Their Lost Daughters

Audible's breakthrough crime author of 2018
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,233 ratings)

Regular price: £18.99

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About the Audiobook

Deep in the muddy fields of the Lincolnshire Fens, a teenage girl is found wandering, delirious, claiming to have been drugged at a party. Metres away, the drowned body of another girl is found on an isolated beach. And all this on a small stretch of land where, nearly 10 years ago, the shocking disappearance of a young girl remains an open case. For DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans, the pressure is on to bring the perpetrators of these shocking crimes to justice. Are the crimes linked? Who are these young girls? And what on earth is going on under the green and pastured land of the Lincolnshire Fens?

Listen to clips from the audiobook

Jackman learns of the body on the beach
Marie is haunted by an unsolved case
The deadly history of the marsh, as told by Gary
Jackman introduces the team’s newest recruit

  • Their Lost Daughters
  • Jackman learns of the body on the beach
  • Their Lost Daughters
  • Marie is haunted by an unsolved case
  • Their Lost Daughters
  • The deadly history of the marsh, as told by Gary
  • Their Lost Daughters
  • Jackman introduces the team’s newest recruit

Watch our exclusive trailer

Their Lost Daughters has been hailed as “the next big thing in crime fiction” by Digital Spy. Step into this dark and menacing world with Richard Armitage.
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Editor reviews

"Put your headphones on, turn your Wi-Fi off, clear your diary and take a ride with DI Jackman and DS Evans. As you listen to Their Lost Daughters they will start to feel like old friends, and you will live through their triumphs and traumas on the trail of one of the most wantonly twisted crimes ever to grace an audiobook. The book is harrowing at times but never overdone. It's as heartfelt as it is disturbing. In the run up to the final, brilliantly executed twist, it is almost clinically impossible to press the pause button." - Gabriel, Audible Editor 

"Checking my home for intruders isn't one of my standard nighttime rituals, but after listening to Their Lost Daughters, I found myself doing just that. In this chilling narrative, Joy Ellis expertly plays on your deepest fears and delivers a satisfying, shocking twist that no crime aficionado could predict. It bears all the hallmarks of great TV shows like Broadchurch, and with powerful narration from Richard Armitage you genuinely feel part of the action as the hunt to find the killer intensifies. I urge you to experience it in all its glory." - Jess, Audible Editor 

Introducing Richard Armitage, our star narrator


Richard is well-known for his array of film, television and theatre work, including The Hobbit, Spooks and The Crucible. His trademark baritone voice has earned him recognition, too, through his performance on many notable audiobooks as well as in TV and radio show narration. This experience shines through in Armitage's gripping performance of Their Lost Daughters where he plays host to a plethora of characters. Listen to an exclusive interview with Richard and Joy as they talk about the project.

And Joy Ellis, the book's author

Joy Ellis started her career as a flower seller in Mayfair in the 1960s, before going on to open her own florist in Surrey. When the recession hit, Joy had a career change and became a bookseller, and attended a writing course in Greece where she was mentored by Sue Townsend. She now lives in The Fens with her partner Jacqueline, where the flatlands and marshes provide inspiration for her eerie plotlines.

Available to pre-order now

Critic reviews

"If you’re a crime fiction fanatic, Their Lost Daughters could well be your next obsession." (Digital Spy)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Strange subject

I got lost along the way and lost interest in this convoluted plot. Too many strange characters for my taste. I picked it up again and was able to get back into the story. Didn't like the writing as there were too many cliches for my taste. Richard's narration was excellent which was what encouraged me to listen to the end. Sorry, maybe her next book will be better.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Smokin' Start to a New Series!

I often hate it when books get quite such a push as this one has because once you've listened to the interviews, seen the short trailers and read the background expectations are so high the result is often disappointment. As a result I don't doubt that this one will get some negative reviews as a result. Personally though I think it deserves most if not all of the hype. I took to Jackson and Evans from the off! They make a great pair and they are thrown into a twisty and evil-mannered plot that's enough to make your hair not only stand on end but get up, pack its bags and leave! Well, that's my excuse anyhow.

The devious mind that came up with all of this could surely not belong to the mild-mannered, highly approachable Joy Ellis in the Audible interviews! Well, somehow it is; they say you need to watch the quiet ones. Of course an audiobook only reaches the top levels when the partnership between author and narrator has genuine chemistry. Again, there's no doubt about that here. Armitage is of course a bit of a celeb but he's full of character and charm and their is clearly a glowing mutual respect between him and Ellis. His performance is assured and full of character-driven depth.

The odd thing is that Audible seem to be billing volume 2 of the printed series as volume 1 of the audio version and vice-versa. Presumably they felt this one had the biggest wow factor and in truth the next one in the series which I have already pre-ordered will have to go some distance to beat this one. The obvious concern is that the missing back story from the original volume will detract from the enjoyment of this one but although it is hinted at I don't think you'd notice unless you already knew.

I'll not say it was a 100% perfect. Some of the police procedure felt a little weak to me, an undercover operation in the first half of the book felt poorly thought out and I am sure would have caused much more considerable consternation than the story indicated. Occasionally parts of the dialogue did seem a little stilted to me. These are very minor things though and I have no qualms at all in recommending this one to those strong-stomached individuals who like an edgy and creepy police thriller.

52 of 60 people found this review helpful

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Cracking mystery beautifully read

An excellent story with lots of twists and turns. Read by the chocolate voiced Richard Armitage who has more voices in his repertoire than I've had hot dinners.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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I walked my dog further because of this book

I would extend my walk just to listen to this book, the dogs really appreciated it and so did I

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Complicated and muddled

The storyline could have better had the characters not all morphed into 1. I was lost most the time, it was hard to follow as the chapters all pooled together. Although the reader was good the characters voices were pretty much the same apart from the Scottish and welsh for obvious reasons. I wouldn’t recommend listening to this book, maybe reading it would make it clearer. Not great at all

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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wow, was this overhyped

I feel a bit stupid for falling for the hype but hey life is for discovering new stuff and sometimes you get gold. not in this case though.
theres nothing in this book to justify the big hype it got.
its a reasonably mundane detective drama, pretty slow paced, the detective and sidekick pretty unmemorable.
Nothing like a Rebus or a Wallander.
Sorry Author but I just cant understand why audblie hyped this particular book - unless it was to test if they could push sales of their middle of the road material.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Amateur feeling. Flat and unrealistic

Jumbled yet predictable story with two dimensional characters. Conversation dialogues are so stiff 70s porn dubbing flows better and has more realism. The whole force must have gone to Sunday school as none of them utter any profanities. (accompanying dodgy music may have added something). Gary is supposed to be a clever copper comes across like Benny from crossroads . Cooks a good breakfast though .The chief inspector must have watched too many superman movies to think that slicked back hair glasses and a change of clothing are all you need to do as not be recognised.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyable

A really good book to listen to, i recommend that its worth a credit, excellent narration, ENJOY

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Difficult to listen to.

The story line was good but the narration was just so depressing. No lighthearted moments came across and even when the words suggested warmth, it didn’t come through in the voice. A pity but I couldn’t face giving another in this series (when it comes out) a go.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Such a badly written book

I honestly don't understand why this book has received so much hype on audible. It is so badly written and the characters are two dimensional, I couldn't care less about them.  There are so many cases that are thrown at the same team and even more appearing through the book that are all apparently going to be solved at the same time as part of the same crime.

Basic police procedure is not followed and the opportunity to look at evidence that could help identify a body is to hand and not even thought about.

Every cliche under the sun is used, it's almost as if it's a write by numbers book.  When an 'expert' is required they don't use the ones that the police would have on their database but people who they happen to know.  They bring in a phsychologist right after explaining how they don't like them. He then says he doesn't believe in profiling and then goes on to profile the killer.  They also don't make full use of the experts that they have brought in.  The forensic anthropologist actually tells them she's got more information that they need to know but they don't bother to listen. Then when they keep banging on about finding out more about that victim they don't think 'Oh hey maybe the expert can tell us more about her', no they just keep saying, we need to find out more about her and doing nothing.

The officers seem to see qualities in the people they are interviewing that are in no way described by the author and that clears them of being a suspect.  They seem to spend half their time driving back and forth to the station instead of staying out and doing police work.  And the days must only be about 3hrs long as they always seem to be tired and working late and being sent home every five minutes.

The only redeeming feature of this book is Richard Armitage, I could listen to his voice all day long. But even he seems fed up with what he's reading.

This is a total mess of a book and I will certainly not be getting any more from this author.

30 of 40 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • 16-06-18

Author Joy Ellis never disappoints!!

THEIR LOST DAUGHTERS is the 10th novel by Joy Ellis I have listened to and reviewed at Audible. Joy Ellis is lauded as "Audible's breakthrough crime author of 2018". I hope Audible is correct and this wonderful author now gets the attention the quality of her work deserves. For those familiar with her DI Nikki Galena eight novel series this novel is set in the Fens, an area on the east coast of England about 50 miles northeast of London that was reclaimed from the sea and marshes several centuries ago, like Ellis' other modern detective novels. The plot is an excellent one with two new protagonists (Jackman and Evans) introduced. Narration by Richard Armitage is excellent but not quite as good in my opinion as that of Henrietta Meire who narrated the Nikki Galena series. The next two audio books in the Jackman and Evans series will be released by Audible October.

Highly recommended!

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • alma
  • 14-06-18

A Psychological Thriller

The story is well written and flows. It incorporates elements of drama, mystery, action, and paranoia. The police officers interactions with the public and politics within their own division is integrated with a very interesting story. Richard Armitage does stellar work in transitioning his voices from narrator and all the characters. His storytelling is flawless and the listener is hooked from the start.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 🌿🌸Susynne🌸🌿
  • 16-06-18

Well written, excellent performance

Well written and performed. This deep twisted tale wound its way through a maze of clues and histories to expertly weave an intriguing spell upon the listener.

