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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 (25 ratings)

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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 listeners say about A Child Is Torn

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

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.

1 person found this helpful

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

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.

1 person found this helpful

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

An intriguing start

We meet a lot of interesting characters in this book. Dr Hope, Jean Whitley, Keal and Keal's father, The Captain being just a few of them. The only reason this book doesn't get 5 stars is because it's not really a mystery. But, I don't want to say anymore about that issue because I'll give the game away, and this is a spoiler-free zone! It is though, a very sweet love story and, as an introduction to future Whitley and Keal mysteries is absorbing and enticing. Now that I am familiar with the characters, I am looking forward to seeing them work together to solve some difficult crimes. As an introduction to a series, it's very good

1 person found this 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

Haunting

This story was a heart wrenching but pulling fabulous. Brad is found alone at home & when the police investigate they find a horrendous scene.
I felt so much for Brad, sympathy, sadness, revulsion, all mixed. The story pulls them all in. I liked the characters around the crime scene, the police officers and the investigating team. The child psychiatrists psychologists and teams were really good. Likeable people I’d like to learn more about in future stories. Hint hint!
I wasn’t sure about the narrator at 1st but after couple of chapters I didn’t even think about her. She managed the tempo & differing in voices keeping the tale running at a want to know more pace. Think I’m used to a lot of male narrators but not anymore.
Very good & all every star to me

1 person found this helpful

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

A tragic loss

I don't normally go for these type of book's. I was astonished by Brad and his story. There was so many great characters in this book they have all found a way into my heart. Keen to try more of this series.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good but

I'm a bit unsure as to how I felt about this book. It was mysterious and left the reader pondering the question "Did he or didn't he?" But I don't think there was enough in it to entice me to read further on in the series.

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

A compelling powerful story

This is the first audiobook where I have actively sought out time alone to continue the story, because it was such a compelling tale.

I enjoyed the change of the viewpoints in the chapters and the characters become very well rounded. I was very intrigued with all the plot lines, including the romantic sections, which I found enhanced rather than distracted from the main storyline.

Overall, it didn’t feel like a mystery to me, but a fascinating insight into the process of investigating and assisting children accused of terrible crimes. Looking forward to future books in the same series.

  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

enjoyable book

did he or did he not
this book made me think about the plot
plus could be a true story too very good book must read or hear

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A worthy read

This is a tricky review to write because this book was not what I expected after the first quarter or so. It is also not really one of my chosen genres - this mix of romance and crime.
But for what it is, it is a worthy read.

The romance relationship bits were a bit juvenile for me - I couldn't believe a qualified divorced doctor getting angry because a man she had met the night before on a blind date had not contacted her by 8am the next morning. Very teenagery I thought, and her angst and anger was just silly.
And I also thought the mother daughter relationship was a bit cardboard cut-out

But I also have very little experience with the genre and seem to remember other books I have read (Nora Roberts) in the same genre having quite similar situations, and complaints from me. So it is clearly me not them.

I was very invested in the little boy at the centre of the crime part of the book and certainly could have lapped up a whole lot more indepth investigation into the cause of what happened. But, again, this is not a hard core psychological thriller and as the book it is, it dealt with the little boy and family as expected.

So - I would absolutely recommend this book to those who like a bit of gentle romance, some complicated families, a dash of feel good love, and an interesting criminal event and investigation upon which to hang it all.

When considering the audiobook, this narrator does a great job. I barely noticed that it even had a narrator really - the book was just in my head. And I think that is a perfect narrator.

And let it be said and recorded - I am still going to go and listen to the next in the series, and I expect that now I have my expectations more accurately set, I shall enjoy it immensely.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

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  • 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.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 people found this 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
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  • 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 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 person found this 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
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  • 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 person found this 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
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  • 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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 person found this helpful