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Chris High reviews 'Killing The Beasts' on


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Publisher: Orion (Paperback)
ISBN: 0-75286-957- 4

Front cover of the book by Chris Simms - Killing The Beasts.


The third novel of Lancashire based author Chris Simms, is quite possibly the most psychologically disturbing Crime novel to have been published in the past twelve months. Gritty and surreal, once this novel has been started it is unlikely that anybody will put it down again until it is finished.


Set during the build up and aftermath of the Commonwealth Games held during 2002 in Manchester, Simms describes how greed, the desire for wanting to be seen as successful and full blown psychosis can be interwoven into a murderous plot that is both totally original and inexplicably familiar at each turn of the page.

Tom Benwell is an accounts manager for a city advertising firm. When Tom is promoted to oversee his company's deals in the run up to the games, he is less than enthusiastic as it throws his own personal plans for escape into turmoil. The pressure is squarely on his shoulders and is being applied not just by his employers. Tom's only comfort is that when the games end, he thinks life can return to normal. But when the games do close, the killings begin and Tom's friend, DI Jon Spicer, is assigned to head the search for the perpetrator of the bizarre murders that are suddenly breaking out across the city.

The book is a Crime story with a difference; a deeply disturbing, often dark and subtle analysis of the way misguided ambition can corrupt, the novel builds from the past through to the present with great smoothness and unpredictability. The characters are so well drawn, so unnervingly recognisable, that a reader might begin to look at those around them and wonder "what is driving you, exactly?" before then looking inward and asking the same question again. The dialogue is real, the scenario creepily credible and the description tight, vivid and almost filmic. Killing The Beasts is an absolutely superb novel that marks the birth a new star in the cosmos of Crime Fiction.

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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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