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Summary

John "Slim" Hardy, a heavy drinker and disgraced soldier turned bumbling private detective, is hired to investigate Ted Douglas, an investment banker who slips out of work every Friday to visit a desolate cove on the Lancashire coast. There, he walks to the shore, opens an old book, and begins to read aloud. 

His wife thinks he's having an affair. 

Slim thinks he's insane. 

The truth is more incredible than either could imagine. 

The Man by the Sea is the sensational debut novel by Jack Benton, a classic story of love, betrayal, murder, and intrigue.

©2018 Jack Benton (P)2018 Jack Benton

What members say

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  • Jan M
  • Southwest
  • 05-07-18

Great Story, Great Narration!

Jack Benton (alias Chris Ward) and Kevin E Green are both new to me in audiobooks. I really enjoyed the imagery, the twists, and the storyline in the book. The narrator fit the voice of Slim Hardy perfectly and the other characters. I love it when a narrator is talented and gives various characters distinguishable voices. I thought I had the story figured out, and then I was blown away by the twist I never saw coming! I cannot say enough about how well plotted this book was. The story pulled me in and kept my attention. The twist at the end was fantastic. Glad the mystery was solved.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Deceptively Gentle But....

This is a deceptively gentle tale of a former military man, Slim, who has made mistakes in his life and to whom life has not always been kind. He seeks solace at the bottom of a bottle and funds his habit by stumbling around as a private investigator. His latest case, a wife suspects her husbands infidelity, slowly and beautifully unravels into the hunt for the 'ghost' of a serial killer. The problem is that all the cases have already been closed by the local police as death by natural causes. The location for our tale is a seaside cove and sleepy town. There are nice changes of direction and lots of plot twists to ensure interest up to the very last syllables. The narration is excellent and moves the story along at just the right pace with the handful of characters orally defined wonderfully. I look forward to listening to further audio books by this author and narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Gustavo
  • 10-08-18

Great Mystery

Great mystery novel. The story good, keeps all the questions until the end. Narrator was great.
I will look for the rest of the series.

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  • Ivy Moore
  • 10-08-18

Creepy good

When writing reviews I struggle not to include spoilers and this audiobook is no different. There is a mystery that PI "Slim" needs to solve. Although he had a client, he gets to the point that it doesn't matter if he gets paid or not. His need to drink and his need to find out what is going on are both just as strong. I know that sounds vague but if you like mysteries, there's a good chance you'll live this.

This is well written and felt a lot longer than it was but not in a bad way.

There is one thing that I'm not sure about. I can't decide if the characters lacked depth or if the narrating made it seem that way. I like the narrator's voice (I love an accent) but I'm not sure if he's the best fit for this book. There were parts that felt like they were being read rather than being acted. A lack of inflection during parts that could maybe have used more emotion?

I would encourage you to listen to the sample and decide. I still liked this audiobook quite a lot and would recommend it to others (already left a message with my aunt about getting this book)



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  • blue_river
  • 31-07-18

The Man by the Sea

Talk about a twist! This book will have you questioning everything all the way until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will look into more of Slim in the future.

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  • taj-marie
  • 26-07-18

Great twist

I have to admit I didn't like this book in the beginning. I thought to myself, great another ghost story. About mis way through I couldn't stop listening!! This has an amazing ending!! Thank you so much for allowing me to listen!!

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  • Kristin Lewis
  • 22-07-18

I didn't see the end coming

This detective story will keep you guessing. The story was interesting and the characters believable. I thought I had the case solved, so was pleasantly surprised by the unexpected ending.

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  • Lisa McCumbers
  • 20-07-18

Interesting

This is a good book by Jack. I found this to be very interesting. It was very full of detail and descriptions. It kept me guessing to the end as to what Ted was actually talking to all the time. The narrator did a wonderful job with the different characters. This book was given to me in exchange for a review. I have to give this book a 5 star rating, and I look forward to reading more of his work.

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  • Kristin Skinner
  • 26-06-18

The man by the sea

When I first started listening to the book and heard that the detective’s name was ‘slim’, I kind groaned to myself thinking it was going to be a book of cliches. I was pleasantly surprised to find this was a very good story!
My husband and I listened to it on a road trip and it kept us both guessing! We both enjoyed the story. If ‘Slim’ has more adventures,which I believe he will, I will be listening—. I do hope someone gives him a new new nickname- or it becomes more of a running joke🤣.
The narrator did a good job- I thought he was a bit mono tone-ish but his voice made me sleepy - but it could’ve just been me

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  • wendy ballard
  • 26-06-18

pretty good

Just the absolute best story. Everything I like to listen about and more. Such a great story I will listen again and again. A keeper!!

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  • Darcie
  • 26-06-18

the ghost of Joanna Bromley

P.I. Slim Hardy has been hired to follow Ted because his wife thinks that he’s cheating. After several weeks of following Ted, every Friday afternoon, to a secluded cove, Slim begins to wonder why? Why is Ted coming to the cove and speaking an incantation? Slim’s initial investigation reveals local folklore...the ghost of Joanna still haunts the cove after her accidental drowning on the night before her wedding. As Slim digs deeper, he uncovers more deaths that were ruled as drowning but were suspicious. Could Joanna’s ghost really be responsible for these deaths over the span of 20yrs or is there something more sinister happening? Will Slim be able to solve this mystery before more lives are lost...including his?
Wow...this book is a captivating psychological thriller that leaves you wanting more. Narration was on point!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

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  • Ia S.
  • 25-06-18

Loved it

It was a slow start but then the suspense kept me going on until the very end. I knew it, is all I can say.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful