A top police investigative unit breaks an illegal gambling operation in the context of rampant police corruption and drug-fueled gangster violence in the city. Lead detective Jeremy Ryder is a physically powerful, quiet and meticulous investigator. His partner Navi Pillay is a small and exceptionally strong Tamil martial arts instructor, and she provides the speed and physical power to complement Ryder's incisive sleuthing abilities. Together with their other detective colleagues Ryder and Pillay crack open two interwoven criminal operations. There are two key villains. One is a corrupt murderous senior police officer at the heart of the illegal gambling operation and the other is a sinister and violent gangster dealing in drugs and murder. Each of them presides over lesser criminals and each of them controls separate domains of corruption until their paths cross in a spectacular climax.
©2015 Ian Patrick (P)2015 Ian Patrick
Yes, definitely. In fact I think I preferred the story even more on listening to it than when I read it.
There's an unbelievably shocking murder with a devilish weapon. And then there's a tough moment when someone else gets killed too. I won't give it away here.
Not a question at all - the wicked villain Tabethe
Not really. It's nice to hear in chapter-size chunks. Good to listen to in the car, too. And in the bath, at night. As long as the burglar bars are reliable.
I think the narrator could create more variety in the accents of the characters. I know its not a film or radio drama or stage drama, where one expects that, but perhaps just a little more?
Very distinct, clear, reading and enticing, mysterious mood created. One feels the menace ready to burst out at any moment. And it does.
Virtually anything by Rankin, Grisham, Child, Connelly, really. But in many ways, also, like The Steam Pig by McClure (although I've read that and not heard it narrated).
Thabethe the killer. Mesmerising. Terrifying. Definitely my favourite character.
"Rip-roaring terrifying ride with cops through the jungle of real everyday crime in South Africa"
It would have been nice to have two readers: a woman reader for all the female voices. But I suppose that's not the convention.
Anyone wanting to test whether this totally absorbing crime thriller is exciting enough for their tastes, should fast-forward to the twenty-first minute of chapter two. There they will hear the most spine-tingling, devastatingly horrific example of the thrills contained in this rip-roaring clash between good cops (and some not so good) and evil criminals. The scene in question describes the most terrifying murder I’ve ever heard about or read. With a cruel weapon, too, the use of which I had never previously heard about. What a blood-curdling scene. I wish I could describe it in more detail, but that would be to produce plot-spoilers. I listened to it in bed, which added another dimension to the thrill. I had to look under the bed after that, just to ensure I was safe. This is a really good thriller.
I see from the blurb that the author has some experience in the theatre. It would be good if he produced this as a full-blooded drama, with different actors playing different characters, some music and sounds of speeding police-cars, etc. But I understand that that is not the way in which these audible books are conceived. Unless I’m wrong, audible books seem to each be read by one voice, and the characters are not so much fleshed out as suggested or insinuated with a difference in tone or pitch or whatever. Despite my preference for the full theatre smorgasbord, in this instance it’s great to have the author himself reading. One senses that he knows these characters inside-out. And his accent is hard to place, but different enough from the mid-Atlantic English we so often hear, to be quite exotic and mysterious. And with great clarity of diction, which is really nice. The production seems to me to be immensely professional, sound-wise. Perhaps the narrative slows down just a little too much about two-thirds of the way through, but then it recovers to hit some really exciting high points.
Great to listen to in the car and in bed, both of which I did. Except I was too scared to sleep afterwards.
Lovely voice, deep and dark and mysterious
Lovely mix of tender, sad moments and then high action and thrills. Real people. No caricatures.
Very clear. Strong voice and good speech. Nice accents and slang words.
Crime as realistic and as exciting as anything you will see.
The attention to detail is impressive. These characters are as real as one can see anywhere in the daily press reports of terrible crime and the cops who have to deal with it.
Probably the best
I read the book back in December last year and liked it very much. Then I didn't like the second book as much - gave it only three stars in a review - but maybe that was just because I liked this one so much. Now, having heard the author read it, I like this even more. The accents are great - adds lots of colour to the whole thing - and I had wondered, when reading it, what sense a reader might make of the accents. So, probably, I now liked the accents best of all.
Like I said: lovely differences in voice and accent and dialect, and he creates excitement all the way.
Spell-binding action all the way
Listening to the book after reading it is a real bonus. The villains are such bad guys, and they are particularly well presented. The sound quality is also very good.
Lovely surprise at the end of the chapter (forget the number) that takes place on Thursday. At the end of the police ball.
Excellent voice and diction. Nice to have a different accent for a change. Is it South African, or Australian? Whatever: it's rich and dark and mature. He rushes it towards the end, and could slow down a bit.
The death of one cop. Can't say too much without giving it away. Very sad.
I read the book before I heard this a month later. That made no difference. Loved it even more second time round.
Very good, but maybe not as good as his second book in the series, and defini9tely better than most audiobooks I've heard
Can't give things away, but I liked the ending very much. Closure of one story and also opening the way for more.
I rated the book at only three stars when I read it last year. After listening to it now I would rate it upwards to four stars. The performance is really good, with the accents and different voices giving more life to the story.
Good cops against evil criminals: holding the thin blue line
When I read the book last year I thought there was too much information being given to the reader. Now I don't think that. All of that information was a lovely set-up for a great series.
Lots of action and lovely characters
I think it's just as good as Gun Dealing, which I heard first
Thabethe the villain. And the big guy villain, too. Maybe he was even better (I mean worse, if you know what I mean: so evil and that throaty voice was perfect).
The death of the cop was so, so sad.
I love this series.
Yes. There are parts of it that are really exciting. In fact, all of it is very good, but there are some scenes that are particulalry gripping. I think the narrator rushes it a bit at the end, but there are some amazing scenes throughout.
Actually, old Koekemoer and Dippenaar are great characters. I LOVED the discussion about rugby. All factually correct, too. And the Captain is a great boss, too. The villains - both of them - are very, very well created. As devilish as you can imagine. And the hero is great. Jeremy Ryder, Jack Reacher - who can tell them apart? Lovely creation.
No, can't say that I have. Has he narrated others?
Not really. It's nice to listen to in big chunks, though. One chapter at a time, I think. The chapters are meaty and well structured.
I liked reading the book a little better than hearing it, but only just. On the other hand, having read it, it was great to hear the author reading his own creations. Nice characterisations.
It was good to hear a book that wasn't either American or British in narration. I liked this very much. Really gripping and different.
Two totally believable central villains (and a supporting cast of equally convincing bad guys) and a team of real-life detectives. Action all the way, like any thriller starring Matt Damon or Liam Neeson or Bruce Willis or.... anyone you can imagine, really.
Nope. This is the first one. Liked it a helluva lot.
Very sad scene early on. Lots of laughs. Discussions about rugby, among the cops, is hilarious (and completely accurate regarding the scores from the 1995 rugby world cup).
Good fun and entertaining all the way.
"Better than the book"
Yes. I liked them both, but the audio is even better.
Very relevant to the things I know about police work and criminal justice. And I love thrillers anyway.
Could anyone doubt this? The villain. He is so bad. And the narrator gets him perfectly without making him a caricature.
I was horrified at the murder on the Tuesday morning. So graphic and terrifying.
I think it's a really good thriller and so relevant to modern life.
Having read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it, I was wary of trying the audio version. I wondered how one voice could replicate all the fascinating characters, accents, slang words and local-language words in the original text. No need to worry. The author himself reads. Who better to trust with these things? Really enjoyable. And, speaking as a musician, the studio that produced this needs to be congratulated. Great sound.
There are fantastic action scenes counter-pointed with tender and quite sad moments. And there's a great plot moment when we meet someone we weren't expecting.... better not give it away.
Very clear professional reading, and thank goodness it’s from a South African accent. An American accent here would have been out of place, as would a British accent.
Very, very sad at one point, for anyone who's ever been a cop or knows a cop. Tear-jerking, actually.
If I have one criticism it is that the last third of the book experiences a bit of a lull before it then picks up again (magnificently, I have to say). But perhaps the narration is a bit rushed towards the end. I felt the same about the text version, actually, so maybe it’s a matter of the writer rather than the reader. But that’s really a small gripe. I thought this was gripping and different (excitingly so). Whoever the sound engineer is should be congratulated, too. Excellent quality.
"Very nice vocals and lovely gripping story"
Don't know now. They were both very good. I think I liked the vocals such a lot because the author obviously knows these characters and adds colour to them through his voice.
Death of one cop is so sad. But the most spectacular moment is the killing of one baddie by another, with an evil weapon.
Such a clear voice with great diction and lovely characters created through his voice.
No. It's nice to have it in chapter-size pieces.
Not really. It's a great book to listen to as well as read.
"Very different and quite stunning"
The narrator's voice is really different and refreshingly clear and distinct with a gravelly quality that makes the men characters really interesting. The women characters perhaps less successful but, hey, he's male so what do you expect?
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - because the action is so exciting and pacy and full of surprises and the characters are so brilliantly captured.
No, I haven't. But I will.
The death of a cop was very disturbing and sad. Sorry if that is a plot-spoiler. But it's early on so it's not a big plot-spoiler.
It's great to see this is a branded series. I'm definitely going to get the others in the quartet.
"Delicious evil criminals and good and bad cops"
Oh yes. Very suspenseful and evil and filled with action.
Villains as evil as they come
One particular murder, which would spoil the plot top talk about
Holding up a mirror to real crime
Nice quality of voice and studio work. I read this book three months ago and only listened to the audiobook now. Great voice work.
"Excellent in every way"
Lovely plot. Twists and turns. So believable. Brilliant dialogue. Action that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
It was so real: I live near where this action takes place and every street, every shop, every beach was accurately portrayed.
Mysterious and nice and authoritative, and lovely characters created.
Cops on the hunt
Good sound quality. Nice resonant feel all the time.
"Even better listening"
Yes. Great voice and diction, and mystery is nicely conjured up.
Realism. Very true to life. Tough criminals and even tougher cops. Nice short sections, and we're given the time of day that each scene takes place in. I like that.
He obviously knows these characters inside out. He doesn't do full-blooded characterizations, but just suggests the characters with a slight change of pitch or accent. I preferred the listening to the reading, actually.
Very sad scene early on when someone dies, but the breathless excitement after that keeps you going.
The book dips a little in energy about three-quarters of the way through, and then picks up again for a rip-roaring finish. Then a nice slow final scene to wrap things up.
"Even better to listen to"
Best of the best
Along came a Spider, because of the intrigue and plot-twists and great action and a wonderful central hero not unlike Jack Reacher
The devil villain Skura Thabetha. He was so, so very evil.
No. On the contrary its great to listen to in chapter-sizes.
The text comes across even better when listening to it than when reading it.
"Menacing and atmospheric"
Yes, for sure. The action is menacing and atmospheric and draws one in - especially late at night in the car or in bed.
Great climactic fight between two villains near the end, and then really nice circular closing, bringing us back to echo the opening scene in mood and atmosphere.
No doubt: the villain Thabethe.
There's a very sad scene - in fact a couple - but the real reaction is to the great action scenes. Thrilling.
The narrator could distinguish more between some of the characters. Maybe a woman should play the female roles?
Right up there with the best. Liker Lee Child or Michael Connelly or... you name them. Really good.
It's real and totally reflective of cops and robbers in the real world in South Africa. Check the newspapers and you'll think this is like a documentary rather than fiction.
The scene where the devilish villain kills a hoodlum with a devilish weapon is blood-curdling. And then the scene where someone's real identity is revealed, is also great.
I shed some tears for sure. And it was exciting and humorous also.
The narrator's voice is exotic and draws you in. Very clear. Great that it's not another American or European accent.
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