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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of The Sea Detective by Mark Douglas-Home.

Cal McGill is an Edinburgh-based oceanographer, environmentalist and one-of-a-kind investigator. Using his knowledge of the waves - ocean currents, prevailing winds, shipping records - McGill can track where objects came from or where they've gone. It's a skill that can help solve mysteries ranging from disappearances to murder.

Two severed feet wash up on two different islands off the coast of Scotland. Forensics shows that the feet belong to the same body. As Cal McGill investigates, he unravels a web of corruption, exploitation and human trafficking, which threatens many lives across the globe - including his own....

©2015 Mark Douglas-Home (P)2015 Penguin Books Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    171
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    122
  • 3 Stars
    38
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    12
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    6

Performance

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    96
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    22
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    5
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Story

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    99
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Simply a great book

The Sea Detective was simply a great book from the beginning to the end. It was interesting from a scientific point of view to the emotions it evoked . The plot was riveting as well as the wonderful personality of the of the characters . It was a pleasure to read and one was reluctant to have it end. Well done in every aspect. No one should pass up the opportunity to listen to it. A good show all around. Mike

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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

Excellent in every way!

This book has everything I love:
A dark mystery, a window into the past way of life on Scottish outer islands , and another looking into India .
A brilliant young man who's knowledge of the sea gives him the ability to solve what has seemed unsolvable and a clever policewoman won't let anyone stand in her way.
I'm thrilled to have found this author and am going to listen to his next book immediately!

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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

unbelievably good woman empowering book

I loved this. It was several different stories that dovetail together. I could not figure out how he was going to mesh the different parts of the world where the crimes were happening and pull it all together. I want another one to read I loved it so much. The experiences of the women in this book was amazingly empowering. I felt for the woman who bought a size 16 because they don't make an 18. But though she's stuffed into her clothes like a sausage casing she wins, and is finally rewarded for her intelligence and ability.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

First in the series

While I didn't find this gripping I did enjoy it. The story line of the child sex trade from India was harsh and made me wondering if it was factual. I liked learning about the ocean moment although the details got a little tedious at times. Liked Cal, the main character and loved David Monteath as always. I have the next two books in the series


7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

Interesting premise, but needs lots of editing

Is there anything you would change about this book?

There are too many POVs in this book! In my opinion, there should be only 3--Cal's, Helen's, and Bisanti's. The female police seem too fixated on body size and dating--seems sexist and unprofessional for women who undoubtedly worked hard to get where they are. Cal should be using GIS databases and maps--his "technology" seems pretty dated. Cal was also rather unlikeable--I get that he's complicated and makes mistakes, but he's also pretty rude to people and a bit self-involved. In my opinion, he's also too young. Helen is the one with her act together and there should be more of her and how she thinks and orchestrates her investigative coups. I didn't mind that there were two investigations going on, but they should have been linked thematically somehow--perhaps along the lines of how a failed fishing industry causes economic hardships that in turn, cause some people to make unethical decisions? Overall, this story could have used very heavy editing. It felt very much like a creative writing class project, with the author taking to heart the directive to "show, don't tell." I did not need to listen to a long list of coordinates or what each character was wearing every day. Way too much detail on things that don't matter and no narrative or explanation of events of major importance, such Helen's behind-the-scenes machinations, which are crucial to the plot. I thought the narration by David Monteath was very good.

What do you think your next listen will be?

A novel in the D.C. Smith mystery series, by Peter Grainger.

Which scene was your favorite?

I didn't have any favorites, but I thought the passages set on the island and the Scottish coast were the best.

Could you see The Sea Detective being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Actually, I could see this as an entertaining multi-episode tv show. The editing required for the screen would solve many of this book's problems and the settings and characters would be compelling.

Any additional comments?

These characters have a lot of potential and I hope the author improves with later installments. I may give this series another try.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Great New Series!

If you could sum up The Sea Detective in three words, what would they be?

Beautiful Scottish Isles.

What did you like best about this story?

This is a delightful new series and I love the main character. The idea of a scientist who studies ocean currents as a central character in a detective series is brilliant.The premise is so original and so well communicated it is very refreshing. I really enjoy his description of the various locations, they are evocative without being a travelogue. I also love the Helen character, although I fervently hopes she finds happiness some day.

Which character – as performed by David Monteath – was your favorite?

Hard to decide, I think the main sea detective, but Helen is a close second, which is to say, I loved both the main characters.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not extreme exactly, but when I finished the book, I was very glad that I knew it is the first in a series and there will be more to read by this author and about this character.

Any additional comments?

I read all three of the currently published books in rapid succession, so I hope Mr. Douglas-Home is working his fingers to the bone on the 4th!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Really great new series on audible, do try it

If you could sum up The Sea Detective in three words, what would they be?

Better than expected

Any additional comments?

This mystery series is one of the best. The character development is outstanding, even minor characters are three dimensional. Do not be concerned about eco warrier stuff, it is not offensive and truly a minor part of the main character. I hope the third book in this series will be available on audible soon as I am already loving the second book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Excellent Interweaving Themes

Would you listen to The Sea Detective again? Why?

Yes. The imagery is really good.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Cal

What about David Monteath’s performance did you like?

He captures the eccentricities of the hero.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the woman Inspector gets control of the case.

Any additional comments?

Well written book with important social themes.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Paula
  • Overland Park, KS USA
  • 11-25-15

Disjointed, Flawed Non-Story

This one is like listening to someone read the front page of the newspaper, jumping from story to story, column to column never finishing any. As a result, this one is terribly disjointed, hard to follow, and lacking ANY central plot or theory. Just not worthy. Not. Worthy. And it had such promise.

11 of 19 people found this review helpful

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

Well-written and different

This book has good writing, story, and characters, and the narrator has a wonderful voice.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Renka
  • 01-24-16

Great story by a new author

If you could sum up The Sea Detective in three words, what would they be?

keeps you guessing

Any additional comments?

An interesting new character- who isn't a policeman - by a new author who very cleverly makes the various threads intertwine but come to their conclusions apart yet together.
Good to know this is the first of a series about Cal McGill.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jholmes
  • 04-30-16

Engrossing tale

I simply enjoyed the way that the diverse strands of the narrative combined in unexpected ways to build to a satisfying conclusion. Definitely an unusual story of pain and retribution, and possibly redemption on many levels
I will certainly investigate other titles by the author

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-28-16

Great read !

I really enjoyed this novel '.
I found it exciting , well written and loved the descriptions of the Highlands and the Islands
It made me very homesick

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jane Shepherd
  • 03-22-16

Superb novel

If Mark Douglas-Home continues to write as well as this he's going to join the ranks of my favourite authors alongside Lee Child, Taylor Stevens, Tom Woods and Robert Crais. Fascinating weaving of separate storylines both influenced by Cal's interest and skill in plotting ocean currents. Horrific sex trafficking which needs as much exposure as possible as one plot together with his detective work to uncover the truth about his grandfather. I loved the fact that Cal is a bit of an eco warrior and there's a lot of humour in the writing of this novel. David Monteath is a wonderful narrator, skilled actor and I think he's about to join my shortlist of favourite narrators; though unlikely to topple Jeff Harding from top place he's definitely gone into my top ten with Hillary Huber, Daniel Philpott, Jonathan Keeble and Derek Perkins and others who all add to the pleasure that the audiobooks they read provide. I listen to about 5 books a week and only stop because I also love films and good tv series otherwise as a retired person, though still quite busy with my now very small animal sanctuary, I'd be plugged into my iPhone for about 18 hours a day!
I bought the second novel, The woman who walked into the sea, long before I finished this first Cal McGill novel as I knew within the very first few chapters that I was going to love this audiobook.

29 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rogayah
  • 04-06-16

Sea change

This is an interesting slant on data gathering in detective work concerning the sea. As an introduction to our hero Cal, it was a very gripping opening case. I found the character of Helen Jamieson was almost stronger than the protagonist though; I hope she reappears in a later story.

I enjoyed too the narrator and will keep tracks of how this series develops.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Ross Bower
  • 06-04-17

ONE OF MY MOST DISAPPOINTING DOWNLOADS

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A completely different plot! How interesting are sea coordinates of tracing dismembered feet in trainers? I am not interested at all in how many spoons of instant coffee go into a mug half full of water. Far too much padding in a not very interesting plot. References to a size 18 woman having difficulty in getting in and out of chairs should be omitted as offensive to women. I know many size 18's who have no difficulty whatsoever sitting down, let alone standing up! As I listened I found myself wondering would the author have described a man in such terms?

Would you ever listen to anything by Mark Douglas-Home again?

No.

What does David Monteath bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I downloaded this book purely on loving David Monteath's previous narrations. I will follow him but certainly not the author.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Sea Detective?

I would edit most scenes as I found them boring, overplayed, annoying and poorly written. The story drags on and on in a dreary fashion. I am two-thirds through listening and about to give up. Good for falling-asleep-listening though because of the lack of pace.

Any additional comments?

I have about 800 books downloaded from Audible, this being one of the worst which I will delete from my I Pod.

24 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ann D
  • 11-18-17

A book of two halves!

I really enjoyed this at first. I like the character of Helen Jameson very much. She, and the two Indian girls, are well drawn. The Character of Cal McGill is good, but could benefit from a little more depth. Where it falls down for me is in having too many threads. The story of trafficking and the Indian girls is interesting and easy to engage with. However, the story of Cal’s family history from WW2 left me cold, seems disconnected from the rest of the book and I would not have purchased that story. In short, for me, it would be much better without that, allowing for a tighter, shorter novel.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Celt
  • 06-15-17

Just great

Really enjoyed this book and the narrators voice did not annoy. Well thought out and engaging

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • c
  • 01-08-17

Not bad but TOO LONG!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Well written with interesting and thoroughly flawed main character but its' just too long and padded out that's why I couldn't recommend it,

What did you like best about this story?

It is unusual and has promise for future episodes. Minus the padding please!

What about David Monteath’s performance did you like?

Yes, pretty good narration. I can't really understand the criticisms levelled here but purely a matter of taste isn't it?

Could you see The Sea Detective being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

Possibly a TV series because of the unusual nature of this sector of 'detective work'.

Any additional comments?

What a pity it wasn't either shorter-or filled up with more plot, more characters and more action. After all, the ingredients were all there just waiting to be exploited!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sigrin
  • 07-15-17

Flotsam and jetsam

Really enjoyed this story within s story, of people smuggling child prostitution, as well as Cals family history woven through.

I am hopeful this will continue with more books To form a series as I feel it will be very successful.

It's a great new angle on a popular genre, which I think will be enjoyed by many.

Fabulous narration by David Minteath, wit his soft Scottish bur fir the Scottish characters but equally managed the other accents and females voices effortlessly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful