Regular price: $39.65

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

A girl lies close to death in a deserted lane.

A driver drags her body to the side of the road.

A shadowy figure hides in the trees, watching.

For Ellie Saunders last night’s hit and run on the back road could destroy everything she has....

Ellie’s new neighbour, former Detective Chief Inspector Tom Douglas has moved to the village for some peace and quiet, but as he is drawn into the web of deceit his every instinct tells him that what happened that night was more than a tragic accident.

©2014 Rachel Abbott (P)2014 Oakhill Publishing

Critic Reviews

"There are red herrings galore in this well scripted plot and even when you think you have the story sussed, Abbott throws a spanner into the works … a refreshingly original read" (Crime Fiction Lover blog)
"Not only is it tightly plotted, with intricate twists and turns, the writing is also of the highest standard" (What am I reading blog)
"This is a tightly written psychological thriller" (Amazon top 500 reviewer)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ryan Clontz
  • 09-23-14

The biggest disappointment on Audible

I give up. 2.5 hours into this (and that's an extremely generous use of my time on this book) and I cannot bear it any longer. The book is so irritatingly boring that I am compelled to warn other readers to save their money or credit. And no, I will not bother to finish the book because if something being sold in "crime and mystery" does NOT have any mystery in the first 2.5 hours, I will NOT waste any more of my life on it.

In the first hour I stopped a few times and thought I accidentally downloaded a different book from the one I read about, as the write-up seemed to present a different story from the one I was listening to! There is NO mystery to hook you from the start. Instead, the author starts telling you the characters' dark history, thereby destroying any chance of slowly revealing it. The girl on the side of the road? Oh, she comes in a bit later (the book doesn't start with her, as you would think from the write-up) in a contrived "suspenseful scene" and then she disappears, after which comes probably an hour of an excruciatingly descriptive and boring scene of Ellie's dinner party, which seems to take place in real time. In the meantime, you wonder - what happened to the girl, where's the cop and - why am I listening to this at all?? I don't give a damn about why Pat left his wife!

The reader tried very hard, but I couldn't stand her affected dialogue. When she was not reading dialogue, her intonation reminded me of airline safety videos. To her credit, there wasn't much she could do with such poor writing. I wouldn't give up on the reader, but I surely won't take another chance on this author who needs a lesson or two on how to write the mystery genre.

I am not a demanding, hard-to-please listener. I regularly dispense 5-star reviews to books that are enjoyable and at least remotely compelling. But this book was a miss and a sad waste of my credit. Save yours.

50 of 57 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mrs. L. Carter
  • 09-28-14

Awful

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who likes Interminable discussion about relationships past and present and has interest in only a hint of a plot within the first half of the book.

Would you ever listen to anything by Rachel Abbott again?

No

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

I didn't take to this story. I gave it a good long listen-to but it failed to get me involved and made me annoyed. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen beyond all the (possible) events that are hinted at. I could not finish it.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Barbara Wharton
  • 09-05-14

Absolutely brilliant

Right from the start I was gripped. The plot itself was intriguing, fascinating and had a totally different ending to the way I was thinking. Well done to the narrator Penny McDonald who never once failed to keep her dialogue Intriguing. Loved it !

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Book Scout
  • 09-21-14

Poor Writing

I lost count of the amount of times I found myself cringing at implausible dialogue, weak characterisation or the ridiculous actions of the characters.
The book is almost well plotted but characters act in contrived ways just to keep the plot chugging along. The hackneyed dialogue isn't worthy of a teenage diary and the characters are all unlikeable and unsympathetic. I switched it off on two occassions vowing never to listen to it again, and only forced myself to listen thriugh to the end so I could review it...it wasn't worth it...
The narration was irritating and over enthusiastic, but a drop of sympathy must go out to Penny McDonald - having to trudge through unrealistic dialogue. It may not be fair to blame the narrator.
This is amateur writing and it's made me vow to use more discretion in future when it comes to choosing new authors.

31 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sal
  • 09-26-14

You cannot get these minutes of your life back

Shocking book. I managed to hang in there to the end because I felt certain there was going to be something redeeming. I bought this book based on an audible bestseller list. I suggest it has been on a very cheap offer at some time and many copies bought then. How else could this possibly be a best seller?

The narration first - Like a child trying to express whilst reading out loud. Poor intonation and comes across as distinctly patronising. So irritating.

The Story - Imagine The Archers from Radio 4 and make is less inventive. An injured child, a load of people who don't trust each other and toward the end, a murder and a half. A dinner party, an obsessive un-lover, a dead dog. There you go, I just saved you 13 hours of your life.

The writing - I fast forwarded through huge chunks of repetitive description. At one point I thought I might have switched on at a point way before where I left off last time because the story was repeating. I had not done that.

I am cross with myself for sticking it out to the end.

25 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Justine
  • 09-16-14

Suspense based on unbelievable stupidity

I found this book profoundly irritating. The moments of suspense are based on a series of stupid decisions by the characters. Ellie believes her husband is having an affair but won't ask him about and even tries to "make love" with him hours after she finds he has transferred 300,000 pounds to (she thinks) buy his lover a house! But she mustn't ask him about it.

Another example was when Leo kept quiet about her laptop being accessed even after her sister said that the house had been broken into, because she didn't want to make a fuss.

Mediocre and annoying. Why would a person choose to live in the house where her sister was mistreated. Just not believable characters.

33 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mrs.Mary E.Torney
  • 09-16-14

Murder in the Ambridge panto

Would you try another book written by Rachel Abbott or narrated by Penny McDonald?

Not by Rachel Abbott but depending on the story i might try Penny again.

What was most disappointing about Rachel Abbott’s story?

Where to start? The story was like a version of The Archers with stock characters and a storyline full of improbable coincidences. People supposedly clever are culpably stupid in failing to see the obvious and then agonising for long passages before doing the most ridiculous and dangerous thing. If any of them had any common sense murders could have been avoided and the book would have been - thankfully - shorter. I became impatient with the characters' moralising and glib acceptance of horrific happenings. Lets have another cup of tea - or maybe an espresso from that complicated machine...

How could the performance have been better?

Some of the accents were nasal and grating and at times it was hard to know which of the characters was speaking.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was a bit of a car crash - i kept going to tick off my conclusions as they were validated! Glad it was over. I thought it was a couple of times before it actually finished.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Robin300378
  • 12-10-16

Intriguing and enjoyable

It was two weeks ago that I listened to this and, although I can't remember every detail about the story, I do remember the general gist which is a good sign considering there have been 4-5 books since then

It was gripping enough to keep listening but the use of the pronoun game made the list of suspects a little narrow. At points, the philandering of the characters made it feel like a cross between Jilly Copper and Ian Rankine which I wasn't so sure about

Well narrated. Would I have been happy using a credit on this - I'm not sure. Happy to pay £2 for it though

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sasso
  • 11-21-16

Really entertaining

Almost turned it off as I found the narrator really annoying, especially when she tried to do children's voices.
However it was just about bearable for me to carry on with the story. So glad that I did. I really really enjoyed this book.
Story kept me guessing throughout.
I had many theories some of which turned out to be correct others not quite so.
Having read a couple of other Rachel Abbott books already, ones from later on in the series, I really wanted to give this one a go.
It really didn't matter that I've read books further on.
13 hours of this book and I really enjoyed it. Wish I'd paced myself with it now instead of racing through it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mrs. J. Jarvis
  • 01-23-15

Interesting and gripping!

Excellent narrator reading this fascinating story, with a few surprises. Some strong characters, and a few weak ones, but excellent listening and a few enjoyable book. Thanks :)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Michelle
  • 12-04-17

A wonderful discovery

Where does The Back Road rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It’s in the top 5. I’ve just bought the next one in the series. It made an 11 hour drive bearable...actually enjoyable

Who was your favorite character and why?

I like Tom and his gentle nature. He seems like the kind of guy we all need in our lives.

What about Penny McDonald’s performance did you like?

I felt she read all of the parts really well and kept the story flowing smoothly

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

So parts made me laugh like Leo’s accurate perceptions of people and the village gossip

Any additional comments?

I found elly annoying and just wanted to shake her.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Diane Jones
  • 10-27-17

The Back road

I loved this book. Entertaining and suspenseful. Very well read , I recommend it , good read

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Christine Fletcher
  • 01-21-17

Too much going on

Although I do love 'twists & turns, there was just too much going on here which, for me, meant the plot lost credibility.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • kevinplee@hotmail.com
  • 08-16-16

A road full of twists and turns

It was hard to get into this book at first but I was rewarded by sticking with it. It all started coming together one DCI Tom Douglas got involved and I love how it all unraveled. Lots of twists and turns on the particular "back road" and so easy to relate to the cringe worthy and frustrating truisms of how we humans relate