A GOOD DAY TO DIE by Simon Kernick

A review by Sandra Ruttan

For me, first person narrative is always a tough sell. The main character has to be one I can relate to, one I can like, and one I want to spend a lot of time with.

In Dennis Milne, Kernick has the perfect character. Love him or hate him, Milne isn’t a protagonist that you’ll feel ambivalent towards. I was delighted by the return of the cop-turned-killer from The Business of Dying and couldn’t help thinking as I read that since A Good Day To Die features a main character that has few lines he won’t cross, the reader is left wondering what he’ll do next and it makes the story anything but predictable.

Kernick has a knack for picking the right kind of murders to make you sympathize with the killer instead of the victim. Milne is an avenging angel – misguided, perhaps, but not unprincipled – who returns to London from his exile when his former partner, DI Asif Malik, is gunned down in a double murder. Milne is determined to find the answers to Malik’s murder, despite the fact that his pursuit of the truth may, in the end, cost him his freedom or even his life.

Having traveled Southeast Asia, the descriptions of the Philippines resonated with authenticity. I have also traveled to England in late November and as I read I felt like I’d been pulled out of the roasting August heat and taken back eight months to pre-Christmas London. Kernick is establishing himself as a talented writer who can transport the reader through time and space with his skill at creating authentic settings. Like Milne, it’s hard to predict what Kernick will do next, but those who want to read crime novels with a fresh edge should put him at the top of their list.

For more information about Simon Kernick, the Dennis Milne books or the books featurning DI John Gallan, visit www.simonkernick.com


Simon Kernick has written four books and has receive critical acclaim for his work. His most recent appearance as a "Sex & Violence - Where's the line?" panelist was a another source of acclaim, but for a different reason. Fellow author Stuart Macbride chronicled the event in this website blog entry http://halfhead.blogspot.com/2005_07_01_halfhead_archive.html

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