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Publisher's Summary

"If you want to see your daughter alive again, listen carefully."

When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.

But Detective Kay Hunter isn't convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.

When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay's worst fears are realized.

With her career in jeopardy - desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay's hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.

For the killer, the game has only just begun....

Scared to Death is the first book in a new crime thriller series featuring Kay Hunter - a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future....

If you like the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons, Peter Robinson's DCI Banks series and the Erika Foster series by Robert Bryndza, discover Rachel Amphlett's new detective novels today.

©2016 Saxon Publishing (P)2017 Saxon Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Solid Police Procedural Makes the Mark

I enjoyed Scared to Death for what it is: a down to earth, readable and reasonably suspenseful modern police procedural. This novel may not a groundbreaker, but it contains all the elements of a good mystery and stands out in a few areas: a feeling of spookiness in the atmosphere, a descriptive darkness pulls the reader in; crimes that made me shiver but that were not overdone, or overtly gory- more of a slow-burning suspense. I liked that the author created a sense of ambivalence between the victims and the evildoer, as more and more is learned about what the victims’ own behavior might have provoked in an individual with a fragile ego. Finally, the author has crafted an enigmatic heroine, who shows true strength, grit and most importantly, class, in her dealings with some tough politics at the office. This was a good read and I look forward to seeing what the series has in store.

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

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Solid detective story

Thanks to the author and Audioboom for the review copy. This is a great beginning to a new-to-me, detective series. Strong female lead- exciting story. Looking forward to reading more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A lot of sick drivel

There was some good examples of plodding investigative work
Yuck on the rest
Too much like tv drama

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  • Dawn H
  • Baxter Springs, KS
  • 04-02-18

Good Crime Story

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

Scared to Death begins with a horrific scene which ends up being what is thought to be a kidnapping gone bad. Detective Kay Hunter's team is investigating the kidnapping and murder. She's intelligent, strong, and dedicated and I like her. Her boss is difficult to work for because he doesn't have faith in her but she's determined to prove that she knows what she's doing. 

Rachel Amphlett has a great writing style and the narrator does a good job with pace and enunciation. 

With what turns out to be a serial killer on the loose, Scared to Death is full of intrigue as well as some twists. If you like crime fiction, this is a must read. I'm looking forward to listening to the next book in the series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An Excellent Beginning to an exciting series

Rachel Amphlett has found the secret to create a thriller crime series. When I listened to this audiobook I got the sense that everything gels well together.  I’d say the author excels at portraying realistic crime scenes, fascinating plotting, with a unique killer. Which, in this crowded field is easier said than done.  A very solid book and balanced writing.

Narrator Alison Campbell has intriguing style of narration. Her accent is great with the ability to create various character voices.  Pacing is slower, yet lures you more into the story. Great job! I’m definitely looking forward continuing this series.


An excellent beginningeginning to an exciting series!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It had me glued to my headphones

A schoolgirl is kidnapped and found dead in terrible circumstances. Detective Kay Hunter is assigned to the case, but finding the culprit seems to be very difficult since the motives are not clear. Why was the girl kidnapped and killed, since the ransom was just a small amount of money and it was not even claimed?

Thrillers are not my main favorite genre, but I enjoy them from time to time to take a rest from other books. This was a really good thriller, with realistic characters, a good plot with several twists and turns, and the right amount of tension to have me glued to my headphones. The audiobook is almost eight hours and a half, but I listened to it in less than a weekend (I managed to complete a lot of chores). There is a lot of action, but not only that. The main character is well developed and has a back story that I expect to be of importance in the next books. Her marriage differs somewhat from other couples seen in thrillers, which I found refreshing.

We know who the killer is from quite early in the story, but we know we are still missing a lot of information, and there are several twists that made me want to know more. The killer profile is not completely original, but that makes it believable and interesting in equal parts.

I loved Alison Campbell's narration. She delivered great character's interpretations and and gave different voices and styles to all the characters. This was done in a very subtle way avoiding interfering with the story. It was the perfect match for this book.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the series, and to know more about Kay's past and how she came to be where she is now.

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

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Scared to Death

Children should never be faced with death. It is immoral, it is devastating and it is tragic. But, who do you place the blame on? If it is cancer, the blame is placed on doctors or perhaps the man upstairs, but there is rarely ever vengeful thoughts or a demand for justice. When it is murder—that blame is placed irrevocably on the person responsible for abruptly ending that life. Murder makes everyone look guilty and suddenly motive is everywhere, but could it have been random? A complete stranger or was it someone close? Amphlett has an intriguing first installment in her Detective Kay Hunter Mystery series which will leave readers entertained and guessing for most of the story.

Detective Kay Hunter is on the case. A girl has been reported to have been strangled to death in an abandoned biosciences building. With the ongoing search, the higher ups think this should be a clean open and shut case, especially since a man turns up in the local park with a suicide note and a suitcase full of ransom cash from the girl’s parents. The detective is not so easily convinced though. After investigating the crime scene and everyone who came in contact with her, she is determined that this girl will not be a cold case. Once another girl is kidnapped, it not only provides them more clues about the killer, but it becomes a personal vendetta for the police force. Will Detective Kay Hunter and her partner be able to find the girl before time runs out?

Amphlett has a terrific first installment with her Detective Kay Hunter Mystery series, Scared to Death. The character development is purposefully slow as to not give away the whole story-line right away, but the pace and flow are steady. Since this review is complementing the audiobook, the narrator portrayed the characters beautifully and with the author’s vivid description, they both gave life to the story together. If you are a reader of murder mystery and crime fiction, you may enjoy this book. With this being the first installment in the Detective Kay Hunter series, readers can jump right in.

An audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a five-star rating for Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett.

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A terrific police procedural

4.5 stars

Rachel Amphlett is an author who's new to me and I am SO glad to have found her. She has no career background in law enforcement as far as I can tell but she certainly has crafted a fine police procedural.

When an abducted teen is found dead---after an emotionally-wrought build-up---Kay Hunter thinks this might be something more than a kidnap-for-ransom gone bad, unlike others on the force. With a small team, the detective develops one lead after another into who might have killed Melanie in such evil fashion, following several paths, but when a second girl is taken, the pressure mounts to an unbearable level. A prime suspect is let go when the evidence against him is considered too weak but Kay is sure that he's involved and that time is running out for Emma very soon.

It's not easy to write a story as gruesome as this one is at points but it somehow fits better and is slightly more palatable in the hands of a British police department. Part of this is because British police are generally depicted as a bit more "average Joe" than Americans, a little less gung ho and certainly they don't go in guns blazing. In the case of this story, Ms. Amphlett has also allowed her characters to have baggage without it overwhelming their lives. These detectives cope without turning into drunken, psychologically damaged people who have to struggle to get by each day and that is a very welcome change from so much American crime fiction. I especially appreciated Adam, Kay's husband, who is a s supportive and caring as any husband can be.

As for the narration, Ms. Amphlett couldn't have chosen a better woman to play the part of Detective Kay Hunter than Alison Campbell. Her evocation of the investigator is nearly perfect and she handles all other voices quite well, including the males. Ms. Campbell was indeed a large part of my enjoyment of Scared to Death and I'm glad I can dive into the next book, Will to Live, right away.

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  • Sara
  • Vermont
  • 03-22-18

Hypnotized by Campbell's voice

“Scared to death,” what a great title for a thriller! I think most of us have heard the phrase, right? This book was fantastic! I can’t even imagine what these parents went through looking for their daughter, Melanie. This book goes deep and really tackles some major underlying issues that seem to be plaguing our society these days… bullying. It’s prominent everywhere… no race, color, creed, or religious background is exempt.

I haven’t previously read anything by Rachel Amphlett but I really enjoyed this audio book. While this isn’t a great mystery on who the killer is, it’s a fantastic cat and mouse as we try and capture the guilty. This book really amps up the tension, when Kay Hunter feels threatened at work by someone. This book unfolds quickly and it was a very entertaining read. I would have liked a bit more mystery but there’s more in this series… we’ll see how that goes!

The narrator, Alison Campbell was fantastic! I loved her accent. I’m always thrilled when I can listen to a narrator from another country especially the UK. I know I’m going to get these voices that are completely going to hypnotize me… and that’s just what Ms. Campbell does!

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Wonderfully written and narrated.

Scared to Death is the first book I have read by author Rachel Amphlett and I must say I am impressed. D.S. Kay Hunter is a fantastic MC. The character is well defined and has a detailed backstory that left me wanting to know more. The author includes glimpses to a miscarriage as well as an internal police investigation in to Hunter. All this on top of a current kidnapping/murder investigation. Scared to Death was a white knuckle, thrill ride. Just when you think you know who all the players are the author would throw in a wrench. I am looking forward to delving more into this amazing series!

As the narrator, Alison Campbell, did a phenomenal job! Each character was distinct and well portrayed. Campbell has quickly become a new favorite of mine.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-07-18

Awesome

Great book, fantastic narration, five stars all the way. Will be getting the next one

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  • niamh bonner
  • 02-21-18

Great first in series

Really enjoyed getting to know the characters in this book. A good strong female lead surrounded by bullying bosses. Can't wait to start book 2

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  • EmmaTheLittleBookWorm
  • 11-23-17

Fanbloodytastic

OH! MY! GOD!
Scared to Death starts with a bang!
The parents of a young school girl are racing against the clock to get to their daughter, who has been kidnapped. They must reach her in time, otherwise she dies . . .
What a nightmare this starts out with! Every parents worst fear is realised in the first page of this book and the tension, fear and mental anguish doesn't stop at all!
Amphlett writes so well, I loved how I was totally drawn into the words of this book, completely a totally gripping me from the first word to the last. I sometimes find that when we are reading the first of a series, the author tends to focus a lot on building the characters (which is fine by the way, it's such an important part of the writing/reading process) but it does sometimes mean that the focus on the story is lost and perhaps the actually story is lost, not with Amphlett though, Oh no! Amphlett not only manages to build an amazing set of characters that I am desperate to know more about, she also delivers an amazingly gripping, thrilling and completely absorbing story too.
There is no let up in this book, we are taken a roller coaster of twists and turns as the team race against the clock to catch a killer.
Scared to Death is a fast paced, gritty page turner that will leave you on the edge of your seat, gasping for breath!
I would highly recommend this to any crime book fans, it's a belter!!!!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Timi
  • 10-15-17

An intense and gripping first novel in the series

I'm always glad to find authors and series new to me. Thanks to Rachel Amphlett and Audiobook Boom for introducing me to the first instalment of the Detective Kay Hunter series, Scared to death!
The story grabbed my attention right away. Although this isn't a whodunnit, the identity of the culprit is known from early on, there is still a guessing game to find out his reasons and other unknown matters related to these kidnappings/murders. It is also a race against time, making it a fast paced, intense and really interesting novel.
The protagonist, Kay Hunter is a great lead character: she is realistic, down-to-earth, a good team player and determined. She is not without faults though and I'm looking forward to finding out more about her backstory in the next book.
Overall, this is a gripping novel that I would recommend to anyone who likes a great police procedural.