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The Missing Activist

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Member Reviews

The Missing Activist is a gripping and completely compulsive spy thriller with plenty of surprises, danger and is undoubtedly an intelligently woven must-read. The first in the Private Investigator Karen Andersen series is a powerful, pull no punches race against time and will have your heart thumping and the pages turning feverishly not to mention furiously. Karen is an interesting character but I felt this was tipped slightly more in favour of being plot-driven than character-led at this early stage; that may change once we are introduced to her more in future books, and I certainly look forward to seeing how her character evolves. If you enjoy fast-paced, high-octane thrills and spills with more action than you can shake a stick at, twists and turns that come at you thick and fast and the ultimate high stakes game of cat and mouse then this comes highly recommended. There's never a dull moment and I guarantee you'll have the exact problem I did with not being able to put it down. An exciting and well-written page-turner. Many thanks to BOTBS for an ARC.
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When a young British Conservative activist complains about bullying and then goes missing, how will his political party react.?  What are the implications of his report? What constitutes bullying, particularly within politics? The modern day trend for reporting is just one of the themes of this clever book.

 Next, we are introduced to Zinah al-Rashid, a white Londoner, a convert to Islam and we learn of her mission to assassinate the PM.

There are as many issues covered in this book as twists in the plot line.  Jihadi brides, acid attacks, feminism, missing people, the internet, love, modern life. Thoroughly enjoyable and also a fun and easy read... Enjoyable and engaging.  Thank you for the free copy for my review.
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I thought the start was a bit slow and hard to get into but after a few chapters, it picked up. There was a few errors that need to be edited. I enjoyed reading this book and thought the ending was clever and although I had my suspicions, it wasn't made clear until the end which I love. I would definitely recommend reading this and would like to thank the publishers and netgalley for letting me have the book to review.
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The main plot for the story was excellent and fit well into today's age. However, the lack of in depth background for main characters left me confused at times. The story is told by different characters as their part in the tale takes place. I enjoyed the overall story but felt there was an overload, of some viewpoints, at different times which did not contribute to the overall storyline. I was satisfied with the ending but felt the justice system part of the story was greatly dismissed by the author.

I have rated this book 3 stars. Enjoyable but not unforgettable.

I received an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.
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The Missing Activist shoots out of the gate with Zinah Al-Rashid recruiting for jihadi brides. Whoa, this impressed me that it was even brought up by the author.  The mystery begins in earnest then with a suicide and then a the disappearance,  Karen Andersen is likeable as th protagonist who has to navigate a system of lies and she will keep you along for a better than average ending.  Enjoy!who is very relatable as a modern private investigator.
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This story had sounded interesting from the book blurb, but it turned out to be just the opposite in practice, and it moved so slowly that I gave up on it after about twenty-five percent. It didn’t engage me, and it felt a bit like it couldn't make up its mind whether it wanted to be a mystery or a romance, or something else, and tripping itself up in indecision.

The characters were not really very interesting to me either. I didn't meet anyone I particularly liked, much less someone I’d want to root for. The book switched between characters every chapter so it felt very disjointed and fragmented, and we never really got to know anyone. The activist of the title never was properly introduced to the reader, so the fact that he went missing was not an impactful event. I didn't miss him at all, and apparently neither did anyone else, since there was no real concern evident from anyone over his whereabouts - at least not in the portion I read. It seems to me that there would be political points to be scored here over an episode like this, but it was a non-event.

The book had an overall feel like it was not quite ready for prime time. The writing technically wasn't bad in general terms, but there were a lot of instances where I felt the author had written one thing, then later changed it, but never re-read it for coherence, so there were many instances of writing like this “...when she own heaps..” where the author clearly ought to have written "...when she owned heaps...." There was another such instance where I read, “But they also agreed start somewhere just in case" which needed to have read, "to starting somewhere" or "agreed: start somewhere" or something like that.

At another point I read, "When Hailey’s flatmate there, Karen assumed Hailey would be somewhere behind him." Clearly something is missing from the first clause - like maybe a verb? Another instance was "He tried Miller’ number." Clearly there's an 's' missing after the apostrophe. Another instance was where a sentence had evidently been re-arranged but some words were not deleted and ended up repeated; “Karen had even discovered there’d been a woman, wearing a full burka, sighted around the Cardiff Hotel the night Alesha Parkhurst died wearing the full burka.” I don't think we're meant to understand that Alesha Parkhurst died wearing the full burka! Or maybe we are?

Sometimes the wrong word was used, such as where I read, “But soon they were both woofing it down...” where the author ought to have written, "wolfing it down." Occasionally there was an unfortunate juxtaposition, such as in “Karen clenched teeth until she finally had the chance to put her bit in.” Was Karen a horse No! She didn’t actually want to put a bit in her mouth; she wanted to, as Americans would say, put her two cents in. I'm not sure what the Brit equivalent of that is these days. It’s been a long time since I lived there!

On other occasions the description of something was off, such as when I read, "A recent story in Google..." when the situation is that Google doesn't publish news stories - it merely facilitates you finding them, so a better turn of phrase would have been, "A recent story on the Daily Mail's site" or "a recent BBC news article said..." or something like that. What really made me decide to quit this though, was reading a sentence like this: “...Bea, the second wife of James Harrington MP was petite, lively and still pretty for fifty-eight.”

Now if a character in this story had said that, I would have no problem with it, because people really can be that shallow, judgmental, and determinedly pigeon-holing of women, making them both skin-depth and the appendage of their husband, but when the actual narrative of the story says something like that, I have to take issue once again with a female author reducing a female character to nothing but shallow looks and diminished status. If this had been a novel about a beauty pageant or something like that, then looks would certainly enter into it, rightly or wrongly, but this is someone who is for no narrative reason, not only reduced to a male appendage, but to skin depth only. Her role in this novel has nothing to do with beauty or looks, so why is whether she's pretty or not even remotely relevant?

Instead of how she, surprisingly, wasn't a wrinkled crone at fifty eight(!), could we not have her described as a "respected activist" or "an intellectual powerhouse" or "a stalwart campaigner for women's rights"? Something - anything but reducing her to a pretty appendage. You know, I have no problem with a radio station playing "Baby, it’s Cold Outside" and especially not when that same station plays songs far more abusive to women than that old and misunderstood song ever could be. I do have a problem with female authors routinely reducing women to their looks.

I understand this author has an admirable life working against abuses of children and doing good work in other endeavors too, but this review is not about the author, it’s about what was authored, and while I wish the author all the best in her writing, I cannot commend this novel for the reasons I've listed.
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This is a unique story   An activist goes missing after complaining he’s been bullied by a member of the conservative Party. Next we see the system closing ranks as PI Karen Andersen tries to find him. On the way she uncovers a female terrorist cell and a plot to cause mayhem at the upcoming Conference.  Fascinating and well-researched, this is a fast paced contemporary thriller with an urban setting. Several modern day social issues addressed. Terrific.
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A book about Conservative party attitude.  When an activist complains about bullying and then goes missing, how will they react.  Conference season is coming up and the way their staff and MPs go about selecting candidates, deal with activists and behave in general is brought under scrutiny.

We are also introduced to terrorists and their way of working, especially in recruiting British white Muslim girls to be Jehadi brides.

The story covers a lot of ground and up to date issues, I enjoyed it.
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A quick read, a page turner. Quite gripping, in spite of some „stumbling blocks“: Haruto and Karen hardly know each other, but he becomes her investigative assistant right away? Karen and Quacker meet at a TV show, and he hires her on the spot? And why does the DI stay in hospital? Some die, and you don‘t quite know why... However, all in all The Missing Activist is an exciting story with an up to date plot. I kind of thought that the political dimension - Brexit - would matter more, when I picked a copy of Louise Burfitt-Dons‘ novel from the NetGalley shelf, but I happily read it anyway. After all, bullying, Jihadi brides and domestic violence are highly sensitive political issues, too. Burfitt-Don is, by all means, an excellent example to prove that screenwriters make good novelists, if you care for action, dynamics and suspense. Which I do!
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This is a really good read. There is a lot of action packed in and a really good plot. There are a lot of issues tackled in this book including domestic abuse, terrorism and power hungry politicians. I would definitely recommend this book. I want to go and read it again in case I missed anything the first time.
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My Rating: 3.5 Stars

What happened to THE MISSING ACTIVIST? Enter a world of political machinations, religious fervor and feminists as one rather quirky and creative Private Investigator attempts to prove herself as she gnaws at a case that is like a many tentacle beast.

Louise Burfitt-Dons as created a twisted tale that entangles a fervent Jihadi woman with young PI, Karen Anderson. And still, the question remains, what happened to Robin Miller, a grassroots political activist who should never have been a target, or should he?

Pure British suspense on steroids, this tale is detailed, sometimes a tad slow, but each page brings readers deeper into the lives of the humans involved. How far will each character go? How powerful the webs that are woven. Where do they intersect? Who will believe in lies and who will know the truth?

I liked this just fine, but I wasn’t wowed. Perhaps because I am from across the pond and this is clearly written with a strong British pen?

I was offered a complimentary copy from BooksGoSocial!

Publisher: New Century Digibooks (June 5, 2018)
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Genre: Suspense | Terrorism
Print Length: 418 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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A fascinating behind the scenes of politics and the hunger for power, feminism, jihadi recruits, marital rape and female terrorists. Great plot  with plenty of surprises and excellent characters. The story is about an activist who disappears and the Private Investigator Karen Andersen whose tasked with finding him. It's made even harder for her by the political party's obstructions to the inquiry. Everything knits together at the end, but leaves with a yearning to see more of the main cast of Karen, Quacker and Haruto. It's the first in a series and wonder which way the next one will go. Perfectly paced and very enjoyable. Rate it.
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An easy to read book that has several characters all linked but you don’t find out how until near the end. The book is well written and touches on a lot of events that have recently occurred; from Brexit to historical cases of child abuse to terrorism to feminism. The lead character of Karen Anderson is believable as a private investigator and likeable. A clever book that has you gripped from the beginning
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I was hooked by this story and I couldn't see the end. I love a good suspense book, the plot was nice.
Thanks to Netgalley for this story.
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A police murder mystery story featuring a female private eye in London.  The story touches on practically all the ‘hot button’ issues of the day and expectedly preaches the feminist standard line about them.  I found this a little long, but the author clearly wanted us to understand the motives and feelings of the protagonist.  She accomplished this but took too long to get to the reveal of the murderer as a consequence.  Even so the story is a good read and enjoyable.
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The Missing Activist by Louise Burfitt-Donns was my 23rd book of 2018. 

I found this book an easy one to pick up and read. Karen Anderson is a private investigator who gets broad on board by a Police Detective (Quacker) to look into the disappearance of a Conservative party activist Robin Miller. Meanwhile she had her own agenda as she didn’t believe that the death of a prominent feminist / women’s rights activist was suicide at all. 

Robin the young activist appears to have gone missing further to meeting with a prominent MP to discuss him being bullied by another party member. Soon after going missing one of Robin’s friends in the party is found dead. Among all this Karen also uncovers a link to the feminist and a white Muslim convert who recruits jihadi brides.

I won’t go into too much detail as it would be easy to spoil. The story develops at a good pace and keeps moving you onwards. There is a relatively big twist, but I picked up this relatively earlier and long before it was revealed in the grand finale of the story, I don’t think I would be alone in this, but it didn’t detract from you being sucked into the story. There are other twists also which makes this a really good thriller.  There is a good mix of mystery, politics and terrorism, with a side story of building up the Karen Anderson character and her Scottish / Japanese love interest Haruto.

 I felt that this could be the start of a Karen Anderson series and I would for sure look out for book number two. Thank you to NetGalley for the free copy of this. I give this a 4/5.
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Great plot and excellent characters make this a really good mystery. In addition, it has a serious side as it describes some problems very well, like bullying, brides of Islam, politician's hunger for power, marital rape, terrorism etc.
The problem with the book, is the length. With plenty of repetitions and some dead meat, it would be better with less words.
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