LISTENER

Bernadette Aitken

Canberra, Australia
  • 79
  • reviews
  • 25
  • helpful votes
  • 104
  • ratings
  • Beware the Past

  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Antony Ferguson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 65
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66

When Matt Ballard was starting out his career, three boys were murdered in the same area, the remote and bleak Gibbet Fen. When the main suspect was killed in a hit-and-run, the killings stopped. But Matt was not satisfied that the real murderer had been caught. Over 25 years later, Matt gets a photo in an unmarked envelope. It's of the Gibbet Fen crime scene. And the picture was taken before the murder took place. More photos arrive, relating to the historic murders, as well as intimate pictures of Matt's very secret private life.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • couldn't finish because of performance 🤨

  • By peter cousens on 20-07-2018

A gritty mystery

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-03-2019

Wow! What a truly twisted story and protagonists. This was hard story to put down as a copycat killer appears on the fens and plays with the detectives trying to solve the case. There are twists and ‘Oh my’ moments at every turn. There was a secret from the past that was causing Matt to be obsessed with an old case, but I never imagined what that secret was.
The characters that torment the team and DCI Matt Ballard in particular, were cunning, methodical, logical, damaged and tech savvy. They used every method at their disposal to threaten the team, but it was all based on a false premise that could have been checked using DNA testing.
The relationship between Matt and Liz is complicated and is written about in detail. This is something different from the other series by Joy Ellis. I do love the fact that personal relationships are important the stories Joy writes because work and personal relationships can never really be separated from each other, even if they aren’t intimate.

  • The Guilty Ones

  • A Jackman and Evans Thriller
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67

Jackman’s sister-in-law Sarah disappears to London and throws herself into the river. What drove her to this? She was a woman with a seemingly happy home life and two beloved sons. DI Jackman and DI Evans dig into Sarah’s life. And Jackman realises he knew almost nothing about his sister-in-law’s past. Then, they discover a woman in a neighbouring village died in similar circumstances. What is the connection to a convicted murderer whose family are convinced he is innocent? Who is really pulling the strings?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • And the tension builds!

  • By Alison Dashwood on 08-03-2019

Twists and twisted

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-03-2019

I am a great fan of Joy Ellis’s work. DI Jackman and DS Evans are a wonderful team and good friends. Their support of each other and their team makes for a lovely feeling in this team. What I enjoyed in this book was the connection that was made with Joy’s other series through DCI Cameron.
The perpetrator of the crimes in this story is a very damaged man. His twisted view of the world caused grief for many people and hit home with Jackman’s sister-in-law. His family’s sorrow was heartfelt. The amazing way that the investigation team collects information and pieces it together always surprises me.
Joy has crafted a complex and suspenseful story, while developing the personal characteristics and relationships of the investigation team. It is lovely to have both and it is what has encouraged me to read everything Joy has written.
I love Richard Armitage’s reading. His voice is very seductive and his voices have become the characters for me. I can’t think of the characters without thinking of his voices. Thank you

  • Let Me Lie

  • By: Clare Mackintosh
  • Narrated by: Gemma Whelan, Clare Mackintosh
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 149
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 150

The police say it was suicide. Anna says it was murder. They're both wrong. One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life - a shocking suicide carefully played out to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with her parents' deaths ever since. Now with a young baby herself, Anna feels her mother's presence keenly and is determined to find out what really happened. But as she looks for answers, someone is trying to stop her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stunned by the final twist

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 01-03-2019

Stunned by the final twist

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-03-2019

Great story! This is the second book of Clare’s book that I have experienced. I use that term because I became so involved with the story and the characters I felt as if I was invested it. The story style of flipping between characters, some named, others not, was a wonderful way of creating tension and a desire to go on for just a bit longer. It’s not hard to convince yourself to go on.
The epilogue has a final twist that made me go back to Murray’s last chapter and be amazed by Clare’s word craft.
The beautiful relationship between Murray and Sarah, despite its difficulties, sheds a harsh light on the relationship of Anna’s parents. Mental health plays an important role in this book. The twists and turns in the plot make it a book that’s difficult to put down.
The narration was very well done and it was easy to recognise each character through the subtle changes in Gemma’s voice.

  • Fire on the Fens

  • DI Nikki Galena Series, Book 9
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39

The Fens are burning, and Detective Nikki Galena faces a cat-and-mouse battle with a killer arsonist. Someone is lighting fires. First they target homes and businesses, but then a body is found at one of the crime scenes. More fires are lit. And at each one a single person dies. But the victims have led spotless lives, and apparently there's no connection between them. Meanwhile, the town is facing a very peculiar threat from a group of sinister Satanists led by a charismatic businessman. Who is burning with anger, and can Nikki stop them before anyone else dies? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Burning revenge

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 16-02-2019

Burning revenge

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-02-2019

This story is all about revenge being a dish best served cold. The perpetrator coldly plans the fires to seek revenge for a crime that he didn’t have the full facts for. His father’s lies and deception have lead to this young man’s mental instability. There are ‘suggestions’ from the higher ups that this case is too sensitive to continue investing. Fortunately for the victims and their families, Nikki, Joseph and the crew do some unofficial work until their evidence is overwhelming enough that they are given the go ahead to continue.
It wasn’t until the climax had almost arrived that I worked out a connection between the two main stories. I love the interactions amongst the characters and the feeling of being invested in their lives as a reader. I sincerely hope there is more to come in this series.

