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Beware the Past

By: Joy Ellis
Narrated by: Antony Ferguson
Series: Detective Matt Ballard, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
4 out of 5 stars (284 ratings)

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Summary

One terrible case always haunted detective Matt Ballard. Now many years later, the killer seems to be back. And this time he's after Matt. 

When Matt Ballard was starting out his career, three boys were murdered in the same area, the remote and bleak Gibbet Fen. When the main suspect was killed in a hit-and-run, the killings stopped. But Matt was not satisfied that the real murderer had been caught. 

Over 25 years later, Matt gets a photo in an unmarked envelope. It's of the Gibbet Fen crime scene. And the picture was taken before the murder took place. More photos arrive, relating to the historic murders, as well as intimate pictures of Matt's very secret private life. 

Then another murder happens, with some of the hallmarks of the old case. Has the killer returned, or is this just a sick copycat determined to ruin Matt's life and reputation?

©2017 Joy Ellis (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

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    3 out of 5 stars

love Joy Ellis hated this -

I feel like I am stabbing a friend love Ms Ellis;s work, NORMALLY

Pushed credulity to the limit dreadful reading especially female voices

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Good story, but really disappointing narration. Everyone but main protagonist sounded like a David Walliams character. Struggled to finish.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

very good read

I was gripped by this story. Had to keep listening constantly. I found the narrator's imitation of women's voices annoying he made them all sound simple and stupid.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good story, less good reading.

Unfortunately , I did find the reading style off-putting: sounded rather like my Sat nav.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Disappointing narration

Good story but poor narration almost made me abandon the story. I found some of the voices (particularly female characters) very childlike and unbelievable, very grating.
Very sorry to say that it very much put me off, which is very sad.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Engrossing

The story line is so convoluted it keeps you guessing right to the end.
The characters are interesting.
You start to try and work out what exactly is going on only to have each theory disproved or was it!!! Very clever writing.
My only grumble is the narrator he really does not do women or accents well. I was 2/3 through the book before I realised Bryn was welsh and I’m from Wales. He sounded more West Country to me.
When he was doing a female voice it became very bland with no characterisation at all.
None of the above stopped my enjoyment of the story but a different narrator would have increased it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Slow

I don't know if it's the narrator or the slow unravelling of the story but I couldn't concentrate on it and kept having to back track. I found the main protagonist very unlikable, and the others boring. Sorry love Joy Ellie's other books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So many unexpected twits and turns,

This book really gripped me, the characters are well described and the unexpected ending was enthralling. Have read many Joy Ellis books but this is her best.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Harder work than it should have been

the story was ok but I really didnt like the narrator. i made it to the end finally but it felt like hard work. its not the author because Ive read another of hers and it was good and i have another lined up. maybe listen to the sample and see if you like his voice and charavters any better?!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Bit disappointing

Good story but irritating narration and poor research. The narrators regional accents were poor and confusing. The adoption information was factually incorrect which I hound very distracting. A shame because otherwise a gripping yarn!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • 04-06-18

Author Joy Ellis knows how to build suspense!

BEWARE THE PAST is a marvelous standalone modern detective mystery by British author Joy Ellis. Few novels build and maintain suspense as well as this one. There is a major plot twist that I never saw coming. Like the novel, the narration earns 5 stars.

I've listened to and enjoyed all 8 novels in the Nikki Galena series by Joy Ellis. On June 14 a novel from her highly rated Jackman and Evans suspense mystery modern detective series will be released in audio format. The title is THEIR LOST DAUGHTERS.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 09-02-19

Very satisfying ending!

Although I found the narrator difficult to get used to, I persevered because the story was so compelling. Glad I persisted. Hopefully it will be rereleased with a different narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review 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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  • Catherine
  • 06-12-18

Not up to her usual standards

I found the writing frequently awkward during the setup of the storyline — with obvious exposition of facts the reader needs to know but in such an unnatural way that it feels like the writer is struggling to get the story started.
I found the narrator’s female voices to sound rather weak or ditzy, which doesn’t fit cops.

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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  • B. G.
  • 22-08-18

Kept me gueaaing til the end. I have not been dissapointed with any Joy Ellis' books

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Douglas
  • 06-06-18

An okay mystery

Let's deal with the narration first... it's horrible. It's inconsistent and at some points the female characters sound like bass-toned males.

My main complaint with this book is that Matt Ballard the DCI is happily having a romantic affair with one of his subordinates. It's very clear that it's consensual; however, at one point the killer does something and all our hero can worry about is that his illicit sexual romps with his married colleague will be found out. Really? I think if I was in Matt's place I'd be worrying about a few others things first. I know I'm being vague about what the killer did but I thought it was interesting and don't want to spoil it.

At the end of the book there's a scene with Matt, his lover and the lover's husband in the same room. The author could have handled the situation in a classy way, instead the author decided to cheapen the moment by using a dues ex and let Matt completely off the hook.

I guess my biggest issue with this book is that I didn't like our hero. I found Matt's 2nd in command Jason and the killer to be more interesting characters. I'll try another of the author's books but I'll have to really enjoy it to read a third.

14 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • KarenUpNorth
  • 20-06-18

Bravo!

Possibly the best of Joy Ellis’ books. I almost didn’t purchase this audiobook due to a couple negative early reviews of the narrator. I’m so glad I gave it a chance. The story and the narration are brilliant.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • LEBla
  • 02-06-19

Good book but narrating not so much

Enjoyed listening to this story but the narrator was odd, distracting. I usually prefer female narrators and I think this book would have been a better experience if it had been done by a woman.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharon Garner
  • 13-05-19

Really disappointing

I really like Joy Ellis’s works as a rule but this one just didn’t cut it. I found it completely unrealistic with plot twists that made no sense and some pretty poor police work in the middle. Then a sudden magic wand at the end and all is forgiven and everyone lives happily ever after.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Wild Horses Flying
  • 28-02-19

Sorry to say

this book shows that Ellis is more a beginning than accomplished writer. Plot, dialogue - don't hold together, like taking a walk on snow with a crust - you keep breaking through which makes a clumsy,uncomfortable walk. Serious or terrible situations are overly dramatized which robs the true impact such things should have and emotions are sentimental and so, trivialized. She steered clear of all of these typical writer excesses in her Fens novels. I loved her Fens books and wish her well in her ongoing writing development.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • KMC
  • 26-02-19

Dreadful.

Narration was stilted and unnatural, but at least it distracted from the trite and contrived plot! I have a dozen other Joy Ellis books in my library, and while none are literary masterpieces, most are generally plausible and entertaining enough, this book was neither. Unlikeable characters, thin plot and not even a nod to basic police procedure. Awful. I gave it two stars because it was marginally better than noise of the treadmill.