We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
An Accidental Death Audiobook

An Accidental Death: A DC Smith Investigation Series, Book 1

Regular Price:$24.49
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

The story opens with the apparently accidental drowning of a sixth form student in the Norfolk countryside. As a matter of routine, or so it seems, the case passes across the desk of Detective Sergeant Smith, recently returned to work after an internal investigation into another case that has led to tensions between officers at Kings Lake police headquarters. As an ex-DCI, Smith could have retired by now, and it is clear that some of his superiors wish that he would do so. The latest trainee detective to work with him is the son of a member of his former team, and together they begin to unravel the truth about what happened to Wayne Fletcher. As the investigation proceeds, it becomes clear that others are involved - some seem determined to prevent it, some seem to be taking too much interest. In the end, Smith operates alone, having stepped too far outside standard procedures to ask for support. He knows that his own life might be at risk but he has not calculated on the life of his young assistant also being put in danger.

©2013 Peter Grainger (P)2016 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1857 )
5 star
 (827)
4 star
 (663)
3 star
 (271)
2 star
 (67)
1 star
 (29)
Overall
4.1 (1709 )
5 star
 (753)
4 star
 (553)
3 star
 (304)
2 star
 (72)
1 star
 (27)
Story
4.4 (1720 )
5 star
 (1044)
4 star
 (469)
3 star
 (142)
2 star
 (43)
1 star
 (22)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Customer 09-07-16
    Customer 09-07-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    122
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    511
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent British Mystery"

    Peter Grainger is a wonderful writer. His primary character. Detective Sergeant DS Smith is an older, former Detective Chief Inspector who now works to solve cases rather than supervise. He is interesting, smart, multi-faceted, and his interactions with his subordinate team members provide a window into his character. He's honest and a gentleman, with a unique way of looking at crimes.

    I have actually read all 5 of Mr. Granger's books in this series. As with a number of other authors whose books I enjoy enough to read multiple times (Agatha Christie, PD James, Josephine Tey, Dick Francis, Jodi Taylor, Patricia Wentworth and others), I will buy his audiobooks as they become available and listen when I can't read. An excellent narrator makes for great company.

    Gildart Jackson is a good choice as narrator. As everyone knows, the narrator can ruin an excellent book but that won't happen here.

    For those who like classic British mysteries, I highly recommend this writer.

    82 of 83 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SophiaMarie 11-19-16
    SophiaMarie 11-19-16 Member Since 2009

    2004 Audible listener

    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    212
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "DC Smith is someone I can relate to"

    Thanks Peter Grainger for giving us a detective who has and uses the institutional memory that the younger bosses and bureaucrats no longer value. It's great to not be forced out of a job you're good at because of age.

    26 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lulu 08-29-16
    Lulu 08-29-16

    I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2200
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1386
    274
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    341
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Accidental Read"

    Just happened on this first in a series and had no expectations when I started reading. A very satisfying read. The primary character, DC Smith is someone I am looking forward to getting to know better. While there is still a great deal of back story to fill in, this relatively short book introduces a complex hero who takes the form of a somewhat shabby, bumbling detective, well past his prime, whom everyone hopes will retire - immediately. I was very impressed with the character development, especially the use of the grown child of an ex-partner, someone Smith first knew as a very little boy, to illustrate just how long he has been around, yet how relevant he still is.

    And as usual my favorite aspect of this British police procedural suspense novel is that a wonderful mystery is presented and then solved with very little violence and with no guns. So many US mystery writers have replaced plot with gratuitous and graphic violence and endless gun battles that do nothing to move the story forward.

    I thought the narrator did an excellent job!

    103 of 107 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna 09-09-16
    Donna 09-09-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    339
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    203
    143
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "yes, a 5"

    It's British, present day, police procedural, fine characters, unusual plot, surprise conclusion, intelligent and cohesive, violence free. There are more books in this series. I hope more find their way to the Audible holdins. Soon,

    42 of 44 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maine_Yooper in the woods in Maine 10-02-16
    Maine_Yooper in the woods in Maine 10-02-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enter the detective"
    Where does An Accidental Death rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the better ones, with a great story, nice changes in points of view, and a narrator who makes it all work well.


    What other book might you compare An Accidental Death to and why?

    The Armand Gamache novels by Louise Penney. Being American, I enjoy NOT reading about car chases, how big the gun is and how many rounds were fired. I want a character I can admire, and stories that could happen to someone.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Many good scenes, but the one that stands out to me at the moment is when Smith meets with the Superintendent and purposely misunderstands the "retirement" talk!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Smith remembering his late wife while deciding what music to listen to one evening.


    Any additional comments?

    I have read all the books out so far, and still wanted to get the audio version so I could enjoy the story again while commuting to work.

    30 of 32 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathi 01-14-17
    Kathi 01-14-17 Member Since 2010

    Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2746
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    812
    344
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    451
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Split decision"

    My husband and I listened to this book together. He liked it very well--while I found it okay or pretty good. I'm putting this into my review, because while we are often in agreement about books, obviously people's reactions differ, as ours did in this case. And they may well for others. He thought this story of DC Smith, an older policeman taking on a case of what at first appears to be an accidental drowning, and leads to danger for himself as he pursues the case, was well written, clear, and totally held his interest. On the other hand, I discovered my attention often drifted away. Something about it just didn't grab me in the same way. I felt the writing more or less just plodded along--even though lots of things happened in the story to keep it moving. At the level of narration, though, we both liked that very well. I thought that was the best part of the book. So even though I feel sort of lukewarm about the book, to be completely fair, I wanted to say the listening experience was shared with someone who thought it was excellent.

    67 of 73 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret 08-31-16
    Margaret 08-31-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    100
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    134
    43
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Cozy mystery with great characters."

    I hope Audible gets more DC Smith books. He reminds me of Penny's Gamache series. Really enjoyable. In fact, I didn't want it to end. Narration was stellar.

    39 of 43 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chalis 01-24-17
    Chalis 01-24-17 Member Since 2012

    snowbyrd13

    HELPFUL VOTES
    395
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    235
    186
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    88
    35
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Start to the Series"

    I'm always happy to discover a new fictional detective that appeals to me. Based on this first book of the series I believe I've found one in DC Smith. Five more books in this series have been published, and a sixth is scheduled for 2017.

    As the story unfolds the listener learns more about DC Smith and the people that he works with. A young officer, Waters, is assigned to work with Smith. I found that part of the story revealed a lot about Smith. As the book ended I had a better sense of who Smith was, but also that there was much more to learn. How Smith solves the mystery may be more important than the mystery itself.

    The pace of the story was steady. I appreciated the absence of excessive violence and crude language.

    I'm fascinated by DC Smith and look forward to the next book in the series.

    22 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcheta 09-18-16
    Marcheta 09-18-16 Member Since 2007

    love audio books - Anglophile

    HELPFUL VOTES
    647
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1507
    127
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    64
    13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An enjoyable listen"

    I really enjoyed this book. The narrator was just right, and I loved DC Smith's dry sense of humour. I hope audible gets the rest of the books in this series. Nice change of pace.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. William J. Kass 10-19-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More of this series, Please"
    Would you consider the audio edition of An Accidental Death to be better than the print version?

    I don't know.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    It kept me engaged and convinced me to order the second book before I'd finished the first.


    What does Gildart Jackson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The performer is clear, distinguishes the characters well, and is generally unobtrusive.


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

    no


    Any additional comments?

    Please acquire the other books in the series.<br/>

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Simon
    Waterlooville, UK
    8/27/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Plodding In Fine Style!"

    Well I have just spent a pleasant few hours in the company of the oddly-named DC “DC Smith”, an interesting choice of initials for a detective constable if ever there was one. This is Frost rebooted, a gumpy old curmudgeon but with more of a human side and a considerably beefier background. There is a young protégé to add to the mix and as crime fiction so often has it the usual mix of doubting senior officers, competitive colleagues and local characters.

    It would be wrong to write this one off as just another cliché though. The writing is clever and the characters are engaging. What this book also proves is that you can write a good crime novel without killing off half the local population and incorporating the worst of crimes. The central incident of this novel is an almost mundane seeming accidental drowning of a local teenager that is almost but not quite closed as just that rather than being properly investigated.

    The narration by Gildart Jackson seems to fit these character to a tee. It’s not the most energetic of performances but it does breathe genuine life into the lead character. The story itself does develop significantly from its humble beginnings and the mental leap to the end from the starting mundane incident is a big one. The back story of DC Smith is also gradually revealed and he does surprise us with being quite a bit more than just another old cantankerous detective on the verge of retirement.

    I liked it despite its brevity.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Voyager
    Telford, United Kingdom
    10/17/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Enjoyable"

    Just the sort of book I like. A bit of tension at times but with no graphical horror. A really good story that just flows and is clearly narrated. Can't be better than that!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Avid reader
    2/14/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Refreshing and fun!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely. This was a real joy to listen to - a change from the gritty serial murder books that are so plenteous these days. It was well written and had a really likeable cast of characters. I welcomed the lack of bad language and sex scenes that seem to be de rigeur these days regardless of genre.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    D.C. I really liked his style. If you enjoy MJ Trow's Peter Maxwell series you will enjoy this.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    There were many but I think the opening scene sets us up for what is to come and continues in that vein.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not really.


    Any additional comments?

    I will enjoy reading more of this series and have already downloaded the next book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Janrow
    11/28/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely brilliant enjoyed every minute"
    What made the experience of listening to An Accidental Death the most enjoyable?

    Both the storyline and the reader really made the characters come to life


    What other book might you compare An Accidental Death to, and why?

    it has a similar feel to the Bryant and may books just as good in a different way


    What about Gildart Jackson’s performance did you like?

    the way he portraited Smith


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

    Lots of laughs if you listen carefully


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended I have purchased the other 2 books

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.