We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
The Back Road Audiobook

The Back Road

Regular Price:£37.19
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

A girl lies close to death in a deserted lane.

A driver drags her body to the side of the road.

A shadowy figure hides in the trees, watching.

For Ellie Saunders last night's hit and run on the back road could destroy everything she has....

Ellie's new neighbour, former Detective Chief Inspector Tom Douglas has moved to the village for some peace and quiet, but as he is drawn into the web of deceit his every instinct tells him that what happened that night was more than a tragic accident.

©2014 Rachel Abbott (P)2014 Oakhill Publishing

What the Critics Say

"There are red herrings galore in this well scripted plot and even when you think you have the story sussed, Abbott throws a spanner into the works ... a refreshingly original read" (Crime Fiction Lover blog)

"Not only is it tightly plotted, with intricate twists and turns, the writing is also of the highest standard" (What am I reading blog)

"This is a tightly written psychological thriller" (Amazon top 500 reviewer)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (502 )
5 star
 (213)
4 star
 (161)
3 star
 (84)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (25)
Overall
4.0 (448 )
5 star
 (192)
4 star
 (131)
3 star
 (79)
2 star
 (20)
1 star
 (26)
Story
4.1 (448 )
5 star
 (202)
4 star
 (145)
3 star
 (60)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (23)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Barbara Wharton 05/09/2014 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely brilliant"

    Right from the start I was gripped. The plot itself was intriguing, fascinating and had a totally different ending to the way I was thinking. Well done to the narrator Penny McDonald who never once failed to keep her dialogue Intriguing. Loved it !

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. L. Carter Lincolnshire, UK 28/09/2014
    Mrs. L. Carter Lincolnshire, UK 28/09/2014 Member Since 2011

    Learner

    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    170
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awful"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone who likes Interminable discussion about relationships past and present and has interest in only a hint of a plot within the first half of the book.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Rachel Abbott again?

    No


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I didn't take to this story. I gave it a good long listen-to but it failed to get me involved and made me annoyed. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen beyond all the (possible) events that are hinted at. I could not finish it.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sal 26/09/2014
    Sal 26/09/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    57
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You cannot get these minutes of your life back"

    Shocking book. I managed to hang in there to the end because I felt certain there was going to be something redeeming. I bought this book based on an audible bestseller list. I suggest it has been on a very cheap offer at some time and many copies bought then. How else could this possibly be a best seller?

    The narration first - Like a child trying to express whilst reading out loud. Poor intonation and comes across as distinctly patronising. So irritating.

    The Story - Imagine The Archers from Radio 4 and make is less inventive. An injured child, a load of people who don't trust each other and toward the end, a murder and a half. A dinner party, an obsessive un-lover, a dead dog. There you go, I just saved you 13 hours of your life.

    The writing - I fast forwarded through huge chunks of repetitive description. At one point I thought I might have switched on at a point way before where I left off last time because the story was repeating. I had not done that.

    I am cross with myself for sticking it out to the end.

    21 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nada 23/09/2014
    Nada 23/09/2014 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    66
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The biggest disappointment on Audible"

    I give up. 2.5 hours into this (and that's an extremely generous use of my time on this book) and I cannot bear it any longer. The book is so irritatingly boring that I am compelled to warn other readers to save their money or credit. And no, I will not bother to finish the book because if something being sold in "crime and mystery" does NOT have any mystery in the first 2.5 hours, I will NOT waste any more of my life on it.

    In the first hour I stopped a few times and thought I accidentally downloaded a different book from the one I read about, as the write-up seemed to present a different story from the one I was listening to! There is NO mystery to hook you from the start. Instead, the author starts telling you the characters' dark history, thereby destroying any chance of slowly revealing it. The girl on the side of the road? Oh, she comes in a bit later (the book doesn't start with her, as you would think from the write-up) in a contrived "suspenseful scene" and then she disappears, after which comes probably an hour of an excruciatingly descriptive and boring scene of Ellie's dinner party, which seems to take place in real time. In the meantime, you wonder - what happened to the girl, where's the cop and - why am I listening to this at all?? I don't give a damn about why Pat left his wife!

    The reader tried very hard, but I couldn't stand her affected dialogue. When she was not reading dialogue, her intonation reminded me of airline safety videos. To her credit, there wasn't much she could do with such poor writing. I wouldn't give up on the reader, but I surely won't take another chance on this author who needs a lesson or two on how to write the mystery genre.

    I am not a demanding, hard-to-please listener. I regularly dispense 5-star reviews to books that are enjoyable and at least remotely compelling. But this book was a miss and a sad waste of my credit. Save yours.

    47 of 53 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs.Mary E.Torney 16/09/2014 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    105
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Murder in the Ambridge panto"
    Would you try another book written by Rachel Abbott or narrated by Penny McDonald?

    Not by Rachel Abbott but depending on the story i might try Penny again.


    What was most disappointing about Rachel Abbott’s story?

    Where to start? The story was like a version of The Archers with stock characters and a storyline full of improbable coincidences. People supposedly clever are culpably stupid in failing to see the obvious and then agonising for long passages before doing the most ridiculous and dangerous thing. If any of them had any common sense murders could have been avoided and the book would have been - thankfully - shorter. I became impatient with the characters' moralising and glib acceptance of horrific happenings. Lets have another cup of tea - or maybe an espresso from that complicated machine...


    How could the performance have been better?

    Some of the accents were nasal and grating and at times it was hard to know which of the characters was speaking.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was a bit of a car crash - i kept going to tick off my conclusions as they were validated! Glad it was over. I thought it was a couple of times before it actually finished.


    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Book Scout 21/09/2014
    Book Scout 21/09/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    253
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poor Writing"

    I lost count of the amount of times I found myself cringing at implausible dialogue, weak characterisation or the ridiculous actions of the characters.
    The book is almost well plotted but characters act in contrived ways just to keep the plot chugging along. The hackneyed dialogue isn't worthy of a teenage diary and the characters are all unlikeable and unsympathetic. I switched it off on two occassions vowing never to listen to it again, and only forced myself to listen thriugh to the end so I could review it...it wasn't worth it...
    The narration was irritating and over enthusiastic, but a drop of sympathy must go out to Penny McDonald - having to trudge through unrealistic dialogue. It may not be fair to blame the narrator.
    This is amateur writing and it's made me vow to use more discretion in future when it comes to choosing new authors.

    28 of 32 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justine 16/09/2014
    Justine 16/09/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Suspense based on unbelievable stupidity"

    I found this book profoundly irritating. The moments of suspense are based on a series of stupid decisions by the characters. Ellie believes her husband is having an affair but won't ask him about and even tries to "make love" with him hours after she finds he has transferred 300,000 pounds to (she thinks) buy his lover a house! But she mustn't ask him about it.

    Another example was when Leo kept quiet about her laptop being accessed even after her sister said that the house had been broken into, because she didn't want to make a fuss.

    Mediocre and annoying. Why would a person choose to live in the house where her sister was mistreated. Just not believable characters.

    30 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Rochdale, UK 28/06/2015
    Joseph Rochdale, UK 28/06/2015 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    93
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    45
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Peyton Place reborn"

    The description of this book led me to believe it would be a thriller but after 4 hours it still seems like an episode of Peyton Place and the committed crime is still in the background.

    The characters seem to want only to discuss who is sleeping with whom, who has the nicest house, and which woman has the swankiest clothes.

    Not good and not recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue 25/09/2014
    Sue 25/09/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worst audiobook ever"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Can't imagine anyone could enjoy this audiobook. It's the first time I've ever not finished listening to one - what a waste of a credit. Dreadful, dreadful narration on top of a weak storyline. Can't believe someone actually paid for that narration. Like listening to a truly awful amdram performance.


    What was most disappointing about Rachel Abbott’s story?

    The irritating over dramatic ridiculous narration


    What didn’t you like about Penny McDonald’s performance?

    Her vocal tone, intonation, expression, poor characterization, ridiculous over dramatization etc etc


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Made me angry that I had wasted time and annoyed that it had such raving reviews which I can only imagine were written by family members of the author, narrator or publisher!


    Any additional comments?

    Do not buy this audiobook. I will definitely read more of the negative reviews before making purchases in future and perhaps listen to a sample where possible too. You think because it's in the 'best sellers' section it must at least be ok. But clearly I now know that's not the case!

    22 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanne Newtownmountkennedy, Ireland 14/11/2014
    Joanne Newtownmountkennedy, Ireland 14/11/2014 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    85
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rubbish"

    What a disappointment, this book is too long and SO predictable its annoying. The characters are just ARGH! and the plot unbelievable. Really feel I wasted a Credit buying it!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.