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A Murder of Crows

Narrated by: Ian Skewis
Length: 11 hrs and 10 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)
Non-member price: $25.82
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Publisher's Summary

The most violent thunderstorm in living memory occurs above a sleepy village on the West Coast of Scotland. A young couple take shelter in the woods, never to be seen again....

DCI Jack Russell is brought in to investigate. Nearing retirement, he agrees to undertake one last case, which he believes can be solved as a matter of routine. But what Jack discovers in the forest leads him to the conclusion that he is following in the footsteps of a psychopath who is just getting started.

©2017 Ian Skewis (P)2018 W. F. Howes Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

slow burner

initially just liked the narrator rather than the story. Took a while but found the story brilliant. no plot spoiler though.....

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent!

As a reader, I really love a mystery that is well-crafted and keeps the reader guessing right to the very end. ‘A Murder Of Crows’ is one such book, and I find myself unable to recommend it highly enough.

Delusion and illusion obscure truth and reality in this suspenseful, intricate story of dysfunction in families and friendships, and of interconnected secretive webs of pretence and deceit that have tragic circumstances for the residents of a small Scottish village near Loch Ness.

This book is beautifully written, full of powerful imagery and laced with foreboding that is almost palpable. The bleak hopelessness that pervade the lives of some of the characters contrasts with the anger and resentment that fills the motivations and actions of others. The characters are realistic and complex, each with their own burdens and mysteries that they carry throughout the story as the threads of the main story line weave themselves around them.

The Audible narration of the book is expressive and perfectly suited to the story, being delivered in the author’s own Scottish voice.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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WOW..

Loved this book, I can't wait to hear a lot more from Ian Skewis,
So well researched and narrated..

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Perplexed in Texas
  • 09-11-2018

EXCELLENT

Excuse the pun...what a novel novel! Lots of balls in the air. A masterful interweaving of many characters and subplots. (Each its own finely drawn and complete little vignette.)

Plus a surprising, thrilling ending! Very delicious...with promises of more to come.

34 of 34 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Crystal Peacock
  • 08-11-2018

Author is the perfect narrator

Enjoyed the story, kept me guessing. Beautiful prose and narration. Looking forward to the next one.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J. Kromrie
  • 24-11-2018

A complete delight.

i looked for previous books from this author and found none, apparently this is Mr. Skewis's first published novel and I would "follow him anywhere". Wonderfully developed characters, location and narration, and a caprivating police procedural that I consumed in 2 sittings - the 1st of which was 8 hours long! Top-notch writing skills and with a lovely brogue no one could have done a better job with the narration. i just wish Jack hadn't retired (which is why I thought there were many preceding books, because he was the perfect character to move forward with. i have a unique suggestion for the author - make it a series writing BACK from Jack's retirement rather than forward. or have your next novel be the 1st in the series and have your first book be the last. jack is SO worthy of a series! thank you for a COMPLETELY ENJOYABLE EXPERIENCE!

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • E. Miller
  • 16-12-2018

Unbearably drawn out ending

There were some great chapters and a knack for creating atmosphere and tension in the first two thirds of the story. The ending was so long and bad that I started skipping 30 seconds at a time. Very self indulgent. And the narration is distracting because it's full of swallowing and smacking sounds.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Paisley Heart
  • 18-12-2018

A mob of maligant characters

I really tried to listen to this, but there are so many horrible men (no horrible women) in this story. I think there might be one good character, but after 3 hours plus of listening to the narration I just couldn't bear any more of these hateful, resentful, spiteful, malignant, jealous, nasty, violent characters. So I guess the author was successful in some of his character development, but I wish he had some sympatric characters to balance the story out. Or at least developed the couple of good characters as much as he did the hateful ones.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jane M.
  • 12-12-2018

Like peering through a smudged window...

...I had a difficult time mentally “shelving” the book...a murder, police procedural, a psychological study of dysfunctional minds and relationships, even a touch of the paranormal? Half way through the read I found myself checking other reviews - was I the only one confused?
Pros: Mr. Skellis has a lovely voice and excellent narration. As a first book he has captured the essence of a good mystery. I’m certain he will improve!
The plot is creative and unpredictable until the last chapter. Good storyline! Easily keeps you guessing!

Cons: ... But I believe that was part of my problem. There was too much left hidden for too long in too many aspects of the storyline. Everything remained a secret making the actions of the characters or story senseless. Ever played a guessing game with clueless clues? Where one player says, “I’m thinking of an animal...a dark animal....with teeth...BIG teeth...”
In the final chapters explanations are given and everyone shares but the end seemed out of harmony with the beginning.
Overall, I’d give the book a C plus or B minus.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • kristine
  • 22-12-2018

Slow and Predictable

Slow moving and fairly predictable. Narrator sounded like he was about to fall asleep at any moment.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Niki
  • 07-12-2018

Excellent who done it

I was disappointed to see that this was Ian's only book on Audible. I loved his character development and the uniqueness of his plot. If you like mysteries you'll love this one. I was impressed with his descriptions of nature and the world in which these characters moved. Hope Ian writes many more!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Donna
  • 01-11-2018

4

I did not know what to expect with this book. There was a nurder, apparently, I'm still not sure about this. A hat full of
villagers popping in and out people the pages, Loch Ness makes an appearance, a crow flies in with startling evidence,
dementia takes a bow and a fine detective story appears. A cut above the usual and I recommend it. it should probably be a 5. I'm off to see if Audible has any more by this fine author.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • CT
  • 18-03-2019

Brilliant!

Deeply articulate character development, story plot and narrative. Description of light is a delightful foreshadowing. Alices memories fade in a poetic bittersweet decent into dementia and invite the unknown backstory!
Just brilliant!

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  • Eve
  • 09-11-2018

Enjoyed very much

I'm probably quite hard to please for the perfect audio book and this was pretty much there for me!
I like an engaging detective or thriller plot, interesting characters, preferably a bit of nature of landscape referenced, and a few unexpected twists. Because I like to listen at bedtime I also need a lovely soothing voice and no silly music! Tick!
Sometimes you take a gamble on an unfamiliar author and it pays off. Hope to see and hear more from Ian Skewis on Audible.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • zuberry
  • 15-02-2019

Intriguing story

Not quite my usual style of drama but enjoyed the book. Found narration of this novel by author was excellent and the best I had listened to in a while. Absence of bad language a welcome as sometimes find the use unnecessary adding nothing to the story. As I listened at night found the voice soothing and sent me to sleep so had to keep rewinding. Plot at end very interesting and will watch out for Jack returning.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • bookworm77
  • 10-02-2019

I didn’t finish it 😕

I really wanted to listen to it but the narrator wasn’t great and the back ground noises really put me off.

I have eyesight problems so my hearing is pretty good ... maybe others don’t hear pages turning or random echo sounds but I couldn’t un-hear them. Such a shame really as I really wanted to keep listening 😕

The actual story itself was good... I just had to give up listening eventually.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Iain Hart
  • 12-01-2019

What a great shot of tartan noir

I have two reviews coming in rapid succession, as I'm A Bit behind, so into the first.

First off, I loved the lead character, DCI Jack Russell (the doggy detective), but a vet detective he is not, he solves real world crimes by real world criminals and this case is no different.

After my last excursion into deepest darkest Wales which was brilliant, but you cannot beat a Bit of home grown tartan noir and that's exactly what we have here, the kind of grit only Scotland can give.

I cannot find one had thing to say about this book, except maybe that it ended, but that a side , the styling of writing i found beautiful and poetic, the descriptions of the various people and places that we met and went to were all so vivid,I wanted to step through the audible app and into the scene before me.

I touched on the lead character at the very start of this review but the cast of other personalities and egos which all gel together to weave a tangled web which sometimes leave more questions than answers, and rest of Jack's team are a cast that show they have been through alot and one through alot together.

The narrator for this fine tale is none other than the exquisite author himself ,Mr Ian Skewis, this I highly approve of, Ian has a wonderful voice for narration, and sincerely hope we hear more from him in the near future.
all in all a fine Scottish crime thriller with more twists and turns than a bendy haggis, if you like your tartan noir as much as I do the wrap your ears round this beauty.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Roger Catto
  • 17-02-2019

Slow and unbelievable

This was most disappointing, I am a keen listener to crime stories and this was one of the worst. A police force with no sergeants or inspectors, a Detective Constable being called sir by another constable. This was surpassed by the said Insubordinate DC being promoted 3 ranks, quite incredulous!
I will not be following the adventures of “Jack” again. RogerC

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • ms
  • 17-02-2019

Just too meandering.

I struggled to get to the end of this. It just went on and on . I kept thinking, it'll come together soon, and it sort of did but it wasn't fast moving or inspiring enough. Perhaps it's me, perhaps I don't get it. No, not for me, I wouldn't rush to listen to another book by this author. The narration style I found very monotonous. There was no real difference between the characters, which, in itself made it really hard to follow. Sorry, I wanted to like it but I just didn't.