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Publisher's Summary

Jackman and Evans are back in the latest gripping thriller by Joy Ellis, performed by the incomparable Richard Armitage. 

Jackman’s sister-in-law Sarah disappears to London and throws herself into the river. What drove her to this? She was a woman with a seemingly happy homelife and two beloved sons. DI Jackman and DI Evans dig into Sarah’s life. And Jackman realises he knew almost nothing about his sister-in-law’s past. 

Then, they discover a woman in a neighbouring village died in similar circumstances. What is the connection to a convicted murderer whose family are convinced he is innocent? Who is really pulling the strings?

©2018 Joy Ellis (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Guilty Ones

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

Do not listen in the order Audible tells you to!!

Love this whole series! She does an excellent job portraying men and women working closely together - bonding - without the silly romance a lot of writers feel they need to include. Get this book and the others in the series!

My review is to tell you to read/listen to them in the order the author wrote them and NOT the order Audible tells you to.

DI Jackman and DS Marie Evans Series
Book 1: The Murderer's Son
Book 2: Their Lost Daughters
Book 3: The Fourth Friend
Book 4: The Guilty Ones
Book 5: The Stolen Boys (not yet on Audible)

29 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

An unwelcome detour into different genres

I’m honestly confused why this book has such high reviews – did the reviewers not read the previous books? If I’d read this in isolation, I’d give it a significantly better review but as part of an established series, it sticks out like a sore thumb. For a series that has been really good up to this point, this book is an annoying (and unwelcome) detour into a completely different genre.

I have two major problems with this book: 1) The premise: that a stable woman with a loving husband and children could be bullied into suicide. I might believe that in real life, there are some horrifying examples, but the author completely fails to convince me here. The idea that this woman would kill herself – not because of emotional reasons, like immense stress (that I would completely understand) but because someone ordered her to, abandoning her family (including her 2 children!) instead of bothering to ask anyone for help, like for example, the police detective inspector who is her brother in law! Even worse that it’s Jackman, who would have moved heaven and earth to stop it and protect his family. The author provides the excuse that she’s afraid of the police/exposure… so suicide is preferable?? It's so staggeringly ridiculous that you'd need massive suspension of disbelief to go along with this.

2) The melodrama: the way the characters go on about the killer is completely ridiculous – constantly referring to them like they’re the devil himself. ‘Evil’ gets thrown around a lot, my personal favourite was ‘the very epitome of evil’ (I rolled my eyes so hard that I immediately wrote it down so I'd remember for the review). They almost literally compare the killer to Stalin?? Diabolical and a master manipulator maybe, but it’s so melodramatic that every time it came up, it just irritated me… and it comes up constantly. We’ve seen far, far worse in this series alone!

The book improves significantly from about halfway, when they stop reminding you about the stupid suicide storyline and stop harping on about how ‘evil’ the killer is, and start focusing on moving the story along and then the pace picks up, becoming a cat-and-mouse game with Jackman... then that tone is ruined with the ridiculous action-movie ending, complete with cliffhanger.

Even Richard Armitage doesn’t seem to be his usual exceptional self, or maybe I’m projecting here. Absolutely no negative reflection on him, he’s the best reader I’ve heard anywhere.

It’s so hard to find a series you really enjoy, that has multiple parts that you can get stuck into. I’ve immensely enjoyed this series so far, and this one left an unpleasant aftertaste – it’s like the author got bored with the ‘police procedural’ genre, and switched to an action/serial killer genre, which just doesn’t fit at all. I will definitely read the next book, but I must say my enthusiasm is considerably reduced. This author is better than this, maybe it was interference by the publisher or something. To be clear – it’s not a bad book at all, it’s just so gratingly irritating in too many areas if you’ve read the rest of the series that I’m being far more negative than I usually would be.

13 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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NOOOOOOOOO!!!

