Beware the Past

By: Joy Ellis
Narrated by: Antony Ferguson
Series: Detective Matt Ballard, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
4 out of 5 stars (450 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

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
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    205
  • 4 Stars
    131
  • 3 Stars
    69
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    21
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    204
  • 4 Stars
    103
  • 3 Stars
    59
  • 2 Stars
    23
  • 1 Stars
    22
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    183
  • 4 Stars
    120
  • 3 Stars
    56
  • 2 Stars
    26
  • 1 Stars
    19

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent

most excellent story, can't wait to go to book 2, I'm from America, so I'm used to our police carrying guns, plus all the other stuff. it's kind of crazy to me that the UK cops only have tasers and clubs. But I still really enjoyed this book, and have already ordered book 2.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

27 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beware the past no beware the narration

I have just started listening to this book and I don’t think I’m going to listen anymore. The story is great but the narration is horrible. Sorry buts that’s the only world for it. It’s totally spoiling it for me and grating on my nerves. Might be the first book I send back.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent in every way!

Love this author and narrator. Have listened to all of her books and her word craft is such a pleasure. I never want her stories to end, but damn I just finished another one.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars

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

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Don’t buy!!!

I don’t understand the many positive reviews for this book. The writing is embarrassingly puerile. The narrator is well matched to this juvenile book. He sounds like the DJ on an old top 40 AM radio station.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A great disappointment

Never thought that I would be so disappointed in a Joy Ellis book. The writing is as good as always but the story is stale up until the ending, which is so unnecessary and unbelievable as to make it ridiculous. Matt and Liz are neither likable nor very smart. The other police officers are pretty inept and the leadership is nonexistent. I have all of Ellis's books but DCI Matt Ballard will not be joining my bookshelf.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

the surprise

I was very surprised at the from now we of the book The Twist was unsuspected but entertaining

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ann karen wood
  • Ann karen wood
  • 07-16-18

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.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gen
  • Gen
  • 07-22-18

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

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anna Zakharova
  • Anna Zakharova
  • 09-27-18

Good story, less good reading.

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

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for annitz
  • annitz
  • 07-08-18

Disappointing

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

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jo Ridley
  • Jo Ridley
  • 11-30-18

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?!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Emma
  • Emma
  • 07-25-18

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.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for mrs e jackson
  • mrs e jackson
  • 12-14-18

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-04-18

Horrible narration spoiled story

The narration felt like I was listening to a children’s story as it was so over the top. It really spoiled the enjoyment - the intonation was so unnatural.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-26-18

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!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for ann PT
  • ann PT
  • 12-02-18

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.

3 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for peter cousens
  • peter cousens
  • 07-20-18

couldn't finish because of performance 🤨

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

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Maureen
  • Maureen
  • 12-11-19

Poor Performance

I really enjoy this author however the narrator just put me off finishing this book. Made the book totally unbelievable and the accents were terrible. I will have to buy the hard copy; as the story has me intrigued.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-31-19

great story

loved the story, love Joy Ellis as an author, loads of twists and turns right up to the end. the narrator wasn't the best, it took a while to get past the voice and get into the story. the narration made it hard to find some of the characters believable.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for wilma preston
  • wilma preston
  • 06-22-18

So thrilling

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for JennyRay
  • JennyRay
  • 06-18-18

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Elizabeth
  • Elizabeth
  • 05-09-20

Murder narrators

Anthony’s voice is lovely to listen to, but for a murder thriller , just doesn’t have that element of anticipation.. love all J Ellis and the other 2 series are superb .

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-01-20

Narrator

Loved the book, but found the narrator very hard to engage with, had to keep rewinding.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-18-20

Ho hum

Cliches and caricatures in a ho hum story. This book did have me laughing at the ....come on chaps go go go!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Karlene in Nz
  • Karlene in Nz
  • 02-09-20

Not even on a dare

With a better narrator, and with some constructive editing, this could have been okay.
Not great, but okay. There are some good elements of suspense.
However in this state it is too awful even to do on a double dog dare.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Neil Grunwell
  • Neil Grunwell
  • 02-06-20

didn't finish

I love Joy Ellis books but I found the narrator annoying and he was the reason I did not finish it. I am going to return this book to audible.