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Summary

"We are living in the departure lounge," said Ralph Greenwood, "and flights leave with monotonous regularity." So when another resident of the Rosemary House care home is found dead in her chair one Saturday evening in December, no one is very surprised - not until the results of a routine post-mortem reveal something extraordinary. Sergeant DC Smith and his team have to tread carefully as they investigate what took place, and Smith himself has to confront some difficult memories. Others, meanwhile, seem intent on getting him to leave the force altogether, while, despite his best efforts, his social life also becomes a little more complicated. To top it all, Kings Lake has been waiting weeks for the snow to fall, in a winter that seems as if it will never end.

©2014 Peter Grainger (P)2016 Tantor

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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Good to find

Where does But for the Grace rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Near the top, nice to find another detective series that is good old fashioned detective work and not heavy on gory detail.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The main character he is a refreshing change for a detective

Have you listened to any of Gildart Jackson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No I haven't but he was perfect for this

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me smile at times as is quite whitty

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

A treat .

Nice to find a police force that is devoid of bad tempered , foul mouthed , incompetent , basket cases . Enjoyed this book so very much ,can't recommend it highly enough , this promises to be an excellent series

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

Crime or not

An interesting well presented and read book. I will be looking for the next in the series.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ted
  • 25-04-18

I Like Sergeant DC Smith. He Doesn't Disappoint.

The setting is British. DC Smith is now a Sergeant of Detectives who was once among the top administrators in the police force. Why? Start this series with the previous book, An Accidental Death to find out why. Here we've got a nursing home death and a drawing room murder mystery. You will probably recall the details of But For The Grace maybe for three days after finishing the book. Not to worry, Peter Grainger's written a police procedural entertainment. And it entertained me well. I'll buy the next in the series, Luck and Judgement.

What more can I say? Oh, Gildart Jackson's read is fine. He NEVER intrudes, creating an ensemble cast that is uniquely defined in each character's own voice. Which makes Jackson a very good actor at the least.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lulu
  • 15-10-16

Charm Largely Gone

I was pleasantly surprised by the first book in this series. I knew nothing about it when I started reading, but was instantly drawn to the melancholy warmth of the main character DC Smith. The plot was complicated enough to keep my interest, but not so complex I was lost. And several of the secondary characters were interesting enough that I was anxious to get to know them better.

Unfortunately, I found But for the Grace, the second book in this series, largely unenjoyable.
Smith's personality no longer comes across as kind, generous and a little out of touch, but almost cruel in some of his comments and actions. I couldn't recognize the DC Smith from the first book in the DC Smith from this. There were subplots that seemed totally disconnected from the primary plot, including the introduction of two women who could be potential romantic interests for Smith, but once introduced he didn't seem to know what to do with them.

I think my biggest issue though was the case he was working on. It did not qualify as a mystery and there was no suspense. It quickly became apparent what had happened and what would probably happen down the road and once you knew that, there really wasn't more story to tell. And Smith seemed to be persecuting and harassing people he thought might be victims rather then helping them.

I do not want to give any spoilers, but when I finished the book all I could think about was what if Smith had not been so slow in realizing what was happening as he interviewed a young woman. What if he had gotten there in time? Then what? What was he prepared to do to the perpetrator/victim? What was the point?

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lannita
  • 20-03-18

Good Read

I would skip many of the reviews if I were you ... Many give away the plot. I would have to say I did guess what happened half way through the book so it’s not a suspenseful story but the narrator and the witty / clever text makes it worth the time.

I can hardly wait to hear what DC Smith gets himself into next.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jane Brody
  • 13-01-17

Great writing and wonderful narration

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Peter Grainger is a wonderful writer, Lots to think about, sensitive to mood and character, and wonderful images.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

No, I don't like to be on the edge of my seat. I like to be taken into the story and into the mind of the detective. And I like a leisurely read.

What does Gildart Jackson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Wonderful delineation of characters, lovely sense of mood and images. His knowledge of when to hurry it along and when to take his time is quite beautiful.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I don't like tag lines.

Any additional comments?

This book seems to end too many times, Grainger doesn't seem to want to let go of the story when it is over and he hasn't developed the romantic relationships enough to earn his ending.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • J.B.
  • 05-02-17

Story is Enthrallling, Imaginative and Unusual.