First I must say that I find the characters in this series to be quite enjoyable. I have listened to all four. The ending of this last one was such a trite platitude I swore aloud in my car. The author set the stage for such a powerful ending and blew it trading instead for a predictable severely over-used outcome in this genre. I will listen to the next installment because the characters are well written, but it will take me a long time to get over the BIG miss at the end of this one.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good . . . But Not Quite AS Good

Book Four in the Jackman and Evans Series is a good one, but in my opinion doesn’t quite stand up to the others in the series so far. Jackman’s family is hit hard when his sister-in-law, Sarah commits suicide by drowning herself in the river. But according to everyone who knew her, she was a happily married wife and mother to two young boys. Questions arise, however, when a similar thing happens to another woman. Jackman’s brother, James, is overwrought and not much help in solving the case, or in caring for his young sons. With the help of Orac (the computer wizard downstairs) Marie Evans and Jackman look into Sarah’s past and discover a lot of secrets. When the suicides continue, it’s a race to connect the dots and to keep Jackman’s family safe. One thing I liked about this book is learning more about Rowan Jackman’s family, his parents and background. The conclusion wasn’t as satisfying as most. But I will certainly continue the series.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another winner from Joy Ellis!

Just as with her nine novel DI Nikki Galena series British author Joy Ellis has another wonderful series modern detective with Jackman and Evans. The Guilty Ones is a fine addition to the Jackman and Evans series. Actor Richard Armitage does a nice job of narrating, but I much prefer the narrations of Henrietta Meire due to her Fens British accent compared to the generic British accent of Armitage. In any case the modern detective series by Joy Ellis are always worthwhile.

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Disappointed

I have always enjoyed the Ellis series books. They are strong police procedurals with lots of twists and turns. The books are character driven by the solid depictions of the police force members. There is also a hint of romance and sometimes more than a hint. Most of all I relished the endings.

This book left the villain hanging out there with no resolution. I'm sure there will be a sequel which I feel tricked into wanting. I prefer to buy the sequels on the strength of the previous books and not on the basis of finding the bad guy again.

3 people found this helpful

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Another winning Joy Ellis novel

Another hard to put down story. Not too happy with the ending but that's because the danger is still lurking. I'm not fond of cliffhangers.

3 people found this helpful

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I loved it

I had been waiting impatiently for this audiobook release and it was well worth the wait. I love this author’s books and this one is no exception.

The story is twisted and leaves many trails for the reader’s mind to follow if one wants to “play detective.” Personally, I like to let the story play out and have Jackson and Evans and the team work it out. We know who-done-it fairly early on but then there’s the drama and suspense of what will happen next. The character development is first rate, as usual for Joy Ellis.

Richard Armitage is a delightful narrator and gives a tremendous performance. I did find the denouement a bit unrewarding and disappointing. But, overall, one of the best books of 2019.

6 people found this helpful

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Fast-paced story & endearing characters

Really enjoyed this Jackman book. Richard Armitage offers a compelling and nuanced performance that, along with a strong story, brings the characters to life. I listened as I drove and found myself looking for excuses to get in the car and hear the next chapter.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Terrible ending

A good murder mystery needs a conclusive ending. This one doesn’t make the mark. I’m sorry I bothered.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sheila
  • 02-12-19

Excellent. Better than the rest.

Very good book, dark, psychological thriller. Well written and as usual for Richard Armitage brilliantly narrated. A superb skilled, sensitive, intelligent voice actor.
I am enjoying Audible books. Thanks

12 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • ClareBC
  • 05-15-19

This series has really deteriorated

Plotting was fine but dialogue was shocking. All characters spent the time praising and thinking highly of each other, made Midsommer Murders look gritty. Shame.

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon
  • 02-06-19

Not Quite The Same Buzz This Time!

I'm a huge fan of this series and will definitely continue with it in the future but of the four that I have read so far, this one doesn't quite hit the mark as well as the others. It's got Ellis's very human detectives, a feeling of natural warmth emanating from the very cold and dark places that her storylines tend to end up. It's also got a very interesting concept about the killer which I enjoyed very much. And yes, talking of warmth it's got those simply molten tones that Richard Armitage delivers making the whole experience incredibly smooth and easy to listen to.

So, lots of good things and I think anyone who has enjoyed the first three will likely find themselves enjoying the Fens again but in this one I'd question the two lead characters and possibly the ending just a bit. Jackman is starting to come across as a bit too perfect, a bit too universally liked and admired. Where this grated was in Evans continually telling him how right he was repeatedly. No harm supporting a colleague but Evans is a character who I think has enormous potential as a strong female character and while she does get up to some biking action at one point she's starting to feel a bit too much in Jackman's shadow. As for the ending, don't expect everything to be resolved as you might hope it would be is all I will say, this is very much an episode rather than a full story.

I'm definitely still enjoying Jackman and Evans and it's very possible that I've overdosed on them a little, this is after all the fourth one released on Audible since June last year. So, while I enjoyed this one well enough it didn't leave me with the same kind of buzz as the first three.

37 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Chery
  • 04-21-19

My least favourite of the series so far

I usually love the Jackman series but was disappointed by this book. The story was unbelievable. They way the characters spoke was just a bit too cliche. Too many super intelligent characters with annoyingly upper class accents.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Teresa evans
  • 02-11-19

Guilty ones

As per usual a really good book I love jackman series. The narrator is good All in all it was great

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • R. Morris
  • 03-23-19

Another excellent who done it.

Really enjoyed this latest Jackman story. I got to bond more with the whole team. can't wait for the next rendition.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • JulieB
  • 06-09-19

Gave up halfway through

Unfortunately the poor writing, stilted, naive dialogue and weak characters continue - think adult version of Enid Blyton Famous Five.

Definitely won’t be purchasing anymore and not sure why these books get so much hype.

21 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • dee
  • 12-19-19

Ridiculous plotting

This is the third novel I have listened to in this series and I think it will be the last. After an interesting beginning, the plot becomes increasingly ridiculous and the killer's motivation is completely unconvincing.

Likewise, the idea of intelligent adults being bullied into fatal acts is beyond belief. Jackman's sister in law would have immediately contacted him and that would have been the end of it.

The behaviour of the police is equally unbelievable: Jackman would not have been allowed anywhere near a case involving his own family!

I really don't know why I bothered finishing this. It has been a complete waste of time.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lucy Taylor
  • 02-08-19

Gripping listen

Incredible, gripping listen. I didn’t enjoy the last book I this series quite as much as the first or second, but this book is fantastic! Cannot wait for the next book!

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Finkinpink
  • 05-31-19

Not bad.

not my favourite in the series so far. but still an enjoyable listen on holiday

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jen
  • 04-07-19

perfect partnership

in love with Armitage's silky voice unravelling Ellis's twists and turns. bring on book 5.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christine Denning
  • 12-23-20

Mesmerised throught the book

As usual this book magnificently written by Joy Ellis and read by the talented Richard Armidale was spellbinding. Every book i have read in this series is the same. just incredible.

3 people found this helpful

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  • simon webb
  • 01-04-21

The best

This is up with the best of joy ellis’s books and I have enjoyed every book of hers that I have so far read.
One must have a very devious mind to write books like this. I think this one is masterful.

2 people found this helpful

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  • shirley K.
  • 12-20-20

Addicted to Jackman and evans

Absolutely love this series of books. Can’t get enough of them. Captivating from beginning to end. Richard Armitage just puts life into the characters, putting you in the story.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sandra C.
  • 01-01-21

Another winning novel

The narrator is excellent and the plot intriguing but easy to follow. I really like the way you become immersed and begin to suspect every character right from the start. There are a few clues but just enough to keep the answer out of reach until the end. Well written. I’m relatively new to crime novels and am soon becoming an absolute fan of Joy Ellis. Can’t wait to read the next one.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-14-20

great

loved it! very intriguing. kept me wondering. highly recommend. thanks for a good read. *

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amber Smeenk
  • 12-12-20

Wow!

This series is only getting better! I'll need to go get book 5 straight away!!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-14-20

Brilliant! Brilliant!! Brilliant!!!

Sensational narration and so many twists and turns. Is this cliff hanger solved in an upcoming book? Gahhhhhhhhh. I hope so 🙏

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-14-20

Fantastic

Loving the series so far snd eager to keep listening. Great writing snd performance. Believable and down to earth characters.
I’m

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kiwijuls
  • 07-04-21

Awesome series

Absolutely love this series and the reader is perfect!. Storyline keeps you guessing and is very enjoyable. Highly recommend.