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Publisher's Summary

A former soldier turned PI solves crime in a world that's lost its magic in this brilliant sequel to actor Luke Arnold's debut The Last Smile in Sunder City.

The name's Fetch Phillips - what do you need? 

Cover a Gnome with a crossbow while he does a dodgy deal? Sure. 

Find out who killed Lance Niles, the big-shot businessman who just arrived in town? I'll give it shot. 

Help an old-lady Elf track down her husband's murderer? That's right up my alley. 

What I don't do, because it's impossible, is search for a way to bring the goddamn magic back. 

Rumors got out about what happened with the Professor, so now people keep asking me to fix the world. 

But there's no magic in this story. Just dead friends, twisted miracles, and a secret machine made to deliver a single shot of murder. 

Welcome back to the streets of Sunder City, a darkly imagined world perfect for listeners of Ben Aaronovitch and Jim Butcher.

©2020 Luke Arnold (P)2020 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Dead Man in a Ditch

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantasy/Hardboiled fiction at its best

Okay, the last line in the blurb here is a bit misleading. I'm sure the publisher is hoping to hook the Harry Dresden and Peter Grant fans into checking out this series (and they should, it's awesome) but Dead Man in a Ditch is not the same kind of story. It's nothing like a supernatural police procedural.

The first book in this series, The Last Smile in Sunder City, brought to mind Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep, and now that I think about it, Frank Miller's Sin City. If you enjoyed those movies (or the comic series), you're going to love The Fetch Phillips Archives. Grim, but stylish, each story reads like classic Hardboiled fiction, but has the unique twist of being populated with supernatural beings as well as humans.

Dead Man in a Ditch continues developing its main character, Fetch Phillips PI, in another adventure. I mentioned grim, right? It has that in spades. His investigation into the corrupt government of Sunder City turns over rocks you'd rather not see underneath as he navigates through a sea of damaged and morally compromised characters; in the police force, big business, organized crime as well as the seedy residents of the underbelly of the city. There's loss, betrayal and situations where the only choices are bad ones.

But the best part of all this? (Besides Luke Arnold's superb writing.) Luke Arnold's narration!

WOW. _Every_ character is fantastic. No lie. They're all perfectly voiced. Distinct, vivid and stepping off the page. A hulking ogre bodyguard. A diminutive gnome. The lazy Texas drawl of a human businessman. The sibilant speech of a lamia. The bubbling effect from a lung shot victim. All of it. Perfect. It puts you right there in the thick of things. That added to the gripping, intense story, you'll find yourself deeply, emotionally invested in the characters. Having your heart broken alongside their's is a rare thing to achieve, Luke Arnold. Bravo! (standing and clapping) BRAVO!!

Seriously awesome listen. I have a special 'gem' category in my library for fantastic writing and narration and this, along with the first book, is in it.

Dead Man in a Ditch is not a happy story, (there are no happy stories in hardboiled fiction), but it does leave you gratified at its close. And wanting more. I can't wait for the next book to come out. Well worth the credit.

17 people found this helpful

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Outstanding

This book, like Last Smile in Sunder City, captured me and brought me to a world full of mystery, magic and life. I cheered and was concerned for Fetch and hated those that did him harm. It is a wonderfully amazing book. I suggest it for anyone who wants to escape in a new world full of hope.

5 people found this helpful

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Luke Arnold is a mega talent.

I truly enjoyed both books. Luke is an amazing talent with his character voices and writing. So very entertaining.
The only miniscule downside to me was the underlying political gun control topic, and as a American Southerner, the characters with southern accents were all the most unsavory.
Other than that, it IS a great listen. I almost listened straight thru. Kinda wish I had rationed and savored it.
I do hope there are more books coming.

4 people found this helpful

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Better than the first

This was amazing. The story was captivating and the emotion in the author's voice as he read made you wonder if he was reliving a true experience. This novel felt more well rounded, had a clear identity and no wasted movement. I can't wait for more tales from the world.

4 people found this helpful

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the sequel is as good as the first

this is one my new favorite books and I hope he keeps writing them and I really hope he keeps reading them because it has to be the best performance of a audiobook I have ever listened to.

3 people found this helpful

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Highly Entertaining

Luke Arnold has created a wonderfully broken world in this fantasy tale that is thoroughly and deeply human. It’s balanced and thoughtful, fun and emotional. He caps it all off with an impressive vocal performance. Looking forward to #3.

2 people found this helpful

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Both Books are Outstanding

Both Books are Outstanding, the narrator as well! Totally original world built and characters described. Highly recommended.

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Sunder series

I love the Sunder Series. Hopefully there will be another. If your looking for a fairy tale ending than look somewhere else. This book is about redemption, well I think the entire series is about redemption.

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loved it

wonderful series. I hope there will be More. didn't likethis one quite as much as the first, but that is often the case. hard to recreate the sense of discovery. great and evolving characters. the narration is perfect. often authors are terrible readers but that is not the case here.

2 people found this helpful

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John (Freaking)Silver!!!!

When I first looked into picking up I the first Sunder City novel I said Luke Arnold I know that name.... quick google search later and i said nope!!! Actors turned writers??!!?! that can't be very good what did he do write it in between scenes in his trailer?

two books later I'm Now googling "When will their be a 3rd Fetch Phillip's book!!!!" I'm completely hooked. however I find myself in a completing situation while attempting to describe the book to others I come across at a loss as to categorize the book. it didn't fit into conventional "Fantasy" genre nor was it a A-typical post apocalyptic book. So I believe Luke has created an entire new genre, I dunno about you folks but I'm calling it...

A Mythological Fantasy Style, Dystopian future detective novel.

if Luke Arnold has a better description I'm all ears. Either way this book is definitely a must read. if I had a complaint at all it was only that the first one was too short. this one got much longer. Can't wait for volume 3.

2 people found this helpful