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The Slaughter Man by Tony Parsons

The Slaughter Man

Part of the DC Max Wolfe Series
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One of our Books of the Year 2015.

June 2015 Book of the Month.

Intelligently observed, full of horrific murders and more, this, the second in the ‘DC Max Wolfe’ series is a distinctive and stimulating read. Simple punchy sentences don't flinch from the cruel and gruesome side of life, in fact the uncomplicated style actually accentuates the deeply dark and forbidden. The touching connection between Wolfe and his daughter and their dog is an essential addition to this tale, to hold a light to the penetrating intensity of the investigation. The author has the ability to give this story a feeling of solid reality yet also the ambience of a blockbuster, it feels as though he has delved into the worst possible thoughts and imaginations and thrown the horror out into the world for us to encounter - it’s powerful stuff. ~ Liz Robinson

If you like Tony Parsons you might also like to read books by Mark Billingham, Peter Robinson and Simon Kernick.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Tony Parsons was best known for his novels of contemporary life, and after his move to the crime field, I asked him if he was confident that his literary skills would translate into the different demands of the new genre. He smiled wryly. ‘That’s for other people to judge, but I’m encouraged by the fact that such people as Lee Child and Sophie Hannah have made positive noises about The Murder Bag – and when my editor told me she wanted a London-set series, I thought – well, bloody hell, I can do that!’ The Slaughter Man is his second entry in the sequence, and more than matches its predecessor in vividness and pungency. Detective Max Wolfe is on the trail of a ruthless serial killer in the streets of London, but to resolve the case, he is obliged to crack some dark family secrets.
~ Barry Forshaw

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Ray Orgill - 'A very disturbing yet thought provoking task with violence aplenty.'
  • Melanie Rose - 'What a great book!  Very fast paced, easy to follow and just kept me wanting to read on till the end.'
  • Rachel Hall - 'For fans old and new, dive in and give DC Max Wolfe a try, and get in with this series from the off... We can expect another in 2016 and I am an already a fully paid up fan!'
  • Suzanne Marsh - 'When an author produces a frightening, nail-biting story such as this, you know he or she is a good crime author to follow.'
  • Judith Sharp - 'Fantastic, read it in a couple sittings...The first book in the series was a best seller, this will be too.  Write faster Tony!!!'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'I’ve read the first book from Parsons.  And now read the second.  Boy is he a quite brilliant British writer of murder-mysteries.'
  • Melanie Kane - 'A fantastic fast moving incredible plot from the very beginning.'
  • Helen Lowry - 'A murdered family, a young boy abducted and dark secrets, always a motive. Could an aging serial killer, having done his time, be killing again? Detective Wolfe hunts a killer with no mercy.'
  • Andrea Dean - 'The conclusion is rather surprising and keeps you hanging on until the last. A must for anyone who enjoys crime thrillers.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'I started this book and did not finish it until the end, it was impossible to put down even though some of the crime scenes described were not for the faint hearted. '
  • Lorraine Baker - 'Books do not get any better than this - DC Max Wolfe is an excellent character and once you start reading this book it will be very difficult to put down.'
  • Tanya Thurling - 'I can honestly say I absolutely loved this book. From the very first page your thrown head first into the action and it doesn't slow down.'
  • Lisa Hall - 'I LOVED this book - a brilliant crime thriller that grabs you from the first page, I couldn't put it down.'
  • Kerry Bridges - 'The return of Max Wolfe sees another set of victims; this time one a missing child.  A fast paced, easy to read thriller, which I really enjoyed.'
  • Jan Kirkcaldy - 'An enjoyable read particularly as you have to keep your wits about you to have a chance of beating the police at their own game.'
  • Clare Turner - 'Parsons’ skill ensures that it is a page turner and there are enough surprises to hold even the most cynical reader’s interest. And – the real test for me – I will definitely read no 3!'


The Slaughter Man by Tony Parsons

A murdered family. A dying serial killer. A missing child. DC Max Wolfe hunts a pitiless killer through the streets of London. This title is written by the Sunday Times number one bestselling author of The Murder Bag. On New Year's Day, a wealthy family is found slaughtered inside their exclusive gated community in north London, their youngest child stolen away. The murder weapon - a gun for stunning cattle before they are butchered - leads Detective Max Wolfe to a dusty corner of Scotland Yard's Black Museum devoted to a killer who thirty years ago was known as the Slaughter Man. But the Slaughter Man has done his time, and is now old and dying. Can he really be back in the game? And was the murder of a happy family a mindless killing spree, a grotesque homage by a copycat killer - or a contract hit designed to frame a dying man? All Max knows is that he needs to find the missing child and stop the killer before he destroys another innocent family - or finds his way to his own front door...A murdered family. A dying serial killer. A missing child. And a detective who must learn that even the happiest of families have black, twisted secrets that someone is ready to kill for...


'Spectacular! Tense and human, fast and authentic.' --Lee Child for The Murder Bag

'A relentless plot, evocative prose and compelling portraits of the characters, good and evil, conspire to make this a must read.' -Jeffery Deaver for The Murder Bag

About the Author

Tony Parsons

Tony Parsons left school at sixteen and his first job in journalism was at the New Musical Express. His first journalism after leaving the NME was when he was embedded with the Vice Squad at 27 Savile Row, West End Central. The roots of the DC Max Wolfe series started here. Since then he has become an award-winning journalist and bestselling novelist whose books have been translated into more than forty languages. The Murder Bag, the first novel in the DC Max Wolfe series, went to number one on first publication in the UK. The Slaughter Man was also a Sunday Times top ten bestseller.

Click here to read an exclusive interview with Tony Parsons by Mary Hogarth.

Author photograph © Bill Waters

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Book Info

Publication date

21st May 2015


Tony Parsons

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Century an imprint of Cornerstone


384 pages


Crime / Mystery
Books of the Month
Thriller / Suspense
eBook Favourites

Crime & mystery



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