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Rope Enough (The Romney and Marsh Files Book…
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Rope Enough (The Romney and Marsh Files Book 1)

by Oliver Tidy

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455256,992 (3.13)2

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Showing 5 of 5
A very tidy first novel that I would have awarded 4.5 stars. Strong, likeable characters combined with believable villains. Whilst the rapes involved in the main storyline are quite harrowing, particularly for the victims, the author does not overindulge himself with the details. An intriguing story, well rounded and with a very satisfying ending. ( )
  Alan1946 | Jun 25, 2016 |
I acquired this book because of a favorable review and/or plot summary I read somewhere or the other, probably a crime fiction blog. Anyway, halfway through I became annoyed at some minor flaws - mostly awkward grammar that I felt should have been picked up by an editor or certainly by the author after a reading of the last draft. So I did a little overdue research and discovered that the book was self-published (horrors !) and was one of eight books he wrote and published in 2014. Eight books!? It soon occurred to me that the books were probably written over a period of some years prior, and then published. Regardless, I must confess to a bias against self-published books, mostly because the few I have read have been dogs and I had sworn off them. But after reading "Rope Enough" I will be more open to the idea of reading other "selfies".

With that in mind, I must warn readers that I may be over-compensating here, and scoring a "4" when a "3" is a fairer rating. After all, I still cringe at the recollection of "which was fortuitously virtually on his doorstep". And "....staring at him wide-eyed in astonishment with where her logic...." With where? And our hero, Detective Inspector Romney, was so gushing in his praise of a senior officer 's assistance, I wondered for a moment if author Tidy had read any police procedurals, ever. And the characters were not well developed, but then the book was only 236 pages. At first I thought this was developing like a two hour episode of "Murder, She Wrote" with Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher.......But then the plot shifted into second gear and the story became very interesting with some very original turns. It's about two cases of rape, and murder, and two identical crimes in Dover, England, as in "White Cliffs of...."

So, the bottomline is that I enjoyed "Rope Enough" very much. I will likely read the next book in the series, and we'll see where things go from there. I congratulate Mr. Tidy on his high ratings and a fairly large following. The proof of the pudding though will be how well received some of the later books are and if Mr. Tidy adjusts to a higher and higher bar. ( )
  maneekuhi | Jul 29, 2015 |
Rope Enough is a very well-paced, engrossing story that I enjoyed reading. There were just enough twists and turns in the plot to keep me guessing, and I have to admit that one of the things I was wondering about was the title of the book. It reminded me of a certain phrase. Did it mean what I thought it did? Yes, it did, and watching this investigation play out was time well spent.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was the excellent job Oliver Tidy did in showing the nuts and bolts of an investigation. In so many police procedurals, we hear of the numbers of policemen assigned to an investigation, but we very seldom ever find out what they're all doing. Tidy lets us know in such a light-handed way that it doesn't bog down the flow of the narrative.

I also liked the character of Joy Marsh-- what little there was of her. She proves herself to be excellent at picking out stray, disjointed clues and putting them together to get the investigation back on track and moving in the right direction. I can see her going far. What disappointed me was the fact that we got to know very little about what really makes her tick. I want to know more, and I hope this is addressed in future books in the series.

On the other hand, I got to know more about Detective Inspector Romney than I wanted. I didn't find him as difficult as his reputation at first made him appear to be, and I enjoyed watching him be in charge of the investigation. What I thought detracted from the story was the amount of detail given to the new woman in his life and their sex life. It may have spoken to his character, but it really didn't add much to the plot. When I compared what I learned about Romney and the amount of information given about his sergeant, I have to admit that I wondered why the series is called the "Romney and Marsh Files."

Rope Enough also has a few problems with proofreading and editing. There are sections that need to be tightened, extra words that need to be removed, and annoying little errors like "there're" instead of "they're" and "it's" instead of "its."

While I have pointed out what I think to be weaknesses in the book, it still remains that Oliver Tidy can write a story that keeps me guessing and turning those pages. Characters can be balanced out. Nagging little glitches in grammar and editing can be fixed. But if you can't tell a story that people want to read.... Tidy can tell a story, and he has me wanting to read more. ( )
  cathyskye | Apr 23, 2015 |
2.5 stars

I had actually read one of the author's other series first so decided to backtrack & give this earlier series a try. It's a standard police procedural, this being the corrected version of the original self published ebook.
It has some nice moments but for me the problem was a thoroughly unlikeable male protagonist. Although he's in his early 40's, he comes across as a much older, extremely chauvinistic curmudgeon who is clearly his own biggest fan. The female detective he works with is well written & I enjoyed her character. Just wish there had been more of her & less of him.
Just as a note, the other series I read was much better & the author has clearly improved dramatically over the years in between. The characters are more subtle, realistic & well rounded. So I think I'll give the rest of these books a pass & carry on with his later ones. ( )
  RowingRabbit | Sep 14, 2014 |
Clever plotting and good characterisation, with what appear to be real Dover locations. Recommended. ( )
  edwardsgt | Jul 27, 2013 |
Showing 5 of 5
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