although it seemed to drag for me hence the time it took to get through it. It's taken me 6 days ! Every night when I put it down I didn't seem to have progressed very far through it for some reason. A real irritation for me, too, was that it was too Scottish. A lot of the phraseology started to get on my nerves-I imagine they're unique to there-like chapped on doors or the back of eight ?? I take it the latter means just past in English. It was used a lot and annoyed me a lot.....then a teuchter plod....huh ?? I probably won't stick with the series, either, as Scott Cullen I found wasn't a very likeable character. The way he spoke to his superior offices was jawdropping at times and he needed his arse kicked hard ! And as one girl described him he comes across as very hostile and really didn't have many redeeming features. There were some very funny remarks in it, however, my favourite being "Check for laptops". I downloaded this way back in April 2013 and on Amazon it says there's a new version but once again their magic automatic updates have got no update on it for me even when I checked manually before starting it. That system needs a good overhauling. I came across quite a lot of mistakes in it. Firstly in the table of contents when we go from Tuesday August 2nd to Wednesday August 4th. Another issue with dates at the end came when the author tells us he originally penned this story in April 20012-I think not. There were apostrophes missing in a few places and a couple of wrong tenses caught my eye but no crashing spelling mistakes which was nice.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    First in the series of books about Scott Cullen.A really good start and the series really looks promising. Ed has done a brilliant job of creating a thoroughly good atmosphere and this held throughout the book. Will give the next book a go now.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    The disappearance and subsequent murder of Caroline Adamson means one heck of a lot of work Detective Constable Scott Cullen and others, as his bullying, condescending boss expects results fast. But catching a killer becomes much more complex when three other murders occur. The suspect, hiding behind different online personas, is difficult to identify let alone find. Ghost in the Machine is one of the grittiest, most engaging police procedurals I’ve read this year. Set in an area called Lothian & The disappearance and subsequent murder of Caroline Adamson means one heck of a lot of work Detective Constable Scott Cullen and others, as his bullying, condescending boss expects results fast. But catching a killer becomes much more complex when three other murders occur. The suspect, hiding behind different online personas, is difficult to identify let alone find. Ghost in the Machine is one of the grittiest, most engaging police procedurals I’ve read this year. Set in an area called Lothian & Borders CID, (I think this is a part of Edinburgh), author Ed James does a terrific job with dialect and setting. Above all, the portrayal of political and social dysfunction in a police force with all types of personalities and agendas is terrific. Those folks are definitely not the slick professionals you see hunting killers on American TV shows, which is why I like this book. The characters come across as so amazingly real that it’s easy to relate to Cullen’s struggles to keep from lashing out at lazy, backstabbing coworkers and supervisors. My only quibble is that the flashbacks showing each victim’s encounter with the killer doesn’t add anything to the story. In fact, it slows the pacing down at a point where it should be building. Having said that, the book is still a great read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Better than I thought I've been looking for a new crime writer lately and wanted to pick someone that wasn't necessarily really mainstream. This author has been popping up in my Facebook feed for a while so I decided to give him a go. The writing style took a bit of getting used to and if I'm honest I really didn't like how the senior officers all seemed a bit...... Ummm.....I don't know useless? Corrupt? Bad? However I did persevere and whilst it was relatively easy to work out i did enjoy it. I Better than I thought I've been looking for a new crime writer lately and wanted to pick someone that wasn't necessarily really mainstream. This author has been popping up in my Facebook feed for a while so I decided to give him a go. The writing style took a bit of getting used to and if I'm honest I really didn't like how the senior officers all seemed a bit...... Ummm.....I don't know useless? Corrupt? Bad? However I did persevere and whilst it was relatively easy to work out i did enjoy it. I like the main character, he's a bit of a knob but his heart and drive is definitely in the right place and he wants things done properly even if others dont! I will definitely be getting more of these books and I'm sure they will improve. I like to read them in order so I do have quite a few to make my way through. It is easy to read and I did want to keep going to the end and I'm glad I did. I can be really fussy with my crime fiction and generally only read two or three authors but I do think I will like Mr James' books and I would definitely recommend them to others. As I said I have just started reading them and I have every confidence in his writing and storytelling. Well done! Only another 20 or so to go! I'm looking forward to them.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andy Angel

    A very well written police procedural novel set in and around Edinburgh that may well lead to comparisons with the likes of Mark Billingham and Ian Rankin and in my opinion those comparisons would be well deserved. What starts out as a missing person case quickly becomes a hunt for a serial murderer. The trail leads to several dead ends and red herrings. The chief has his eye on a possible promotion and is wanting to close the case quickly, convinced he knows who the guilty party is but DC Scott A very well written police procedural novel set in and around Edinburgh that may well lead to comparisons with the likes of Mark Billingham and Ian Rankin and in my opinion those comparisons would be well deserved. What starts out as a missing person case quickly becomes a hunt for a serial murderer. The trail leads to several dead ends and red herrings. The chief has his eye on a possible promotion and is wanting to close the case quickly, convinced he knows who the guilty party is but DC Scott Cullen isn't as certain. Can he find the killer before the wrong man is arrested and charged? Or is the chief right all along? Cullen, the star of this story is no high flying detective, just a lowly DC which makes for a refreshing change and as a character he comes across well. The killer is picking his victims via Schoolbook, a Facebook like online site for meeting people you knew at school, which asks the question "how well do you really know the people you meet on the 'net". As a first novel this was a highly enjoyable and accomplished effort. The next of the Scott Cullen novels "Devil in the Detail" is high on my 'to read pile'

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bernadette Robinson

    I really enjoyed this story which is the first in the Scott Cullen series of books based on DC Scott Cullen. I picked it up as a free kindle read. I enjoyed the relationship between Cullen and his colleagues which at times became a little strained but to me this made it all the more believable. I think Cullen has the makings of a great character and look forward to seeing how he progresses in the next books in the series. The story follows the disappearance of a woman and what you initially think I really enjoyed this story which is the first in the Scott Cullen series of books based on DC Scott Cullen. I picked it up as a free kindle read. I enjoyed the relationship between Cullen and his colleagues which at times became a little strained but to me this made it all the more believable. I think Cullen has the makings of a great character and look forward to seeing how he progresses in the next books in the series. The story follows the disappearance of a woman and what you initially think is a one off soon turns into the search for a serial killer. With the use of social media network sites this is a very current and modern read. Set in Edinburgh this style of crime story could easily be compared to the likes of Ian Rankin, if you like Rankin's style then give this one a go.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tim Smith

    This book reminds of the quote (paraphrasing here) that Americans and the inhabitants of the British Isles are peoples seperated by a common language. That observation could also apply to any reader not willing to look beyond James' liberal use of regional slang and colloquiallisms to the story told here. Another facet of this title that kept me from rating it lower was the insider view of the grinding nature ofpolice procedures. Although this has been used with great success by many American au This book reminds of the quote (paraphrasing here) that Americans and the inhabitants of the British Isles are peoples seperated by a common language. That observation could also apply to any reader not willing to look beyond James' liberal use of regional slang and colloquiallisms to the story told here. Another facet of this title that kept me from rating it lower was the insider view of the grinding nature ofpolice procedures. Although this has been used with great success by many American authors, James does a good job of showing discouraging it was to Cullen. Can't say much more or this will turn into spoiler review. E-book version is free on several sites and worth a look if you haven't read any other books by James.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bill Hoyler

    What is it with Scotland and serial killers? Great first effort by Ed James. With "Ghost in the Machine" James has set the bar high for his subsequent novels. Taut, gripping and thoroughly engrossing Ghost tells the tale of a smart serial killer driven by revenge and ego, how he almost got away with 4 murders while doing an outstanding job framing someone else for it. Being from the States I'm really curious as to why so many crime novels set in the UK are about serial killers? I thought we Ameri What is it with Scotland and serial killers? Great first effort by Ed James. With "Ghost in the Machine" James has set the bar high for his subsequent novels. Taut, gripping and thoroughly engrossing Ghost tells the tale of a smart serial killer driven by revenge and ego, how he almost got away with 4 murders while doing an outstanding job framing someone else for it. Being from the States I'm really curious as to why so many crime novels set in the UK are about serial killers? I thought we Americans had cornered the market on mass murderer novels but Rankin, MacBride and now Ed James prove me wrong. Since Ghost was so good I bought book 2 in the Scott Cullen series "Devil in the Detail". I hope it's as good as Ghost.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Misfits farm

    A woman goes missing and is then found dead. Her ex husband becomes a likely suspect. Then it happens again with the same m.o and things are not quite so straightforward. Who is the mystery man on " schoolbook" and why and how are these women specifically being targeted. At 50% of the way through I thought they had it almost wrapped up, but then comes along a new piece of evidence to turn things aound. A good story with excellent characters. Some light hearted moments too which in my book are go A woman goes missing and is then found dead. Her ex husband becomes a likely suspect. Then it happens again with the same m.o and things are not quite so straightforward. Who is the mystery man on " schoolbook" and why and how are these women specifically being targeted. At 50% of the way through I thought they had it almost wrapped up, but then comes along a new piece of evidence to turn things aound. A good story with excellent characters. Some light hearted moments too which in my book are good. Cullen we get to know both professionally and personally, that siad his personal life is rather at a dead end, pardon the pun. He comes across realistically- no superhero, just a conciencious, hardworking cop who has his ups and downs like the rest of us. A very entertaining read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    Ed James has done a good job in crafting this debut indie Scottish police novel, which is a fairly fast read considering it runs 800 pages. The plot is logical, put together well, and James keeps the "whodunnit" answer a mystery until the end. My only minor negative note was that I was quite annoyed by the character of Bain, who is the protagonist's commanding officer. This is a bit unfair of me since Bain is designed to be an irritating person, consistently hindering those he directs and impedi Ed James has done a good job in crafting this debut indie Scottish police novel, which is a fairly fast read considering it runs 800 pages. The plot is logical, put together well, and James keeps the "whodunnit" answer a mystery until the end. My only minor negative note was that I was quite annoyed by the character of Bain, who is the protagonist's commanding officer. This is a bit unfair of me since Bain is designed to be an irritating person, consistently hindering those he directs and impeding progress, but James has made him so darn pompous and unlikeable that I couldn't help myself! I'll look forward to reading the next book in the Scott Cullen series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carina

    Another win for the cheap/free Kindle books! This book had a really intriguing plot and kept me guessing as to who the villain was, in fact I never even expected the culprit to be who it was. There are a number of twists and turns which kept the plot moving nicely - all very nicely paced. The various characters seemed to be pretty well developed (with a couple of minor exceptions), but I will admit that writing in the 'Scottish accent' to be slightly off-putting at first. I did adapt but it took q Another win for the cheap/free Kindle books! This book had a really intriguing plot and kept me guessing as to who the villain was, in fact I never even expected the culprit to be who it was. There are a number of twists and turns which kept the plot moving nicely - all very nicely paced. The various characters seemed to be pretty well developed (with a couple of minor exceptions), but I will admit that writing in the 'Scottish accent' to be slightly off-putting at first. I did adapt but it took quite a while, once I got used to it though it worked well. Overall this seemed to me to be a realistic gritty story and I'd happily read other books by this author.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    Modern policing has more and more to do with the Internet as it keeps up with social norms so it is fitting that more crime books get techie. I admit that I did not follow all the geek speak, even with explanation, but I picked up enough to get the gist of it. This is a good solid procedural with few twists but plenty to hold your attention. Comparisons to Rebus are daft, apart from the setting, as this novel is not as atmospheric or character driven. Scott Cullen is a nice guy but not yet develo Modern policing has more and more to do with the Internet as it keeps up with social norms so it is fitting that more crime books get techie. I admit that I did not follow all the geek speak, even with explanation, but I picked up enough to get the gist of it. This is a good solid procedural with few twists but plenty to hold your attention. Comparisons to Rebus are daft, apart from the setting, as this novel is not as atmospheric or character driven. Scott Cullen is a nice guy but not yet developed in character terms. I got this book free but I would have paid for it as it is a good start to a series and worth more than free - look at some of the rubbish we pay for. Snap it up.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Beth Wills

    Argh. There is so much going on. Too many characters, I can't keep everybody straight. And most of them are irrelevant - flatmates, ex-girlfriends, ex-girlfriends' fiancés...Way too much dialogue. It's really not necessary to give us a blow by blow of Every. Single. Conversation. Less is more. Lots and lots of action - but pointless action. Back and forth between witnesses and obstreperous IT guys. I find how much Cullen is able to cram into one day rather unbelievable. And Bain - OMG Bain. Seri Argh. There is so much going on. Too many characters, I can't keep everybody straight. And most of them are irrelevant - flatmates, ex-girlfriends, ex-girlfriends' fiancés...Way too much dialogue. It's really not necessary to give us a blow by blow of Every. Single. Conversation. Less is more. Lots and lots of action - but pointless action. Back and forth between witnesses and obstreperous IT guys. I find how much Cullen is able to cram into one day rather unbelievable. And Bain - OMG Bain. Seriously, anyone this incompetent and obstructionist would long ago have been booted to the curb. I think Mr. James has potential, but he is in serious need of a good editor.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Swinnerton

