Killer by Nature

An Audible Original Drama
By: Jan Smith
Length: 4 hrs and 31 mins
4 out of 5 stars (19,446 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What’s in a label? Are we the product of our upbringing or do we have a natural propensity towards good or evil? The eternal question of nature vs nurture is at the centre of Dr Diane Buckley’s world. A talented freelance forensic psychologist who has never quite found the key to engaging with people on a casual level, she is drafted in to examine a grisly murder – a body found in a children’s playground. 

The murder carries all hallmarks of one of her most famous incarcerated clients, ‘The Playground Killer’ (aka Alfred Dinklage) – namely the location of the body and the tongue being ‘forked’ like a snake with scissors. Buckley has a race against time to unpick the facts and delve into Dinklage’s often manipulative, complicated mind to understand his past to understand the present events – whilst striving to prevent further murders...as someone out there will stop at nothing to complete what they see as Dinklage’s work.

Featuring: Kathryn Anderson, Shaun Aylward, Rob James, Collier, Angela Griffin, Lara Hutchinson, Christopher John-Slater, Katherine Kelly, Simon Kent, Damian Lynch, Will Mellor, Gray O'Brien, Bhasker Patel, Jeremy Swift and Tom Turgoose. 

Please note this contains violence and adult content and language.

©2017 Audible, Ltd (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

Our favorite moments from Killer by Nature

There was an old woman who swallowed a fly....
Police? There's someone in my house.
Now he knows we're here.
The human mind is very much like deep space.

  • Killer by Nature
  • There was an old woman who swallowed a fly....
  • Killer by Nature
  • Police? There's someone in my house.
  • Killer by Nature
  • Now he knows we're here.
  • Killer by Nature
  • The human mind is very much like deep space.

Highly recommended. Gripping storyline with loads of twists. Well performed, great cast. Well worth downloading.

- Andy, Audible listener
.
Jan Smith

About the Author

Born in County Durham, England, Jan Smith is an Edinburgh-based novelist and screenwriter. Originally an advertising copywriter, she has written novels published by Random House and HarperCollins under the pen name, J. J. Durham. She became a full-time screenwriter in 2013. Among her credits are episodes of BBC’s Doctors and the Irish crime drama, Red Rock. Her first movie script, Mata Hari—A Magnificent Lie, was a quarterfinalist in the 2015 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. A year later, she won the Creative Scotland/Bridge Script Development Award for her screenplay, Atchin Tan. She is developing a five-part adaptation of a Michel Faber novel for BBC Radio Scotland.

About the Performer

Rob James-Collier is best known for his portrayals of Thomas Barrow on Downton Abbey and Liam Connor on Coronation Street. The first garnered him three Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013, 2015, 2016), along with a TV Guide Award for Favorite Feud (2013) and a role in the upcoming Downton Abbey movie. For his work on Coronation Street, he won three British Soap Awards—two for Sexiest Male (2007, 2008) and one for Best Exit (2009).

About the Performer

Katherine Kelly is a British actress who grew up in West Yorkshire and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). But it was her role as Becky McDonald on Coronation Street that made her a household name in the UK and garnered her a National Television Award for Best Serial Drama Performance (2012), and two British Soap Awards for Best Actress (2009) and Best Exit (2012). Other notable roles include Lady Mae in Mr Selfridge and Miss Quill on the Doctor Who spin-off, Class.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    1,296
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    1,091

Performance

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Story

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  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
    1,066

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Hard to Listen To for Many Reasons

I really wanted to like this, but I struggled to get through it and finally quit. The performances are fine (not outstanding, not bad), but the production is very frustrating. Sometimes there are sound effects and it feels like there is something happening visually that the listener isn't privy to, which is annoying. And there are a lot of voices and abrupt shifts between scenes that make it difficult to track what's happening or who is even in the scene. And there's a lot of annoying sounds of nothingness, like people walking around, or someone waking up from a dream. Also, at the beginning of each episode, they go through the entire introductory sequence again. It seemed like a decent story, just couldn't make it through the awful production.

13 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

glad it was free, sad I used a free credit.

I felt like I was listening to a tv show. I tried to get into it because I'm waiting for my next month credit to hit, but I kept finding myself lost. It was not an enjoyable audiobook.

25 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Deleted it halfway through...

I downloaded this because it was free. Halfway though I couldn't listen anymore. The story rapidly jumps from one scene to another, sometimes spending just a few seconds with only a few sentences on one topic. The music thats supposed to signal a scene change gets really loud at times after the words have been quiet and I have to turn my radio down. And they spend a lot of time not really talking about much. Its like they took a play, shortened every scene, and then made it into an audiobook.

121 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Absolutely Awful

I have to say the idea of this story was good, but the delivery was terrible. Think of turning on your TV and never looking up at the screen. That is what it felt like to listen to this story. There were a lot characters, the plot was confusing, and there were so many predictable stereotypes.
Overall, I am very disappointed with this one.

29 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too much music in background

This book is difficult to listen to because of the distracting and unnecessary background sounds and music. I finally gave up. It was tedious.

90 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Too Hard to Follow

This is not the first time I've tried an Audible selection with sound effects taking the place of words. I can't follow these stories because they rely so heavily on sound effects and I find myself misinterpreting the sound or having to rewind again and again to determine what the sound is meant to be. It is also hard to keep the voices of the characters straight. They are not always identified by name and I am supposed to be able to know who is speaking by the voice alone.

I ended up being as confused at the end of the story as I was at the beginning because I missed so much that I was supposed to pick up from sound rather than words.

70 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Ugh too many sound effects

The story might be good, but there are WAY too many sound effects and long pauses that take away from the story

54 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Tedious and irritating

The worst part of this was the terrible theme music that played before every chapter with the book and author announcement, what a waste of thirty seconds every chapter. It became so annoying I almost gave up on the story itself. Bc I hate to leave something I start unfinished, I labored thru listening to this meandering story and performances. Some of the acting (American Doctor lady) was so over the top—she sounded like she was selling cruise tickets instead of operating a psychiatric ward. And so much of the story was difficult to piece together bc things would happen with sound effects that weren’t explained. Not my cup of tea, for sure.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow! Loved it!

I listen to a lot of dramatizations on Audible and this is one of the best. It's an emotional roller coaster....it made me laugh, cry and everything in between. It kept me engaged the entire time with twists and turns in the plot.
I do feel a narrator would have kept it clearer when switching between scenes and characters but being so engaged you can figure it out.
This is a definite listen for anyone who likes suspense and drama.

55 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Glad this was free

Odd production in my opinion. Weird story, weird performance to match it. Glad it was a freebie.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Avril
  • 12-11-17

Good story, but oh the interruptions

This is very well acted and the story quite exciting, but the bursts of background music and the treatment as a serial with announcements about the next chapter are really irritating.

25 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nigel
  • 11-30-17

A good solid psychological thriller

Kept my attention all the way through - the performance of the cast, pace of story and the overall production are excellent. Though there were a few parts I was a bit unsure of; more ‘would that really happen’, than being confused by it.

Overall ‘Killer by Nature’ is a good - but not spectacular - solid psychological thriller. [Split into 10 episodes, each ranging between 24-32 minutes in length.]


I’m glad Audible appear to be increasingly devoting more and more time + energy producing their own audio-dramas, such as this release, and hope they continue to do so. For me this makes it easier to justify being a member.

27 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jools
  • 11-30-17

Enjoyable

A really good listen with excellent actors BUT the music very annoying would prefer more script less music slowing it all down.

15 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Flappy Paddles
  • 12-22-17

nothing wonderful but listenable. predictable.

It's not a bad listen but it was a little predictable and not wonderfully exciting. Bit of a disappointment. annoying music which repeated about 50 times throughout.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon
  • 11-30-17

Audible Nurturing Enjoyable Drama

Killer by Nature is fairly short but this high quality cast pack in a very enjoyable story which is well paced and gives the main characters some depth despite the brevity. It is dramatically souped up with some background music and lots of special effects. The effects overall were very well done though at times they almost seemed like padding rather than value add. I'm erring on the side of them providing a real-time feel to it rather than padding but I'm sure opinions will vary.

The story itself is largely fairly standard UK domestic thriller fayre but it does delve well into the nature vs nurture debate in all of its strands. It has decent twists and turns and I thought the main characters came across as well drawn and individual brought to life with quality voice acting and of course those sound effects.

In all I'm very happy that I got good value for my credit. I enjoy the occasional audio drama to supplement my staple diet of audiobooks and this one cuts the mustard.

20 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • alan
  • 01-18-18

great

well worth listening to gòod story. well acted out.would really recomend this book. hope they do another buckley one soon

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andy
  • 01-11-18

Excellent! Gripping storyline, well performed

Highly recommended. Gripping storyline with loads of twists. Well performed, great cast well. Well worth downloading

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lucy
  • 12-12-17

Really Good!

Really enjoyable and gripping story. The reason I gave 4 stars instead of 5 was the annoying music intervals, totally pointless.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharon
  • 10-08-18

Not Good

unfortunately very hard to understand who is who with same voices for different characters sorry Will Mellor didn't pull it off in this

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs Gee
  • 01-10-18

Loved it all the way through! Hope theres a sequel

What made the experience of listening to Killer by Nature the most enjoyable?

Liked the cast of all the characters. Flowed very well.

What did you like best about this story?

Loved the story - kept me gripped all the way through.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Was all good

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Would have loved to have listened to it all in one go!!

Any additional comments?

Loved this drama. The cast were brilliant and kept you gripped all the way through. I really hope they do a sequel to this. If you love any murder mystery on TV you will love this drama.

3 people found this helpful