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Publisher's Summary

When the body of a man is discovered in woodlands outside Manchester, a ten-year missing-persons investigation can finally be filed away. But this was no ordinary death: gagged, bound and buried alive, he was the victim of a sophisticated and sadistic killer. And there is something else that has the National Crime Agency puzzled. A single character carved into a nearby tree.

Newly promoted to the NCA's Behavioural Sciences Unit, Senior Investigator Joanne Stuart is determined to hunt down the perpetrator. Just as Jo's investigation begins to reveal links with other disappearances, there is another murder. This is no longer a cold case; she is dealing with the escalating violence of a chilling serial killer.

Stepping into a sinister world of secrets, symbols, and rituals, Jo will have to confront the legacy of her own past and the violent memories that lurk there if she is going to solve this case. But at what cost?

©2016 Bill Rogers (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Pick, the Spade and the Crow

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Awful narration with horrible enunciation

I couldn’t finish this audiobook. The narrator’s voice was awful. She simply didn’t seem to sound out her consonants and it turned me right off.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 19-06-2017

About the Masons

English police procedural; female detective with female life partner. (good change of pace)

I like books set in other English speaking countries (I'm in the US), learning about the differences in customs, idioms, language, history - you name it. I will pick up a dictionary, or look at a atlas.

That said, to follow this book properly, a person who doesn't live in the British Isles (and thus isn't familiar with England's geography) would have to have a good map of England open on her lap most of the book. Also, the reader should have both ears open, and be prepared to do a lot of reading (or listening, in my case) between the lines to spot and decipher in context idioms and other specific-to-England English words.

Otherwise, mainstream police detective story.

Except, I had not realized from the blurb that the Masons are central to the story. Books that focus of groups alleged to be "secret" are not a plus for me. The narration was ok.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Larene
  • 21-01-2020

Narrator's accent/style of speech distracting

Bubble in her mouth? Singsongy. Too late to return, will leave this book for when it's the last one left in my account and I'm desperate to listen to something.

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  • The Rancher's Wife
  • 27-04-2017

Well paced and amount of detail

This was an enjoyable listen, as far as true crime can be enjoyed. The story had enough detail I could picture what was going on, but not so much I felt bogged down. As it unfolded it was pretty easy to guess what would happen, but not annoyingly so. The narrator has a pleasant voice and accent, and of course the fun foreign phrases! I would recommend this book, author, and narrator.

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  • C. Hartmann
  • 27-01-2017

A Great Spinoff from Rogers' DCI Tom Caton Series

This is my once-a-year non-sci-fi review. If you like British police procedurals, and particularly if you like Manchester -- you will like this female-lead spinoff from Rogers' DCI Tom Caton Manchester series. Although this could be read on its own, it does reference back to that series:

The Cleansing (2009)
The Head Case (2009)
The Tiger's Cave (2010)
A Fatal Intervention (2010)
Bluebell Hollow (2010)
A Trace of Blood (2011)
The Frozen Contract (2012)
Backwash (2013)
A Venetian Moon (2013)

Jo has moved from the Manchester force to the NCA -- And the good news is that there is already a second book.

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  • Voyager
  • 09-11-2016

Could not stand the weird narration voice

I'm afraid I could not listen to this narration. Will have to return book. Cannot therefore comment on the story.

8 people found this helpful

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  • annabel
  • 04-11-2016

Narration is totally unsuitable no expression completely ruined the story so no idea wether the book was any good or not

Narration awful no expression so no idea if the book is any good or not to irritated to finish

4 people found this helpful

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  • Carôle
  • 22-12-2016

Weird

Unlike other reviewers, I don't think that the narrator was very poor - not great, but not as bad as made out. However, I also think that the story is poor. Nothing to intrigue, I don't know if the narrator has anything to do with this!

But I haven't finished this, bored with the story I really can't believe how tedious it is and how ineffective the NCA is portrayed as being. Why, given the seriousness of the crime, does the Senior Investigator go into dangerous situations by herself? She could have (& should have) died several times. To me, this is all too incredulous, even given the staff cuts. Officers would not be encouraged to pursue such cases alone.

I'm giving up on this, but I don't feel any loss from it. This is part of the Kindle Unlimited package that I'm subscribed to. So I can return this with no feeling of loss of money. All that I've wasted is my time… please don't do the same, unless you also have Kindle Unlimited.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazing shades
  • 13-12-2016

Audio

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

the narrator is terrible didn't get beyond 2 minutes.

What will your next listen be?

Anything but not this book.

What didn’t you like about Anne Flosnik’s performance?

Slow exaggerated

What character would you cut from The Pick, the Spade and the Crow?

None

Any additional comments?

Terrible.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Wl
  • 25-11-2016

whaaa

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

rcording of narrator/voice =unlistenable ...you cant listen to this recording. its awful

Who was your favorite character and why?

none

What didn’t you like about Anne Flosnik’s performance?

its unlistenable voice also v strange reverb of voice

What character would you cut from The Pick, the Spade and the Crow?

noon

Any additional comments?

have to return

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sally
  • 30-05-2018

Narration so bad all should get a refund

I have complained about bad narrators before but never have they been this bad.
She is harsh on the ear, puts the emphasis in the wrong place and masks the characters.

Audible you should be embarrassed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • The Cat Herder
  • 16-01-2018

Worst narration style ever........

Torturous listen.
Great book though - read the series it's a spin off from as well - they're better narrated......

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • kayleigh
  • 23-12-2017

Poor narration

Might have been a good story, but the narration was so awful it was distracting.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • reader
  • 12-06-2020

The Pick, the Spade and the Crow

Not a bad storyline bit drawn out though, took a while to get into it made hard because narration was awful almost monotone, did not bring out the characters in any way ,but, with perseverance I listened until the end. Would do this book more justice if it were to be narrated by someone more proficient I have enjoyed many books written by Bill Rogers.!

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  • Miss S M Sherwood
  • 10-02-2020

GODAWFUL!!!

The book might be better if the narration was better. It was stilted & choppy in delivery.
The narration made the book feel boring.
It’s so bad I can’t face finishing listening to it.

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