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Summary

Book one in the DI Westphall series.

A dead man walks into a police station. He tells a tale - bizarre as it is grotesque - of kidnap and organ harvesting. John Baden's story of being held prisoner for 12 years sounds far-fetched - but it's all about to get much, much stranger.  

DI Ben Westphall has been given the case because of his background in MI6. He also has a knack for getting inside people's heads and seeing things others would miss. Westphall is no ordinary detective, and this is no ordinary case.  

When his suspects start dying, Westphall realises someone is killing to cover up the truth. But what exactly is the truth? To find out, he'll have to question everything he's been told, before there's no one left to ask.

©2018 Douglas Lindsay (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic reviews

"Richly atmospheric...Lindsay solidifies his place as one of the rising stars of tartan noir." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Song of the Dead

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

What a cracker!

I love the fact with audible I’ve expanded my repertoire of authors and this does not disappoint! This book got devoured in a day and a half! The narrator is top class, he gives the main character such a like ability that I couldn’t stop listening. Great story, lots of twists and turns and kept me guessing right to the end...I’ve started Book 2 already!

7 people found this helpful

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Decent, but inconsistent

For a series debut, this was good enough, but the story kept going off on odd tangents that confused the overall theme. If it had had less diversions, the plot would have flowed better, but this is something that can be improved upon and I look forward to the next in the series.

3 people found this helpful

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Got to the end and went Eh???

Stupid number of twists and turns mean story is as slippery as an eel. Less is more.

2 people found this helpful

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Wish I read the reviews first!

I was expecting a Scottish police detective novel. I’m not sure what this is! Confusing. Like another reviewer, I had to keep backpedaling to see if I had missed something. Apparently, I had not. If you like other worldly, this is for you. If you want good detective fiction, it’s not. Couldn’t get to the end.

1 person found this helpful

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Not for me

Listened to a couple of chapters and then threw the towel in. Story was dire and narration was just okay. Bought as a DD thankfully. Way too many other books to keep me occupied during lockdown.

1 person found this helpful

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Highly Enjoyable.

An excellent detective novel based in the Highlands and Eastern Europe. This was the first book in the series and I look forward to hearing more.
Some pretty awful things happen, but the descriptions of blood and gore are muted, rather than detailed and upsetting. Life however in a regional Scottish Police Force, in Dingwall and the surrounding areas are lovingly detailed.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent mystery … with additional mystery!

I don’t claim to understand it all, but I bloody loved it! Looking forward to following the next instalment.

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Spellbinding performance

This is an astonishingly fantastic book. A story packed with twists and turns, rich with dark, dry wit giving it a rare quality amongst 1st person narratives. Angus King's performance is electric, as if the book was written for him to narrate. Of the 150 books I've listened to these past 3 years, this is right up there with the very best, especially with King's performance taken into account. Bravo, indeed, bravo!

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A tad tedious

Can't decide if I loved or hated it. Dont listen if you are depressed

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  • Q
  • 22-05-20

Awful doesn't cut it

Worst audio book I have ever bought kept listening in hope
WhY a waste of my time goodness knows what I was thinking sorry for the August not my bag all over the place shocking
Q

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  • Johnny Utah
  • 16-02-19

Excellent suspense with just a little more...

The book keeps you on the edge of your seat with the, “who done it” suspense, but there is something more. I cannot put it into words in a review without ruining the enjoyment of the subtleties when listening to book. I would highly recommend this book. For me, it had many of the qualities I look for in an audio book.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Donna
  • 20-02-19

5

Masterfull writing and an excellent narrator bring us a rare
mystery novel. It is layer upon layer of what could be simple
murder or... not. I'm going to listen to this a 2nd time now that the ending has made everything clear and the MI6 boss demands proof of All that has happened -
just an over the top modern mystery.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon Town
  • 21-11-20

Rambling story and dull characters

The way this book was promoted was misleading. Not enough time spent on the mystery/story and a lot of time spent on endless back stories and a ridiculous amount of existential angst and philosophical ramblings from the lead detective which got in the way of the story for me. This book is not for anybody looking for a traditional mystery. disappointing!

8 people found this helpful

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  • wisconsinclark
  • 19-02-20

Sixth Sense Scottish Detective Style

I have listened to all three books available. The writing is beautiful, the characters are interesting and developing more as individuals as the series grows. The mysteries are well crafted, and a cut above many current formula books getting five star ratings. I like Angus King, he is perfect for the moody Scottish melancholy being written about in the DI Westphall Series. I am looking forward to book number four.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Whispera
  • 17-03-20

This is the dullest book

Ive ever seen thru to the end. Wouldnt have done it except I can almost listen to Angus King narrating anything. There are copious amounts of minutia that could have been edited out. But then the story would have been very short. I felt no attachment to the characters. To be fair, Im not a fan of woo-woo, so that was another strike. So sorry i cant find anything good to say beyond the narration.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amanda Rattray
  • 01-10-19

Good enough that want to read more

no sure o Westphall, seems a wee bit airy-fairy for me... but there's enough in the book that I want to learn more about the lad

6 people found this helpful

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  • Scotty
  • 03-12-19

Excellent!

Definitely atmospheric. Also, great narrator. In my last review of a book also narrated by Mr. King, I wondered if it was the lack of his skill (I previously had not listened to a book narrated by him), or the mystery/thriller (new author's first book of a new series) he read, that was not great. Well, my apologies to Mr. King. He sure did a great job narrating this book, which was great as well. I will look for more books to listen to from this author, and narrator.
Audible addict,
Scotty

5 people found this helpful

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  • Diana Hart 33
  • 29-01-20

Not my favorite

I struggled to get through this story, it's painstakingly slow. just when you think it's finally moving, and will shed some light on the story, it takes five steps back and your worse off. The only thing that kept me somewhat involved was Angus king, he's a brilliant Narrator, and I love all the other books he's narrated. But sadly I got to about chapter 42 and fast forward to the end. Glad i did because the ending was lack of a better word, boaring!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kathy
  • 05-10-21

Took some getting used to; too much mind chatter

Accent was wonderful but took my ear time to adjust. Story was complicated, but too much chasing around in main character's thoughts. Not my cuppa ...

2 people found this helpful

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  • Norma Harris
  • 29-12-20

different enough to make it interesting

Narrator well suited to the book. Interesting central character. Will buy more by this author.

1 person found this helpful