Taking place in the U.K. it did throw this American girl for a loop here and there... but nothing that took away from the expertly crafted experience.

Heat Factor totally non existent, although the subject matter was frankly a tad shocking and only sort of graphic.

Creditworthy? Heavens yes!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Elisabeth Carey
  • 18-06-18

Another gripping mystery on the English fens

DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans are working a missing persons case seeking the daughter of one of their own coworkers. Finding a body is heartbreaking, but at least an answer.

Unfortunately, there are still questions. The girl's body has signs of drugs she wouldn't have taken willingly. They have another case dropped on them from a neighboring jurisdiction, which claims it's got a work overload.

And an old case, of a disappeared little girl who was never found, is also handed to them, as a high priority, because the mother, who has never given up, is making another media push to get her found.

When one girl is found wandering on a muddy beach, with the same drugs in her system that the dead girl had, and talks about her friend Emily being dragged off, they realize they have a much bigger, much nastier problem on their hands. Missing girls over years, possible police corruption in the neighboring jurisdiction, and an even older case, of an apparent murder-suicide of a couple whose surviving children are now grown, may all be connected.

This is a separate series from the DI Nikki Galena series, but also set on the fens, against the same background. Pathologist Rory Wilkinson appears in both. Yet it's a different jurisdiction, with a whole different cast of police and the regulars of a different town to become familiar with. They are, as with the other series, solid, likable characters determined to do their jobs and serve their community. The pacing moves, and the clues are there. We also get to know the teenagers, and I'll avoid spoilers by simply saying, "other involved parties."

An excellent story. Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Nora
  • 27-07-18

Gripping from the start

Joy Ellis has written a gripping tale. A parent's worse nightmare, a cautionary tale for teens testing freedom and a policeman's haunting case...all these are woven into a tale of mystery, generational pain and institutionalize corruption. When you first meet Jackman and Evans, you can't help but be touched by their passion for justice and their dogged determination to find the killer or killers before another daughter becomes a victim. You know these coppers and their team will never allow these girls to become statistics. The names of the missing and abused become central to the story as it twists and turns through the plot. You feel the frustration and anger of the police and of the parents. You smell the salty air and hear the moans carried on the wind across the Fens. Something terribly wrong permeates the landscape and Jackman and Evans won't rest until they have the answers.

Richard Armitage captures your imagination with his excellent performance. His talent for voices is just wonderful. Each voice becomes so familiar, you always know who is speaking. The characters move, breathe, love, rage within the context of the story and you are right in the middle of it all. As this is a thoroughly British tale with thoroughly British expressions, what better narrator could have been chosen to sweep you away than Richard?

I have already pre-purchased the next two books due out in October. There is obviously more to this story...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Lauren
  • 17-06-18

Superb writing and excellent narrator performance

Joy Ellis is a superb writer. She has done her research of the internal workings, dynamics and relationships of law enforcement. CID, coroner, specialized units, intra-agency departments, behind-the-scenes law enforcement relationships, she nailed it. The eye for detail and accuracy doesn't go unnoticed. Ellis creatively works in these details into her novel seamlessly. She had me from Chapter One and I couldn't stop listening (a book you just can't put down). I never have binged listened an audiobook, but this one I did. It was worth every second. Now it is just waiting (impatiently) for her next two audiobook releases. In the meantime, I will be listening to Their Lost Daughters several more times.
Richard Armitage's spectacular performance of multiple characters all at once in several scenes is mind blowing. I felt like this was a live radio performance, not just an audiobook. How he creates such distinct voices for each character and can move effortlessly between each in an incredible talent that not many narrators have. You could feel, see, smell, taste and hear the settings like you were actually on The Fens and as if you were standing right next to Jackman, Evans and the rest of the lot.
Highly recommend Their Lost Daughters.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous!
  • 16-06-18

Love the new protagonists!

I have all but the last of Joy Ellis' "Fens" books, so was intrigued at the thought of a new series. Ellis crafts a wonderful mystery. Richard Armitage is no slouch, either.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Lindsey Robinson
  • 25-07-18

Wonderful!!

An engrossing and well written story. It ducks you in and keeps you craving more. of course Richard Armitage is the sexiest voice of all time, but he is also mega talented with his wide breadth of character voices. I can't wait for the next book in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dorothy Darby
  • 25-07-18

Their lost daughters

Loved it !!!!.This was great reading suspenseful will definitely read next book.I have found another writer to follow

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Elizabeth P. Fowler
  • 17-06-18

Complex and fast-moving Fenland mystery<br />

A complicated and fast-moving plot made more exciting by a brilliant performance by Richard Armitage

3 of 4 people found this review helpful