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Publisher's Summary

It should have been the greatest day of David's life. A trip to New York, wife by his side, to visit his new publisher. Finally, after years of lonely struggle it looks as though the gods of fate are going to lift him from schoolteacher to writer.

But on the way back to Penn station, a chance encounter changes all of that. He bumps into a stranger who covertly follows him, and then, just before they board their train home, passes by him close enough to whisper: 'Remember me'. The stranger follows them back to where they live, and it isn't long before David realises that this man wants something from him... something very personal, that he may have no choice but to surrender.

Meanwhile, back in New York, ex-lawyer John Henderson does his girlfriend Kristina a favour and agrees to talk to Catherine Warren, an acquaintance of hers who believes she's being stalked by en ex-lover. But soon John realizes that Catherine's problem is more complex than anyone realized... There are people out there in the shadows, watching, wanting to be with you. They are the followers. And they're about to turn.

Read by Jeff Harding. A native of New England, Jeff Harding has appeared in television productions as varied as Howard’s End, The Fast Show, Father Ted and NCS Manhunt. He has recorded many audiobooks, including Orion's The Last Templar, Robert Ludlum’s Bourne Trilogy and the best-selling Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.

©2013 Michael Marshall (P)2013 Orion Publishing Group and Isis Publishing

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Adam
  • 06-23-18

Glimpsed from the corner of your eye....

A review of Michael Marshall’s “We are here.”

I first read Michael Marshall Smith, as he was then, over 10 years ago. He wrote powerful, original, imaginative science fiction; funny, tragic, and brilliantly written. Such work includes Spares, Only forward and One of Us. Then he started writing more in the thriller genre, dropping the ‘Smith’ part of his identity, and I read the ‘The Straw Men’ trilogy. These were horror-thrillers, the kicked that Thomas Harris kicked into orbit with ‘Man-hunter’ and ‘Silence of the Lambs.’ The horror, rather than the humanism and the humour of the earlier works, is what I remember.
And since then he appears to have stayed predominantly in the thriller genre. ‘We are Here’ has elements of that, and something new, urban fantasy of a Neil Gaiman flavour, with the occasional horror reference. This is territory that Stephen King and others have explored. Believe hard enough in someone, and they just might appear….
The story has a strong opening. A serial killer on the run reviews his career before burning burning to death in a motel room, apparently aided by the voice in his head that urged him to kill, now literally in the room with him.
Jump to an author on a trip to New York to meet his publisher. A chance bumping into a stranger in the street, not once but twice, unsettles him, especially when said stranger says ‘remember…’.
Are these incidents related. This made me eager to find out more. Then we move to an ex intelligence operative John Henderson, and his girlfriend Christine, who decide to investigate a complaint from one of Christine’s friends that she is being stalked. Again, we wonder about the connection.
And we are kept wondering for a very large section of the book. There is a very slow reveal. And unfortunately, a bit like me at 49, it gets very baggy in the middle. There appears to an urban sub culture, planning something, and there is a flavour of the supernatural about their affairs and how they are organised, with ‘corner-men’ and ‘journey-men’ and so on. This is what reminded me of Neil Gaiman. What are they? Ghosts? The recently departed? Some kind of other supernatural beings?
When the reveal comes you’ll either snort with derision and slam the book shut or keep going. I think most of you will keep going.
In the last quarter things hot up and there are some gripping set pieces where you genuinely don’t know what will happen. And horrible things do happen to good people. The chief baddie, Reinhardt, is a type of demonic gangster with apocalyptic plans. And I didn’t honestly know if they would be brought to fruition.
As it happens I still don’t. The novel ends in a tangle of unanswered questions. At one point there is a reference to a lot of deaths told in a few short sentences. Characters disappear, literally, in clouds of smoke. I honestly don’t think Michael Marhsall knew himself how to close. A shame, as this has has some cracking scenes and ideas, but they don’t really gel into a coherent whole. The characters are also incoherent and hard to realise imaginatively. I definitely did not have this problem with his earlier work.
The audio book is narrated in the dead pan, sardonic tones of the PI genre by Jeff Harding. His narration of the female characters grated a little, others have done this tricky feat a lot better.
Go with this if you are patient and appreciate novelists who take risks. There are definitely moments that will reward you, as there are ones that exasperate.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. M. Edwards
  • 02-20-16

Not bad, not great.

It's a book with an interesting idea, but seems to be stretched too much. The prose is great, but the ending slightly flat.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • swamp
  • 01-09-15

No Idea what's going on

What disappointed you about We Are Here?

This book flitted between characters, tenses etc, too many different characters, viewpoints etc I think I would have struggled even in a traditional format. I lasted for a couple of hours but found myself skipping back chapters too often. Have had this with Stephen King but with him it *usually* pays off.

What could Michael Marshall have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Make it more understandable? get to the point a bit earlier?

Did Jeff Harding do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

Jeff put in a good performance as usual, but the story let him down

What character would you cut from We Are Here?

Didn't get far enough through this book to understand the underlying story

Any additional comments?

Probably ok for a holiday but no use to me on a 30min drive to work.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mary
  • 05-07-13

New genre

This was a new genre for me, but gave it a try after reading some of the other reviews, and having had a few disapponting downlads recently. I didn't like the narrator much, since he narrated a book I really didn't lke, so difficult to forget that association. His main failure is his portrayal of a female voice, who all come out sounding high pitched and really quite pathetic.

The story was, I guess, good for the genre, but just not my cup of tea. I listened a lot, just to get to the end of it. At the very end there is a reference to a character, but I couldn't remember who the character was - which i find the main drawback of audiobooks, not being able to flick back and find the informaiton you need.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • sarahmoose2000
  • 04-04-13

Friend or foe

An ex army man is asked by a friend to confirm whether she is being stalked or not. It turns out she is, but he should really be questioning 'what' she is being stalked by.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful