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The Wreckage

Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (114 ratings)

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Listen to clips from the audiobook

'Ben' performed by Jack Hawkins
'Alice' performed by Emilia Fox
'Adam' performed by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

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  • The Wreckage by Robin Morgan-Bentley
  • 'Ben' performed by Jack Hawkins
  • 'Alice' performed by Emilia Fox
  • 'Adam' performed by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Behind the scenes

Watch our exclusive interview with author Robin Morgan-Bentley as he discusses the characters and narrators featured in The Wreckage.
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About the author

After graduating from Cambridge with a First Class degree in Modern and Medieval Languages, Robin worked for five years at Google. Since 2014, he has been Senior Manager at Audible where he co-hosts Audible Sessions. Over the years, he has interviewed multiple crime and thriller authors including Paula Hawkins, LJ Ross, Joy Ellis, Fiona Barton, Clare Mackintosh, Ian Rankin and Anthony Horowitz. His conversations with them are what inspired him to start writing.

Summary

Things will never be the same again....

Ben is driving on the motorway, on his usual commute to the school where he works.

A day like any other, except for Adam, who in a last despairing act jumps in front of Ben's car, and in killing himself, turns the teacher's world upside down.

Wracked with guilt and desperate to clear his conscience, Ben develops a friendship with Alice, Adam's widow, and her seven-year-old son, Max.

But as he tries to escape the trauma of the wreckage, could Ben go too far in trying to make amends?

Gripping and sinister, The Wreckage is guaranteed to keep you up all night....

©2019 Robin Morgan-Bentley (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"The Wreckage is an immersive, compulsive and gripping tale about what happens when three broken people's lives collide in the most tragic of ways. It's a book about control and obsession but the author cleverly veers away from cliche and melodrama - there are no cardboard cutout villains and heroes here - because, in Ben and Alice, he has created characters that are well rounded, nuanced, flawed and real. I thoroughly enjoyed it." (C.L. Taylor)

"A terrific debut exploring the vulnerabilities and co-dependency of damaged individuals. I loved the wonderfully subtle but insistent note of menace woven into the narrative, winding me into the colliding worlds of Ben and Alice and pushing me on to finish it. Clever and compelling!" (Fiona Barton)

"It doesn't feel like a first novel at all, it's written with the confidence of someone several books into their writing career. I absolutely loved Alice and her sarcasm. It's a great original idea, and the style reminded me in parts of authors like Clare Mackintosh, TM Logan and Mark Edwards." (John Marrs, author of The One)   

What members say

Average customer ratings

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

More of a drama than a thriller but very enjoyable

Any audiobook narrated by the fabulous Emilia Fox always brings an extra level of enjoyment to it and this debut book is no exception.
I found the initial torment of Ben rather unsettling at the very beginning and almost gave up but I am delighted I perservered and loved the "He said/She said" format which gave wonderful insight into how two people can have such different perspective on the same events.
I loved the way the characters were written though I still have no idea why Ben did not have a more balanced busy life full of friends.
There were a couple of great twists towards the end and I did enjoy it but I am not sure I would call it a thriller per se, more of a drama really as not any edge of the seat stuff, just a relationship developing and the fall out after an accident and then some unknown circumstances.
So yes I would recommend it - but not as a rollercoaster ride of a mystery who done it, or psychological thriller - but intriguing and interesting none the less.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant Debut!

The Wreckage is a psychological thriller centered around Ben, who when driving to work one day hits and critically injures Adam. Unable to deal with his guilt whilst awaiting Adams fate he speaks to Alice, Adams wife, and begins to form a close bond with her.
This story explores a number of key themes, from obsession and mental illness to the fine line between good and evil and the many layers and complexities of human relationships.
The very first scene of the book was incredibly powerful and meant that I didn't put it down all evening! It is a original story and very different from other psychological thrillers I've read, I'd really recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a thrilling (and sometimes scary) read. Very impressive from a debut author! I wouldn't be surprised if we saw this on our tv screens one day.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An Exceptional Debut

Absolutely gripping! Emilia and Kobna are the perfect voices for such a tense and unnerving story.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Didn't see the twist coming!

Loved this book and just as I thought it was moving towards a resolution there's a twist I didn't expect - along with a really ominous last chapter that made me question my judgement of one of the characters: still not sure if he's a "good guy"! Found all the characters infuriating and unpleasant at times, but this just added to my compulsion to listen to the story at every moment I could. I really wanted to know their backstory to make sense of their actions. Narrators were good - although I always hate adults taking on children's voices. Would recommend to readers who like a well paced story with an unexpected twist - not quite at the end - that contextualises the whole story.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Superb!

A book with narration by Emilia Fox, Jack Hawkins and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is already starting on a positive note. But, ohmidays, The Wreckage is a gripping book that'll have you listening way past your bedtime. I thought Robin Morgan-Bentley took some unusual turns with this book. Firstly with the issue of men struggling with mental health, then with the widow, the innocent victim in all this, being not particularly likeable and the villain being, on the whole, a more generous and sympathetic character. So, although listening, I should have felt sympathy for Alice, I really didn't and I didn't dislike Ben; my heart ached for him. Hearing Ben's descent into obsession was so sad and I desperately wanted someone to help him. Alice's reactions were well thought out and fitted her character perfectly. Then, when Adam's suicide note is finally revealed; no spoilers but let's say it explains a lot. As the book came to its conclusion, I was at last able to take a breath. What a rookie error, because as I sat back and relaxed, all of a sudden the curtain was pulled back and there was a scream in my ear, "HE'S BEHIND YOU!" I shouldn't have let my guard down. Mr Morgan-Bentley knows how to keep his readers/listeners on their toes. I couldn't listen to this book quickly enough, as fast as I was shoving words in my ears they were falling out again. A compelling and clever novel, which will keep you engrossed until the final word. Don't just take my word for it though, buy a copy today - you can always thank me later!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Compelling and chilling

This story draws you in from the start. The characters are intriguing and well developed, and the voice actors bring them to life superbly. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Very enjoyable

Good drama and plot. Well narrated. Best thing I’ve listened to for a long while.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

unlikeable characters makes for a hard read

l struggled to finish this one. l was left wondering why,so many times that it annoyed me. l didn't warm to the characters at all so l did not care what was happening to them,they were all misfits in one way or another. l was really disappointed.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The wreckage

Good book I enjoyed it. Narration was excellent. Well worth a token I liked it.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Gripping

Great performance, really gripping story really enjoyed it, looking forward to more from this author

1 person found this helpful