Emma didn't know how long he hid, silent and unmoving, in the large Victorian wardrobe to the side of her single bed. She didn't know how long he peered out, salivating and drooling, between the two heavy dark oak doors, and watched, mesmerized, as she slowly drifted into fitful sleep. She didn't know what time he pushed the doors open and crept towards her in the drab grey darkness of the night.
Detective Inspector Gravel finds himself floundering when a local 19-year-old university student is abducted and imprisoned by a sadistic serial killer, who has already tortured and killed five young women.
How far would you go to save your life?
©2016 John Nicholl (P)2016 John Nicholl
I have come to expect severe psychological depravity when I read John Nicholl's books. This book did not disappoint in that aspect. The evil kidnapper has taken and killed at least five other women before he took Emma. Emma is held in a darkened area without knowing day from night, hours from days and days from weeks. He insisted on servitude from her while he tortured her and taunted her. It was chilling and sickeningly fascinating. John Nicholl has a history of working as a social worker and uses the terror he faced in that career in his own stories.
While Detective Inspector Gravel searched for Emma not knowing if she was alive or dead. Reaching out to the serial Killer while looking for few clues. With trusting people listening to vague and erroneous clues, the police struggle to find this serial killer.
This book is intense. It is just so cold and creepy. It is the perfect book for me to listen to on Halloween. Only now, how am I supposed to be able to go outside moving door to door in the dark with the kids trick or treating when there are psychos out there.
It is chilling listening to Jake Urry in his concise and gravelly voice. It takes the story to a new level when Mr. Urry narrates a thriller such as this. He does an amazing job with the voices of women, older adults, young women. His range is amazing. I am really impressed with the narration.
A fantastically constructed and written psychological thriller. Torture, violence, abduction and murder in Wales of young women. Be careful who you trust.
Another cracking book from John nicholl. Another well written bunch of characters. Hard core storyline, leaving the major part of the action to your imagination. John nicholl makes my heart pound in horror and anticipation. The bad characters are vile and you hate them; the good characters, you warm to and enjoy their strength. One character made me gasp with shock. Ooh, and I loved the ending...well played!
This is top so far. I haven't listened to many as new to audible, but loved this one.
it was interesting, fast paced and drew you in. Great ending too.
Different voices helped bring it to life.
Yes, it made me cringe, and my heart rate quicken at times and the end definitely brought a smile to my face.
Really well read novel. A well thought out and descriptive book. Made me want to keep listening.
Not for the faint hearted.
The tone of John Nicholl's tale of the abduction and imprisonment of nineteen years old Emma is set from the very start of the book by Jake Jerry's creepy introductory narration. Quite chilling in itself, even without the well executed, sometimes terrifying, text. This is a psychological and police procedural novel, not so much a who-dun-it? as a race to determine if the killer can be caught by the boys in blue, headed by D.I.Gravel and D.S.Rankin.
Told from several perspectives, including that of the killer, the victim (now renamed Venus 6) and the two lead detectives, this is a character rich story with the narration adding even greater depth to each one. Mr.Urry, chameleon-like, adapts his voice to suit each person and situation and his Welsh accent is truly credible. Together, author and reader, make this a book not to be missed.
Following White Is the Coldest Colour, this was the second book written by John Nicholl and narrated by Jake Urry that I have listened to. These two are a fantastic grouping of writer and narrator. John Nicholl has an amazing talent for creating the most disturbing and vile perpetrators in crime fiction, while Jake Urry has this uncanny ability to voice these creepy characters in a way that might leave you locking the doors, turning on the lights and checking all is safe.
Although a standalone novel, Portraits of the Dead sees the return of DCI Gareth Gravel and DS Clive Rankin who featured in White Is the Coldest Colour. They are working in Wales and this time they are investigating the disappearance of 19-year-old Emma, a pretty blonde university student.
Told from multiple perspectives including Emma's and her abductor's, who renames her "Venus Number Six", Mr. Nicholl's writing was more polished in this one. There were none of the little repetitions I complained about previously. Very dark, but not gory, this had me gripped right from the start and even though the identity of the perpetrator was clear from early on, the level of suspense remained high thanks to several shocking developments and a totally unexpected ending. I still can't decide what to make of that ending, but it was certainly surprising and ingenious.
My only minor niggle regarding the plot: there was one character whose actions I found difficult to believe and whose motivation wasn't explained sufficiently. To me, this person's history didn't fit together with their current persona. I don't want to add spoilers so I can't really give any more details.
Loved the narration. Jake Urry's intonation with the skillful use of the accents and his timely pacing were excellent. I wouldn't want to type-cast him but he really puts the evil into depraved characters like few others.
Highly recommended if you enjoy dark, terrifying thrillers.
...wow! I absolutely loved Portraits of the Dead. It's a terrifying and chilling story that is read brilliantly by Jake Urry. The storyline, detail and characters are extremely well written from start to finish; I found myself trying to warn the DS in parts.
This was the first time that I have read anything by John Nicholl and it's definitely not going to be the last. If I could give the book more than 5 stars I would. A book that I will be recommending to everyone to read and listen to.
This is the first time I've listened to the book having previously read it. Wow! It is fantastic. I was interested to see if I would prefer the Audible version and in this case I can say I definitely did. Jake Urry's voice is suitably terrifying, and his rendition managed to outdo my imagination in its capacity to petrify the listener!
I can't possibly say without spoiling the story line for someone who hasn't yet had the pleasure. The best thing to do is to read and listen to it for yourself!
I thought the book was frightening. I had to sleep with the lights on for a while after I'd read it, but the audio book! Ohmidays, Jake Urry has a terrifying voice. The hairs on the back of my neck were standing up, and I knew what was going to happen. This is a book that's worth the investment of reading and listening. John Nicholl has created a masterpiece thriller that genuinely delivers in the scare yourself stupid department. I see so many blurbs that say a book is "terrifying" and I'm rarely actually terrified.But this book was genuinely frightening to read, and yet somehow managed to scare me all over again when I listened to it. I must give my thanks and a huge congratulations to John Nicholl on his brilliant writing and Jake Urry for his reading. I would give this book/audio 6 stars if it were possible. FABULOUS!!!!!!!!
Avid reader from Bournemouth
This author just gets beter and better. i finished this book far too fast. Darkly funny and just plain dark. And i LOVED the ending. The narrator had a voice to fall in love with, by the way......
This was one of the best serial killer books I've listened to in a while, and I freaking love these books! A fantastic mystery, good characters, some sudden twists and a satisfying ending. I liked every minute of it. Jake Urry is endlessly fantastic at audio book narration.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
"Portraits of the Dead"
This was a very creepy but great book! I was glad I got a chance to listen to it. I loved it. It was scary and I was pulling for Emma the whole book. I was hoping she made it. I think the characters were believable in this book and the plot was scary. "This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost."
"So Unexpectedly Great, I Binge Read It!"
I listen to a lot of audiobooks and for awhile my favorites were serial killer stories however I grew tired of them. The plots are always so similar to the point that all the stories just sort of meld into one.
This story however took me by surprise! I loved the perspective and the story really had me hooked from the beginning. I listened to the whole book in one sitting and now I kind of regret it. I want more.
The killer is a total psychopath and delusional. Some of the cops are not the brightest bulb and I loved the killers mother!! It had me yeling outloud at some points but I won't say why.
If you like gritty thrillers, you will love this one.
This was the first time I have listened to John Nicholl and I don't know why I never found him before with all my searches for great thrillers. Rest assured, this won't be the last time I listen to him. I plan to download another of his stories today.
I have listened to one other performance by Jack Urry and he is always great! The voice he uses for the mother cracked me up as well as the voice of the cop from Texas. I often have a hard time listening to accents but Jack speaks very clearly and it was quite enjoyable.
I really loved the ending, it really took me by surprise which is rare.
“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”
"Wonderfully Suspenseful !!"
This book was a suspenseful, satisfying page turner. The narrator smoothly transported you through the plot's twists and turns, hooking you from beginning to end. Highly recommend!
“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”
This book is dark and creepy thriller about professor kidnapping and killing young women and his torture of Venus 6. Gareth Gravel is a likable grumpy funny detective. Loved the surprise ending with Emma (Venus 6) and the evil twisted “Master”. Recommend this book if you enjoy deep suspense thrillers, also recommend his book White is the Coldest Colour. Only question is, is there going to be book 2 as I was left wondering about Clive Rankin and The Master (I can only imagine). Jake Urry is great narrator whether is horror, mystery, or sci-fi with his deep haunting voice. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher. Thank You!
this is a chilling book,the girl is 19 years old and she has gone missing. it's terrifying and chilling everything you would want in a scary book I have never listen to this author before but I will again. I received this book from the publisher, author and or narrator for a honest review and unbiased options via audio book boom dot com
"A great dark thriller novel"
This is a very dark novel. I thought the author did a great job switching between several character’s points of view. I found the way the characters acted to be believable, and the author did a great job with the villain. This was a very engaging story that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire novel. There were several twists and turns that I never expected and it made for a great story. My only complaint is that the ending felt a little rushed. Jake Urry did a fantastic job narrating this book. His voicing really brought the characters to life. He also did a great job with the sound effects, and I was impressed by his Texan accent. Overall, this book is definitely worth a listen.
This audiobook was provided by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.
"More John Nicholl!"
I couldn’t help but be absolutely overjoyed when I saw another book written by John Nicholl and read by Jake Urry. I listened to White is The Coldest Colour some time ago, and that title truly blew me away. That book and Portraits of the Dead are quality psychological thrillers, and lovers of the genre will appreciate them. I hope, with great sincerity, that John Nicholl will write more of these amazing thriller novels, and if you haven’t listened to a horror/thriller book read by Jake Urry you’re really missing out.
I have mixed feelings about the ending of this book, though. It felt almost rushed, and I wished it would have been elaborated on more. Nonetheless, this book is great, the characters are portrayed well, and it is just really creepy from start to finish.
This book was provided by the narrator in exchange for an honest and unbiased review- thanks! I hope you will do more collaborations with this remarkable new author in the future!
"Portraits of the Dead"
Portraits of the Dead
: John Nicholl
Detective Inspector Gravel has returned in another case. A nineteen year old female university student has gone missing. This novel is dark, chilling and terrifying! The twists and turns keep the listener fully engaged. I want more of these characters! PLEASE!
The narration was well done.The characters were well portrayed. Jake Urry voiced this book with chilling accuracy!
"I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator."
"Portraits of the Dead"
John Nicholl weaves an amazing story of a serial killer.
The killer has already tortured 5 women, both physically and mentally, looking for his soulmate. That one special woman who he can share his macabre lifestyle with. Not one of the five women passed his tests, they all died in unspeakable pain. The killer waits expectantly as each woman expels their last breath giving him orgasmic pleasure. The story starts with his 6th victim. He is convinced Emma is the one.
Jake Urry narrates with an amazing ability to draw you into this story. His voice spellbinding as he guides you through the horror of an insane serial killer. In my opinion this is his best performance by Jake Urry I've listened to, so far.
I received this audible free of charge from the author, narrator or publisher in exchange for an honest unbiased reveiw
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