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The Dark Side of the Road by Simon R. Green
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The Dark Side of the Road

by Simon R. Green

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I thought that since I just got an eARC of the fourth book in the series "Death Shall Come" was it about time I got the review written for the first book in the series. As usual did I not start this series from the beginning, I have a special talent for starting in the middle or so in a series and with this one did I read book two "Dead Man Walking" first. And, I loved it! And, now I have read all three books and can't wait to start book four.

The Dark Side of the Road was nice to read since it gave me the full story of what happened at Belcourt Manor. I read a lot of what happened in the sequels, but it was very nice to get the whole picture. Ishmael Jones arrives at Belcourt Manor after getting an invitation to join the Colonel to spend Christmas at Belcourt Manor with him. The mysterious Colonel and Ishmael work together, but they never really socialize together and the Colonel also hints that something is wrong at his family home and that's why he is returning for the first time in years. But, when Ishmael arrives is the Colonel missing and his family and guest are a really odd bunch of people. And, could it be that the Colonel is right, is there someone there out to kill the people at the manor? It gets even worse when they all get snowed in...

If you read more of these books will you start to notice a pattern. Ishmael Jones travels to a mysterious mansion/castle etc. to solve something, and it often ends with a lot of dead bodies. The first sentence in the blurb "a country house murder mystery with a supernatural twist" is very fitting. That's what it is and if that's what you're looking to read then you will like this book. It has a very interesting main character; Ishmael Jones who has a mysterious past. I quite like him and his partner Penny, although in this book they are not yet partners. The book has a lot of action, banter, and brutal killings. Perhaps it's not that hard to figure out or suspect who the killer is, especially when more and more of the family members and guest starts to die, but it's such an enjoyable book. Personally, did I like this book a bit extra because I wanted to read how Ismael and his partner Penny met. ( )
  MaraBlaise | Nov 19, 2017 |
The Dark Side of the Road by Simon R Green is another fantastic tale by the master of strange, and I mean that in a good way! His books always surprise me with the wonderful plots, delightful imagination, creative creatures, and the defined characters he molds onto the paper. This one is about a guy, that is not quite human, that is asked to urgently come to his boss/friend's Manor. There is a tone of worry in the boss' voice that makes our hero hurry in the snow storm to get to the mansion. There he meets the family and friends of the boss, but no one can find the boss. The story goes from there when people start dying. Of course, nothing is straight forward in his books. Always twists, turns, action, creatures, suspense, and lots of fun dialogue. I just love his books. A must read for sci-fi/fantasy fans! If you haven't had the chance to read any of his books, what are you waiting for? Start here, then travel to the Nightside... ( )
  MontzaleeW | Mar 1, 2016 |
Ishmael Jones is someone who lives his life on the dark side of the road. He works for the enigmatic Colonel and together they work to uncover the secrets and horrors that lurk in this dark. Thing is, Ishmael has secrets of his own that must be kept buried which means he tries to remain unseen and unknown. But when he receives a strange invitation from the Colonel to join him and his family for Christmas at their remote mansion, he doesn’t hesitate because there must be something terribly wrong for the Colonel to summon him. Despite a raging snowstorm, he rushes to the manse but when he arrives, the Colonel has disappeared. As the storm worsens preventing anyone from leaving, it becomes clear that there is someone or something trapped here with them and it’s very very hungry.

The Dark Side of the Road is the latest by author Simon R Green and introduces his new character Ishmael Jones. It has been compared to Agatha Christie’s very British closed room country tea cosies but with supernatural elements. This comparison is, in many ways, a fair one what with the setting in a remote country manor; a dinner party among the gentry; everyone trapped inside by a snowstorm; a rising body count; the fact that Ishmael is not a native of Britain albeit from a bit further than Belgium; and the gathering of suspects in the drawing room to unmask the evil-doer; well, and there’s that subtitle, A country house murder mystery with a supernatural twist which, if you’ll pardon the pun, is kind of a dead give-away.

Despite the ‘whodunnit’ quality, Dark Side is pure Simon R Green. The tale is told by Jones in a first person narrative and, because of his need for secrecy, the reader can’t always be sure he’s reliable. Nor is he much of a detective, depending more on an extremely good sense of smell, strength and hearing rather than any ‘little grey cells’. He is, however, like all of Green’s heroes, wittily sardonic, making this a whole lot of fun to read. Definitely for fans of Green’s other series or urban fantasies in general.

3.5 ( )
  lostinalibrary | Apr 3, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0727883887, Hardcover)

Ishmael Jones is someone who can’t afford to be noticed, someone who lives under the radar, who drives on the dark side of the road. He’s employed to search out secrets, investigate mysteries and shine a light in dark places. Sometimes he kills people. Invited by his employer, the enigmatic Colonel, to join him and his family for Christmas, Ishmael arrives at the grand but isolated Belcourt Manor in the midst of a blizzard to find that the Colonel has mysteriously disappeared. As he questions his fellow guests, Ishmael concludes that at least one of them – not least Ishmael himself - is harbouring a dangerous secret, and that beneath the veneer of festive cheer lurk passion, jealousy, resentment and betrayal. As a storm sets in, sealing off the Manor from the rest of the world, Ishmael must unmask a ruthless murderer before they strike again.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 14 Apr 2015 01:14:50 -0400)

Ishmael Jones is someone who can't afford to be noticed, someone who lives under the radar, who drives on the dark side of the road. He's employed to search out secrets, investigate mysteries and shine a light in dark places. Sometimes he kills people. Invited by his employer, the enigmatic Colonel, to join him and his family for Christmas, Ishmael arrives at the grand but isolated Belcourt Manor in the midst of a blizzard to find that the Colonel has mysteriously disappeared. As he questions his fellow guests, Ishmael concludes that at least one of them - not least Ishmael himself - is harbouring a dangerous secret, and that beneath the veneer of festive cheer lurk passion, jealousy, resentment and betrayal. As a storm sets in, sealing off the Manor from the rest of the world, Ishmael must unmask a ruthless murderer before they strike again.… (more)

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