But for the Grace: A DC Smith Investigation Series, Book 2, by Peter Grainger and narrated Bb Gildart Jackson. Series: D. C. Smith, Book 2. You cannot want a better crime investigation series. Each book centers on an obtuse murder, with seemingly little factual guides to finding the perpetrator. So far the offender, leaves us in a moral dilemma about whether they should be punished for their acts or praised for their ethical virtues.

Do not let that opening description that these socially important statements of integrity make you believe the factual stories told are not capable of drawing you into the “who done it” and why! They are really great stories dealing with a crime and its solution. The stories are page turners and you will find it difficult to put down the book (or shut off the reading). The first novel in the series, An Accidental Death, dealt with why illegal drugs are used, persons who commit war crimes, and our innate prejudices of aliens who move into our societies. This second book is more focused on old age and the right to end one’s life. Euthanasia. Its theoretical arguments, for and against, are both demonstrated through plot developments and here and there concepts spoken by the characters in the plot. Engaging to say the least.

Our hero is a police officer past retirement but who stays on because he loves his work and he is very good at it. His cast of surrounding characters are all interesting. he stories are told in a soft cadence but once the book starts the rhythmic beat never stops. And therein Peter Grainger does his job masterfully.

Here we have a death in an old age home that turns out to be not a death by old age but rather heroin overdose. I know, sounds mundane. It is on the contrary imaginative and unusual.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathi
  • 21-10-17

Thought-provoking story

I felt a bit lukewarm about the first book in this series. But I find this one more compelling. It’s hard to strictly define it—somewhat police procedural, a little bit of whodunnit, it seems mostly (to me) to be a story that intends to challenge deeply conflicted ethical issues around aging and dying.

Sgt DC Smith and his team work a case of an unnatural death in a senior living home. Is it suicide, assisted suicide, murder? And has it happened before? The listener is given a lot of opportunity to consider those possibilities, but the author also uses this book to explore some of the fine lines among these actions, and invites the listener to examine society’s attitudes toward them.

I liked this second book better than the first, and also want to say that the narration is good as well. It is not a fast page-turner, so much as a book that slowly reveals the story As the listener is invited to think about the topic on several levels.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Chani
  • 20-05-18

Obvious and dull

I plodded through a lot of mundane writing, banal dialogue, repetition and extraneous descriptions while waiting for a twist in what seemed to be an obvious conclusion. The big reveal near the end (not near enough) was that there was no twist. Others have described the conversations as witty, I thought the main character's comments, some to himself, others that probably should have been kept to himself, just made him sound rather mean-spirited and bitter. There were way too many irrelevant scenes such as a truckers' diner with descriptions of patrons, staff, food and service, which did absolutely nothing to further the plot or the understanding of the main characters.

The narrator seems to get into a sing-song cadence which, combined with the boring nature of all too many passages, made it hard for me to keep some of the characters straight - I usually listen for an hour or two every other couple of days.

I don't remember what prompted me to buy the first book in this series, but because I did enjoy it, several months later I bought this one. In contrast to this author, I kept thinking fondly of Agatha Christie, who rarely wrote a sentence that did not either advance the plot or drag a clever red herring across the reader's path.

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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  • Maggie
  • 22-04-18

Love the author and narrator

This is my second book by this author. Enjoy the stories, they flow well. The narrator is so pleasant to listen to. Will continue to listen to this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dutch
  • 14-04-18

Best enjoyed as an audio book

What did you love best about But for the Grace?

The sly humor and the cleverly nuanced narration that makes it come alive for the listener.

Who was your favorite character and why?

DC. Age, experience, smarts, observant, and method all count. DC has empathy, yet he gets the job done marvelously while leaving aa small footprint.

Have you listened to any of Gildart Jackson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

An Accidental Death was so good that I quickly got the second book in the series. I was not disappointed.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Too many to count. It's a very human experience without getting all mushy or PC.

Any additional comments?

Keep 'em comin'!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • L.U.
  • 14-03-18

Very Exciting

I love the series and look forward to getting the rest. Send me more credits.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful