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Beware the Past

By: Joy Ellis
Narrated by: Antony Ferguson
Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
4 out of 5 stars (74 ratings)
Non-member price: $29.24
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Publisher's Summary

One terrible case always haunted detective Matt Ballard. Now many years later, the killer seems to be back. And this time he's after Matt. 

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. 

Then another murder happens, with some of the hallmarks of the old case. Has the killer returned, or is this just a sick copycat determined to ruin Matt's life and reputation?

©2017 Joy Ellis (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

couldn't finish because of performance 🤨

struggled with narrator..it was a same but he put me right off as I like the author

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

Such an incredible story. Gripping right to the very last word. Narrator was good too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So thrilling

Another wonderful Joy Ellis book, I hope she has more audio books
Thank you Amazon

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it.

Great story line with so many twists and turns that I fou
nd it hard to leave it to do my work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not a fan of the narration

Story a little far fetched and the narration was awkward and forced. It was ok..

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A gritty mystery

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.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Characters that are impossible to like

If you’re a fan of DI Jackman and DI Galena, and expect this book to present the same sort of compelling characters, you will be very disappointed. Repellent would be my word for the main detective and his sick-making illicit lover. The story line is as unpleasant and the narration does nothing to redeem the book. In fairness, even Richard Armitage couldn’t save this.

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

Interesting story but

The narration has ruined this audio book. The speaker does loosen up a bit as it goes along but his voice is so stiff and formal he sounds a lot like an old fashioned BBC news reader. The female characters dialogue is especially unfortunate. The story was enough to keep me listening though, so over all it’s a three from me.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I loved the detailed twists and turns!!

With a wide and varied cast of characters it was wonderful to develop a close understanding of each of them as the story unraveled.I was on the edge of my seat right up until the last sentence. i didn't want it to end!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wayne
  • 04-06-2018

Author Joy Ellis knows how to build suspense!

BEWARE THE PAST is a marvelous standalone modern detective mystery by British author Joy Ellis. Few novels build and maintain suspense as well as this one. There is a major plot twist that I never saw coming. Like the novel, the narration earns 5 stars.

I've listened to and enjoyed all 8 novels in the Nikki Galena series by Joy Ellis. On June 14 a novel from her highly rated Jackman and Evans suspense mystery modern detective series will be released in audio format. The title is THEIR LOST DAUGHTERS.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 09-02-2019

Very satisfying ending!

Although I found the narrator difficult to get used to, I persevered because the story was so compelling. Glad I persisted. Hopefully it will be rereleased with a different narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Catherine
  • 06-12-2018

Not up to her usual standards

I found the writing frequently awkward during the setup of the storyline — with obvious exposition of facts the reader needs to know but in such an unnatural way that it feels like the writer is struggling to get the story started.
I found the narrator’s female voices to sound rather weak or ditzy, which doesn’t fit cops.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • B. G.
  • 22-08-2018

Kept me gueaaing til the end. I have not been dissapointed with any Joy Ellis' books

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Douglas
  • 06-06-2018

An okay mystery

Let's deal with the narration first... it's horrible. It's inconsistent and at some points the female characters sound like bass-toned males.

My main complaint with this book is that Matt Ballard the DCI is happily having a romantic affair with one of his subordinates. It's very clear that it's consensual; however, at one point the killer does something and all our hero can worry about is that his illicit sexual romps with his married colleague will be found out. Really? I think if I was in Matt's place I'd be worrying about a few others things first. I know I'm being vague about what the killer did but I thought it was interesting and don't want to spoil it.

At the end of the book there's a scene with Matt, his lover and the lover's husband in the same room. The author could have handled the situation in a classy way, instead the author decided to cheapen the moment by using a dues ex and let Matt completely off the hook.

I guess my biggest issue with this book is that I didn't like our hero. I found Matt's 2nd in command Jason and the killer to be more interesting characters. I'll try another of the author's books but I'll have to really enjoy it to read a third.

14 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • KarenUpNorth
  • 20-06-2018

Bravo!

Possibly the best of Joy Ellis’ books. I almost didn’t purchase this audiobook due to a couple negative early reviews of the narrator. I’m so glad I gave it a chance. The story and the narration are brilliant.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Wild Horses Flying
  • 28-02-2019

Sorry to say

this book shows that Ellis is more a beginning than accomplished writer. Plot, dialogue - don't hold together, like taking a walk on snow with a crust - you keep breaking through which makes a clumsy,uncomfortable walk. Serious or terrible situations are overly dramatized which robs the true impact such things should have and emotions are sentimental and so, trivialized. She steered clear of all of these typical writer excesses in her Fens novels. I loved her Fens books and wish her well in her ongoing writing development.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • KMC
  • 26-02-2019

Dreadful.

Narration was stilted and unnatural, but at least it distracted from the trite and contrived plot! I have a dozen other Joy Ellis books in my library, and while none are literary masterpieces, most are generally plausible and entertaining enough, this book was neither. Unlikeable characters, thin plot and not even a nod to basic police procedure. Awful. I gave it two stars because it was marginally better than noise of the treadmill.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • maria
  • 23-01-2019

surprise ending

loved it! different Ellis...I was surprised in a pleasant way. each character stood on their own. nice to see Rory

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kamei
  • 18-12-2018

good plot

good characters and lots of exciting plot twists, very surprising ending and a shocking villain

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Gen
  • 22-07-2018

love Joy Ellis hated this -

I feel like I am stabbing a friend love Ms Ellis;s work, NORMALLY

Pushed credulity to the limit dreadful reading especially female voices

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • annitz
  • 08-07-2018

Disappointing

Good story, but really disappointing narration. Everyone but main protagonist sounded like a David Walliams character. Struggled to finish.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anna Zakharova
  • 27-09-2018

Good story, less good reading.

Unfortunately , I did find the reading style off-putting: sounded rather like my Sat nav.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Emma
  • 25-07-2018

Disappointing narration

Good story but poor narration almost made me abandon the story. I found some of the voices (particularly female characters) very childlike and unbelievable, very grating.
Very sorry to say that it very much put me off, which is very sad.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • karen wood
  • 16-07-2018

very good read

I was gripped by this story. Had to keep listening constantly. I found the narrator's imitation of women's voices annoying he made them all sound simple and stupid.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • mrs e jackson
  • 14-12-2018

Engrossing

The story line is so convoluted it keeps you guessing right to the end.
The characters are interesting.
You start to try and work out what exactly is going on only to have each theory disproved or was it!!! Very clever writing.
My only grumble is the narrator he really does not do women or accents well. I was 2/3 through the book before I realised Bryn was welsh and I’m from Wales. He sounded more West Country to me.
When he was doing a female voice it became very bland with no characterisation at all.
None of the above stopped my enjoyment of the story but a different narrator would have increased it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • NHP
  • 09-12-2018

Slow

I don't know if it's the narrator or the slow unravelling of the story but I couldn't concentrate on it and kept having to back track. I found the main protagonist very unlikable, and the others boring. Sorry love Joy Ellie's other books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • ann PT
  • 02-12-2018

So many unexpected twits and turns,

This book really gripped me, the characters are well described and the unexpected ending was enthralling. Have read many Joy Ellis books but this is her best.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-07-2018

Bit disappointing

Good story but irritating narration and poor research. The narrators regional accents were poor and confusing. The adoption information was factually incorrect which I hound very distracting. A shame because otherwise a gripping yarn!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jo Ridley
  • 30-11-2018

Harder work than it should have been

the story was ok but I really didnt like the narrator. i made it to the end finally but it felt like hard work. its not the author because Ive read another of hers and it was good and i have another lined up. maybe listen to the sample and see if you like his voice and charavters any better?!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful