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A Child Is Torn

Whitley & Keal Mystery, Book 1
Narrated by: Beth A. McIntosh
Series: Whitley & Keal Mysteries, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

Regular price: £19.39

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Summary

When dependable Evan Madison fails to show up for work, police are dispatched to his home. His 10-year-old son, Brad, is discovered inside, unharmed and seemingly alone. He is stoic, sitting in front of the television playing his favorite video game, Super Mario - and he's covered in blood.

Veteran Police Officer Marty Keal is the first on the scene. With his many years of experience, he thinks he's seen it all. That is, until he discovers Brad's not really alone after all. Upstairs in their bedroom lies the brutally bludgeoned and deceased bodies of both his mother and his father. When questioned, Brad confesses to the horrific murders.

When Brad is transferred to a local mental health institution for children, Dr. Hope Rubin is brought in to evaluate and treat the child. A preliminary investigation shows no evidence of any kind of mistreatment in his past. She must determine the disturbing truth: Is Brad telling the truth? Or is he covering for someone else?

Detective Jean Whitely rounds out the investigative team and she suspects there is much more to the case than what meets the eye. The happily married mother of two is unwavering in her determination to uncover the real truth about Brad. Was he abused? Or is he the product of an evil seed born to kill?

As the layers of truth about Brad are systematically peeled away, you will be compelled to ask yourself, which is the more dominate factor in contributing to who we are - nature or nurture?

©2016 Dawn Kopman Whidden (P)2017 Dawn Kopman Whidden

What members say

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

brilliant fiction, great narrative

Really enjoyed listening to this on audio.

This book tells the story of a murder. Brad is found sitting playing video games while his parents lay murdered upstairs. But can a little boy really be to blame for a horrific murder, or is there something else going on. Who is to blame?

This book raises some really interesting questions. I didn't guess the end and will definitely be looking out for more from this author.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story by all narration

I really enjoyed the story. The characters were interesting and the plot was engaging. The story was shorter than expected but drawn out by the narrator who speaks clearly too slowly for my taste. I would have given the story a five but for the narrator.

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

very intense read

This was a very good read. It held my attention from the beginning until the end. I enjoyed listening to the narrator as she brought the book to life. This book was intense. There was enough action and just a tad of romance to balance out the plot. I would definitely listen or read another book by this author. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys this genre.

  • 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 series opener

I really enjoyed this intriguing mystery. The story revolves around Brad Madison, a young boy who, as the story opens is found at home, with the bodies of his mother and father upstairs. Brad admits to their murders but gives no reason for this inexplicable crime.

The book then focuses on a range of characters, both police and the psychologist who is trying to understand what happened.

This book is very much character based so, if you are looking for a fast-moving policy procedural with non-stop action then this might not be for you. If, however, you are looking for an intelligently written novel with sympathetic and well-rounded characters then give this a go.

Some readers might feel that there is a little too much focus on the character’s private lives at the expense of moving the story on but, in what I believe is a long running series, such character development is necessary and I personally really enjoyed getting to know Jean, Hope, The Captain and Marty in particular. I’ll be reading more in the series.

Lastly, I got this as an audio book, and I loved the narration of Beth a McIntosh. I notice that another narrator is used for the rest of the series on audio which is a shame as I’ll miss Beth’s narration.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Did he really kill his parents?

Could a 10 year old boy really kill his parents. Although the basis of the book it was more about the characters involved in his story and their lives. Brad's story brought them together. This was definitely a book which is setting the characters for future novels, however this didn't detract from it. Hard to put this book in a specific genre as it was a bit crime, mystery and relationships all thrown in together. There were some great characters and it will be interesting how their stories develop in the rest of the series. Told from the view of the main characters in turn, the story gradually builds to its outcome. An interesting read, that wasn't quite what I expected when I started, but quicky drew me in. I'm looking forward to listening to more from the series.

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

Nature v nurture

I really enjoyed this book. I listened on Audible. It is my second Dawn Kopman Whidden book. The first being Harold Peabody & the Magic Glasses which is a kid's story but this adult loved it! I'm a teacher so I read/listen to a lot of children's literature.

It is a mix of genres - more romance than you normally get in a mystery book but this is Book 1 of the Whitely and Keal series so the author wanted us to get to know the characters well.That technique worked well as I have just read Book 2 in the series and it felt a bit like meeting old friends again.

I don't want to give anything away plot wise so I'm not going to say any more about that. The narrator was good but a bit slow for me. Changing the speed setting to 1.25 helped a lot. Some reviewers have said that the narrator should have been younger but I think she did well. It is obvious that she is a consummate professional and I enjoyed listening to her.

Thank you Dawn for a thought provoking and interesting start to the series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent

An excellent book which I finished in a day, I just couldn’t stop listening! I instantly liked Dr Hope and very much enjoyed her story and the blossoming romance with Marty. This is shaping up to be one of my favourite series and I am very much looking forward to the next instalment.

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

Great

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • DubaiReader
  • Holsworthy, Devon, United Kingdom
  • 25-04-18

Is this child a killer?

This book grabbed me from the very start, when a slight young boy of just ten, was found in his home playing video games, while his parents lay bludgeoned to death upstairs. The question of how, why, and whether, the crime was committed by the boy is the basis of the novel.

It was interesting to read a novel about the care system and what happens to a child under such traumatic circumstances. Maybe I'd have liked to have heard more from the young boy, but overall that was a small gripe. My main reason for the 4, rather than 5 stars, was the ending, which didn't entirely convince me, but I will say no more.

I enjoyed the interaction between the adult characters, the police and carers, grandparents and teachers, and it was interesting to see how they worked together and how different people held differing suspicions about the case. Some of this group will appear in subsequent books of the series and will no doubt become friends as I continue to follow them.

Unfortunately I wasn't a fan of the narrator, she read rather slowly and had a much older voice than was appropriate for the characters she was reading. Although she read clearly, she made little attempt to differentiate between characters, even between male and female.

I already have the second book, Faceless, lined up to read, and I'm looking forward to it.

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

Highly recommended

Any additional comments?

I was so excited to listen to this story and I was gripped from the start, by both the story and the performance. Told from multiple viewpoints, A Child is Torn introduces us to Brad, a ten year old who claims to have murdered his parents! There are other storylines woven through the main one, each as gripping as the other. I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to listening to Faceless now! Four stars for Dawn Kopman Whidden.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • TinkerMel
  • 01-09-17

Not what I thought it was.

This book was pitched as more of a book about the little boy, did he really kill his parents in cold blood... and if so why.
It sounded like it would of been one hell of a great book.
but sadly as the book goes on, its less about the kids, and why and IF he did it... But of of a tale about the romance and personal drama of the Drs, and cops involved in the case.
I think this book would of been a blockbuster if it would of just stayed with the story line.
Beth did a fine job on her performance.

Note: I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Simone
  • 12-09-17

Might be More Romance Than Mystery

Any additional comments?

I opted to listen to this book because the premise of a 10 year old boy brutally killing his father was very intriguing to me. And while the beginning of the book did live up to expectations, the second half ended up being an unwanted romance story. It felt to me like the writer got board with writing a mystery and decided to switch gears. At the last moment, the mystery was solved, but I wouldn't say it was satisfying. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy mystery and romance stories equally. Myself? I definitely do not prefer romance so it was an unpleasant surprise!

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rhonda
  • 02-09-17

Interesting psychological mystery

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I found this book to be engrossing. I wanted to find out if he did it and if so, how and why. This was one of the few books I really wanted to listen to all at once. I stayed up late to finish it.

Any additional comments?

Overall, I liked this book and I feel Beth did a fine job narrating. She has a beautiful voice that was perfect for this type of book, especially calm and soothing while talking to a frightened child. Her additional character voices were also fantastic. One of the top female narrators I've listened to. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • MELODY
  • 04-10-17

Heartbreaking storyline

It was a little anticlimactic , but I enjoyed the storyline. It is a heartbreaking story of such a sweet little boy and some very caring people there for him during the worst time in his life. The narrator read too slowly for me, so I had to adjust the speed. But, other than that, she did a good job.
I was provided this title for free in exchange for an unbiased review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 27-05-19

Great Mystery

This was such a well written story. This book deals with mental silliness and what can happen to families that encounter this problem.

A great read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Courtney Odor
  • 21-05-19

Great Mystery!

First, I have to start off by stating that I got this book free of charge in exchange for a review, but as I always state, this does not in any way impact my review. My reviews are always honest and my own.

I cannot rave about this author enough, she certainly took an unusual slant on something so misunderstood I'm in awe of her writing ability.

I've truly found another author that actually weaves a different story than the norm that is so fashionable at the moment. This book has certainly stood out in the crowd of my 134 books I've read this year.
I didn't know how this author was going to conclude this, but she did, and very cleverly. If I could have stood up at the end giving her applause, I would still be standing now shouting Encore Encore!
I now have Faceless. Which I will be reading very soon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • G C
  • 20-05-19

GREAT READ!

I really enjoyed it! The narration was great. It will keep you entertained. This author does a great job with her characters. This was the second book in this series that I've read and look forward to reading the rest. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • lovemykids
  • 19-05-19

Nature OR Nurture, are we born evil?

I really enjoyed this story, but not so much the narrator. The narrator does change for the remaining books though and I liked the story enough to go on to the second book. This book is full of why's and who done it's. I'm looking forward to book 2 🙂

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cindy
  • 18-05-19

Engaging

What a great first book in the Whitley & Keal Mystery series. I would consider this a romantic suspense book as there was murder, mystery, and suspense mixed in with a sweet love story. I thought it was a great storyline which kept me on the edge of my seat from the very beginning until the very end of the book. I'm looking forward to listening to the next book in this series. Beth A. McIntosh did a great job bringing this story to life.

I received this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left my honest review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jesse
  • 17-05-19

Interesting look at child psychology and crime

First of all: "This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review."

I found this book to be quite interesting. Though the writing is not always elegant, and sometimes the plot wanders a little, the story at the center of the plot is very intriguing, and shows the author's obvious interest in and knowledge of child psychology.

The story moves back and forth between the investigation of a horrific crime and the relationships of those who are trying to figure out what happened. To me, some aspects of the crime at the center of the case stretched credulity a little, and while the narrative acknowledged this, I don't feel like it was completely explained or supported. That being said, the story remains quite interesting and mysterious.

The characters ion the novel are quite realistic, their relationships are plausible and natural. This aspect of the book seemed to take over sometimes, but I found that I didn't care.

The narrator of the audio edition that I listened to was pretty good. Her tone and inflection added to the mystery and intrigue, and her voice was quite pleasing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful