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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 listeners say about Beware the Past

Average Customer Ratings
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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.

10 people found this helpful

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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.

7 people found this helpful

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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.

6 people found this helpful

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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.

31 people found this helpful

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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.

5 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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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.

8 people found this helpful

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

7 people found this helpful

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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.

26 people found this helpful

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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

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  • 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.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Anna
  • 09-27-18

Good story, less good reading.

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

15 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

13 people found this helpful

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  • 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

26 people found this helpful

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  • 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?!

12 people found this helpful

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  • annitz
  • 07-08-18

Disappointing

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

21 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

8 people found this helpful

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  • 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!

7 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 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

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  • 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.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • 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

10 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-21-20

Terrible narration

The storyline might have been okay but dreadful narration made me so irritated, it was hard to tell whether the story was riveting or not. The narrator sounded like a stand up comedian trying to force accents. Doesn’t work with a serial killer plot. Possibly would be a better story if you read it rather than listening to it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • KathyG
  • 12-31-20

Not her best effort

The story was far too corny and tidy....too many plots, very convenient end.
the Narrator, who was Australian did a very poor job on English accents and the female voices were dreadful. the women sounded like air heads and not the determined, intelligent women they were supposed to be.
Far too much sex and swearing. if this was my first Joy Ellis book I would not have read any more. Thank goodness it wasn't as her other books and characters are more believable.

2 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • wilma preston
  • 06-22-18

So thrilling

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

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-01-20

Narrator

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bernadette Aitken
  • 03-05-19

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.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Helen Wilson
  • 12-13-18

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.

1 person found this helpful