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Publisher's Summary

The unmissable first thriller in an electrifying brand-new series from the Queen of Crime.

The shadows hide a deadly story....

1979. It is the winter of discontent, and reporter Allie Burns is chasing her first big scoop. There are few women in the newsroom, and she needs something explosive for the boys' club to take her seriously.

Soon Allie and fellow journalist Danny Sullivan are exposing the criminal underbelly of respectable Scotland. They risk making powerful enemies - and Allie won't stop there.

When she discovers a home-grown terrorist threat, Allie comes up with a plan to infiltrate the group and make her name. But she's a woman in a man's world...and putting a foot wrong could be fatal.

©2021 Val McDermid (P)2021 W F Howe

Critic Reviews

"Brilliant.... Sensational.... Unforgettable." (Guardian)

"No one can plot or tell a story like she can." (Daily Express)

"One of today's most accomplished crime writers." (Literary Review)

"'As good a psychological thriller as it is possible to get." (Sunday Express)

What listeners say about 1979

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    3 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly dreary...

How is this not a winning recipe: Val McDermid, female lead, Scottish reader, and the year 1979!?!?

i am missing Karen Pirrie so was keen to give this ago as soon as it came out -- but I'm struggling. Keep drifting off and can't get interested in the characters.

i think it may have a lot to do with the reader who makes the whole experience a bit dreary. Her voice is quite pleasant but the actual reading is a bit lacklustre -- and loses focus every time she leaves those long pauses. i find myself wondering what she's doing (grabbing a drink?) which disrupts the flow in a strange way.

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So good

This was such a great book. It's not until you read Val McDermid's wonderful books again after a long hiatus that you realize just how bloody good she is. Roll on the next one please Val 🤞

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  • avidreader
  • 22-08-2021

Issues with accents

I love Val McDermid and this was a good book. The narrator didn't do a bad job but there were some avoidable mispronuniciations of fairly common words and in addition her Northern Irish accent was appallingly bad. Someone else could have voiced those characters or she could have got an accent coach for those bits. Took me right out of the story.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Sinonia
  • 25-08-2021

Too many jarring mispronunciations

Not perhaps one of Val McDermid’s best but an enjoyable story nonetheless…… except for the narration. Katie Leung is an excellent wee actress but not, I’m afraid, a narrator. She is unable to differentiate even basic Scottish accents (eg privately educated vs working class) and her attempts at non-Scots ones are just plain odd. Worst of all, though, are the constant mispronunciations. Those of reasonably common words are bad enough but for a Scottish reader not to be able to pronounce Scottish place names and surnames is pretty unforgivable. Surely these howlers could have been spotted and corrected in advance of release?

7 people found this helpful

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  • lena
  • 29-08-2021

Brilliant listen.

So sad to finish - really enjoyable book. Writing and narration are excellent. Loving the references to the period it’s set in

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  • Sheltiejoy.
  • 25-08-2021

So disappointed.......

I'm a huge fan but for the first time I've been disappointed. I had the book on Audible perhaps if I'd read it I'd feel differently, who knows. Didn't enjoy the narrator, she sounded monotone to me and pronounced some names , places and Scottish words wrongly. I'll make sure I read the next book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lisa MacDonald
  • 02-09-2021

Loved the book but narration poor

I was gripped by this book from start to finish. I’m too young to remember Glasgow in 1979 but it took me right there.

I felt the narration was poor. There are places where the emphasis is clearly wrong and I would question some of the pronunciation.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anna
  • 25-08-2021

Having to stop listening due to narration

I was so looking forward to this release as really enjoy Val McDermid’s work but have had to stop listening by chapter 11 due to the narration. The narrator has long pauses all the time which breaks up the flow and are not in the correct place. She is monotone and the intonation is wrong. I’m just going to read this one I think. Enjoying the story so far but it’s being lost through the poor narration.

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  • crochetdiva
  • 23-08-2021

Brilliant storyline

It's not often I see a story about newspaper reporters, but this is a very good one. With strong characters, and backbiting story pinchets, this story moves on apace. Some gory murders, and great reporting. This is one not to miss. Very well narrated

2 people found this helpful

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  • EmGem22
  • 23-08-2021

A great story

I really enjoyed this story, however I did have one issue with it, which is a massive spoiler so I'm going to try and explain without actually saying.
There was a noticeable theme from the start of the book that once they went onto their second investigation I knew what the outcome was going to be. I didn't know how or why, but this outcome was inevitable.
I hope anybody that has read the book understands.
Still a great book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Elaine Gribben
  • 09-09-2021

Excellent storyline!

As ever, a brilliant story from Val! Unfortunately the narration didn't quite do it justice. At times a characterless delivery with some very frustrating mispronounciations (e.g. quay, epitome).

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gra
  • 27-08-2021

Gentler than normal McDermid

Having read or listened to, & been gripped by, almost all of the authors books I found this change in pace enjoyable. An engaging & well paced story, with refreshing nuggets of historical context & a warm vibe. A good introduction to Val McDermid for those less drawn to murder mystery.

I’m really looking forward to the journey in future books in the series I’m just hoping the time series gaps won’t be too great to allow us to enjoy more.

Differences in pronunciation were more bemusing than annoying.

1 person found this helpful

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