  • Thieves on the Fens

  • DI Nikki Galena Series, Book 8
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
  • Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32

DI Nikki Galena gets a series of anonymous calls. She is told the place, time, and who will die. But the messages are in a secret language used only by villains. Nikki and her team must decode the riddles and work out where the threats are coming from.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The past comes forward

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 13-02-2019

The past comes forward

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-02-2019

This was such a sad story line. There was, of course, bad behaviour from ‘crims’ and some gruesome deaths as always. The premise of this story was the fallout from things in the characters past coming to haunt those in the present. A great story with many people contributing to solving the mysteries.
One death, in particular, gives Nikki and Joseph cause to pause and question what they have besides work. There is a very satisfying ending, if not quite just.

  • Buried on the Fens

  • DI Nikki Galena Series, Book 7
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48

A skeleton is found in a shallow grave in the churchyard. But this was not an official burial. The victim was murdered decades ago. At the same time, Detective Nikki Galena and her team are investigating the brutal slaying of local businesswoman Madeline Prospero. She was a member of an exclusive and secretive drinking club called The Briar Patch. But they've got no suspects and no one is telling them the truth. Meanwhile, the buried skeleton leads them on a trail to the village of Quintin Eaudyke. This is a troubled place. In the late 70s and 80s a reign of terror was unleashed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Splendid

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 11-02-2019

Splendid

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-02-2019

Oh! I was so glad that none of the main team were hurt. This was a very long running case with seemingly no answers. New victims emerge and old ones are terrorised. It was hard to take in the story at times as the details of each victim was only partially given and the imagination took over from there.
This is a very well crafted story. It spirals towards its climax, connecting all of the separate threads as it goes. There is a very satisfying ending.
It was sometimes easier to listen to this book than it was to read it.

  • Captive on the Fens

  • DI Nikki Galena Series, Book 6
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
  • Length: 8 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53

A young woman's body is found in a remote barn on the Fens. Before she was killed, one of her fingers had been cut off. Who is inflicting this violence and why? The young woman in the barn had been kept captive for some time. And the case shows strong similarities to an unsolved murder in Derbyshire. When another woman is found alive with similar injuries, the case grows even more complicated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Donna Birks on 10-02-2019

Nerve wracking

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-02-2019

Brilliant! At the half way point in this story I was so worried about who was going to be targeted and whether the evil low life could possibly be caught that I was loathed to put the book down. The connections between cases and characters that have been in previous stories was incredibly well done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Stalker on the Fens

  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
  • Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45

DI Nikki Galena's close friend Helen Brook is involved in a serious accident where she is trapped in a collapsed cellar. After her hard-won recovery, Helen is still getting flashbacks to a man she says was down there with her and who confessed to a murder. But no trace of this man can be found. Then Helen tells Nikki that someone is watching her. But is all this in her friend's imagination and part of her post-traumatic stress?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Strange obsession

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 03-02-2019

Strange obsession

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-02-2019

Another complex and exciting mystery. This story also finally completes a problem that has been plaguing Nikki and Joseph since before they began to work together. We also see the last of another, much loved/respected local villain. Time does move on and this series does that very well. We are kept in touch with familiar characters and are introduced to new ones.
This story is really two and a half stories in one. One has two threads to it. Joy really knows how to keep all the balls bouncing until the very end.
Having listened to this series from the beginning I have come to know these characters through their voices. Thanks.

  • Killer on the Fens

  • DI Nikki Galena Series, Book 4
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61

DI Nikki Galena faces a personal challenge which will stretch her to the limit. She must fulfill her father's dying wish and discover who the mysterious Eve is. Meanwhile, a dead drug dealer is found on an abandoned airfield that the locals say is haunted. The trail of both mysteries will lead to the most shocking discovery of Nikki's career and put her whole team in mortal danger. Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you riveted until the shocking ending.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surprise, surprise

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 01-02-2019

Surprise, surprise

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-02-2019

Another brilliant story! I had come to the a happy place during this story where I thought that the investigation was not going to become personal for anyone on the team - wrong! This was a fascinating case set in a very interesting background. The idea of one site being used so many times over history that you can track its development through the buildings is amazing.
The effort that this perpetrator went to in order to keep everyone away from this area was admirable. If they had put that much effort into solving their own mental health issues there wouldn’t have been a story.
The personal relationship between Nikki and Joseph continues to grow. They are there for each other and support each other with no questions asked.
The voices of each of the characters are now firmly embedded in my brain. So much so that I hear them when I read the book. I like that. Some pronunciation make me wince, but I just move on and enjoy the reading. Thanks.

  • Hunted on the Fens

  • DI Nikki Galena Series, Book 3
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 88
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83

DI Nikki Galena faces her toughest challenge yet. Can she save her team and herself from a cruel and determined adversary who will stop at nothing to harm Nikki and her colleagues? First she must work out who wants revenge against her or one of her detectives. Full of twists and turns, this is a crime novel that will keep listeners riveted until the stunning ending.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A truly evil opponent

  • By Bernadette Aitken on 30-01-2019

A truly evil opponent

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-01-2019

Another great story. I felt so sorry for the team in this book. Despite all of their hard work they were all hurt in some way by a twisted character. The psychological torture the team goes through seems to be coming from an old enemy, but nothing is what it seems.
I really like this series, but I don’t think I want to be part of this team as it’s too dangerous. They always end up at the hospital. This is a mystery that is difficult to solve as a reader, therefore it keeps you thinking right to the very end. There is a very satisfying ending for one character in particular.