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Publisher's Summary

"Ghosts don't simply latch onto places, investigator. People can become haunted, too."

A missing person. A city plunged into unforgiving winter. A dangerous spirit.

Though enjoying an increase in business following his last case, life isn't all roses for private investigator Harlan Ulrich. His newest job, another missing person's case, is unlike any other he's ever taken on.

Local businessman Michael Poole hires Ulrich to find his estranged daughter.

The problem?

She's been dead for a decade.

Join Ulrich on a trip into the darkness, into the frostbitten underworld, as he seeks out a hateful phantom with only a cat and a thermos of good coffee on his side.

Darkside Blues is the third novel in the Ulrich Files series by Ambrose Ibsen.

©2017 Ambrose Ibsen (P)2017 Ambrose Ibsen

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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Story

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Creepy and well-written

The main character of this book was really hard up for money in the book that preceded this, so it was really cool to see him doing a job for the sake of the job in this book because he cared about the job so much, and the money was secondary.

This story had atmosphere and was moody. Ambrose Ibsen did a great job of setting the tone, and Jake Urry did an amazing job of oozing out the mood. Jake is one of my favorite narrators and I plan to stalk him on Audible until I have listened to nearly everything he has done.

If you like mysteries and ghost stories, this book is a perfect mashup. Give it a listen and you won't be sorry. I bought this book after hearing the one that came before this, and I'm hooked on this series now!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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works perfectly well as a standalone

This book was a classic haunting story that was strong all the way through - the ghost was actually terrifying in both character and gore. I often feel let down in one of those two aspects when I read horror so this gets a round of applause from me!

This book is the third in The Ulrich Files series, I haven't heard either of the earlier books but this installment works perfectly well as a standalone with only a few references to what may have occurred in the past (and where PI Harlan Ulrich got his oddly charming cat from).
Ulrich is a good main character, he's suitably freaked out when he discovers a disfigured ghost is following him but he's empathetic enough a person to stick around to see things through. He's the perfect stereotype of the moody PI with a troubled past and a heart of gold, I love me a classic and this delivers perfectly.

The ending of this story is strong and balances the paranormal with the awfulness of humanity really well, you won't be disappointed! Ibsen definitely knows how to put a great horror story together -  I'm glad that I listened to this in the lead up to Halloween, it has me itching for another good horror read to keep the creeps going.

Jake Urry was an excellent narrator for this kind of book, his character voices were the highlight for me - they sound completely different from his narration voice and really come to life (heh. Ghost puns). I found his standard narration voice a little bit slow and it didn't entirely hold my attention, though his haunted-house announcer style was very entertaining.

I'm not convinced that the sound effects that were added to the more tense moments in the book were a good move, it came across as a little bit cheesy for a book which was genuinely scary.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book - I think this is a brilliant match between author and narrator and would happily listen to more in this series.

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Ibsen and Urry - Amazing Every Time!

Any additional comments?

If you like stories of the paranormal variety then Ambrose Ibsen and Jake Urry are just right for you! I've listened to a number of books by this duo and they never, ever disappoint. Ibsen's stories are of the old-school ghost variety. Our protagonist, Ulrich, is a cranky, middle aged man who really enjoys a good coffee. No silly kids running around, no weird ghostly sexual encounters. Just a PI who happens to be privy to the other side and has a growing reputation for solving that particular kind of mystery. I enjoy these books so very much and I would recommend this tale to anyone who enjoys a good spooky story! 10/10<br/><br/>I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Detective ghosts and lots of double twists

Take a detective on the rise. Just completed some cases. Some local fame for the paranormal aspect of one of the cases. A crazy cat. An encounter with a man who wants to find his daughter. Did I mention she died 10 years ago? Find out why. Find out where she is. And most importantly find out what she wants. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Book 3

Have you listened to any of Jake Urry’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Jake Urry is the perfect voice for this kind of genre

Who was the most memorable character of Darkside Blues and why?

If you love a good horror story, I recommend this series . The author creates suspense and dread for both the listener/reader. The author takes his time in telling the story and creates a wonderfully engaging character in Ulrich. These series is three books and listen to all three.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Darkside Blues

Darkside Blues: The Ulrich Files, Book 3
Ambrose Ibsen

Private Investigator Harlan Ulrich is back with a new case. A missing person case that takes the listener into the dark side. The story builds slowly adding lots of suspense and the supernatural chills.


