Cover Image: The Telephone Call

The Telephone Call

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Member Reviews

The Telephone Call is a dark and disturbing novel that is very well written. It is about a woman Rosemary who overhears a telephone conversation between her husband and another caller. Terrified of what she overhears she flees to France, but it's not that simple. Her husband has threatened her to kill their son if she ever repeats what she overhead.

Twelve years later she is ready to return to England thinking they are both out of danger. Of course that is not the case and 

This was the type of book that grabs you and does not let you go until the very end. Definitely worth reading!
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Despite not reading the first book in the series I didn’t feel too lost whilst reading The Telephone Call. Throughout it I was intrigued to know exactly what had been overheard. The story is cleverly told in different time scales so that you really can get the full picture. 

It is a dark story, covering the hard hitting topic of abuse. Definitely one to read and I will likely go back and read the first book in this series.
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Really enjoyable read, will not be the last book I shall read by this author. It was everything I expected and fast paced story kept me interested.
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Thank you NetGalley for this book to read for an honest review.

I didn't know this was the second book of the series but I could tell that there may be some things that I may have missed but it did not make it hard for me to be able to read this book as a standalone.  I appreciate that with series.  

This book was dark!! I felt like I was right there with the woman on the run.  I like to read books  where people feel claustrophobic as well as when she is anxious when she is hiding.  It was a very creepy story that kept my interest until the last page.  I do not like to provide my reviews with a lot of information because I feel if you give too much away it doesn't make another reader desire reading the novel for themselves.  

Only thing I can say to her is close your ears!!  Haha

Thank you once again!!
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I received a free copy of “ The Telephone Call” by Michael Pakenham from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

The telephone call in question happened years ago when Thomas Sherwood was a young teenager. He did not know about the call. Nor did he know why his father was screaming at his mother, why he he came home that night if the call, young Tom saw  his father beating her. Nor  why, on that very night, his father took him to his aunt’s house and left him there, telling Tom and his aunt that Tom should never try to see or talk to his mother or his father again, ever. The treat in the father’s eyes and voice was real.

   Years later, Tom Sherwood returns to his sick father’s house ( not his home any longer) , to see him on his death bed and whisper in his ear, “I hope you rot in Hell.” 

At the funeral, which Tom attends , probably to make sure the old man was dead, he  sees his mother for the first time since she was thrown out of the house,  sobbing and bleeding. “Why,” he asks her,   wanting to know what   caused of that fearful storm of brutality his father rained down on them. But his  mother refuses to tell him anything beyond that he must remain ignorant for his own safety. She intends to return to her home in France. It is only much later in the book that the reader learns that Mrs Sherwood overheard a telephone conversation between her husband and one of his friends about a murdered girl. That's what led to the beating. 

Perturbed , Tom decides to hire recently retired police Inspector and new private investigator, Daniel Appleman to investigate why his father had such fearful power over his distraught mother even from the grave. The Appleman character never really occupies  center stage, as he should have in my opinion. He was more like a well- mannered, diffident public accountant than a private eye. More like Captain Hastings than Poirot, and definitely not Sam Spade.
  If your taste is a genteel British mystery with a bit of a peek into pervsion, Mr Pakenham has constructed a good thriller in “ The Telephone Call” . It does require the reader’s careful attention and patience. Attention because there are multiple characters, and narrative voices; patience because the story advances rather slowly. The author takes time to introduce the characters to the reader, carefully describing them physically  as to hair , dress , eye- color, personal hygiene and taste in drink. A diverting quirk  of  the author is that eyes are precisely described as not just blue, but cornflower- blue or acorn-  brown. If eyes are the windows to the soul, Mr. Pakenham sees them as double-paned. 
  The reader learns a little about many characters in the book, from Mo, a victim of the mob who was let free after a horrible captivity; from May, the aunt who raised Tom to adulthood; and from vignettes of the mob members themselves

The bad  guys  lack the most important description: exactly what they did, to whom and why. How did this dreadful cabal of killers come together? The reader knows more about their hygiene than what led them to join in a dreadful conspiracy.  They were killers , but the reading more fully about their actions  might have given the narrative a greater sense of  horror and greater  urgency to the investigation. It lacked the depth of narrative and character exposition to be really compelling and the action to rivet the reader’s attention. Not the introduction of some kill for hire thugs elevated the tension level, as they should have. But suspense  never grew. That  was lacking until nearly the end of the book. The book is definitely   not a hard- boiled, noir novel. 
 My summarized opinion is that the book was fair to ok, but I am not likely to read more from this author.
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Thank you to the publisher and net galley for the arc. I did not realise this was the second in a series of novels and although a solid read, sadly not for me.
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I really enjoyed this book. My biggest problem with it is I had. no idea it was a series so now I must read the first! Just kidding- I liked it enough to finish the first so I look forward to the one that preceded it. Also- occasionally was confused by the time changing back and forth between 12 years. That said- a solid read!
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Thank you NetGalley and The Book Guild for the eARC.

This was a story about secrets coming back to haunt you 12 years later. 
Three men were doing very bad things for many years, until one of them ended up killing two girls. One of the men's wife overheard the conversation about the second murder and her life changed drastically.
Now that man is dead and his son wants answers from his mom, but she is afraid he is in danger because of the secret.

This story was told from the viewpoint of several characters, and it did get a little confusing at times, but it did keep my interest and had a satisfying ending.
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I found this rather gripping. Great story, great characters. This is part of a series but I felt no need to read the first. But I will.

Will put this author on my watch list. Thank you Netgalley for this arc.
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An interesting dilemma is approached here with breakneck speed and decisive action.
It turns out our main characters are Harry and Rosemary plus son Tom.
The dilemma is that Rosemary overhears a disturbing conversation that Harry had via phone and flees with Tom.
Twelve yrs later not knowing whether to stay in hiding or go for it - she returns to England.
Can PI Daniel save them both or is it shoveling you know what against the tide as Harry and friends seem to be pure evil.
Three people are killed and the information sent to readers in the second half mounted to alarming detail involving rape and kidnapping.
However, even in darkness there's light and we must remember this approach to the unthinkable.
The ended was quite unexpected and the entire process was well written and detailed with intrigue and suspense building around each and every corner.
The only thing that bothered me was that we rarely heard from the main characters after the initial intro once the story became established and we took off on a journey with the other host of talented characters.
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I received an advanced reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

This is a crime mystery book going back and forth between the present and a decade. Harry's wife overheard a telephone call that she shouldn't have heard and her husband throws her out telling her to leave and leave their son with him but if she was to breath a word of what she heard he would kill him. After years of abuse from her husband she reluctantly does as he says. Now he's dead and a mystery crime becomes something their son must unravel with the help of a private detective. 

This book reminds me in a sense of Sidney Sheldons type of writing style. I really enjoyed it and will be looking out for more from this new to me author.
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I'd never read anything by this author so had no preconceptions.
I love a good mystery or thriller and whilst this was a really enjoyable read I'm not sure if this fell into either category comfortably.
I think the problem for me was that we knew everything in the first quarter so the rest was all about how it panned out. 
I finished the novel and enjoyed what I had read but, as much as I hate to criticise, it wasn't really for me. Sorry.
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This was a great read.  I didn't realize that it was the 2nd book in a series until I started reading it and saw it on Goodreads.  I do not think not having read the first book affected my enjoyment of this book at all  It was a great mystery/thriller that was well-written.
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I was expecting something a little different from the synopsis. 
This isn’t the usual type of thriller I’d pick up (synopsis made me think it was) so would be unfair to review it harshly.
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Thank you NetGalley and The Book Guild for the eARC.
This was an enjoyable read in, what I am guessing, is the first in the Daniel Appelman series.
After 12 years, danger stalks a mother, Rosemary and son,Tom, after they've buried their husband and father.  Hated by both of them, Harry Sherwood was a cruel man, who with 2 other men, led depraved lives involving sexual games with young women, hurting and perhaps killing them.  Now the cruelest of the 3 is afraid Rosemary, who had fled to France from the UK, will approach the police telling of a fateful call she overheard.  He hires several hitmen to terminate the lives of anyone who might become a witness.
It's a pretty good mystery with some likeable characters, although I didn't much like the in-depth
stories of the hitmen, which is why I give it 4 stars rather than 5.  Recommended.
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A dark and creepy tale of a woman on the run and what it is she’s hiding from. Truly amazing story. Tense and claustrophobic
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This was my first book by Michael and I thought it was good. Some parts had me a little confused but the more I read the more I liked it. Will be looking for more from Michael and hoping they are as good as this one.
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