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Bad Signs by R. J. Ellory

Bad Signs

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Oh, this man is good, one of the best. Here, in 60's rural America, he has half-brothers taken hostage by an escaped convicted serial killer sentenced to death, so with nothing to lose. This is grim, dark stuff, disturbing and absolutely brilliant. Serial killer Earl Sheriden is an extraordinary character and his influence on the teenage boys is the core of this devastating tale. This is no ordinary crime novel to be read for the clever plot but a deep, thought-provoking story of good and evil, of choices and tragedy. Highly recommended.

If you like R. J. Ellory you might also like to read books by Robert Ryan, Daniel Clay and Stieg Larsson.

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Bad Signs by R. J. Ellory

Orphaned by an act of senseless violence that took their mother from them, half-brothers Clarence Luckman and Elliott Danziger have been raised in state institutions, unaware of any world outside. But their lives take a sudden turn when they are seized as hostages by a convicted killer en route to death row. Earl Sheridan is a psychopath of the worst kind, but he has the potential to change the boys' lives for ever. As the trio set off on a frenetic escape from the law through California and Texas, the two brothers must come to terms with the ever-growing tide of violence that follows in their wake - something that forces them to make a choice about their lives, and their relationship to one another.


'Set in the 1960s, the content may be dark and unforgiving but it is a beautifully and poetically planned tale that reveals itself layer by layer.' CANDIS

'Though [Ellory's] books always provide a wild and giddy ride, there is more to them than thrills, chills and spills. Bad Signs is rich, complex and nuanced, with many psychological undercurrents. It's edge-of-the-seat entertainment.' -- Lorne Jackson BIRMINGHAM POST

'He's one of the great British thriller writers of his generation.' -- Alex Gordon PETERBOROUGH EVENING TELEGRAPH

'Set in an utterly convincing 1960s rural America, this is a jaw droppingly good thriller by British writer Roger Ellory.' IRISH INDEPENDENT

'Ellory's the real deal, giving us another horrific chunk of small-town American violence, neglect and psychopathy. Institutionalised half brothers Clarence and Elliott have a startling choice to make when they are kidnapped by a convicted serial killer' **** -- Henry Sutton DAILY MIRROR

'Violent imagery, real pathos and a dark, dark humour. Without doubt, Bad Signs is Ellory's most disturbing book, and one that will haunt the reader -- Ali Karim SHOTS One of the most interesting crime novelists working today. He sets his novels in the US and seems to change his style of writing from book to book - always to excellent effect.' THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN

'With this novel, Ellory has joined the stars of modern genre literature. It is a classic.' THE WEST AUSTRALIAN

'Will your fingernails ever grow back? Now, that is good writing. This is a stellar work of fiction that deserves to be on everyone's reading list. Loved it.' SHOTS

'Ellory has been compared to Mario Puzo, James Ellory and Stephen King. All descriptions are accurate, but they fail to define Ellory's unique style. He is a very special writer.' CRIMEZINE

'Ellory has a talent for making the detestable captivating. An intricate fictional dance whicn he pulls off expertly.' KIRKUS

'Ellory has a lovely prose style that allows his story to glide on, as events both rivet and repel. [An] excellent action thriller.' GLOBE & MAIL

About the Author

R. J. Ellory

R .J. Ellory is the author of nine previous novels including the bestselling A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS, which was a Richard & Judy Book Club selection and won the NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR CRIME FICTION PRIZE. Ellory's novels have been translated into 23 languages, and he has won the USA EXCELLENT AWARD FOR BEST MYSTERY, the STRAND MAGAZINE BEST THRILLER 2009, the THEAKSTONS OLD PECULIER CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR for A SIMPLE ACT OF VIOLENCE and the QUEBEC LAUREAT. He has been shortlisted for a further 13 awards including four Daggers from the UK Crime Writers' Association. Despite the American setting of his novels, Ellory is British and currently lives in England with his wife and son.

He has also written books under the name Roger Jon Ellory, which can be viewed by clicking here.

In 2011 R. J. Ellory was shortlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library, awarded to an author for a body of work.

Author photo © Adam Scourfield

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Book Info

Publication date

27th September 2012


R. J. Ellory

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Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co


464 pages


Crime / Mystery
Thriller / Suspense
eBook Favourites

Crime & mystery



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