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Publisher's Summary

Whisper Fen Holds Dark Secrets 

As the mists roll over the fens and enigmatic lights twinkle in the distance, only the locals know their way along the hidden paths through the mysterious watery terrain of one of England's most beautiful and sometimes dangerous places. 

Detective Matt Ballard may have retired but there's still plenty going on in the fens to keep him busy. 

Someone trashes an old lady's garden and daubs her isolated cottage with hateful graffiti. Emilia Swain seems to be totally harmless, so why is she being targeted? 

Matt's best friend Will and his wife Kate moved to Holland House to put their past behind them. But Kate's mental state is deteriorating and she's obsessed with the tragic history of the house and an old doll she finds in the garden.

And why is Kate suddenly friends with a loner who haunts the fens? Has the dreadful past come back to haunt the present owners?

Former detectives Matt and Liz want to help their friends and neighbors. But how can you help people who don't want to be helped?

©2020 Joy Ellis (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about The Dying Light

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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I love Joy Ellis but this was disappointing

This is nothing like her other books. There is no mystery here, no drama, just some neighbors who need help and two retired detectives. Listening to the tale of the mentally ill woman declining is just very sad. The story really goes nowhere.

2 people found this helpful

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Not Like Joy Ellis

The books of Joy Ellis are usually well developed and very interesting. This one was just flat out strange and hard to believe. It’s like it was written by someone else. The narrator is excellent, but the story is very odd. It’s a stretch.

2 people found this helpful

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Not one of Joy Ellis’ best stories.

I normally enjoy all of Joy’s different series but this storyline was too drawn out and not her usual style of course detective mystery . I persisted cause I wanted to see how it ended but it was not as interesting as her previous books.

2 people found this helpful

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it's as bad as reviews show

Sometimes I wonder, "how bad can it be? when one of my favorite authors release a book and the reviews are not so great. Turns out, it can be pretty bad. This particular book was an all around waste of time. It's agonizingly slow and the ending doesn't make up for the lack of plot. I can get my credit back but I certainly can't get those hours of listening back

2 people found this helpful

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Don't waste your time on this garbage!

There are more than 20 Joy Ellis novels in my Audible library. Almost all are excellent. This series is horrid.

1 person found this helpful

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Dark

I love her books but this was a dark thriller
Just surprised a little
One of my favorite authors

1 person found this helpful

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dull story

severe patronizing tones in all relatioships within the novel. i think the story itself made me dislike the narrator. snooze

1 person found this helpful

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Good, but a few annoying details

I like Joy Ellis overall, but I had a hard time accepting that all of these folks went along for so long with NOT getting a very sick woman professional help — especially two mental health professionals. The other thing was when help was sought all of this FREE private mental health services - like right, that happens.

1 person found this helpful

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Very distressing. Poor quality for this author.

I feel like every storyline in this book left you feeling hopeless. Every professional let all of the characters they were supposed to help down. All I could say at the end was, "are you kidding me!" Joy Ellis has let me down with this one.

1 person found this helpful

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Awful.

So disappointing. Have read most of the other Matt Ballard stories but this was all atmosphere not a mystery. Repetitive and boring. Reader also worked hard at different accents that didn’t work and often sped up so fast I thought I had changed speeds. Overall a waste of money and time.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie
  • 02-15-21

Disappointing from one of my favourite authors

Talk about slow to get going........... I was so disappointed.
I was expecting a murder mystery - but there was no murder. All a bit touchy-feely and not what I was expecting from such a brilliant writer.

It was like getting the new Nikki Galena book and finding out that she just does yoga for a week!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-07-21

Brilliant

That was SO good. I was gripped from start to finish. Can't wait for more Ballard!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Shirley Rawlings
  • 11-26-20

Disappointed

More like a Miss Marple than Joy Ellis. I have loved all her other books but this one was very disappointing. Narrator’s hung ho style didn’t help. I kept waiting for it to improve but it never did.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jane L
  • 03-24-21

Disappointing.

The first Joy Ellis novel I haven’t enjoyed. I found this repetitive and overly drawn out and with a poor ending.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs. Linda M. Rhodes
  • 03-17-21

Captivating

A book not quite like any other crime novel I have heard - so novel in the true sense too. Ms. Ellis is able to paint pictures with words and was able with a few strokes, to capture the sinister nature of parts of the narrative which were integral to the story. It was compulsive listening.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Scorpio
  • 03-11-21

Excellent

Very well written. A really excellent unexpected ending. I really enjoyed it and did not see the end coming

1 person found this helpful

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  • angela munro
  • 02-19-21

Much better than the previous two books

I really liked this book. Some of it was still a little far fetched, with timings al very convenient, but well written, made me want to keep listening, and I liked the ending much more than that of the first two books in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Hannah Mitchell
  • 11-10-21

Another great book

Brilliant as ever & really enjoyed it. The characters new private detective work was a nice change too, with old faces popping in & out of the storyline. Now for the next one which is waiting patiently to be listened to.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-01-21

Sad ending and frustration with characters.

I loved the book and how it all came together, but don't listen expecting a happy or satisfying ending. I was so frustrated and felt so sorry for Will, but only because it was so well written that I felt strongly about it.

Moral of the story is that people who need psychiatric help, should have psychiatric help, even if they say that they don't want it.

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  • Drama Queen
  • 08-29-21

Oh Dear.

I presume that the author was in a hurry to meet a deadline. I've loved her other books, even though they had little relation to reality...this novel seemed to have no idea where it was going and ended with the bizarre abruptness of a year 11 answering a creative writing exam question. Truly disappointing.

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  • Meryl
  • 12-16-20

Another great storyline

Had been looking forward to a new audiobook from this author. While the storyline held my interest I was very disappointed with the narration.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Aussie Jenny
  • 01-15-22

Strange happenings

The Dying Light is my least favourite book by Joy Ellis. I appreciate the storyline, although I found the subject matter rather creepy, which is possibly the intention of the author.
Will and Kate (only just realised the significance of their names) are not an endearing couple, in fact I rather disliked them. I felt no sympathy for Will, his character is too wishy washy for my liking.
It is still a good listen, just not up to the standard I expect from Joy Ellis.

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  • elizabeth b.
  • 01-08-22

Spooky

I thought that was really good. Spooky house and weird goingson
Narrator Maththew Lloyd Davies well read.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-09-21

Not like any of Joy Ellis' other series

I LOVE both of the Jackman and Galina series, (in fact they rate as some of my favorites!) but the Matt Ballard stories feel as though they have been written by an entirely different author!! This story was very slow moving (and to be honest not much happened during this book at all...) The narrator can be quite annoying at times too, but the poor man isn't helped by the fact that the characters he is reading say some rather annoying / quite stupid things at times. Far from being a gripping thriller, this is just a drawn out story of a poor woman's mental health struggles, and so many things feel left unresolved at the end.... :(

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Connell Maskrey
  • 10-27-21

not Joy's usual "who done it"

not Joy's usual who done it, but it still had me listening until the end. a real emotional roller coaster

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Janet Congues
  • 08-13-21

Different

This one is okay but not what I have come to enjoy about these Fen mysteries. The sensation of not being able to put the book down was missing. Did enjoy the speaker's performance and listening to him.

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  • Terri Davidson
  • 08-08-21

Disappointing and unable to return

This was a totally loss for me
Too complex and too many conflicting storylines
Did not enjoy either of the books in this series, and will be reluctant to try any others in the series
Compared the the Jackman and Ellis series, it is really lacking
Lesson learnt: will not be using further credits for other series with this author sadly

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  • Debra
  • 06-07-21

A little disturbing

Quite a dark story. I found it inconclusive. I think I had written a different ending in my head which would have explained things in a much more convincing way.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • paulak1709
  • 05-31-21

Bought by mistake 😭

I am currently reading the Nikki Galina series by Joy Ellis & bought this by mistake, any chance I could have a refund please? So I can purchase another book in my current series, that I'm LOVING, pretty please 🙏 I'll get to this series next ...

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kayezzz
  • 05-08-21

More of a mystery story than a crime...

I didn't mind this one, had heard the first two, but the narrator still grates on me; bad accents and vocal changes at the wrong times; it's the only way to describe how I perceived it. Though there was lots of just talking and surmising, there could've been more depth to the storyline, particularly around the wife with the mental condition. The last minutes were a surprise... It feels like there could be a fourth book and despite my comments I'd definitely listen to it 🙂