Regular price: $17.99

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

When the body of a man is discovered in woodlands outside Manchester, a ten-year missing-persons investigation can finally be filed away. But this was no ordinary death: gagged, bound and buried alive, he was the victim of a sophisticated and sadistic killer. And there is something else that has the National Crime Agency puzzled. A single character carved into a nearby tree.

Newly promoted to the NCA's Behavioural Sciences Unit, Senior Investigator Joanne Stuart is determined to hunt down the perpetrator. Just as Jo's investigation begins to reveal links with other disappearances, there is another murder. This is no longer a cold case; she is dealing with the escalating violence of a chilling serial killer.

Stepping into a sinister world of secrets, symbols, and rituals, Jo will have to confront the legacy of her own past and the violent memories that lurk there if she is going to solve this case. But at what cost?

©2016 Bill Rogers (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    29
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    5

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    4
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

About the Masons

English police procedural; female detective with female life partner. (good change of pace)

I like books set in other English speaking countries (I'm in the US), learning about the differences in customs, idioms, language, history - you name it. I will pick up a dictionary, or look at a atlas.

That said, to follow this book properly, a person who doesn't live in the British Isles (and thus isn't familiar with England's geography) would have to have a good map of England open on her lap most of the book. Also, the reader should have both ears open, and be prepared to do a lot of reading (or listening, in my case) between the lines to spot and decipher in context idioms and other specific-to-England English words.

Otherwise, mainstream police detective story.

Except, I had not realized from the blurb that the Masons are central to the story. Books that focus of groups alleged to be "secret" are not a plus for me. The narration was ok.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Well paced and amount of detail

This was an enjoyable listen, as far as true crime can be enjoyed. The story had enough detail I could picture what was going on, but not so much I felt bogged down. As it unfolded it was pretty easy to guess what would happen, but not annoyingly so. The narrator has a pleasant voice and accent, and of course the fun foreign phrases! I would recommend this book, author, and narrator.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Great Spinoff from Rogers' DCI Tom Caton Series

This is my once-a-year non-sci-fi review. If you like British police procedurals, and particularly if you like Manchester -- you will like this female-lead spinoff from Rogers' DCI Tom Caton Manchester series. Although this could be read on its own, it does reference back to that series:

The Cleansing (2009)
The Head Case (2009)
The Tiger's Cave (2010)
A Fatal Intervention (2010)
Bluebell Hollow (2010)
A Trace of Blood (2011)
The Frozen Contract (2012)
Backwash (2013)
A Venetian Moon (2013)

Jo has moved from the Manchester force to the NCA -- And the good news is that there is already a second book.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Voyager
  • Voyager
  • 11-09-16

Could not stand the weird narration voice

I'm afraid I could not listen to this narration. Will have to return book. Cannot therefore comment on the story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for annabel
  • annabel
  • 11-04-16

Narration is totally unsuitable no expression completely ruined the story so no idea wether the book was any good or not

Narration awful no expression so no idea if the book is any good or not to irritated to finish

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Carôle
  • Carôle
  • 12-22-16

Weird

Unlike other reviewers, I don't think that the narrator was very poor - not great, but not as bad as made out. However, I also think that the story is poor. Nothing to intrigue, I don't know if the narrator has anything to do with this!

But I haven't finished this, bored with the story I really can't believe how tedious it is and how ineffective the NCA is portrayed as being. Why, given the seriousness of the crime, does the Senior Investigator go into dangerous situations by herself? She could have (& should have) died several times. To me, this is all too incredulous, even given the staff cuts. Officers would not be encouraged to pursue such cases alone.

I'm giving up on this, but I don't feel any loss from it. This is part of the Kindle Unlimited package that I'm subscribed to. So I can return this with no feeling of loss of money. All that I've wasted is my time… please don't do the same, unless you also have Kindle Unlimited.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Deb.
  • Deb.
  • 12-13-16

Audio

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

the narrator is terrible didn't get beyond 2 minutes.

What will your next listen be?

Anything but not this book.

What didn’t you like about Anne Flosnik’s performance?

Slow exaggerated

What character would you cut from The Pick, the Spade and the Crow?

None

Any additional comments?

Terrible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Wl
  • Wl
  • 11-25-16

whaaa

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

rcording of narrator/voice =unlistenable ...you cant listen to this recording. its awful

Who was your favorite character and why?

none

What didn’t you like about Anne Flosnik’s performance?

its unlistenable voice also v strange reverb of voice

What character would you cut from The Pick, the Spade and the Crow?

noon

Any additional comments?

have to return

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Helen June Damhaug
  • Helen June Damhaug
  • 04-20-18

Worst narration ever!

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

I can't believe anyone can enjoy it. The audio is absolutely dreadful

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator should never have been used. Did anyone listen to the recording before it was released?

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Pick, the Spade and the Crow?

I could not listen to more than a few minutes, so I cannot answer this.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for James 'Hulk' Hogan
  • James 'Hulk' Hogan
  • 01-16-18

Worst narration style ever........

Torturous listen.
Great book though - read the series it's a spin off from as well - they're better narrated......

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for kayleigh
  • kayleigh
  • 12-23-17

Poor narration

Might have been a good story, but the narration was so awful it was distracting.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for PB
  • PB
  • 12-16-17

Loved it!

I came across this book by accident when I searched for books about the National Crime Agency. I was interested in having a different slant on the traditional police procedural. I'm really glad I found it. It's beautifully written, gripping and authentic. It took me a while to get used to the narrator's Lancashire accent, but I'm completely hooked now. Already halfway through the second book in the series. Brilliant stuff!!!! :0)

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Trevor Martin
  • Trevor Martin
  • 10-24-17

I give up

Shocking narration. The worst I have experienced on Audible and that is saying something. I persevered for about 30 minutes then gave up. If you buy this book ... you have been warned.