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Dead Beat

PI Kate Brannigan, Book 1
Narrated by: Chloe Massey
Series: PI Kate Brannigan, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

As a favour to her rock journalist boyfriend, private detective Kate Brannigan agrees to track down a missing songwriter, Moira Pollock - a search that takes her into some of the seediest parts of Leeds and Bradford. But little does she realise that finding Moira is only a prelude to murder. 

Juggling her other cases, including a search to uncover the source of counterfeit luxury goods, Brannigan finds herself for the first time on the trail of a killer.

©1992 Val McDermid (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

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Profile Image for Freckles
  • Freckles
  • 03-22-19

Fun detective story

Fun and entertaining. A very likeable main character and I enjoyed the fact that she didn’t have the stereotypical miserable home life. It’s very different from some of Val’s other books. I’ll certainly get the next one in the series.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Crafter
  • 02-28-19

Val McDermod does it again

wonderful accect. love the story. Val has a twisted mind,which makes for thw best stories.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • EmGem22
  • 06-05-19

Found Myself A New Heroine

I love the Karen Pirie books by Val and thought I'd try some of her older work.
I listened to the whole book in less than 24 hours.
Good story, plus lots of reminiscing from my 20s and my Manchester days.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • K
  • 05-17-19

Cliched and dated

Bad reviews seem anathema to other readers and this site, especially if they deviate from the conventional 'great read' response. But, I doubt my unfavourable opinion of this novel will trouble Val McDermid's bank account. I therefore have no hesitation in stating that getting to the end of this book was a trial. I could have stopped and returned it, granted, but as McDermid is such a popular writer I really wanted to give her a chance to redeem herself. My aim was not completely altruistic; I do love to find a prolific writer with engaging work so that I can stack my virtual shelves with their stuff. I've realised that's not going to happen this time.

Firstly, the attempts to challenge gender stereotyping is clunky, her characters just as contrived. The protagonist Kate seems only to gain/retain her status in a male dominated profession by being as masculine as the men: kick-boxing, bullying, the lack of interest in marriage - suggesting the only way to gain equality is to homogenise your personality to the dominant gender. A tired concept.

Oh, the cliches! Kates lover calls her Brannigan like she's in some 80s TV police drama; the straight women are all parasitic bitches; the lesbians are bitter and unhappy; the men sleazy or devious. Much of this novel, right down to the 'gather everyone together' scene at then end, is so derivative that it becomes exasperating quite early on and only become progressively more annoying.

The narrator's whining monotone can't have helped either.

64 of 75 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • andrew moore
  • 06-11-19

good but not as Vals best

enjoyed this new charachter and the regional narration was a good fit with the setting. pace was good but the story had less twists and turns than I expected. it was a bit predictable. i

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for cristina
  • cristina
  • 06-29-19

s<br />Surprisingly boring

I normally enjoy Val McDermit books. I like the structure of her novels and the well depicted characters but I found this one very boring. I can see the main plan but the story doesn't do anything for me. The reading actress, Chloe Massey, is very pleasant though and I liked her interpretation.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Catherine
  • 10-05-19

Enjoyable

Good old fashioned gum shoe and a very easy listen. Dated but part of the charm but for goodness sake, why not check pronunciations? Sub judice comes up a few times towards the end and is criminally mangled.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • SEB
  • 09-30-19

Poor narration spoils this

The narrator sounds like a badly spoken schoolgirl. I stopped listening about an hour in.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon
  • 09-04-19

Clunks Along Reasonably Enough

Dead Beat? No not quite, this still clunks along in its own way reasonably enough. And heavens the poor thing is over 17 years old now so it's hardly going to be up there with its most contemporary shelf-mates. PI Kate Brannigan is a perky character, I liked her though I suspect that's as much down to Chloe Massey's reading of her as much as anything else. MAssey does do the main character well but seemed to struggle to lose her femininity for some of the male characters more than most female narrators.

The story though is pretty rough around the edges, it's not badly written but it does come across very much like a much older style detective novel complete with the final reveal where Brannigan wants all the suspects to meet her in the drawing room. All very Cluedo if you ask me and the final proof won't make a lot of sense to anyone computer-literate at the time.

In short, this isn't awful but it is one of McDermid's earlier novels, it is getting on a bit, and it shows.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kazasid
  • 08-31-19

not very dark, but good reading anytime

really enjoyed this book, the narrator's voice didn't add veritas and it could have been a bit deeper. great holiday read.

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  • Rymkervic
  • 05-09-19

First time l have read anything from this author

I enjoyed this story, with the pedigree of the author l expected something deeper but as this is the first in the line perhaps depth comes in stages. This for me was a light read, but enjoyable, nice pace and not boring. The narration was very good - its a holiday read and yep good enough to buy the next in the series. The main character is a Private investigator and the storyline on what is uncovered (which is more than one thing) comes across as highly credible. Good stuff

1 of 1 people found this review helpful