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Publisher's Summary

When lawyer Jenny Cooper is appointed Severn Vale District Coroner, she’s hoping for a quiet life and space to recover from a traumatic divorce. But the office she inherits from the recently deceased Harry Marshall contains neglected files hiding dark secrets and a trail of buried evidence.

Could the tragic death in custody of a young boy be linked to the apparent suicide of a teenage prostitute and the fate of Marshall himself? Jenny’s curiosity is aroused. Why was Marshall behaving so strangely before he died? What injustice was he planning to uncover? And what caused his abrupt change of heart?

©2009 M. R. Hall (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
  • Louisa
  • 07-12-10

An Excellent Read

I really recommend this - an excellent read with an engaging heroine and very good plot. Very well read by Sian Thomas - don't miss it!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Rogayah
  • 08-03-10

Justice

This was a good story and I am going to keep track of M. R. Hall who seems to write a murder story with a twist. The coroner is normally consigned to a brief mention in most detective story but here takes centre stage.

The coroner battles with a complex situation, her personal problems and sexual prejudice amongst other things. I was rooting for her and was glad she stuck with it.

An excellent, entertaining story and was well read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • catsatcastle
  • 02-20-11

Oh dear

This started off promisingly - a new woman coroner with personal problems who nevertheless sets about investigating two cases left by her predecessor. For two-thirds of the book I was with her as she gradually uncovered bits and pieces of evidence in those cases with the help of her ex-detective coroner's officer. Sadly, it became too overblown as her anger with pretty much everyone and everything boiled over. That rather spoilt the tension of the court scenes, which were otherwise interesting, as the tension arose from the worry about whether she would hold it together.

We know from the outset that she is seeing a therapist and that there is some trauma buried deep in her memory from her childhood. She has had a nervous breakdown and has left her previous job in family law to take up this new post. This is to be a fresh start for her after her divorce.

Unfortunately, she degenerates from pill-popping and being almost in control of her anger to borderline psychotic with suicidal tendencies. I could just about suspend disbelief so far as to accept that she was appointed in the first place but was amazed she was able to stay in her job for any length of time.

The baddies have no light and shade. There are some characters who have their feet on the ground (sadly not the coroner herself) who offer some blessed moments of calm.

The narration is excellent. I have given it three stars as, despite the unease I felt about the central character, it was an interesting story but I don't think I want to spend any more time in the company of Jenny Cooper. I found myself hoping that the villager with whom she develops a friendship runs a mile as she is poison!


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Elizabeth
  • 01-17-11

enjoyable listen

its a bit slow to start, but good once it gets going, didn't really know a Coroner could do the investigating, some of it seems a bit unlikely, but it is well read and you are willing the heroine to do well. Moves at a good pace and no confusing legal jargon

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Margaret
  • 09-12-17

Quality, Quality, Quality

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

Definitely. Extremely well written. This is the second book I've read by Matthew Hall, the first being The Flight. In each novel, you gain knowledge, as well as enjoyment.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Coroner?

Probably the court scene towards the end when the story lines come together, justice is finally dealt. Brilliant.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

It's the overall story, not particularly a scene, not that type of book.

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

Almost 3 days of pleasurable listening. The narration by Sian Thomas is the most well chosen narrator, infact she's superb.

Any additional comments?

This intelligent and entertaining author deserves more listeners. I am downloading the second book in the serious as interested in the next case of the protagonist Jenny Cooper. Have already listened to The Flight and downloaded his latest A Life to Kill. Lucky me - what a find.<br/>

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  • Fersh
  • 08-23-17

Gripping

The story had me transfixed. On being introduced to Jenny Cooper, I initially thought her too fragile to manage such a responsible job. Yet her inner strength carried her through and her stubbornness enabled justice for two dead youngsters. I enjoyed the story very much.

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  • Susan L.
  • 07-07-17

Loved it!

I had never read a book by this author but was so impressed, and moved by his cleverly emotive style of writing, that I subsequently bought the entire series. Could not recommend highly enough.

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  • Preston
  • 05-02-17

Ok but!

Story is ok but a bit long winded and predictable. Some of the behaviour of the main character felt unrealistic

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  • Clare
  • 06-05-15

Great start to a series!

Really enjoyed this... Good plot, interesting insight into role of a coroner and well read! Not gruesome or scary, just a good, pacy thriller! Am new to this author, but immediately downloaded the next two in the series when I finished this... It's that good!! Highly recommend!!

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  • Jane
  • 05-27-15

Started well, but became wearisome!

The book started well but I got fed up with the main character and found I did not sympathise with her hopelessness. Her dependency became the main theme of the story and went on ad nauseum - it was a relief to get to the end, and has decided me not to try other books by this author.