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Blood on the Tracks Audiobook

Blood on the Tracks: Sydney Rose Parnell Series, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

A young woman is found brutally murdered, and the main suspect is the victim's fiancé, a hideously scarred Iraq War vet known as the Burned Man. But railroad police Special Agent Sydney Rose Parnell, brought in by the Denver Major Crimes unit to help investigate, can't shake the feeling that larger forces are behind this apparent crime of passion.

In the depths of an icy winter, Parnell and her K9 partner, Clyde - both haunted by their time in Iraq - descend into the underground world of a savage gang of rail riders. There, they uncover a wide-reaching conspiracy and a series of shocking crimes. Crimes that threaten everything Parnell holds dear.

As the search for the truth puts her directly in the path of the killer, Parnell must struggle with a deadly question: Can she fight monsters without becoming one herself?

©2016 Barbara Nickless. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (12 )
5 star
 (8)
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4.6 (10 )
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5.0 (10 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Suswati 20/05/2017
    Suswati 20/05/2017 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    182
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    217
    216
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slightly overrated in terms of reviews"

    The idea of PTSD of war veterans is an important topic, and I understand that the author attempted to raise the issue, but the constant appearance of ghosts with not much impact on the narrator seems to trivialise the effect of trauma. She seems to have learnt to live with them.

    The story itself felt too much of a mishmash of several themes from the far right to soldiers of war. It would have been better to stick to one area. I would have been more interested in hearing about Iraq and how it is more clearly linked with the current crime. It just seems to fall short in developing the major themes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Rifflart Hampshire 30/01/2017
    S. Rifflart Hampshire 30/01/2017 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    95
    84
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very bleak at times"

    This story of a war ravaged ex woman marine was not short on bleak imagery. But the story is a good one. Plenty of back story and twists and turns and at least it ended with hope

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anna 07/10/2016
    anna 07/10/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great !"

    Great story twisting this way and that . Loved it and will look for more from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • shelley
    Raleigh, NC
    07/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great debut, looking forward to more from this author"

    I am very impressed with this debut novel by Barbara Nickless. I thought she did a superb job with this book and I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style. This is another one of those who done it books that really keeps the reader/listener guessing right up to the very end.
    A woman is brutally murdered, she's kind and helpful to the down and outers and the hobos who pass through hitching rides on the railroad. Some say she's like an angel others say she's a busybody getting involved with the wrong people. And then there's her fiancé a badly burned Iraq veteran who is arrested for the crime.
    I could go on and describe the railroad police and the detective from the major crimes unit but you can read all that on the synopsis provided.
    What you won't see there is that while the main story is playing out there are multiple subplots going on concurrently. Each of these subplots ties into the main story and each provides another suspect but don't get too attached to anyone in particular because the ending will throw you for a loop.
    Emily Sutton-Smith gives an Excellent performance.
    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
    If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
    Thank You.

    83 of 86 people found this review helpful
  • Wayne
    Matthews, NC
    09/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great start for a first time author"

    Blood on the Tracks was my Kindle First selection last month so I had the opportunity to read the ebook before the October 1 release date. I was so impressed that I decided to listen to the audiobook also. This is an incredibly strong debut novel by Barbara Nicklass. The Sydney Rose Parnell series promises to be a favorite. Parnell is a 27 year old ex-Marine currently working as a special agent for the railway police in Denver. She and her K9 partner Clyde are both veterans of war in Iraq and both suffer from PTSD. This police thriller is superb. Emily Sutton-Smiths narration is excellent.

    42 of 46 people found this review helpful
  • Diana Hart 33
    Granite Falls, WA, United States
    12/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good twist"

    I would have given the narrator five stars, but she kept pronouncing Semper Fi ...Semper FEE ...and it bugged me. I'm not a marine, but I know a few of them. It would bug them too. anyway other than that good story, a lot of twists and turns, keeps you guessing till the end.

    29 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • De Plume
    21/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Probably a good read; not a great listen"

    There are a lot of things to like about this book. The writing is quite good and the protagonist is unique, flawed, and interesting. The author clearly has firsthand knowledge of the Marine Corps and railway police or she did a lot of very effective research. On the other hand it does tend to drag on at some points, adding length without necessarily adding any depth to the story or the characters.

    Unfortunately, the narrator detracts from the story so I cannot honestly say how good the book is. This is especially true in regards to the dialog, which felt very mechanical. It's entirely possible that it would have felt natural had it been read by someone else. This could also be the reason that all the male characters were completely indistinguishable from one another. Why they would choose a narrator with a single male voice (and a bad one at that) to read a book that is dominated by male secondary characters is beyond me.

    Personally, I do not care for books with high body counts and no repercussions. It feels very unrealistic. So for me that was a negative. Otherwise the story might have been four stars.

    The book is set up for a series and I would be tempted to read more, but I would not listen again.

    42 of 49 people found this review helpful
  • Douglas
    30/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "NOT what the summary implied"
    What disappointed you about Blood on the Tracks?

    The story is not at all a mystery or a suspense. It's more a story about a woman who suffers from PTSD, and often suffers flashbacks. It's a military story that depicts horrible things that happen in Iraq, and the mental anguish that soldiers suffer post war.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Janet evanovich 23


    72 of 85 people found this review helpful
  • Ruth
    26/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story & narrator..."

    I really enjoyed the excitement the narrator brought to this journey seen through eyes of a brave Lady marine who helped to heal herself and
    Her service dog after seeing too much at war....can't stop listening to
    This excellent book,

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • NOKWISA
    Garland, Texas, United States
    12/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonder Woman"

    She manages tremendous odds and battles. She's like a Timex; takes a licking and keeps on ticking. The plot was good and very unusual. The ghosts popping in and out , the cocktail of drugs (uppers/downers) plus booze and PTSD might have had something to do with that. The narrator does not do male voices well at all so if she had just kept this to a straight read I would have liked her better. But actually I did enjoy it!

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • MWitmer
    21/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Semi slow starter -- but hang on for the ride !"

    I really liked that the book described how the soldiers were thinking and feeling after coming home from the war. I have always heard about ptsd - and about half of my co-workers suffer from the condition. Their responses to questions are vague at best.
    True or not , I feel like reading this book gave me some insight into the behavior of the people I with with.
    Naturally, my favorite character was Clyde - dogs are effected by the war too!
    The narrated did a great job. I really appreciated the emphases she was able to carry across in the sardonic humor of our heroine.
    I would have liked a bit more out of Her love interest - maybe a bit more back story.
    All in all a great story that took me to a place I have never been before - a glimpse into the lives of soldiers come home and those around them.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Stephanie E. O'Neill
    07/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engaging Mystery with Many Twists & Turns"

    This story took a lot of implausible twists and turns, but it held my interest and I did want to see where it was going. There are some ties to war, skin heads and violent crimes, which may be off putting for some (not my normal fare). The narrator is good and does well with many voices. If you like a good mystery and don't have a problem with violence, it's a not a bad listen.

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Joe Kraus
    Kingston, PA, United States
    09/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Solid Work Falls a Bit Short of a Great Opening"
    Any additional comments?

    This one starts out as an impressive reimagining of the procedural. Our narrator is the intriguing Sidney Rose Parnell, a traumatized Iraq war marine who’s joined up stateside with the railroad police in the Denver of her childhood. Sidney carries the horrors of her war with her, seeing the ghosts of the men and women she dealt with in her work in the morgue, and taking advice from her dead sergeant and dead lover. The one good thing she’s brought back is her traumatized service dog, Clyde, who’s pledged his loyalty to her after the death of his first handler, her boyfriend.

    For most of the first half, it’s less a question of whodunit than of how Sidney will uncover everything. For all the trauma she faces, she remains a good detective, and it’s rewarding to see her puzzling through piles of evidence at the same time as she deflects the too common sexism that comes her way. She’s a strong character, and you know you’re in good hands from the start.

    Toward the end, this is still pretty solid, but it deteriorates into more of a conventional thriller. It’s nice that it’s a woman detective coming to the rescue of a decent but generally helpless man, but there’s a lot of been-there, done-that to it. The climax is surprisingly bloody, and there’s a lot less of the nuance we get from the beginning. From the original straw-man bad-guy of “the burned man,” a disfigured Iraq War vet, we end up with entirely unsympathetic skin-head bad guys out of central casting.

    Things move well even at the end, and Nickless can certainly deliver the goods, so I did enjoy it.

    I gather this is the first in a series, and I can imagine subsequent ones will continue to mine what it means for Sidney to carry so many of her ghosts back with her. I can even imagine a series that culminates in a big disclosure around the serious crimes she was peripheral to in Iraq.

    As all that plays out here, though, it feels as if much of the best material gets held back. As with the Burned Man, we get some misdirection. The Iraq crimes come to us as a tantalizing story, but, per the logic of a series, they get deferred.

    This is a bit better than conventional, but it’s not quite the powerhouse it gives promise of being.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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