    First effort but redrafted....still needs work The actual plot is quite interesting....the hook is established early enough to keep you reading, but then I found that there was too many characters for my liking. It was difficult to follow who was who and where they should have been........to many police characters. The story becomes a little convoluted as it progresses and I was finding it hard going, but I persevered and was finally glad to get to the end. Maybe it is also a few chapters too lon First effort but redrafted....still needs work The actual plot is quite interesting....the hook is established early enough to keep you reading, but then I found that there was too many characters for my liking. It was difficult to follow who was who and where they should have been........to many police characters. The story becomes a little convoluted as it progresses and I was finding it hard going, but I persevered and was finally glad to get to the end. Maybe it is also a few chapters too long. It is three stars because to only give it two stars would be unfair, because I did finish the book and the story was bearable.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic)

    Published: 15/04/2012 Author: Ed James Recommended for: fans of thrillers Edition: Kindle I got this book for free on the Kindle and I thought it was a brilliant thriller book, it was unsuspecting twists throughout the book and it finishes with no loose ends at the end they are get tied up perfectly. Ed James's writing style is brilliant and draws you into the book effortlessly. The main character DC Scott Cullen is a relatable character and very likeable you will find yourself willing him on to be Published: 15/04/2012 Author: Ed James Recommended for: fans of thrillers Edition: Kindle I got this book for free on the Kindle and I thought it was a brilliant thriller book, it was unsuspecting twists throughout the book and it finishes with no loose ends at the end they are get tied up perfectly. Ed James's writing style is brilliant and draws you into the book effortlessly. The main character DC Scott Cullen is a relatable character and very likeable you will find yourself willing him on to be successful.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Muckley

    It took me a while to get into this book. But by 30% I really started to get into the characters and to care about the storyline. I found at Scottish dialect a bit distracting at times, but not enough not to like the story. I had seen some reviews say it was a bit predictable, ad although I considered a similar ending, I didn't find myself certain of anything until the latter stages of the book. It kept a good pace, too. I would read another one of Ed James' books. It took me a while to get into this book. But by 30% I really started to get into the characters and to care about the storyline. I found at Scottish dialect a bit distracting at times, but not enough not to like the story. I had seen some reviews say it was a bit predictable, ad although I considered a similar ending, I didn't find myself certain of anything until the latter stages of the book. It kept a good pace, too. I would read another one of Ed James' books.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Janell

    This was really a fairly dreadful book that should have ended up on my "didn't finish" list. The mystery was awkwardly written and just so-so at best, the characters (who were mostly police) were obnoxious (even the ones you were supposed to like), the language awful and the vulgar innuendos were definitely plentiful. Why did I keep reading you ask? I'm embarrassed to say I have no idea why I kept reading! I've put down a book for a lot less. (sigh) This was really a fairly dreadful book that should have ended up on my "didn't finish" list. The mystery was awkwardly written and just so-so at best, the characters (who were mostly police) were obnoxious (even the ones you were supposed to like), the language awful and the vulgar innuendos were definitely plentiful. Why did I keep reading you ask? I'm embarrassed to say I have no idea why I kept reading! I've put down a book for a lot less. (sigh)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Myers

    "Ghost in the Machine" has a plot similar to other crime novels I've read, but with one interesting twist. Instead of being told from the perspective of the high profile investigator, Mr. James tells the story based on the case as viewed by the newest Detective Constable on the team. While the "top dogs" want a quick resolution at all costs, DC Cullens wants to find the truth. The plot with it's various twists kept me wanting to turn the pages to see what happened next. "Ghost in the Machine" has a plot similar to other crime novels I've read, but with one interesting twist. Instead of being told from the perspective of the high profile investigator, Mr. James tells the story based on the case as viewed by the newest Detective Constable on the team. While the "top dogs" want a quick resolution at all costs, DC Cullens wants to find the truth. The plot with it's various twists kept me wanting to turn the pages to see what happened next.

  30. 5 out of 5

    sweet tea

    This book is really good. I recommend this book to people who like csi shows or police shows. This book is about how a detective is just new to the force and gets assigned to a missing persons report. The person that went missing was reported after she went on a date with a guy she had just met. He goes out and questions everyone that she had been with but everyones stories work. So he has to go out and look harder.

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