Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
September 2019
15 hours 58 minutes
'He saw a bare arm first, the hand palm up with fingers curled inwards. Then he stopped and took a few breaths. He could hear the two constables making arrangements before they separated, one saying he'd bring the other some tape from the car, and then it was just the summer morning quiet again.'

Detective Sergeant Chris Waters got the call at 05.29 that July morning. This is it, said DCI Reeve, you'll be first there, it's all yours, you're the crime scene manager. Suddenly, after months of waiting and wondering, Waters finds himself in at the deep end, and alone at the scene of a puzzling murder.

As the investigation proceeds, the detectives at Kings Lake Central find themselves visiting familiar places and talking to some familiar faces, while old enmities reappear in the incident room. Before this is over, Chris Waters will need to make a career-changing decision, and another member of the CID team will find herself facing an unexpected challenge. And Smith? Gone but not forgotten? Surely, he would say, you cannot write me off with a worn-out cliche like that . . .
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Jamieson S.

One of the wonderful things about Peter Grainger's books is that if you want to start here with Songbird, you can. But you oughtn't, really. Much better to read this series in order, so that you get to know the characters, travel with them through discovery, travail, heartbreak, interdepartmental politics, triumphs, cases solved, and more. As a birder, I love how he blends in native avian species and flora, so that one gets a real feel for the England where these characters live and work. The author specifically chose not to include overt violence, profanity, terror, torture, etc. in this series, and I am grateful. Isn't the world chaotic and terrifying enough? mistakenly classifies this in the "Thriller & Horror" genre -- don't believe that for a minute. Yes, they are mysteries, but really, they are character-driven police procedurals. One of the things that first appealed to me about this series was how the protagonist (initially, DC Smith) cares about the people who work for him, and the people who have gradually risen through the ranks to work above him in the force. It's not that he goes on and on about his emotions, but it's clear how deeply he cares about the people and the work they do together. That moves me. I also profoundly enjoy the prominence of women characters in these stories, being a woman myself. And the narration! Gildart Jackson is a force of nature. I imagine he is grateful for the opportunity to record these books. He clearly relishes the story he is telling. In fact, the author told me that Mr. Jackson would like to be cast as DC Smith when they do a TV series (if only!!!) -- "But he's too tall," Grainger said. Not since the Buddhism-infused police procedurals of the late, great Janwillem van de Wettering have I enjoyed getting to know a bunch of cops so much. Grainger is a true original, and I only hope that he takes as much joy in creating these works as his growing legion of fans takes in listening to them. If you glance at the reviews on that other website, take note that most of the people providing rave reviews are articulate, intelligent, passionate readers. That's important, and telling.

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Terry W.

A most enjoyable police procedure murder mystery. The characters are engaging and I want to hear/read about them again. Luckily there is a sequel and the original series of which this is a spinoff. There are references to that but not knowing them did not interfere with this story. I also liked that there was nothing that I wished I could unread/unhear ie graphic violence, torture etc. Initially I was put off by the narrator sounding bored and condescending but I found that listening at 1.2x speed cured this and his “voices” became most enjoyable. I’ve used this trick before to improve narration. All in all a great read.

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Richard Corcoran

It is a great beginning to very good series.

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Jose victor G.

Got this book as a vip reward and I gotta say … I nailed the choice … it’s an excellent read … probably gonna finish the series …

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Robert T.

Excellent addition to an excellent series. I read Songbird first and then went back and read all of the first book in the DC Smith series. My wife and I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them, but I think I would have to say this is my favorite so far.

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Franz K.

The narrative takes too long to come to an end and is lacking suspense

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Christine P.

Great book! I love British police stories! I will read the next instalment!! (PS It’s an Apple Watch, not an iWatch!)

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Kathryn B.

This is the WORST book I’ve ever come across. I almost never stop reading a book half way, but I simply cannot continue. The story seems ok in principle, but there are far too many mundane details and a lot of repetition. This is only made even worse by the narrator who gives little in the way of accents, making it very difficult to tell characters apart, and he is reading it as if it was a news broadcast. Extremely disappointed.

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Perhaps it's the "Covidious Weariness". Couldn't get into the story. Lots of details, and I tend to listen while I'm cooking, cleaning, et al. It could be this would be better read than listened to.

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This was a fantastic book! didn't want it to end.

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Michael Hayes

Very good book. Narrator is excellent.

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Dean M.

very good story, well narrated. looking forward to hearing more from this author.

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