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Dead North

Sam Williams, Book 1
Narrated by: Andrew Calverley
Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins

Non-member price: $27.79

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Publisher's Summary

Two dead cops and a suspect who won’t talk.... 

Once the brightest star in the legal firmament, Sam Williams has hit rock bottom, with barely a client to his name and a short-term cash problem that's looking longer by the minute. So when he's summoned to Manchester to help a friend crack a case involving the murder of two unarmed police officers and a suspect who won't say a word, he jumps at the chance to resurrect his career. 

In Manchester, he'll struggle against resentful locals, an enigmatic defense lawyer who thinks he's stepping on her toes, beatings, corrupt cops, and people who'll do anything to protect their secrets. On its streets, he’ll see people die. But it's in the hills and valleys further north that Sam will face the biggest challenge of all: learning who he really is and facing down the ghosts of his past. 

He’s working someone else’s case, and he’s in way over his head. But sometimes, you need the wrong man in the right place.

©2018 Joel Hames (P)2019 Joel Hames

Critic Reviews

“In Dead North, Hames’ lawyer turned accidental sleuth, Sam Williams, finds himself far from home and neck deep in Manchester’s seamy gangster scene. But what stands out in this intelligent, intricately woven crime procedural - with a plot to make your brain hurt - is the undercurrent of slick and highly enjoyable humour reminiscent of Raymond Chandler, updated for the 21st century. Loved it.” (S.E. Lynes, author of Mother, Valentina, and The Pact)

“I really enjoyed it. The characters spring of the page with such natural ease. I was gripped by the story - I love a book that takes turns where you least expect. It's going to leave me with a thriller hangover for some time.” (John Marrs, author of The One, The Good Samaritan, and When You Disappeared)

 “Hames is such a talent that he has created a white-knuckle, breathlessly-paced read that also has heart. Beautifully written and thrilling, Dead North deserves to go to the top of any chart.” (Louise Beech, author of Maria in the Moon, How to Be Brave, and The Mountain in My Shoe

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What members say

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  • darla Martin
  • 26-06-2019

tedious

slow moving, tedious story. uninteresting. couldn't wait for it to end. story drags from the first page. will not buy this author again. narrator did a good job with what he had to work with.

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  • Melanie Preston Lewis
  • 29-05-2019

Quite the revelation

Full disclosure here, I am a Joel Hames virgin; this is our very first date. Despite having heard great things about his writing from other people, for some reason I still hadn't got around to reading his work. Then Mr Hames goes down the audio route and I'm in heaven. Nothing draws me to an author more than the production of their work in audio format. So, with his recently released on Audible book, Dead North, I plunged head first into the world of Sam Williams, lawyer, investigator, occasional psychological adviser and the hero of our tale. Mr Hames writes in the first person narrative, which obviously lends itself perfectly to audio. Andrew Calverley does a star turn as the narrator, switching back and forth between London and Mancunian accents effortlessly. The action maintains a brisk pace throughout and the plot is most onion-like, in that it is multi-layered and removal of each layer reveals something new. Before I knew it I was at the end, or was I? No spoilers here but the ending is carefully constructed to make sure, (as if I'd entertained any doubt), I immediately purchase book 2! All in all a clever and captivating chronicle which I highly recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Teresa Harwood
  • 10-07-2019

Convoluted storyline

Sam Williams is a struggling London lawyer, down on his luck financially and relying on his girlfriend to pay the rent. When Sam receives a call from his old friend DI Roakes he agrees to go to Manchester assist with a case. Two unarmed police officers have been shot dead and the suspect, Thomas Carson, is refusing to speak to anyone. The story is clever, if convoluted but I found the first person narrative very off putting as it made Sam came across as rather whiney. Despite this it was a good read.

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  • SandraL
  • 04-07-2019

Thrilling

Sam Williams is a down on his luck London solicitor who was fired from his last employment and is now taking small cases. He receives a phone call from a police colleague who asks him to assist as legal advisor on the case of the murder of 2 policemen in Manchester.

Dead North is a fast paced, tautly written police procedural with a brilliant storyline which hooks you in from the start. It’s certainly very different to the usual crime thrillers. There were so many twists and red herrings and quite a bit of violence. But by the end all the loose ends were tied up for a satisfying conclusion..

Sam Williams is a fantastic character and I loved his dry wit and self-deprecating humour. The other characters were also well drawn, and the setting of Manchester was painted so well, grey and miserable.

This was my first book by Joel Hames and I loved his writing style so will definitely be searching out more of his books.. I listened to the Audible version and the narrator had a perfect voice for the book.

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  • TerryHeth
  • 27-06-2019

Gritty & fun.

Such a good listen & im sure it will be a good read too.
Sam is a fun character & yes it’s a serious storyline, but he’s amusing & self critical & just human.

He’s been invited to Manchester to help in a case & as the story deepens his character shows through.
It’s a dangerous case but gritty & so good. Tense at times.
Thoroughly enjoyed it. Roll on more!
Narrator was great too. A good voice for this book

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  • TG
  • 27-06-2019

Fast paced

What a likeable character Sam is. This is a fast paced listen, some dry wit and an interesting plot. Highly enjoyable.

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  • Ellie S
  • 26-06-2019

Good book.

Struggled to finish, would read rather than listen next time I think as I know Joel's books have great reviews.

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  • carol pearce
  • 25-06-2019

A gritty police thriller

I enjoyed listening to this book which was very well narrated. It has a good storyline, is action packed & well paced. If you haven’t tried any of Joel Hames books before give this one a go, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed

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  • niamh bonner
  • 23-06-2019

spoiler alert

Really enjoyed listening to this. A down on his luck solicitor ends up embroiled in a murder mystery in Manchester. He is a bit hapless and gets himself into a lot of trouble but his questioning nature eventually leads him to a whole other world of intrigue

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  • Danny
  • 21-06-2019

Great book

I was instantly hooked in this story from the beginning. This is a new author for me but can't wait to read more books from him. The narrator is always so important to me and this Andrew Calverley did a great job. I thoroughly recommend this book for any crime fiction lover you won't regret it 📚📖.

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  • Lindsay
  • 18-06-2019

Great start to a trilogy

I really enjoyed this audio book. The story kept me gripped and I loved the fact it wasn’t a typical police led crime drama. After a man gets arrested for killing a cop the story tosses and turns in all kinds of directions as we try to get to the bottom of what’s actually happened and why the suspect won’t talk. I really enjoyed the story and the narration and I can’t wait to listen to the next book now.