• Worse Than Dead

  • Inspector Drake, Book 2
  • By: Stephen Puleston
  • Narrated by: Richard Elfyn
  • Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (137 ratings)

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Worse Than Dead  By  cover art

Worse Than Dead

By: Stephen Puleston
Narrated by: Richard Elfyn
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Publisher's summary

A car ferry leaves Dublin. The chief engineer lies dead. Can DI Drake catch the killer before the passengers disembark?

Dealing with the fallout from a difficult case, Welsh Inspector Ian Drake faces a deadly foe as well as counselling for his OCD. When a ferry arrives in port, he knows a killer is on board. Unable to trace the killer after the ship berths, he fears the worse.

Tension mounts when two more members of the crew are killed. When Drake’s cousin gets involved and he faces the implications of his father’s treatment for cancer, he struggles to face the challenges of tracking the killer. And links to a well-known criminal family make the inquiry even more demanding.

Can he catch the killer and avert more deaths?

Worse than Dead is the second book in the dynamic Inspector Drake crime series. If you like police procedurals, clever mysteries, and gripping thrillers, then you’ll love Stephen Puleston’s unnerving whodunit.

©2014 Stephen Puleston (P)2019 Stephen Puleston

What listeners say about Worse Than Dead

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A great thriller

In this second book we meet again with Inspector Drake... and his life is even more complicated.

He and Caron are called to investigate a murder in a ferry but quickly it's becoming clear that there is a lot more going on. Drake's personal life is getting more difficult to handle, and it's not only the (rightful) demands of his wife asking him to take an interest in the lives of his daughters. His father's sickness has become terminal, and his cousin, who claimed to have information on the case, it's up to his neck in personal troubles. And, of course, there is the counselling he is undergoing about his OCD.

Yeah, you can say his plate is full...

Drake and Caron follow the leads, between lots of red herrings, twist and turns that make this case really hard. And in the middle of all this, Drake's new chief decided to demote him.

This is a really good thriller, with an excellent side of policial procedure, great pace and plot that will keep you enthralled until the end.

The narration by Richard Elfyn is superb, and adds to the enjoyment of the whole story.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Listener received this title free

Worse than Dead

Finding clues to a mystery is always fun, except when it comes to murder, right?! It starts to get creepier as you get closer to the killer and trying to figure out how they think. The bodies are piling up and the killer begins to make mistakes. But, what is more important is if they know that you are onto them, they become more unpredictable which is dangerous. For Puleston’s second installment, Worse than Dead, readers will find themselves plunged into a crime mystery that has clearly screams high society criminal activity, but how far up the ranks does it go?

Inspector Ian Drake has been called in when a body turns up with a bunch of codes and numbers to sort out. Then, as if that isn’t tough enough to decipher through, Drake’s cousin comes into the mix and stirs up trouble talking about drugs and a huge crime ring that threatens more death on the town. Then, Drake’s personal life has a major play on his mood and thoughts about the case as well. With his father’s health failing, and his relationship with his wife on rocky terms, he doesn’t know how much more he can take. What will it take to find the killer after the second body is found?

Puleston has an entertaining story, with likable characters, as well as some twists and turns. This story has a slow beginning, but does pick up slightly and keep a steady pace throughout the read. It appears to be well-written as well; however, this prediction is based on the narrator’s effortless voice relay. Since this review is complimenting the audiobook, Elfyn does a great job with vocal differentiation and pace. If you are a reader of crime mysteries and police procedure, you may want to pick up this read. Since this is the second installment in the Inspector Drake Mysteries, the reader is able to jump right in.

An audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a four-star rating to Worse than Dead by Stephen Puleston.

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4 people found this helpful

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

Solid police work

Wales, law-enforcement, OCD, procedural

DI Drake of the Northern Welsh Police has a difficult profession, OCD, the all too typical marriage problems, problems with his father's health, a superior who is somewhat difficult, civilians who demand to treated like Tsars, and does Suduko to manage stress. Wait, what? Suduko for stress easement? Well, he certainly needs the stress relief with this demented a case: too many suspects, uppity middle managers, still struggling with the aftermath of an earlier case, red herrings galore, and then there are the plot twists. The publisher's blurb does give a quick overview of the first murder, but there are more. The book demands the reader's full attention and is insistent that it be read to the end promptly! Excellent read!
Richard Elfyn gives a fine audio performance as narrator.

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3 people found this helpful

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

Cancer, Drugs and Murder

As the stresses in his family live continue, Drake and his team are tasked to investigate a murder on the local ferry, leading them to a complex and very sophisticated drug ring, money laundering and even more murders.
If you enjoy police procedures stories with a very English flare you'll probably love this one almost as much as I did. It's fast paced with careful, methodical investigation techniques and a quirky, obsessive hero determined to endear himself to you, even as he drives the reader crazy with his rituals.
Well worth the read.

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2 people found this helpful

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

A new and improved Inspector Drake?

Inspector Ian Drake works hard to control is Ritual habits as he faces family turmoil and illness in the midst of a complicated new case. He fears that his new boss will use his OCD tendencies against him. Add in visits to a department therapist and an case with more twists and turns that the Welsh highways, you have a story that is fast paced and engaging. One of my favorite all time narrators Richard Elfyn draws you fully into the characters with a slightly musical lilt.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Listener received this title free

OCD - great for crime solving

Note: This is Book 2 in the series and can be read as a stand alone novel easily.

I’m still enjoying this series though I felt Book 1 was a little better. This book is still worthy, but there are more characters and tangled plot lines and I sometimes got a little muddled about who was who and why they were important to the case, or rather, which case. We have the death of Frank Rosen on a ferry; drugs and more drugs; an apparent suicide; and the black sheep of Inspector Drake’s family (his cousin) gets pulled into all this; Drake’s dad is battling cancer and trying to be a present and caring husband and father himself. So, there’s lots going on in this novel.

I’m not completely sure why Drake’s little OCD rituals are so troublesome. When he’s not too stressed, he keeps them in line. While some are odd, he really only gets in trouble when he spends too much time at the office and not enough time with his family. Nevertheless, he’s in therapy and his therapist recommended that he substitute a brisk walk around the office (while carrying a folder to look like he’s actually got a task) for his in-office OCD rituals of straightening up all cornered objects. Drake’s having trouble buying into all of the therapist’s suggestions, and so do I. We’ll see if Drake is still married or still in therapy later in the series I expect.

I really liked the ferry murder mystery the best out of all the mini-plots. Since they have a list of all the passengers and the staff that day, they have only to cull through those without reason to kill the deceased Frank Rosen, right? Plenty of things crop up to impede this investigation, and not just the ferry staff. There’s another police department that have their fingers in this pie and they are making life difficult for Drake. I wanted to tweak their noses, but that’s unbecoming of a hero’s sidekick.

Besides, Drake already has his team of sidekicks: Caren Waits, Dave Howick, and Gareth Winder. Caren is my favorite and she seems to get the most done. I loved her little alpaca hobby farm in the previous book but it looks like she and her husband might be drifting a bit from that farm. Howick and Winder are fun, tho the oblivious one (and I keep forgetting which of them lacks tact) is a source of a little comedic relief.

Drake’s cousin kept throwing me for a loop. Sometimes he’s referred to as MC and sometimes by his first name…. which is a total guess for me. I think it’s Welsh, but I have no clue how to spell it. It kinda sounds like Moylen or Mohrin. Anyway, due to my Welsh ignorance, I was confused about this character for much of the book. However, about 2/3 of the way through I finally got on the same page as this character and I kinda agree with some of his vigilante activities. Definitely added to the drama of the book.

All told, it’s a good tale but I think I would get more out of it on the second read through. Looking forward to Book 3! 4/5 stars.

The Narration: Richard Elfyn was a joy to listen to. His performance of all the regional accents and pronunciation of Welsh proper names was great. I really love how he takes these stories to the next level. he had distinct voices for all the characters and his female character voices were believable. The pacing was perfect & there were no tech issues with the recording. 5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Stephen Puleston. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Poorly written and boring .

Don't waste a credit. Disorganized. The protagonist is unlikable and not very bright. Won't read another. Worse than dead is my review.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Audiobook

It was very intriguing, suspenseful, and mind blowing because it keeps you wondering who killed Frank Rosen. I enjoyed this book and will listen to this book.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So much better than book 1 in the series

Drake and the Team on another case. This dealing with death, and drug smuggling. The story is very well told, not a lot of emphasis on Drake and his tics. Thanks to book 1 character development was already taken care of. This story delved deep into the case.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Listener received this title free

Can Inspector Drake solve this murder?

Worse than Dead is Book 2 in the Inspector Drake series. Stephen Puleston writes outstanding British Crime Thrillers. The narrator, Richard Elfyn, gives a masterful performance. Inspector Drake is investigating a murder on board of a ferry. The chief engineer is dead and Drake feels like the murderer is still on the ferry. After 2 more crew members are killed and a connection to a crime family is made, Inspector Drake might be stumped. I was guessing until the end. I received a code for my honest review.

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