A Dangerous Man
  “I was hooked from the first page and I wasn’t allowed off that hook until the end."

Lesley Horton, crime writer  

A Dangerous Man - Reviews

Listen to a review recorded at Venture Radio UK in January 2011:

  • “After discussing Vulpes Libris with a friend I agreed that my reviews couldn’t all be raves, because, you know, people love grouchy reviews too, but here I am about to rave again because A Dangerous Man is the most gripping book I’ve read in years ... Michael is a struggling artist in Hackney, just starting out and supplementing his income with a little bit of prostitution. He is desperate to be taken seriously as an artist and he eventually gets a commission to provide a city firm with some artwork, which is where he meets Jack: a handsome, if reserved, businessman. This part of the novel is incredibly erotically charged, and as readers and writers alike generally agree, ‘Sex is bloody difficult to write,’ so hats off to Anne Brooke. Jack and Michael get it on, and get together, which is where things begin to go wrong… The middle section of the novel slows in pace and becomes much darker ... (Jack) is all for ‘being calm about things’ and treating matters of the heart in a logical fashion, but his lack of loyalty and ‘conditional love’ make things infinitely worse for Michael. Which is all to say that I am for Michael. He might be a loony, a weirdo wrapped up in himself, a psycho unable to function in social situations, but he’s direct, and I like that. The ending is dark and not entirely unexpected but it kept me on the edge of my seat, as despite fearing the worst, I determinedly hoped for the best. This page-turner is commercial fiction at its best. I defy anyone to read this and forget it. Michael is someone you remember." (Read the rest of this review at Vulpes Libris Reviews)

  • “Anne Brooke weaves an acutely suspenseful story which slowly, methodically, and brilliantly exposes the dreams and despairs of a twenty-four year old artist, Michael Jones, whose ambitions might very well exceed his talents ... There is a certain beauty to this book’s narrative; it is at once oppressive and aesthetic, creating the perfect mood and environment for the reader to witness the psychological, physical, and emotional unraveling of a man who, it becomes apparent, seems intent upon sabotaging the potential for his own happiness and success. The prose is dense with emotion and imagery, lush in atmosphere ... A Dangerous Man is a taut psychological thriller that one doesn’t necessarily consume as much as savor. It is too rich and satisfying to finish quickly.” (Read the rest of this 5-star review at Michelenjeff Reviews)

  • A Dangerous Man, a novel by Anne Brooke, is a story about the shackles that the past can become and the lengths someone will go to for freedom. It tells the story of young artist and part-time prostitute, Michael Jones, whose life becomes increasingly complicated when he falls in love with rich businessman, Jack Hutchinson. Through first-person perspective, Brooke writes our protagonist well and captures his desperation to leave behind the world in which he has become entangled for one he has only ever dared dream about ... At the centre of the novel is a love affair in which Jones grows and matures, learning in equal measure about his lover and himself. However hard Jones strives to leave his old life behind, it is made increasingly difficult by antagonists unwilling to let him forget his past ... The most interesting tension, though, is that of Jones with himself, which Brooke portrays highly effectively. Completely devoid of self-esteem, Jones can't imagine why anyone can love him, and is constantly struggling to distinguish the difference between a lover and a punter, his inner turmoil manifesting itself in his dark drawings. A Dangerous Man is an entertaining read with a strong narrative that builds to a climax leaving us wondering, despite everything, how far Jones has really come from the self he was trying to escape.” (Read the rest of this review at Chroma Journal)

  • "After finishing A Dangerous Man I’m incredibly impressed with Brooke’s ability to evoke emotion, tension, angst, and mystery. This novel is a compelling story that left me breathless, heart broken, and depressed. I’m glad I could experience the author’s incredible talent yet I wish I’d never read this either. I can easily recommend the story but with the caveat that it’s not easy and definitely no happy ending, yet the brilliance of the writing is something to experience ... There is so much emotion and vivid graphic energy that is imbued in the story, it truly creates a dark life of its own. The writing is very intense and gothic, partly due to Michael’s almost manic personality, and partly due to the dark overtones. The gray London weather is often dreary, overcast and the tones Michael uses to sketch are always black and gray. This plays into the theme and tone of the story perfectly ... Most affecting is the overwhelming hope and desperation that Michael offers, yearning for that elusive dream that’s ruined for him before he even understood what was happening. As a broken character, Michael is one of the most compelling, richly complex protagonists I’ve come across. He’s also one that broke my heart." (Read the rest of this 4.5 star review at Three Dollar Bill Reviews)

  • "One of my pleasures is reading Anne Brooke and I always look forward to reading something that she has written. Originally published in 2007, A Dangerous Man has now been re-released by Cheyenne Press and it has a special place on my shelves — right next to other Anne Brooke works. Brooke has beautiful control of the English language and when she combines that with the ability to tell a story, you get a real treat ... Brooke has created an epic character with Jones and while he is dangerous, he still has some endearing qualities. We root for him as we do not want to see a life lost. There is a great deal of tension here but it is Brooke’s writing that makes this book so good. Brooke is known for the way she builds characters and Jones is one of her best." (Read the rest of this review at Reviews by Amos Lassen)

  • "A Dangerous Man is a gripping psychological thriller told in first-person viewpoint by Michael who is described by the title. Michael is a volatile mixture of traits: he’s highly attractive, he has no self-esteem, he experiences wild mood swings, and he has a tendency to get obsessed. He’s also very believable and someone for whom you can’t help caring. ... A Dangerous Man is a page-turner. There are many things to praise here, including the author’s flawless writing and the subtlety with which she hints at how Michael’s past (which is heartbreaking) has shaped him. ... Also, the London setting is vivid and three-dimensional. I’ve never been to London (if you don’t count a brief stop at Heathrow Airport), but after I read A Dangerous Man I felt as if I had." (Read the rest of this five-star review at the Jessewave Reviews Site)

  • "This is a dark and powerful tale. I was drawn into Michael’s life and the all-consuming passion to express his vision in black and white drawings. Ms Brooke has a fluent style and her depiction of both lower and upper class London life is totally convincing." (Read the rest of this four-star review at the Rainbow Reviews Site

  • "A Dangerous Man is full of believable and engaging characters, great descriptions of an artist's work and passion, and a vivid portrayal of London and its different social classes. I don't want to say more, lest I reveal too much about this very well written, tense, and disturbing novel." (Read the rest of this five-star review at Goodreads)

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