The Hanging Club by Tony Parsons

The Hanging Club is the third in the DC Max Wolfe series by Tony Parsons. Tony Parsons used to write novels about family (his most famous being Man and Boy), which I always enjoyed reading, but in recent years he has turned his hand to crime novels. And you know I love a good crime novel.

The Max Wolfe stories are as gory and gritty as any thriller, but they are very easy to read and also have a very warm heart. Because Tony Parsons hasn’t entirely given up the family aspect of his writing. Max Wolfe is a single dad to a little girl and their family life is an essential element to the books. He is a likeable character and not like the usual hard-drinking literary detective, although he does have his own demons which come to light in The Hanging Club.

In The Hanging Club, a group of vigilantes is abducting evil men and hanging them. The hangings are filmed and broadcast on the internet. And many people think the vigilantes are doing the right thing, because these men have abused children and put pensioners in hospital. Would Max want to do the same if his own daughter had been abused?

Max finds himself unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight as acting senior investigating officer. Whatever the public think, he and his team still have a job to do. The law says it is murder and the vigilantes are murderers, regardless of the victims’ crimes.

But while the videos are there for all to see and the bodies are easy to find, tracking down the killers and the place the murders took place is proving challenging. Can the gang be stopped before they kill again? And is Max right to be suspicious of his own oldest friend?

This is a real page turner and a pretty quick read. Set in London, it is nice to have that familiarity with the setting. It should appeal to fans of crime novels, but also to readers who are new to the genre.

The Hanging Club by Tony Parsons, Tony Parsons, The Hanging Club, Book review


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Would I need to read the other stories to be able to fully enjoy this one? Thanks for sharing with #readwithme

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    • No, not all! I think with most crime series it’s best to read them in order, but you don’t have to. But with this one I don’t think there’s any reference at all to the previous stories.

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  2. My TBR list is growing far too quickly for me to ever get through it! I’m still going to add this series to it though!

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    • I’m sure you’ll enjoy this series, it is slightly different from most crime series because of the strong family element.

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  3. This sounds like an interesting read, the main character sounds different to other fictional detectives.


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    • He definitely is! There’s none of the recovering alcoholic and the only troubled past is that he’s a single dad.

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  4. Interesting to see a famous author change direction so much although like you say retain that family element and feeling which is too often missing from crime stories and dramas on telly too. Think my husband would enjoy this one more than myself but certainly a very topical issue right now #ReadWithMe

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    • It seems like he’s made the switch to crime novels and stuck with it, as I don’t think he’s written any of his family novels since he started writin this series. These are definitely slightly more gentle than some crime novels.

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