The narration was well done. The characters were well portrayed. Jake Urry brings the spooky feel to this tale!


"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Even the dead can get a bit blue.

Note: Even though this is Book 3 in the series, it works fine as a stand alone novel.

Following upon his success with the Exeter House mystery, Harlan Ulrich’s private investigation business has been doing quite well. He’s got a decent apartment, an admirable collection of fancy coffees, and a cat. Now he’s been hired to find yet another missing person. However, there’s more than one twist with this one. The missing person isn’t really missing but she’s not alive either.

I do believe this is my favorite of this series so far. Harlan Ulrich is truly becoming a ghost talker. He’s got his paranormal experiences of the past two books to draw on, so with this one he starts off on firmer ground, knowing some of the rules of engagement right from the start.

And we have Sparkles! Well, he was renamed by Harlan. His new name is Beardsley though I don’t think the cat really cares what Harlan calls him as long as there is food in his dish. Beardsley has a thing for coffee too and that mainly involves batting the beans about the apartment once he’s torn a hole in the bag.

Michael Poole has hired Harlan to approach his estranged daughter, Vivian. He says he’s seen her three times in an old neighborhood they used to live in when she was a teenager. However, he can’t bring himself to approach her and needs an intermediary. He’s chosen Harlan to be that man. However, Harlan discovers right away that Vivian died 10 years ago. As he continues to dig into the case, he finds other things that don’t match what Michael told him. Someone is lying. It becomes a tangled web as Harlan tracks down the ex-wife (Laguerre) and speaks with the stepmother (Meredith).

Let’s not forget the apparition that appears to be the teen-aged Vivian. However, she’s walking about with a limp. In life, she was wheelchair bound. Harlan has to unravel the truth about her apparent suicide. As Harlan makes more attempts to communicate with her, she responds in turn. However, her attempts of communication are rather disturbing to both Harlan and Beardsley.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was getting to know more about Harlan. He’s a teetotaler and his father was an alcoholic. This tale provides more glimpses into his past and that also provides a starting place for Vivian to communicate with him.

I really wasn’t sure where the author was going to take me with this one. I liked that I couldn’t guess major plot points right away. The story’s ending hung on a tipping point right up to the end. Will this character go this way or that, will it end in justice or vengeance, will Harlan have nightmares for months or sleep like a man after a fulfilling day’s work? I found the ending to be satisfying and I expect Harlan can live with the horrors he’s seen knowing he helped where he could.

I received a free copy of this book via The Audiobook Worm.

The Narration: Jake Urry continues to be great as Harlan Ulrich. His British accent continues to diminish with each book as he smooths out his American accent. Harlan sounds like a proper gent who happens to live in Toledo, Ohio. I liked his spooky voice for Vivian, who has a messed up face. Urry also added in a few sound effects here and there that worked quite well. I especially enjoyed the wind sounds in the background of some of the final scenes of the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I'm hooked

I was gifted this audio ARC for a honest and unbiased review from the author/narrator.
First off this is the 3rd book in series and I have not had the honor of listening to the other 2. But book 3 can be a stand alone.
Ambrose Ibsen did a fantastic job of getting into my head with this story. There were plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing all throughout the story.
The book was only made better with the narration done by Jake Urry. He has the right tone of voice for this type of book.
If you like mysteries and ghost stories, this book is a perfect book for you . Give it a listen and you won't be sorry.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Ulrich in Luck?

This is the third sequel of the Ulrich Files that I listened to within a relatively short time span.

Maybe I'm getting used to it, because it didn't feel as creepy as the previous two volumes.

However, that doesn't subtract from my enjoyment of the story in the least!

But before I go on, let me tell you, that just like the first two sequels, this can be read, understood and enjoyed without knowledge of the previous novels. Each can easily be read (or, preferably listened to) as a stand-alone novel.

As for the cover: this is not as bloody and gory a story as the cover makes us believe, which only goes to show that that old advice of not judging a book by its cover has its merit.

Jake Urry is the perfect narrator for this type of story, he absolutely manages to convey the atmosphere of this cold and bleary winter, and the horror Ulrich once again faces. In my opinion, the occasional sound effects didn't add to the story, but then I don't like sound effects in audio books at all, and I can only forgive it here because it isn't too loud, too obtrusive, occurs only a few times, and doesn't drown out the narration, and because Jake Urry does such a great job.

Now that I got that off my chest, let me talk about the book. I'd like to put my focus this time not so much on the content, but more on the characters.

At book #3 I feel as if I know Ulrich quite well, and I can relate to his love of coffee (although I'm by no means a coffee connoisseur), and his abhorrence of alcohol. I'm not teetotal, but I'm very moderate when it comes to alcohol intake, because I know how easily one can slip into an addiction, and I can see the consequences of that on a daily basis.

Ulrich is not fond of cats (another thing I can relate to), but he does his best to accommodate a cat whose owner can no longer care for it. This is something I really like about Ulrich, and I think he is becoming quite fond of the cat, even though he probably wouldn't admit it.

Ulrich isn't a person who is outgoing and friendly, and I feel that suffering from real or imagined wrongs is part of his character. His streak of bad luck seems to be broken, however, and he is on the up for once. He isn't even the person without any social contacts I took him for in book #1 (The Sick House).
All in all, Ulrich is a person with all the weaknesses and strengths that make a character believable, and his initial reactions to his otherworldly encounters are absolutely understandable and convincing.
The next character with a personality is Beardsley, the cat. I can just picture the havoc it wreaks in Ulrich's apartment, and it makes me smile.

The other characters in this story are of no great import, except for Vivian Poole, who has been dead for ten years. What happened back then, and why? Why does Michael see her, and what is his second wife's role in this? Though no main characters, they don't remain completely pale, we (i.e. Ulrich) find out quite some truths about them all.
I have to admit that I suspected something far more sinister than Michael claims -- but I won't let you know whether I was right or not.

Conclusion: A great story about negligence, lies, revenge, and friendship. Possibly not the strongest book in the series, but nonetheless very enjoyable.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jake Urry. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Ending was ok

I liked the book and I really enjoyed this entire series but I wanted more from the ending. I had a lot of questions that I feel went unanswered. Overall, I recommend this book. I hope other novels will be added to this series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Wendy Hellion
  • 05-27-17

Old fashioned spooky story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes it is a good solid book in the genre and keeps you gripped

Who was your favorite character and why?

Harlan Ulrich, though he was very cold

Which character – as performed by Jake Urry – was your favourite?

Harlan Ulrich old film noir, dectective ala Dennis Wheatley

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Good gothic spinetingler

Any additional comments?

The story has is a good solid spooky story, and with the narration sounds like a Denis Wheatley novel, I would recommend

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  • Norma Miles
  • 05-15-17

"Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

Any additional comments?

Just before Christmas, the weather bleak and cold, investigator Harlan Ulrich is approached by a man who wants him to find his daughter, a girl who had died almost exactly ten years before but who the father is certain he has recently seen walking each evening from a cafe to an hotel before vanishing. The man seems decent and desperate, so Harlan takes the case, one he and his cat will regret.<br/><br/>A good ghost story, with the tension growing as it progresses, and made increasingly creepy by Jake Urry's excellent narration, reinforced by occasional gentle background sound effects. A recommended listen.

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  • Petra
  • 04-20-17

Superbly narrated, atmospheric paranormal mystery

Following 'The Sick House' and 'Medicine For The Dead', this is the third book featuring coffee-addicted private investigator Harlan Ulrich. It works fine as a standalone. In the last two books, Ulrich dealt with some frightening cases involving supernatural phenomena that have made him well-known locally and his PI business is finally taking off. When Ulrich is approached by Michael Poole, a rich local businessman, who asks him to investigate the disappearance of his daughter, Ulrich is reasonably happy to take on the case as it appears to be more of a "normal" missing person's case. Of course, it doesn't quite turn out that way, and soon Ulrich is being followed.
Initially, I thought this was going to be quite a straightforward ghost story, but getting further into it, little twists kept coming that made this into a less clear-cut, rather sad, and nicely atmospheric paranormal mystery. I've become quite fond of Harlan Ulrich over the course of the three audiobooks. The way he chats with his cat is pretty endearing and he is an all-round good guy. I enjoy Ambrose Ibsen's descriptive style of writing and the way he creates fear and suspense.
This was a quick and easy listen made even more enjoyable thanks to the excellent narration by Jake Urry. Good range of voices, great pacing and intonation, and just perfect at getting the eerie atmosphere across.