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Publisher's Summary

A savage death. A serial killer behind bars. Can Inspector Drake stop a clever murderer on a determined killing spree?

Inspector Drake is called to the holiday home of an eminent Manchester barrister and recently appointed judge to face the grizzly sight of his badly mutilated body. The scene resembles a copycat killing from years previously, when the barrister had prosecuted the perpetrator now serving life in prison.

Drake realizes the killer might be targeting the judge, the legal teams, or the journalist who covered the original trial, and he embarks on a frantic search to identify and warn them all. But when a friend of the barrister is found murdered in his yacht in a marina, Drake’s suspicion must focus on the barrister’s connections.

Clear evidence that arises to arrest and charge a suspect is thrown into confusion when another death takes place. Drake knows he has a determined killer to catch. And with his own reputation and the integrity of the Wales Police Service on the line, he cannot afford mistakes.

Can he catch the killer and avert more deaths? Written in Blood is the sixth 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 Ian Drake novels.  

©2018 Stephen Puleston (P)2020 Stephen Puleston

What listeners say about Written in Blood

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

Ooo! A serial murder! Or is it?

Another great addition to the series! Inspector Drake has plenty of challenges in this book and not all of them are related to the murder. He’s always struggled with social niceties in any situation. Well, now he has to hold back a bit with some of his interviews because he’s digging into the lives of some big wigs. Then his new flame, Annie, insists he be more social during their off time. The murder itself is gripping. Some one has been carving letters in to the flesh of the dead and the crime scene looks suspiciously like a serial killer’s work; however that killer was caught and put in prison years ago. Unfortunately, this means someone has to look hard at those who had access to the details of those murders since they would be the only ones with the knowledge to copycat that killer so precisely. Definitely a sticky situation. So many ways to tick off so many people in such a short amount of time! But our hero is up to the task. I love that he doesn’t really care about their feelings other than it might make his job harder if someone complains to his superior. Luckily, Drake has learned from past mistakes. Plus he has a partner who is good a smoothing things over. In fact, Annie insists Drake invites his partner over for dinner. Drake doesn’t even know where to begin with that. Ha! The tale is a delicious maze of suspects and circumstances. People have stuff to hide, and not all of it is related to the murder. I did enjoy that Drake and his team thought they had their villain only to realize there was another layer to this mystery. The plot certainly kept me guessing! Looking forward to the next Drake mystery. 5/5 stars. The Narration: Richard Elfyn is still a joy to listen to. I love his Welsh fluency, making Drake sound smart and precise in either language. Elfyn is a master a switching seamlessly from one UK accent to another, keeping all the characters in character during a group conversation. His female characters sound like ladies too. On the technical side, there was one chapter that had a lengthy (30 seconds) bit of dead air at the end of the chapter. Also, one chapter had a little skipping (but that might have been my player). Other than that, there were no repeated words or sentences, no changes in volume. 4.75/5stars. I received a free copy of this book. My opinions are 100% my own.

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Complex Case

Written in Blood by Stephen Puleston pulled me in from the very beginning. Inspector Ian Drake is the lead investigator in this series. This book is both a standalone listen and part of a series. As an American, I fully enjoy the imagery the author writes in describing the area of Wales, and the narrator adding authenticity to his performance. Richard Elfyn is marvelous at bringing the characters to life with distinguishable voices. The suspect list is long, the red herrings are well done, and the ending surprising. I fully enjoyed this book and look forward to the next by this author and narrator.

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OK

Good who dun it. I've enjoyed Puleston's series set in Wales. Elfyn's beautiful rendering of Welsh words and place names has been a true pleasure. However, Ian Drake, the protagonist, has at least to me become boring. I think I'm done with using my credits on him. I shall miss Wales though.

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2

This entire bookbwas,a struggle to sit through. It was trying to hard to be wealthy Brits and others. The narrator was OK but he seemed to be floundering just as much as I was listening to both the author's narrative and dislogue.

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  • DubaiReader
  • 04-17-20

Another murder in Wales.

Goodness, book 6 already. This is the furthest I have ever got through a series. And I'm sure that one of the reasons I've become so invested with this particular series is the sultry Welsh tones of the narrator, Richard Elfyn. No disrespect meant to the author, but what better combination is there that an excellent author supported by the perfect narrator? I now know Inspector Drake well enough that I would recognise him if I were to pass him in the street. Unfortunately I'm a long way from his Welsh haunts (and I'm not allowed out on the street anyway!). He is currently on his third side-kick, Sara. (Has the author worked his way through the previous contenders and decided Sara is the best fit?) I like Sara, but if I'm honest, she has less character than her predecessors. Hopefully we are going to get to know her a bit better now that Drake has a new lady in his life, the lovely Annie. So, on to the investigation that is the central theme of the book. An eminent barrister is found murdered in his holiday home, in a fashion that reminds Drake of a particularly nasty series of past murders. (Murders in Wales do seem to be rather brutal and exhibitionist, I must admit, and they rarely come singly either). Over the course of the Easter holiday, Drake and Sara battle against false leads and conflicting information, to find an explanation for this death and prevent further loss of life. I was listening to this over the Easter period, which made it all the more poignant, but it was the ending of the book that raised this from a 4 to 5 star read and cost me an hour and a half of sleep. I now have book 7 lined up and I am very much looking forward to spending more time with Drake and Sara.

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  • NM
  • 03-15-20

He does it again!

I want to first make mention of the audible narrator, Richard Elfyn, of these series of books as I absolutely love him. He absolutely brings the Drake books to life for me. His use of accents and his ability to present the male and female characters is brilliant. Richard - you have a new super fan. Another cracking instalment in the series. Building the characters and the storyline each time a new book is released. This was a complex storyline and there was an incredible amount of detail in the plot which sometimes required a rewind to ensure I had all the detail correct. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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  • Teresa Harwood
  • 03-15-20

Excellent

When recently appointed judge Nicholas Wixley is brutally murdered DI Ian Drake faces his toughest case yet, particularly given that the victim’s wife is Deputy Chief Constable Laura Wixley and she is on the suspect list. Drake’s personal life is much happier and his OCD does not feature as much as in earlier books. A great series, looking forward to book 7. Superb narration by Richard Elfyn.

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  • Simon
  • 03-11-20

Great story we'll narrated

This is another great book by Stephen, which i really enjoyed. The book follows the team as they investigate the murder of a barrister whose wife is a top bod in the Manchester police dept. There are lots of red herrings along the way and it kept me guessing throughout

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  • Steven
  • 03-11-20

riveting!

the sign of a great series is that, a number of books in, you still want to read about the characters. with this, the 6th book in Stephen Puleston's Inspector Drake series, i am still really invested in the characters and can't wait for the next one. I seem to write this about all the books in this series but the storiesreally do get better and better. Written in Blood focusses on the murder of an eminent barrister and the complex and intreaging plot built to a great surprising ending. as well as the stories themselves though, I think what I most love about this series are the finely drawn characters. I'm really pleased INSPECTOR Drake finally seems to have some happiness in his life and seems to be getting a measure of control over some of his OCD tendancies. can't wait to read book 7.

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  • jhanami
  • 03-10-20

Fantastic narration - love this series!

I absolutely adore this series and the latest instalment does not disappoint - on the contrary, Drake keeps getting better. I love the fact that his private life is on track with his new girlfriend and his annoying ex wife I just love to get transported to the landscapes of Northern Wales and it’s inhabitants by Richard Elfyn’s beautiful narration. The case itself was as ever gripping, gruesome and well-paced - an absolute joy to listen to!

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  • TerryHeth
  • 03-10-20

Excellent

Drake is back and to me this is his hardest case. Up against the law & people he may come against while he’s doing his normal job. As always fab story. Drake being one of my favourite characters. Narrator was great too. Tempo & characters come to life. Excellent

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  • Stella
  • 03-07-20

Fantastic- gripping!

I can’t wait for the next one... please Mr Puleston, don’t make us wait too long!

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  • Carol B
  • 03-04-20

Another Winner

I found this novel one of the best and engaging, the characters are well defined and although Drake has OCD the author has curbed it this time and only the odd reference whereas the last novel he did overdo the OCD a bit. The novel is well written and the geography brilliant, and this time the investigation takes form with a prominent barrister having been murdered and the wife no other than a DCC assigned to Manchester and is not very helpful to the investigation which makes one wonder if she has anything to do with it and a yachting club. The murdered barrister has the markings of a previous serial killer but is already serving life who put him there.? Lots of case files to be looked at in case one of Wixley's former clients has a grudge. Definately worth a read and listen as Richard Elfyn does a great job of the narration and I'm sure you will come back for more.

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  • Lindsay
  • 02-22-20

Does not disappoint

I love this audiobook series of Inspector Drake. Being set in Wales and hearing Welsh dialect and accents is a bonus but also the character that Stephen Puleston has created with Inspector Drake is not only relatable but also flawed and honest and that makes for an interesting read/listen. This time Drake is called to the discovery of a body that has the feel of a previous case by The Alphabet Killer only problem is they caught him already and he’s safely behind bars. Do they have a copycat on their hands or is something more sinister going on as who ever it is committing the crimes they know a lot more about the case than they should. This series of books always feel like a quite honest view of police work with a warts and all feel unlike the Glossy CSI programmes we see of TV these days.