Songbird

Kings Lake Investigation Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
Length: 15 hrs and 56 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (2,171 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"He saw a bare arm first, the hand palm up with fingers curled inwards. Then he stopped and took a few breaths. He could hear the two constables making arrangements before they separated, one saying he'd bring the other some tape from the car, and then it was just the summer morning quiet again." 

Detective Sergeant Chris Waters got the call at 05.29 that July morning. This is it, said DCI Reeve, you'll be first there, it's all yours, you're the crime scene manager. Suddenly, after months of waiting and wondering, Waters finds himself in at the deep end, and alone at the scene of a puzzling murder.  

As the investigation proceeds, the detectives at Kings Lake Central find themselves visiting familiar places and talking to some familiar faces, while old enmities reappear in the incident room. Before this is over, Chris Waters will need to make a career-changing decision, and another member of the CID team will find herself facing an unexpected challenge. And Smith? Gone but not forgotten? Surely, he would say, you cannot write me off with a worn-out cliche like that....

©2019 Peter Grainger (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Songbird

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it...

So excited! Finished all of the DC Smith series, now this is just an off shoot of that with Snith's protege moving up and heading up his own case. Rich in character development and life in the city on Kings lake is everything you could want in a mystery. No cursing, not extreme gore Ibut not a cozy either. Tics all the boxes for a great murder mystery. Many likeable characters some nasty ones too. I enjoyed this as much as the Smith series And Jackson can't be beat for narration. Perfection!

86 people found this helpful

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Solid Follow-on to Grainger's Great DC Smith

I was almost afraid to order this book because the terrific DC Smith series seemed to have come to a dire end with Grainger's previously published book in the DC Smith Kings Lake saga. I feared Smith had toppled over the 21st century medical equivalent of Holmes at Reichenbach Falls. I couldn't bear the thought. Still, when 'Songbird' showed up with wonderful Gildart Jackson narrating, I couldn't resist buying and listening. SPOILER ALERT. We can trust Grainger. And Jackson's narration is brilliant. Great new mystery, lots of tension and side swiping in the police force, interesting characters, and a promising batch of younger officers coming up through the ranks. Body of a pretty woman found along a footpath near the 'Costa del Norfolk' on a hot summer morning. Conflicting leads ensue. Grainger preserves his wry, somewhat acid tone tempered with curiosity about what humans are capable of. If you like British police procedurals with vivid characters and local atmosphere, and have not followed Grainger's Smith series, this will stand alone just fine. However, if you want the full richness of what is not only a mystery series but a full unfolding of a fascinating lead character, I suggest starting with the original in the series. Either way I think you'll be satisfied.

61 people found this helpful

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A Great Listen

I’ve listened to all the available DC Smith series and liked them. This “spin off” is excellent and I will certainly be looking for the next one. Everyone who listens to audiobooks knows the narration can make or break an audiobook. Gildart Jackson is spot on.

34 people found this helpful

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Six Stars Out of Five

I was very sad when the DC Smith series ended with Smith retiring from being a DCI. After reading this first book in the Kings Lake Investigation series, I see there is method to that madness. No spoilers to ruin the present story, but Songbird picks up where the DC Smith series left off, with old characters growing into their new roles. The only things missing are helicopter and car chases, gun fights, fist fights, gratuitous sex or torture, or phony plot twists. Peter Grainger is a truly gifted writer whose plots come with fresh surprises. Grainger is on a roll. Please keep them coming.

33 people found this helpful

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If You Liked the DC Smith books-You will love this

This is a continuation of the affairs in the Kings Lake nick following the retirement of DC Smith. If you like those books, you will love this. (Spoiler....Smith does appear and thrive here.) The younger officers carry on. If you have not read the series (I envy you) go back and start with Grainger's earlier books. Otherwise, enjoy!! ps...….Super performance from Mr. Jackson.

30 people found this helpful

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Brick by Painstaking Brick

I do not think I have ever come across such a perfect, yet painstaking, police procedural before. What makes the piece brilliant is also what tends to leave it a bit flawed. While it lionizes the more daring and brilliant members of the Kings Lake squad, it tends to emulate its most by the book police technocrats stylistically. I purchased this because of the unanimous raves in the review section, and once the piece finally began to roll downhill, about 2/3 the way in, I was glad I did so. But I have one serious bone to pick with most of the reviewers here. I found the narrator less than the kind of stellar the many who reviewed this found him. There are many characters, and he had an all but impossible time distinguishing between them by inflection, and this was especially so with regard to the women, who with one exception, were the most important characters in the book. And there were times when he seemed put out having to go into the procedural detail that the author took so much effort to deliver. As much as folks here liked Mr. Jackson's narration, I venture to say that any one of a number of women given to narrate these kinds of Brit police procedurals would do an infinitely better job in bringing to life the varied characters making up Mr. Grainger's police world.

29 people found this helpful

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WHAT JUST HAPPENED!

I'll be honest with you, I was more than a little concerned with the ending of the last book And I honestly debated on whether or not to start the new series without D.C. . I mean, to just carry on without my all time favorite characters of all time. I didn't think my heart could take it. But, I just love these books, so I gave it a go. And I'm so glad I did. I'm a happy girl!!! And I'm so looking forward to this next series!

35 people found this helpful

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with reading

this is a well researched police procedural, does not move at lightning pace but keeps ur nterest

15 people found this helpful

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Wonderful to be back in Kings Lake

Peter Grainger, Kings Lake, DC Smith, and Gildart Jackson have been favorites of mine for 8 books now. After the last DC Smith book we were left with the unknown future of Smith and, by extension, his team. This book focuses on the team and it’s done in typical Peter Grainger style. That means clever writing and a great story. And the audiobook was well done, as usual, by Gildart Jackson. He is one of the best. If you enjoyed the DC Smith series I think you’ll enjoy this. I look forward to much more as Chris et al. deal with Kara and just who will be the new DI.

14 people found this helpful

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Fantastic!

Songbird was a wonderful continuation of the Kings Lake story. We get an interesting case along with character growth and answer to some unresolved questions.

13 people found this helpful

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  • CM
  • 10-14-19

The gangs all here !

So pleased that all the regular characters are back including DC albeit in retirement.Its all change for department.I really enjoyed the detailed description of the crime scene management and what procedures need to be managed by the crime scene officer. Don’t think that has ever been explained before in other detective stories I’ve read. Can’t wait to find out what happens next to the team. This book was thoroughly enjoyable with twists and turns.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Linda
  • 12-22-19

I love this series

Delighted that Kings Lake murders are still interesting stuff, despite DC's retirement. Wonderfully read as always by Gildart Jackson, this one is as much of a treat as the earlier tales.

2 people found this helpful

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  • G
  • 11-16-19

Songbird

loved this book, as always had to finish it straight away! Can't wait for the next book to come out!

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Shelagh
  • 11-03-19

Somewhat confused feelings

I found this book somewhat difficult to get into. The narrator I felt read the story rather tongue in cheek. The story as a whole seem to wander about making it hard to stay interested in it. Nit sure if it was the narration or the story, but not one a could recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Andromeda's Twin
  • 10-20-19

Heartwarming

This is a fantastic and heartwarming listen for those of us who miss DC. Storyline is good, typical meandering style, DC even plays a cameo (YAY) and of course, Gildart Jackson narrates in fine style just to make us feel even more at home. It is unusually long for a Peter Grainger story but I love longer stories, if I wasn't enjoying it I'd never bother finishing it so more hours are fine by me. The story is good too, just in case you are wondering, long, meandering and as enjoyable as putting your feet up with a cup of cocoa (if you actually like cocoa which I don't) or a lovely hot cup of soup on a cold winter's day.

2 people found this helpful

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  • muggsie
  • 10-15-19

brilliant

great story and brilliant narration i do hope this the first book in a seried

1 person found this helpful

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  • Maureen
  • 10-01-19

Great listen

Was really disappointed when the DC series finished, but this book appeared to my surprise and delight. It's so very good, with all my fav characters making an appearance, and the book making an almost seamless continuation of the first series. Beautifully written as usual, making it a great pleasure to listen to, and with Chris, Serena, and a new temporary DCI who is to be responsible for the forming of a new murder squad, big changes are in prospect for DC Smith's proteges. The shouty DI Terek is still around, will he be in favour with the new DCI? No giveaways, listen to the book and see!

1 person found this helpful

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  • P1977
  • 10-18-19

A chore of a book

I expect that this is enjoyed by many but, for me, this is hard work. There isn’t enough interesting content to justify the unnecessary padding out with dull thoughts, trite dialogue and even a list of clothes that women wear - just in case the reader doesn’t know. The stereotypical depiction of those living in social housing as the unworthy and uneducated underclass is simply horrible, made worse by the condescending surprise that one such family can have some dignity. The narration is odd but I know I couldn’t do any better. I won’t be looking out for this writer again, except to avoid.

2 people found this helpful

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  • J Whitfield
  • 06-27-20

Too descriptive

A very long winded book that could easily be half it's length. Nothing was a surprise,I figured it out long before the end. I will probably get the next one though

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  • Pilgrim Soul
  • 05-09-20

Marvellous story and narrator

Thought I’d got a great bargain, at nearly 16 hours of listening. Sadly I was so gripped by the story I ended up listening to it over just 3 days. I’ve already bought the next book in the series.

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  • Miss Ailsa M Freeman
  • 10-03-20

Great book

I am very glad I decided on a whim to read this book. I couldn't stop listening to it. Classic crime novel and the narration was excellent.