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  • Mermaids Singing

  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 13 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (2,240 ratings)

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Mermaids Singing cover art

Mermaids Singing

By: Val McDermid
Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
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Summary

The first stunning thriller in the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series, from best-selling author Val McDermid.

Up until now, the only serial killers Tony Hill had encountered were safely behind bars. This one’s different – this one’s on the loose.

Four men have been found mutilated and tortured. As fear grips the city, the police turn to clinical psychologist Tony Hill for a profile of the killer. But soon Tony becomes the unsuspecting target in a battle of wits and wills where he has to use every ounce of his professional nerve to survive.

A tense, beautifully written psychological thriller, The Mermaids Singing explores the tormented mind of a serial killer unlike any the world of fiction has ever seen.

©1995 Val McDermid (P)2015 W F Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"Gripping, intelligent stuff." (The Times)

"A superb psychological thriller." (Cosmopolitan)

What listeners say about Mermaids Singing

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good ( if a little too gory) book but terrible narration

Enjoyed this book, although I found the explicit sex scenes and graphic descriptions of torture a bit distasteful. The plot is good and the tension built dramatically , and pleasingly, throughout the book. The thing that spoiled this book for me, however, was the narrator. He didn't seem to have a grip of any regional accent, his Geordie accent sounded Welsh, and his Scottish accent was frankly appalling! His awful attempts ruined the story for me, and I found listening quite painful at times.

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57 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Almost Great...

Would you listen to Mermaids Singing again? Why?

This is the first in a major series so no need to go back just yet. Maybe in a few years.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Mermaids Singing?

The evolving relationship of the main characters and the senior police issues were handled quite well.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The main characters in this book are in the 20-50 age range yet everyone sounded like they were in their 70's. I found it hard to picture the characters as I should as the voices did not portray this very well the differentiation was minimal at times.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It is a bit too long for that but the last few hours did fly by.

Any additional comments?

This is a good story with good characters, I wasn't a huge fan of the ending though.

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21 people found this helpful

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

Have just finished...

I have listened to all the Carol and Tony books, they are brilliant. Well worth a listen, sad that they have finished (hopefully not forever).

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliantly written

As always well researched & written totally ruined by terrible narrator to be avoided again.



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

Wow what a book

Brilliantly written, edge of your seat reading. Val Mcdermid books never get old, just perfect.

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

Brilliant

I've watched the TV series and the 2 main protagonists were cast very well. Hermione and Robson are in your minds eye when listening.

This is a very gruesome story and not for the faint hearted.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

val mcdermid at her best

I am rereading this series in order. A great fan of Val having visited her visits to kur local library. a very intelligent and warm personality makes it difficult to imagine the grisly novels she writes. this was no exeption and at times uncomfortably graphic . saying that a plot of twists and turns leading to the exciting climax.
there have been negative comments about the narrator used on this series. clever voices don't concern me. a clearly spoken narrator does .I am profoundly deaf and use bluetooth hearing aids. I can enjoy the series knowing I can hear the story.
read the books in order is my suggestion as I missed crucial parts. they can be stand alone. but the developing relationship between Carol and Tony is intriguing- both with their personal demons. a good read,hard to put away and I felt like I was reading a fresh book after 3 years since last picking it up.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripped from start to finish

I chose this book mainly because of the fact I enjoyed how Saul read the girl with the Dragon tattoo series. Once again he brought each of the characters to life on my daily commute to work and I often found myself reluctant to get out of the car until the end of a chapter.

The story itself deals with looking into both the view of the psychopath who believes that the killing they do is justified and the ways in which the police work to try and catch them before they kill again. There is quite bit going on throughout the story, but the way Saul changes his voice for each character helps to keep the listener on track.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not an easy listen, but brilliant all the same

What did you like most about Mermaids Singing?

The gripping narrative - the audiobook equivalent of a real page-turner!

What did you like best about this story?

The structure seemed a bit forced at first (an extract from the killer's computer diary, then a quotation, then each chapter starts) but actually it is the perfect way to keep the story moving along from the dual perspectives of hunter and hunted.

What does Saul Reichlin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Some of his accents are a bit wide of the mark (Geordie in particular!), but he totally nails the serial killer's narrative, making the whole thing work a treat.

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

It made me shudder when the killer's descriptions of his activities really got going.

Any additional comments?

Hideous crimes make up a brilliant crime drama - the basis of the Wire In The Blood TV series but far more gripping and credible in this format - well worth a credit for this one!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

kept me wondering.

Rather gruesome so not a late night read, but fascinating clues, plot and character development.

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