A Round Of Applause
Review by Ann-Marie Reynolds for Reader’s Favorite - 5 stars
Unfinished Business by Ted Tayler is the sequel to The Final Straw. Colin Bailey has some unfinished business he needs to attend to. Shortly before losing his wife to cancer he gets word that his daughter’s murderer is about to be released. Plans are made and, after his wife’s death, he returns to the UK to exact revenge on the man who tore his heart out of his body. Colin is a cold-blooded killer and he will stop at nothing. Detective Phil Hounsell suspects that he will be back for revenge and, very soon, the chase is on. Colin pursues his target and Phil pursues Colin. Will Colin get his man before Phil catches up with him?
Unfinished Business by Ted Tayler was a thriller in every sense of the word. A real gripper, and once I picked it up; I couldn't put it down again until it was over. Starting slowly, Unfinished Business soon picked up pace and each chapter ended in such a way that stopping reading simply wasn't an option. This was one of those rare books that pull a reader firmly into the story and holds on tight, not letting go, even at the end.
I wish I’d read the first book in the sequence – perhaps one day I will read the two in order! A round of applause to Ted Tayler. A brilliant writer and storyteller.
A Sting In The Tale
Fun Read, June 6, 2014
This review is from: A Sting In The Tale (Kindle Edition)
My husband recommended this book to me, and since I usually trust his judgment, I gave it a go. Loved it! Twisty tales that make you think long after the story ends. So now I am recommending this book to you.
A Sting In The Tale
A book with a "twist", June 6, 2014
Tom Phoghat Sobieski "Phoghat"
This review is from: A Sting In The Tale (Kindle Edition)
I read a lot, sometimes more than one book at a time, and I like short story anthologies so I can read a complete story while waiting on line, or when I just have a short time to spare.
This book was quite well written and nicely formatted, making it pleasant to read. Each story ends with a little bit of a twist, reminiscent of the old Alfred Hitchcock Presents. What I most enjoyed was that I couldn't guess what the twist would be before coming to the end of the story.
Very enjoyable read.
Unfinished Business by Ted Tayler is the sequel to the novel The Final Straw. In this book we find Colin Bailey returning to the UK after almost ten years abroad in The Gambia. His second wife, Sue, has just lost her long fight against cancer. With her death, Colin loses his last ties to humanity. What he lives for now is the unfinished business he has waited so many years to conclude.
A picky planner, Colin plots out his revenge like a chess player. Each move sets in play action which brings him closer to his goal. He hitches a ride around Scotland by posing as a roadie for an Iron Maiden tribute band - a band whose tour cities coincide with the places Colin needs to be near in order to execute his plans.
First on Colin’s hit list is the man who betrayed his trust, the man who preyed on his daughter, the man who took away his child. Neil Cartwright, a child predator, is due for patrol from the HMP Frankland in Durham. Cartwright’s release comes on the ten year anniversary of Sharron’s murder. Colin is about to make Neil pay the ultimate price. With a backpack, a laptop, and a silenced gun, Colin pursues his target with zeal.
Colin actions set off alarm bells at the police department. Soon Colin’s old nemesis is on his tail again. DCI (Detective Chief Inspector) Phil Hounsell is now with SOCA (Serious Organized Crime Agency) in London. Hounsell gets wind of a murder from an old colleague and friend, Danny Bevan, and suspects that Colin is back in the UK with revenge in his heart.
As Colin manages to elude Hounsell and his new protégé - DS (Detective Sergeant) Wheeler - the police turn up the heat on the investigation. Wheeler, who is young and smart but intimidated by all the testosterone in the police department, accompanies Hounsell to Durham, trying to pick up Colin’s trail. They nickname her ‘Mouse’, but as the case unfolds, Wheeler finds both her voice and her confidence, providing vital insight into the mindset of Colin, and leading the investigation in the right direction.
Unfinished Business an interesting romp through the UK. The characters are fine, but not remarkable. The plot is not as airtight as it could be; but it will do. For a cat-and-mouse chase novel, the pace is more sporadic than high-octane. And, Ted Tayler’s style of telling the reader what is going to happen before it actually does is not to my liking. But, the story is complete, and there is a satisfactory ending.
I will recommend Unfinished Business to those readers who like ‘how’ a story unfolds more than ‘why’ a story unfolds.
A simple must read book
It is a good sign to have read a sequel and be keen to read the first book straight afterwards. This was my first reflection upon finishing this book. For those who have a fondness for reality crime investigation shows, there is an uncanny resemblance. The setup, layout would easily fit into such a programme, bar the ending that very much has a fictional take.
Despite the initial setup being slightly questionable for the killer come vigilante to run amok, the author takes you on a structured journey of the mindset of an organised murderer. My television reference concerns how these types of stories have been shown a thousand times, but we still have that voyeuristic nature to view more.
From the outset you are well aware of the journey that lies ahead and how this will conclude. With that in mind the author has a strong purpose to entertain on the path we have concluded. This is done well with the reasoning behind the killings, including the dynamics between the typical strong male hero and his weaker female character that becomes empowered along the way.
In parts you will become astonished by the ease of the crimes and the struggles of the police even though you are already prepared for the ending. However as the pace of the ending quickens and the shine of arrogance from the killer weakens, there is a sense of ease that dots joined together from the beginning have formed the picture you wanted.
Taking what at the end of the day is a straightforward tale and making it entertaining, is no easy feat. For this alone I applaud the author and say to you the customer to make sure you take a look at his work.
Difficult to put down once you've started!
It would be possible to read this book as a stand alone story, however I would strongly recommend reading The Final Straw so that the reader gets the full picture of Colin's quest. I found it difficult to put down The Final Straw when I first read that and this follow up was no different. The story line has been carefully thought out and leads the reader to thinking ahead as to what the possible outcome, or should that be outcomes, of the twists and turns within the book.
If you are going on a flight anytime soon you could do a lot worse than investing in either the Kindle versions of both the Final Straw and Unfinished Business.
A Sting In The Tale
A Sting In The Tale by author Ted Tayler is a collection of short stories that introduce the reader to a world that has a little something for everyone: love, ghost stories, revenge tales, books and libraries, and a touch of humor that perfectly binds them all together. The first story, which was also my favorite, is about a bookstore owner who finds a little sparkle of joy and excitement in his monotonous life in the shape of a beautiful and interesting young lady. But as the cleverly chosen title says, there is a sting in every tale, and we, the readers, are dared to find it, which makes the reading experience even more entertaining and makes you want to read them all at once.
Short stories have a harder role to play than novels. They need to get the reader to love the characters and be hooked by the plot line sooner than in the case of novels, and also, we need to be able to move from one character to another without losing the feeling of excitement that we expect to have. A Sting In The Tale is a superbly written collection of short stories; the author’s style is truthful, fresh, and the touch of humor adds the finishing touches to an already beautiful reading experience. Ted Tayler’s stories made me feel like I was part of the action; the plot twists made me want more, and the vivid descriptions put the scenes in my mind as if I was watching a movie. I saw the library; I saw the park; and I felt the emotions that the characters felt as their stories were revealed before my eyes.
A superb sequel to 'The Final Straw' 30 Mar 2014
By Stu Joslin
After the roller coaster ride that was last year's effort 'The Final Straw', Ted Tayler brings back serial killer Colin Bailey for a second outing in 'Unfinished Business', with DCI Phil Hounsell still hot on his heels after Bailey decides to return to the country, and return to work!
Much like it's predecessor, this tale grips you and refuses to let go, and from the moment Bailey joins an Iron Maiden tribute band in order to weave his way around the country and attend to his 'unfinished business', to the final showdown with his policeman nemesis on the streets of Bath, you'll end each sitting wanting more.
At this price I'm not sure you can go wrong - have a download and see for yourself!
The Final Straw
Is the story plot or character driven?
Plot driven because Colin’s actions fuelled the story more than the other characters. At times, it also felt as if the other characters could have been replaced or substituted with similar people but Colin was one of a kind.
Is the plot well-developed?
When I started reading this book, the plot although well-developed seemed outlandish to me. Then I watched The Iceman which is the semi-fictional life story of Richard Kuklinski who was a professional hit man and The Final Straw made more sense than I thought.
Who in this book would you most like to meet?
Karen because I want to know how she has moved on and the depths of how Colin has affected her. I did feel that this relationship could have been explored a little bit more as there was a sense of desperation about the two of them when they were together.
The Final Straw
Does the premise make sense and is it engaging?
The premise was engaging and held my interest but I’m not sure I fully understand Colin Bailey and his motivations. It was easy to understand Karen and Sue but Colin was a puzzle and it felt like he had more than revenge on his mind.
What did you think about the dialogue?
It was colloquial and easy to understand. There wasn’t too much dialogue because the story read like it was studying or analysing Colin’s mind. I wonder if there’s going to be sequel where Colin’s relationships are explained from a different perspective? I highly recommend this book but it did feel as if some more resolution was needed for Colin.
Which characters do you particularly admire or dislike?
I’m still not decided about Sue. The scene where she flirts with Colin after Eric’s funeral, it was weird. In all fairness, she did surprise me more than once in the book but she’s definitely not my favourite character in the story.