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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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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.

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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 and 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.

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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.

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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.

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Loved it!

Luke Arnold did it again! His story telling is top notch and I hope there is another book to come in the near future!

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Dark fantasy noir

The first audiobooks I ever listened to were the noir, private eye type books like Maltese Falcon and the Big Sleep. I love the main character to be flawed yet capable and have that backstory that you always know there’s more to. This is probably one of my favorite new series. It’s paced very well and layered in the same way as all the best noir mystery stories. I think the best part, and the trademark of these type of stories is, there isn’t a happy ending. Sometimes aspects are worse than they started, but the sun comes up on a new day and the protagonist goes into work to solve another problem. Content wise, it’s a little more mature rated than I’d like but still a great book.

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Had to know what happened...

This is a story about two sides of a conflict and a “traitor” as the main character. It’s tough to do that in a way that allows a reader to both doubt and root for him. Arnold does that here in a unique setting with characters that make the story even better. The author is the narrator and he knows Fetch perfectly. Well done!