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The Excursion Train

Railway Detective, Book 2
Narrated by: Sam Dastor
Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
3.7 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On the shocking discovery of a passenger's body on the Great Western Railway excursion train, Detective Inspector Robert Colbeck and his assistant, Sergeant Victor Leeming, are dispatched to the scene.

Faced with what initially appears to be a motiveless murder, Colbeck is intrigued by the murder weapon - a noose.

When it emerges that the victim had worked as a public executioner, Colbeck realises that this must be intrinsically linked to the killer's choice of weapon. However, the further he delves into the case, the more mysterious it becomes. And when a second man is strangled by a noose on a train, Colbeck knows that he must act quickly. Can he catch the murderer before more lives are lost?

Set in Victorian England and rich in historical detail, The Excursion Train will hold you captivated from the beginning to the end of its journey.

©2006 Edward Marston (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Excursion Train

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  • Kathi
  • 18-08-2013

Greatly entertaining!

This is a book I hesitated to get, because I thought it could be so much about the history of trains, I might find it boring. I could not have been more wrong! Edward Marston has done a superb job of weaving some information about early trains--but that is more of a backdrop for what proves to be an interesting victorian-style mystery. Robert Colbeck and his sidekick, Victor Leeming, come from the early and still forming Scotland yard. This means that they don't yet have the respect of everybody--though they find clever ways to get people to open up to them. There is a light love interest--who is also sometimes Robert's secret assistant in getting to the heart of the mystery. I was pleasantly surprised to discover how compelling it was to listen to this book.

Even better, the narration is by the incomparable Sam Dastor. He does various voices with seeming ease--and there is no problem recognizing "who" is speaking.

The mystery is good (though slightly predictable), the character development is excellent, the background scene was set to perfection without overpowering the story, and it held my interest from beginning to end. I was happiest to discover that there are a few more in this same series of books about Robt Colbeck--and I look forward to listening to them very soon!

My only puzzlement is, Audible.com: where is book #1? It did not detract to begin with book #2 (as I feared it might--since some authors tend to replay all that occurred in a previous book, thus ruining any motivation to go back and read it.) Happily, that was not the case here. I felt no loss beginning with this volume, nor any reluctance to find the first one and read it later.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Lmutschall
  • 26-08-2019

Great book!

I love detective stories and this one is a great listen too! The narrator is very good too.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Chelle
  • 27-12-2016

I was expecting more....

What disappointed you about The Excursion Train?

I thought this story would be richer, and more detailed in railroad/train history. It's not.
I'm not sure if it's the writing or the narrator, or a combination of both, that gave the audiobook a 'lacking something' feel.

Would you ever listen to anything by Edward Marston again?

No

Any additional comments?

For others that like to know details like this before hitting the play button in front of the kids:
2 curse words used right near the beginning of the book.
The storyline enfolds itself around an "attempted rape" (won't add spoilers)
Adultery seems to be a preferred theme.

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  • Learning is fun!
  • 17-05-2016

Thoroughly Enjoyable

Loved it, interesting story, gentle humour, romance thrown in without anything to give me nightmares! Perfect.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Xavier Quill
  • 10-08-2019

Spoilt by an overly RP reading

Whist the story was good, despite the predictability of the eventual main villain and the odd late introduction of the accomplice, the entire book was rendered less engaging by the poor choice of narrator. The narration managed to make the principle protagonist appear pompous, priggish and unpleasantly snobbish in the extreme. Furthermore the whole thing was narrated in an accent that was probably best suited to 1930’s BBC Radio productions. It was a difficult thing to achieve, to make the Inspector more condescending than Paul Temple but the narration managed to do so along with cod Cockneys and mumbling Mummerset Kent yokels. To paraphrase Mark Twain, “a good story spoiled”

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • H13
  • 27-09-2018

excellent

Really good listen. thoroughly enjoyed the pace, twists and turns. highly recommend. Enjoy listening ...

1 person found this helpful

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  • fred jones
  • 18-04-2020

A fine detective story well narrated

I am a big fan of Edward Marsden and this an excellent detective story, I did not realize the culprit until the reveal. Very well narrated with a good range of voices, the narrator does well with the female characters.

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  • Susan W.
  • 24-12-2018

first one of I hope many

I loved the telling of the story very well done to who told the story

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  • Nick
  • 31-07-2018

An average listen

Found the main character difficult to warm to. He was arrogant and patronising. The Kentish accents were all wrong as these characters seem to have come from the West Country. Glad it was over. A fairly good plot spoilt by a poor narrator. Will try Edward Marstons Home Front Detective and see if that is an improvement

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  • Macon
  • 21-07-2018

Childish

Childish rubbish badly narrated. If I could give it less stars I would. Not recommended for serious readers.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • trevor
  • 27-06-2018

Who done it

Great read can't wait for t he third instalment kept me guessing till the end

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  • Steve_Morris
  • 03-08-2015

Amateur Dramatics

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I enjoyed this book, but somehow it sounded like an amateur dramatics performance of a detective story. I am not sure if this is the reading or the writing, but I didn't feel like that after reading the first book on Kindle. I enjoy amateur dramatics, so it didn't bother me too much, but I am not sure how many more of these I would listen to.

What did you like best about this story?

Railway settings and descriptions of lifestyle were interesting background to the plot. The story was credible and not too contrived, although perhaps a bit formulaic. (The obvious grumpy character was not guilty and certain key details were withheld till the end).

What three words best describe Sam Dastor’s performance?

Slow and steady.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No!

Any additional comments?

Good for railway buffs but maybe not for the common man (or woman).

1 person found this helpful

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  • IsaacJolliffe
  • 24-09-2018

Atmospheric.

The story was enjoyable and captured the situation and period well. Unfortunately I will not read any more in the series because I prefer to read books without bad language.

1 person found this helpful