West Cork

4 out of 5 stars (22,629 ratings)

Regular price: $29.95

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About This Audible Original

Two days before Christmas 1996, the broken, battered body of Sophie Toscan du Plantier was found outside her vacation home in West Cork, a serene region on Ireland’s idyllic southern coast. Decades later, no one has been charged with the murder, but the aggrieved inhabitants of West Cork are convinced they know who did it—and he still lives among them.

In this haunting and heartbreaking true crime series, reporter Sam Bungey and documentarian Jennifer Forde revisit the grisly homicide that left Ireland reeling. Featuring unprecedented research and extensive, exclusive interviews with the case’s key players, their work offers new insight on the still unsolved murder and the labyrinth investigation that followed. The result is an evocative audio portrait as gripping and intriguing as the case it unravels.

© 2018 Audible Originals LLC, (P) 2018 Audible Originals, LLC

Every countryside has a dark side

For one hundred years, there was not a single murder in the region of West Cork. In 1996, that peaceful illusion was shattered forever.
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"Take my advice and listen to West Cork—you will be amazed, angry, sad, haunted, transported to Ireland, and you will feel like you know these people and what happened to them."

– Audible listener
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Our favorite moments from West Cork: a tranquil town; an unthinkable crime

Hours before the murder, an ominous premonition.
A traumatized town abounds with rumors and theories.
The crime’s brutality unnerves a veteran detective.
Once serene, the town’s isolation turns sinister.
A mysterious outsider is seen lurking in West Cork.

  • West Cork
  • Hours before the murder, an ominous premonition.
  • West Cork
  • A traumatized town abounds with rumors and theories.
  • West Cork
  • The crime’s brutality unnerves a veteran detective.
  • West Cork
  • Once serene, the town’s isolation turns sinister.
  • West Cork
  • A mysterious outsider is seen lurking in West Cork.

Twenty years later, the investigation continues

Featuring interviews with investigators, locals, and even the case’s elusive prime suspect, West Cork is true crime as you’ve never heard it before.
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About the Creators

Journalist and editor Sam Bungey began his career in Dublin as cofounder of the national monthly magazine Mongrel. From there, he contributed to a wide range of publications including The Guardian and The Dublin Review. His first foray into audio was in 2011 when he was featured as a contributor on the beloved radio show This American Life. In 2014, Bungey was commended with a Human Rights Award for his work as deputy editor for the public journalism site The Global Mail.

About the Creators

Jennifer Forde is a documentary producer known for her uncanny ability to get people to reveal themselves. She has worked with the BBC and a multitude of UK-based independent production companies. Her impressive litany of credits includes directing and producing an episode of The Secret Life of the National Grid (winner of the Royal Television Society Award for History), an episode of the Grierson-short-listed Catholics, and an installment of the New York Times Retro Report series. West Cork is her first journey into an audio-exclusive format.

More true crime from Audible Range

Editor Kat Johnson professes her love of well-done true crime books that strike the right balance between telling an engaging tale and being salacious. Read the full article here!
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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Ann
  • United States
  • 02-13-18

ENTERTAINING AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING

An interesting account of a murder investigation by Irish police of an arrogant Englishman accused of murder in Cork County, Ireland. Although slow in the beginning, the audiobook soon picks up speed and keeps the listener engaged. Definitely worth an Audible credit.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Ilia
  • NEW YORK, NY, United States
  • 03-07-18

EXCELLENT.

Wow. I am so impressed. I downloaded this on a lark, just trying to support Audible Originals and was BLOWN AWAY. I can’t stop talking about it. I tell everyone at work. By episode 4 I had full goose bumps. Beautifully researched. Beautifully plotted. Beautifully executed. Highly recommended.

71 of 80 people found this review helpful

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This is a Podcast not a book.

Would you listen to West Cork again? Why?

Yes! It is wonderful - However, audible readers may not be familiar with podcasts and will be concerned with the very different format. I am a voracious podcast consumer and I would list this as among the very best.

What was one of the most memorable moments of West Cork?

I think hearing the real voices of the citizens and investigators of West Cork. Especially as an American who had no idea of this case.

Which character – as performed by the narrator – was your favorite?

They are not characters but real people. They were all excellent.

If you could give West Cork a new subtitle, what would it be?

Real Crime Podacast

Any additional comments?

Please give this format a try it is excellent and the editing is superb.

236 of 276 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dewese
  • Petal, MS, United States
  • 02-28-18

Kept Me Coming Back Every Day

Would you listen to West Cork again? Why?

Absolutely, I listened to West Cork each day on my commute to and from work which is only about 20 minutes. It was so captivating and I couldn't wait to get back to hear the next part.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

I so wanted to believe that Ian was the murderer but then his personality swayed me into thinking he was innocent, then suddenly I would say..Oh No he definitely did it. I kept changing my mind and I still have not made up my mind.

Which character – as performed by Sam Bungey and Jennifer Forde – was your favorite?

Both were awesome.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Most interesting is the fact that a woman can live with a man that abuses her year after year and is a suspect is a murder and she continue to stay. The day he ripped my lip off would have been enough for me. Thats not love, sorry. She is afraid of him and what he could do to her, especially when he was younger.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

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If Serial Met Broadchurch...

Yes, this is a podcast, not a book. So what? It's brilliant! A moving, compelling story of a murder and justice as yet unsatisfied. What could be more gripping than hearing the tale told from so many angles by the people who experienced it first hand and a couple of narrators who cared enough about the story to spend three years to bring it life.

50 of 60 people found this review helpful

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Not What I Was Expecting, but I Got Hooked

Not at all what I expected, but very interesting look at an ongoing investigation into a tragic crime. This is not a crime drama or a true crime book. This is an audio documentary following a real crime committed in a small, idyllic Irish town, akin to an episode Cold Case Files or Cold Justice...just without the video aspect. I got hooked right away and finished it in 2 days. Definitely worth listening to!

104 of 127 people found this review helpful

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  • Paula
  • Overland Park, KS USA
  • 03-11-18

Terrific Tale!

I REALLY liked this podcast! Not only is it a mesmerizing story, but the way it was put together kept my interest throughout. The only thing I didn't like (because I listen to multiple sections of the podcast at a time) was the minute or so intro between each, citing the producers, authors, etc. But I just hit the advance 30 second button twice and that took care of the issue. True crime, small Irish village, gossip, rumors, quirky folks, incompetent police, and more. Would love more of this type of offering.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Different

I think I like the new format but it takes some getting used to. I don’t like the credits at the end of each chapter as it interrupts ones train of thought. It is a unique way of listening to a story with many different voices. Will take some time to get used to.

74 of 92 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 02-08-18

Fascinating!

I have listened to only 7 of the 13 episodes, but I will complete this audio book. This true crime story is fascinating. My significant complaint with this 13 episode book is that the credits are repeated after each and every episode. The setting is County Cork which is the most southwest part of Ireland. Cork city, the county government seat, is a reasonable size city of 120,000 population and it has an airport. The town of Blarney with its famous stone is a few miles north of Cork city, so the area is a popular tourist destination. West Cork, the area where the murder was committed, consists of several peninsulas that jut into the Atlantic Ocean. West Cork is a relatively primitive area more than 50 miles from Cork city. When I was there it in 1996 it was most assuredly not a tourist destination. The word remote comes to mind.

The West Cork murder series reminds me to ask the question, "What do I want/expect from Audible?" My personal answer is a very wide selection of audio books at a reasonable cost. Audible's credit system suits me perfectly; however I would like to see another membership level which offers more credits than Platinum Annual at a slightly lower price per credit. I'd like to purchase 50 or even 100 credits at one time. What I appreciate most about Audible is that I can purchase new releases from major publishing houses for a single credit which costs less than the cost of the same book in any other format. For example, the recently released Look for Me by Lisa Gardner cost me one Audible credit ($9.56) while the Kindle version sells for $13.99 and the dead tree versions start at $17.70 at Amazon. I also appreciate the cost advantages for many Audible books offered by Kindle Unlimited membership.

There are 2050 titles in my Audible library and I have borrowed 180 additional Audible titles with Kindle Unlimited. I love audio books and I love Audible because of the range of titles and the pricing. I speak only for myself when I write that the Audible extras such as Channels and Audible Originals offer little of interest to me.

80 of 100 people found this review helpful

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Yes, it's a podcast. Get over it.

These bad reviews are the epitome of First World Problems. So many seem to be angry/bothered that this is a not a traditional audiobook but a podcast, but I really don't understand this complaint. It was free at the time of this review and more importantly it was as engaging or more than a traditional format true crime book. Seems like people are basically complaining because they've including actual interview clips and given how much they add to the story, I don't see that as a valid complaint. Similarly, the credits at the end of the chapters whiners. The way people were going on about them I thought they were going to be some 2-3 minute thing. They're literally a 30 second or less blurb. You hit the 30-second fast forward button if they bother you that much and you're on to the next.

Now onto the real review. This was a story I knew nothing about, but captivating to learn about. The characters and twists are like something out of an English dinner party mystery, but of course, given it actually happened, far less "quaint" than those. Superbly done and couldn't be more engaging. A true gem from Audible.

24 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen McKenna
  • 09-05-18

Gripping. Mesmerising.

I couldn’t stop listening once I started. The journalists work is unbelievable and their narration is excellent

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-15-18

West Cork

Excellent. Well researched and produced. Very much like the first season of Serial with Irish accents.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-28-18

Like 'Serial' done in Ireland

Loved this one. Well produced. Hooked from episode one. It follows the Serial podcast format.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kevin Crowley
  • 03-15-18

Brilliant

Guilty or not the Irish justice system has failed both the French lady and those most hurt

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-03-18

Unnecessarily dragged out

Just like most true crime docos.. too much anticipation building too much unnecessary details and little actual investigation and deduction, let alone smart plot twists.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • K L Smith
  • 02-21-18

Murderinos and true crime junkies will LOVE this.

✅ well researched
✅ well written
✅ well produced
✅ fair and balanced
✅ enthralling story

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Santabunny
  • 11-03-18

Great story despite the tragic story

It’s well structured and well told. A very sad story for Shopie and her family and hope this story will help with the investigation. Loved the narration which is always important for this oral story’s.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-23-18

worth a listen

This is not at all like serial. Interesting story for those who don't know it

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  • Patrick
  • 10-11-18

gripping

gripped from start to finish. lays the facts out without bias. great access to the suspect. leaves you wanting more

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 09-25-18

Repetitive story.

Repetitive story line. I was disappointed with the conclusion. It is easy to lose interest.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 09-04-18

Interesting true crime.

If you like true crime it is worth the time taken to follow this one.