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The Fourth Friend

A Jackman and Evans Thriller
By: Joy Ellis
Narrated by: Richard Armitage
Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,896 ratings)

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Summary

Crimebusting duo DI Jackman and DS Evans are back, solving another crime that will make your skin crawl.

Police detective Carter McLean is the only survivor of a plane crash that kills his four best friends. He returns to work, but he is left full of guilt and terrible flashbacks. So for each of his four friends, he decides to complete something that they left unfinished.

Eighteen months before the crash, Suzanne Holland disappeared, leaving a room with traces of blood but no other leads. Suzanne was the wife of one of Carter’s four best friends. Adding to the pressure, the boss’ niece has a stalker. Due to the sensitivity of the Holland case, Carter is put on this investigation.

DS Marie Evans is the only person Carter can confide in. But even she begins to doubt whether he can really cope and whether he is actually losing his mind. DI Jackman and DS Evans of the Fenland police face a battle to untangle three mysteries, and can they really believe their friend and colleague Carter?

©2017 Joy Ellis (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

Meet Joy Ellis

We travelled to the Lincolnshire Fens, the home of Joy Ellis and the setting of the Jackman and Evans series, to find out more.
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What members say

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Ellis Gets Into The Groove!

In cricketing parlance Ellis is like an expert with the bat, she's settled in, maybe had one or two very minor scratchy moments but now she's established her rhythm and is starting to stroke the ball around the ground with some elegance. She has shown extremely fine judgement with this book having built a very likeable pair in Jackman and Evans. This is more psychologically oriented and to allow her story freedom to breathe and grow organically she knows when to let her leads step back and let other characters have their moments in the limelight.

Jackman and particularly Evans are extremely human characters, perhaps more caring than your average fictional detectives and this does give an additional angle to some of the plotlines. The Fourth Friend is about a colleague who is particularly vulnerable and some of the relationships between the characters such as him and Evans and an old friend of his were carried off to near perfection. Although the book starts quite literally with a crash there is no great action in it at all after that and so it was those relationships and personal traumas that kept me engrossed from start to finish.

Of course such a story is brilliantly suited to Armitage's very considered narration. He is one of the smoothest narrators I think I've heard which put together with the story makes The Fourth Friend a very compelling package and this series is now firmly ensconced on my Must Read list!

27 of 28 people found this review helpful

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Crime with a difference.

I was hooked in the first chapter. Brilliant book and superb narration. I'll be looking for more books by Joy Ellis , also anything narrated by Richard Armitage . Sad I've finished it!.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant

Loved this story. Richard Armitage as usual an excellent narrator. I have enjoyed all the books in this series.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A non stop thrilling ride

An original book with a great story full of twists and turns, excellent characters and no slow points. The story kept me guessing till the end. I was thoroughly taken by this excellent writer who was new to me. One of those audible reads that stands way above the rest. I am now going to look out for more by this author.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great narrator, intriguing story

Enjoy this series mainly due to narrator, wonderful voice to the main character. Story as usual captivating, walk a bit extra just to listen . Had 2 stories woven throughout and eventually connected but not in way expected. Looking forward to next book. Recommend to listen while walking ,knitting really enjoyed this book

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • ej
  • 15-12-18

An intriguing story

Quite different from Joy Ellis’ previous books. A little macabre in places but a psychologically fascinating read. Jackman I felt was a bit sidelined in this story, but the rest of the characters were good. Read beautifully as usual, by Richard Armitage. I don’t think I could listen to a Jackman and Evans book without him reading it now. He is them and they are him!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Another brilliant Jackman tale!

This novel keeps you beautifully wrapped up in a wonderfully worded blanket, that keeps you warm and cosy until the mystery unfolds and leaves you cold.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Increasingly ridiculous plotline

Richard Armitage's narration is excellent as always! The story starts off OK and with an edge of intrigue but whilst it follows a clear plotline, it becomes increasingly ridiculous and anything outside of it was distinctly unmemorable. I stuck with it to the end solely because of Richard Armitage's narration but didn't care much about the characters nor what happened to them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Contains spoiler

This is the third Jackman and Evans book I have listened to and it failed to live up to the standard.
Mr Armitage read in a flat uninterested tone and failed to make clear what were thoughts or what was spoken. Worst of all was Ms Ellis's method of tying up loose ends. Drowning is not an easy way to die, and doubly cruel for a dog. I doubt that any man aware of that and who loved his dog as much as Silas did would have allowed that to happen to his dog.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Quality writing and narration... yet again!

Starting with a plane crash, this additional dimension to the regular detective mystery carries you on a constant wave of intrigue, desperately trying to piece the puzzle together, you soon realise that this is not an easy task because its such a cleverly crafted story...

its is another excellent book by Joy Ellis... well written, and a fantastic turn from Richard Armitage (again), this book will leave you wanting the next book in this great series....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Maine Knitter
  • 24-12-18

A bit of a disappointment

This is a tough one. I truly enjoy Joy Ellis’s work. After the first two books in this series, Jackman and Evans and their team have become interesting and I’m curious as to where things go with them. For that reason I finished this book. Oh, and Richard Armitage’s narration helped a great deal, too.

The story itself was difficult. I couldn’t get invested in the players, mainly Carter. I had to force myself to keep going.

I smiled at the mention of Nikki Galena (one of my favorite characters) and I want to know more about Orlagh in the basement.

This is my least favorite book in the series but I’ll continue with it while waiting for the next Nikki Galena book.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Lauren
  • 07-12-18

Ellis/Armitage knocks it out of the park again!

Wow! Joy Ellis never disappoints. Her attention to character development and details is superb. Her attention to police investigative techniques and forensics adds to the richness of her stories that grabs you from the start. Richard Armitage makes Ellis's stories a living, breathing story that cannot fully be described. You are transported as if you are standing right next to each person and inside each scene. He electrifies all five of your senses and holds your attention where you cannot stop listening. You have to know what happens next.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary Catherine
  • 16-01-19

I did finish the book

I thought this book was OK, and I did finish it, The characters were fine, but the actual story did not sit well with me. SPOILER ALERT: I would like to listen to a police procedural where the criminal, murderer, victim, etc. is not the police, main character, co-worker, friend, spouse, neighbor, pet, or partner. I would like to listen to a book about a police team working together to solve a case using a list of suspects outside the police circle. Can't a police team work together to solve a mystery without being a part of it?. The story was not happy, and had a dreary ending. Not a bad writer, but I would like to see a different story-line in the next book. I haven't decided if I want to listen to another book by this author. There won't be many fictional police left in the UK to write about, since most of them end up dead or guilty of a major crime. Too many books turn out the same way.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Lia
  • 19-05-19

Disappointing

So sorry, but I have to disagree with all the five star reviews here. The book is ok, but just DEPRESSING with a capital D. Guy survives a plane crash that kills all his friends, and we watch as he sadly schleps around trying to get his life back while his burnt up, dead friends haunt him to finish "their stuff". I kept waiting for it to get better (all those 5 star reviews!), but it didn't.
Not a horrible mystery, but the story overall just left me feeling depressed. Doubt I'll bother trying the other books in this series, none of the characters really resonated with me.

Richard Armitage was great with the delivery of the story and the only reason I finished the book

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Cat Lover
  • 05-02-19

Another great book by Joy Ellis

Another great read. As always, lots of twists and turns. LOVE the Jackman and Evan's series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • N.
  • 04-02-19

Another great read

Joy Ellis writes in an engaging manner that keeps you moving forward in the story. Richard Armitage is a wonderful reader/performer. A perfect match!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dorothy Darby
  • 24-01-19

The Fourth Friend

Excellent mystery ,twists and turns kept me wondering who was the actual killer or killers

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Karen K-F
  • 23-01-19

Happily not what I expected.

I read the book first and then saw that Richard Armitage was the narrator in the audible version. I had to listen. While I enjoyed reading this book Richard's narration was spot on and gave me a whole new perspective. Going to have to check out more collaborations between Joy and Richard!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Debbie
  • 15-01-19

Everyone Needs a Friend Like Old Silas

Following the fiery crash that killed his four best friends, Police detective Carter McLean is back at work on desk duty, following his recovery. But only his friend DS Marie Evans really knows of the nightmares and ghosts that haunt the young detective. Desiring to return to solving crimes, including the 18-month old cold case of Suzanne Holland, the wife of one of his four friends killed in the crash, Carter carefully withholds the full extent of his frightening encounters with his dead mates. Although I found this to be a GOOD book, it doesn’t quite measure up to the many others of Joy Ellis’ that I’ve read/listened to. Parts do not ring true to me, and my empathy/connection with Carter McLean, no matter how I tried, was not as it is with most of the others I’ve came to care about in Ellis’ books. My favorite in this book is Old Silas and his scruffy dog, Klink. The solving of the case seemed to take a long and winding way and the ending . . . well, I was sad.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • wbc
  • 08-12-18

Nah

This was a let down after how much I enjoyed "Their Lost Duaghters". The narrator is one of my favorites but this story fell flat for me. There was simply no flow and I found it difficult to figure out where the focus was intended. Was it the crash, the missing wife, the fued with the super, the dead guys? None of it panned out and how it was all explained was weak, making the end predicable and a bit absurd. I wouldn't suggest this book to a friend and I don't think it's any where close to as good as other books I've read by Joy Ellis.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful