Sample
  • Paying the Piper

  • Fleetwood and Sheils, Book 1
  • By: Simon Wood
  • Narrated by: Mel Foster
  • Length: 11 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (277 ratings)

Prime logo Prime members: New to Audible?
Get 2 free audiobooks during trial.
Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
Premium Plus auto-renews for $14.95/mo after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Paying the Piper  By  cover art

Paying the Piper

By: Simon Wood
Narrated by: Mel Foster
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $25.00

Buy for $25.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.
activate_primeday_promo_in_buybox_DT

Publisher's summary

A serial kidnapper known as the Piper spent years snatching children from San Francisco’s wealthiest families. When crime reporter Scott Fleetwood got himself involved in one of the cases, the Piper went from kidnapper to murderer…and vanished.

Now, after Fleetwood has languished under crippling guilt and public scorn for eight years, the Piper emerges from hiding to kidnap Fleetwood’s son. He’s demanding $2 million, but it’s not really about the money: the Piper wants blood - and he’s going to use Fleetwood to get it.

In the pulse-pounding tradition of Harlan Coben and Gregg Hurwitz, Simon Wood hangs listeners on hooks of suspense and action, leaving them white-knuckled until the bloody, bitter end.

©2012 Simon Wood (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Paying the Piper

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    119
  • 4 Stars
    77
  • 3 Stars
    63
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    9
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    108
  • 4 Stars
    76
  • 3 Stars
    37
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    5
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    97
  • 4 Stars
    74
  • 3 Stars
    49
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    8

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

narration limited the enjoyment

My biggest disappointment was the voice given to Scott. The narrator did not give Scott a range of emotions. As the father of kidnapped boys, he would be, in turn, anguished, despairing, frightened, hopeful, etc. Scott consistently sounded either unemotional, bland, or helpful in a high school tone. Two other main characters both had the same voice. The story itself was ordinary, with plenty of predictability, cringe moments when you just knew people in real life just didn't sound like that.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

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

Good but dragged at times

This was both a really good and really exasperating story that went on about two hours longer than it needed to be (Audible).

The visible part of the story is about a child abduction by a ransom kidnapping mastermind (the Piper) who targets wealthy families in San Francisco. A reporter gets a call from a person who says he is the Piper and is believable. The reporter keeps it quiet from the FBI for a short time in order to get the story and accolades which, eventually, comes to a crashing halt when the person claiming to be the Piper turns out to be a fraud. The delay ends up costing the life of the child. Eight years later and the Piper is back and has kidnapped the reporter's kid.

Below the surface, the story is about deceit, investigative bias, misplaced pride, hurt pride, malice, vengeance and continuously making the same mistakes over and over.

The MC continues to hold back, outright lie and put others at risk, including his wife and both children throughout the entire story.

The primary investigator despises the MC and blames him for the death of the child, even though he himself eventually went along with the information from the fake Piper. He also had not uncovered the Piper through the previous 7 kidnappings.

The actual Piper is seemingly everywhere, outsmarts the FBI at every turn and knows what is going on as if he is in the room with the authorities.

The wealthy father of the one murdered child is still upset with what happened but wants to pay the ransom to save the reporter's child.

The fake Piper kept much hidden from the FBI and Police after he was investigated and put into prison.

The only people to uncover what is going on are civilians as the FBI cannot stop following the rigid playbook.

The parents of the previously kidnapped children don't want their now grown kids helping the FBI to catch the bad guy by providing additional information about the Piper.

The ending was really dragged out into multiple sections over the last 4 hours of the story. If I remember correctly, the story follows 8 different paths during the last 5 hours.

The author was able to show how deceit, bias and mistrust can ruin lives, hamper investigations and lead others down the wrong path. He also showed what happens when selfish behavior and parental fear can turn a good, well-meaning person into a monster. The MC makes a few horrible decisions that put innocent lives in serious danger and was willing to live with it to save their child.

For me, had this story been a couple of hours shorter and less twists and turns, this would have been a solid 4 - 4.5 Stars. If it was the same length and the characters has a bit more depth, it would also have been better for me. I know that dragging stories out helps build suspense but too much wears a reader out.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance