Ben Elton, Past Mortem Reviews

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Ben Elton, Past Mortem
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Latest Reviews

“Gripping, moving and harrowing”

★★★★★

written by Rosalieradin on 30/08/2014

This is another superb offering from the pen of Mr Elton. I have read all of his books now and this one is battling for top spot. The central character is so endearing, he takes us through the harrowing story with ease as each murder in turn is more disturbing than the last- but can we blame those who celebrate in them? Read it when you have sone time as you will resent putting it down.

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“I have to give this 5* but "let's not party".”

★★★★★

written by on 02/08/2014

A very powerful read. Recommend this to anyone you perceive as a bully without revealing the content, just sell it as an astutely written novel challenging social awareness! Just name dropping the author should do the trick. Well done, Ben. ONLY READ ON IF YOU HAVE READ THIS ALREADY, IF NOT, COME BACK TO THIS LATER! Having just read this one of his, in 2014, I can't help but think that this pre-empted/qualified the denial of so many related to Operation Yew Tree; you know who you are (I don't)... the ability to camouflage oneself in public by being pedistalised is the thing that drove me to comment as a first time reviewer! I hope that you, as a reader, have already read this and that I have not spoilt the twisting plot, (hence I am about to go back and edit my comment!)

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“I think Ben Elton writes very well, but none the less...”

★★★☆☆

written by Chel45 on 10/05/2009

I think Ben Elton writes very well, but none the less the plot ending was fairly ovbious and could easily be seen coming. Generally speaking, Past Mortem was a good read but was not Ben Eltons best work, I found Dead Famous (also by Ben Elton) much more intriguing and unique. Certain scenes in this book were distasteful and needn't have been included. The different murders were wonderfully grotesque in the way that one wants when reading a murder novel and Inspector Newsons personal involvent with the murders added extra depth to a novel that sparks many ethical questions.

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“I thought Ben Elton, Past Mortem was a realy good book...”

★★★★★

written by thaiste43 on 14/04/2009

I thought Ben Elton, Past Mortem was a realy good book could not put it down read it at work on the bus to and from work at home .
it was gripping funny sexual and the plot was exelent i did not know who the killer was right up too the last few pages.
well done Elton thats the first ever book ive read of yours keep it up.

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“Past Mortem was my first Ben Elton novel, ive been out...”

★★★★☆

written by on 14/01/2009

Past Mortem was my first Ben Elton novel, ive been out and purchased 2 more of his books, hopefully they are as good as Past Mortem! Couldnt put this book down, kept you interested the entire way through, even from page 1. I did pick the killer about half way through the book...which is fine coz it was still a great read.

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“I feel it's important to note that I haven't been a...”

★★★★★

written by Soozi3 on 19/08/2008

I feel it's important to note that I haven't been a fan of Ben Elton in a personal sense i.e. stand up... only because I found his personality overbearing, persistent and annoying at times but I can't argue that the man has a talent that can't be denied and his writing is an inspiration and to be perfectly frank... bloody fantastic. Thank you for the most amazing experience of true excellence!

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“Synopsis: ”

★★★★☆

written by Dreadlocksmile on 22/12/2006

Synopsis:
"With old friends like these, who needs enemies? It's a question short, mild mannered detective Edward Newson is forced to ask himself, having in romantic desperation logged on to the Friends Reunited website searching for the girlfriends of his youth. Newson is not the only member of the Class of '86 who has been raking over the ashes of the past. As his old class begins to reassemble in cyberspace, the years slip away and old feuds and passions burn hot once more. Meanwhile, back in the present, Newson's life is no less complicated. He is secretly in love with Natasha, his lovely but very attached sergeant, while comprehensively failing to solve a series of baffling and peculiarly gruesome murders. A school reunion is planned, and as history begins to repeat itself, the past crashes headlong into the present. Neither will ever be the same again."

"Past Mortem" is Ben Elton's ninth novel, which was first published back in 2004. Described on the sleeve as a "heart-stopping thriller and a killer comic romance", having been written by the comedian Ben Elton, you were sure to have a fair amount of comedy within the book.

The novel reads like a black comedy version of a Shaun Hutson thriller novel, being very easy to read, delivering short fast-paced chapters that end on miniature cliff hangers throughout the book. The novel follows the life of detective Edward Newson as he tries to capture a serial killer who is murdering bullies in inventive and disturbing ways. The storyline is somewhat similar to David Fincher's film Seven, yet at the same time so very far removed.

The likeable character of Newson, who was obviously based on Elton himself, keeps the novel alive with his comical view on the world, even in the face of such difficult circumstances. The running subplot of Newson's secret crush on one of his fellow colleagues and his resulting non-existent love life, makes the character so much more loveable.

The novel is slightly let down by the obvious and predictable outcome of who the killer is, which becomes apparent from quite early on. This obviously was not Elton's intention, which ruins the 'twist-ending', as you will see it coming from a mile away. Still, the book is a thoroughly enjoyable read due to the well written nature of the book, and for a bit of light hearted reading, you can't go wrong with it.

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“My first Ben Elton read. I hope I haven't been...”

★★★★☆

written by mart492 on 19/11/2006

My first Ben Elton read. I hope I haven't been fortunate enough to pick up his best book at my first attempt. I have ordered another of his on the strength of this one.

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“Past Mortem by Ben Elton is a crime novel of the very...”

★★★★★

written by aguycalledbruce on 05/03/2006

Past Mortem by Ben Elton is a crime novel of the very highest order. OK, in some ways it's been done before, but the characters are strong, the plot, while slightly ludicrous in reflection, has you gripped when in the middle of it, and the sub-plots are all well done.

Black comedy at its best in the ending!

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“I have read a number of Elton's books and they vary a...”

★★★★☆

written by Biblophile on 09/09/2005

I have read a number of Elton's books and they vary a lot, the one thing you can guarantee is that he'll raise an important social issue and make you think about it. Past Mortem does this very well on the subject of bullying, in school, at work, in relationships and covers the effects on the victim's life and self esteem. A well written,(don't make any plans for the evening once you pick it up, and well researched book. I enjoyed it a lot and would recomend this along with "Popcorn" (his best), "Gridlock" and "This other Eden".

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“Ben Elton, Past Mortem is best known for his...”

★★★★★

written by Amir Jalali on 30/06/2005

Ben Elton, Past Mortem is best known for his stand-ups. When you hear Ben Elton, you automatically think of the Black Adder or the Thin Blue Line. Thrillers won't be slightly thought of.

Best read I've had for years. You just can't put it down. As an average speed reader, I did it in three days. Brilliant stuff.

A very provokative writer and excellent description of situation.

I must say, don't miss it.

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