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Summary

The stunning first novel in the Kate Brannigan series, from number one Sunday Times best seller Val McDermid.

As a favour, Kate agrees to track down a missing songwriter, Moria Pollock. It was supposed to be a nice simple case, but the search soon leads Kate into the dark underworld of Leeds, Manchester and Bradford – and finally to a shocking confrontation with a killer....

©1992 Val McDermid (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"This is crime writing of the very highest order." (The Times)

"No one can plot or tell a story like McDermid." (Daily Express

What listeners say about Dead Beat

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fun detective story

Fun and entertaining. A very likeable main character and I enjoyed the fact that she didn’t have the stereotypical miserable home life. It’s very different from some of Val’s other books. I’ll certainly get the next one in the series.

31 people found this helpful

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Found Myself A New Heroine

I love the Karen Pirie books by Val and thought I'd try some of her older work.
I listened to the whole book in less than 24 hours.
Good story, plus lots of reminiscing from my 20s and my Manchester days.

20 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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good but not as Vals best

enjoyed this new charachter and the regional narration was a good fit with the setting. pace was good but the story had less twists and turns than I expected. it was a bit predictable. i

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Val McDermod does it again

wonderful accect. love the story. Val has a twisted mind,which makes for thw best stories.

20 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • K
  • 17-05-19

Cliched and dated

Bad reviews seem anathema to other readers and this site, especially if they deviate from the conventional 'great read' response. But, I doubt my unfavourable opinion of this novel will trouble Val McDermid's bank account. I therefore have no hesitation in stating that getting to the end of this book was a trial. I could have stopped and returned it, granted, but as McDermid is such a popular writer I really wanted to give her a chance to redeem herself. My aim was not completely altruistic; I do love to find a prolific writer with engaging work so that I can stack my virtual shelves with their stuff. I've realised that's not going to happen this time.

Firstly, the attempts to challenge gender stereotyping is clunky, her characters just as contrived. The protagonist Kate seems only to gain/retain her status in a male dominated profession by being as masculine as the men: kick-boxing, bullying, the lack of interest in marriage - suggesting the only way to gain equality is to homogenise your personality to the dominant gender. A tired concept.

Oh, the cliches! Kates lover calls her Brannigan like she's in some 80s TV police drama; the straight women are all parasitic bitches; the lesbians are bitter and unhappy; the men sleazy or devious. Much of this novel, right down to the 'gather everyone together' scene at then end, is so derivative that it becomes exasperating quite early on and only become progressively more annoying.

The narrator's whining monotone can't have helped either.

87 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Borderline cosy, but not bad.

In spite of PI Kate Brannigan being a hard badass of a sleuth (well, not that hard...), this is borderline cosy. Enjoyable, yes. But not something I'd reread. Even the Christie-esque ending was light fair.

A likable protagonist and a GREAT narration made it a good listen. I may well try another book in the series.

5 people found this helpful

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s Surprisingly boring

I normally enjoy Val McDermit books. I like the structure of her novels and the well depicted characters but I found this one very boring. I can see the main plan but the story doesn't do anything for me. The reading actress, Chloe Massey, is very pleasant though and I liked her interpretation.

15 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Gets better as you go on

Bit dated now - sleuthing when the Internet was in its infancy. I like the character of Kate Brannigan and the back story. This was my first Val McDiarmid, I'll probably read another one. Read beautifully.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Bland narration

I think I may have enjoyed the story more with a different narrator. Her blasé approach made it seem like she was to cool to read properly. no proper modulation, poor sense stress and anbsoluteoy no charisma, and the constanr pronouncing of 'Tamar' as 'Ta-MAH' didnt help one iota. Maybe the story was too shallow and predictable , either way it was a Tedious slog.

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable book

This was an enjoyable book not as strong a storyline like some other books from this author. Nice twist but I got there wY before the author revealed it. But still an enjoyable read.

1 person found this helpful