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Worse Than Dead

Inspector Drake, Book 2
Narrated by: Richard Elfyn
Series: Inspector Drake, Book 2
Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Summary

A ferry leaves Dublin....

The chief engineer lies dead on the car deck....

There’s a killer on board....

Inspector Drake is called from a seminar on cybercrime to meet the ferry docking at the port of Holyhead. Frank Rosen, the chief engineer, lies on the car deck, a knife through his heart. For the first time, Drake knows where the killer is, but he doesn’t know who. When Rosen’s house is ransacked the night after he’s killed, Drake knows the killer was looking for something. The data stick Rosen’s wife finds may hold the clues. But the codes and numbers on it only complicate the investigation. And then Drake’s cousin makes contact and tells him he has information. But can Drake rely on him, or does he have another agenda? And when the team discover a direct link to drug dealing in North Wales and beyond, there are powerful forces at work. 

Drake’s cousin drags Drake’s family into the middle of the case that piles the pressure on Drake, who’s facing regular counseling for his OCD and the prospect of losing his father to cancer. When Drake’s superior demotes him and acts entirely against protocols, Drake knows that something is wrong. Establishing the evidence takes him to Dublin and Cardiff and then on a last minute chase over North Wales to catch the killer.

©2014 Stephen Puleston (P)2019 Stephen Puleston
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Murder on the car ferry.

I enjoyed the first Inspector Drake novel, Brass in Pocket, and the prequel, Devil's Kitchen, so I was looking forward to this next episode. Unfortunately, I think I would have been better off reading it than listening, as I found the number of characters just too confusing to keep up with in audio format.

Ian Drake is an interesting character, with his compulsions and obsessive habits. In some ways I can see these traits actually contributing to his effectiveness as a police officer. His side-kick, Ceren, is his total opposite, but they seem to work well together. Along with two male officers, who we get to know better with each novel, they form a team that looks set to take us through a good few cases.

In Worse Than Dead, we have a dead crewman on a ferry. This would imply that the murderer was also there, in front of our eyes. The ferry manager, however, is pressing to get the ferry out on the water again and Drake is thwarted in his attempt to gather information.
As more and more people were added to the mix, I quite literally lost the plot, which was very frustrating. I kept with it, in the hope of some resolution, but I had obviously missed too much detail by then.

I should put in a mention for the excellent narrator, Richard Elfyn I loved his Welsh accents and correct pronunciation of the Welsh place names. He did a pretty good job with the Irish characters too. My failure to stick with the narrative was in no way a reflection of his narration.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Compelling

Inspector Drake has OCD behavioral issues which he strives to be able to control. His father has cancer, which is pushing Drake deeper into depression and his home life is suffering because of his extreme dedication to his job. Now to make matters worse there is a new Superintendent who seems to enjoy complicating Drake’s life.

When a man is killed on board a Cross Channel ferry, you would think finding the murderer would be easy, all the passengers and crew are still on board, so the killer must be too. But things are never as simple as you would expect and complications arise making this supposedly simple murder much more difficult to solve. Complications involving several more deaths, drug smuggling, and political corruption as well as money laundering, as Drake tries to solve this one with his hands seemingly tied behind his back.

Drake is a complicated, tragic figure, who you can't help but feel empathy towards which just goes to show the talent of this author. All the characters in this story are well drawn and interesting, even the minor ones. Stephen Puleston gives us information about the lives of the criminals as well as the police officers involved in the case.

The narration was very well done and added to my overall enjoyment of this book.

I was given this audiobook as a gift and am voluntarily writing my review



2 people found this helpful

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Sorry, Elfyn Fans

I’ve read all the reviews praising the narrator, so despite feeling slight disappointment at the first audio book, I bought the second. I feel just the same though. He puts no feeling into the passages between speech, eg, he reads that Drake responds angrily, but uses no inflection to indicate this anger. That’s just one example of many. There are a few times where he mispronounces or even appears to misread individual words. Also, the vast majority of “voices” he uses to indicate characters are either indistinguishable or make the characters sound old or bumbling. I love knowing that I’m hearing Welsh pronounced properly, but other than that I find the narration not only off-putting but distracting. I find myself trying to imagine someone like a Welsh Paul Thornley narrating and think he’d make the audiobooks easier to follow and get involved in. Also, whether it’s the way it’s written, read or edited, there are few gaps between ”paragraphs”, one event runs straight into the next. I found myself frequently having to rewind to clarify that a scene or subject had indeed changed and that I hadn’t, either literally or metaphorically, lost the plot. If I ever get back to reading actual books, I may try this series again and allow my own inner narrator the chance to make the characters worth caring about and the stories worthwhile.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good Police Procedures

2nd Inspector Drake this one the audio version and a murder on a ferry crossing from Dublin so as Drake and his team wait at the docks for the ferry to dock Drake's thinking this is easy the killer is still on board. Not quite so easy to hold the ferry as the passengers and the goods lorries need to disembark and reload and return back to Dublin, so Drake has no alternative but to interview the ferry staff quickly and get names and addresses from the passengers. What and why would somebody kill an engineer but as Drake and the team look into his life it's not rosy and when interviewing the wife she gives them a data stick, but that seems to stump Drake even more as its some sort of code but what. Drake himself is a complex character suffers from OCD and must do a bit of sudoku puzzle before he starts his day, and also likes dark strong coffee. This case seems a little slow going for his liking and his cousin who has been inside not the best of persons to know when you're on the police force but gives him vital info, Good strong story seems to dither a bit at times but on the whole enjoyable.

1 person found this helpful

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

A great second outing

This book takes to the water and bounces about countries but it was so well written that it was easy to follow.

From the very beginning it is interesting and exciting, the mystery begins to unravel that keeps you guessing from beginning to end.

I loved the locations, flirting between Wales and Ireland you think things are settled in one place and something more interesting happens in the other , and I’m left thinking “oh what now?”.

Each of the main characters I grow to love every book I listen to, the growth and progression is both personally and professionally is brilliant and so well thought out.

I love the dark and gritty cover of this which is fast becoming a hallmark of this fine series

Will poor drake ever catch a break as he not only as to deal with work issues but when his family becomes a priority

I enjoyed the how the mix of business and personal gets so intertwined but good ole drake comes through and out the other side.

and a warm welcome back to Richard Elfyn who has become the voice of this series and again brings the characters and places to life and does an excellent job.

this is definitely a series worth getting into if you want some good British detective goodness, highly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant series

This is the second book in the series and i loved it. You don't need to have read or listened to book 1 first but it would help with backgrounds.
This one follows drake as he is sent to investigate the mysterious death of a man on a boat, which is made harder by the arrogant man who runs the docks as he wants the boat back out again ASAP.

There are loads of twists in this book which kept me guessing all the way through and i loved it.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What should have been a closed room (ship) mystery

As exciting as the previous story, this should have been much easier to solve. After all, when there's a murder on a ship, the murderer and the weapon should be relatively easy to find. Unfortunately, the ship's port manager wants the passengers off his ship and the cargo removed as its food that will rot and his insurance premiums will go up if he loses the lot.

The Inspector's OCD for clean and clear appears to have increased and I'm convinced he really gets on with his team members. His own problems clash with his duties, but he's determined to get to the answers he needs. Letting all the passengers go isn't helpful and where is the lost laptop hidden?

The twists and turns add to the interest in this story. I'm sure the next book is being written and I look forward to hearing it soon.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Just gets better

Love these books. Drake is a great character. Flawed but solid, I hate when they end, I need to know what’s next for him & in his world.
This story was a rollercoaster from start to end. With the main storyline & the side story. The characters changing & growing.
Narrator was great. Tempo & feeling spot on. More need more

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Complex Crime Thriller

The second Inspector Drake book continues to build on the characters in the first book. Inspector Drake is plagued with rituals related to his OCD, he is a complex character who does not feel comfortable with many people. He also has family problems which loom large on the horizon. When a dead body is found on a ferry the perpetrator has to be either a passenger or crew member but Drake is pressurised into letting everyone disembark, therefore letting the killer go. The subsequent plot is convoluted and I found it quite hard to follow in parts but the conclusion brought everything together nicely. I must just say the narrator did a fantastic job, I will definitely read book 3 when it is available.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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North Wales Police Procedural

DI Drake and his team are called in to investigate a dead body found on a ferry from Dublin to Holyhead. It seems like an open and shut case as the murderer is obviously still on the ship. But it’s not that simple and soon more bodies turn up.

I have already read the prequel and Book 1 of the series and I couldn’t wait to get stuck into this one and be transported back to North Wales. The plot is complex, with many characters and red herrings, but not so much that I couldn’t follow. Once again Drake’s OCD plays a big part in the book as he tries to get his rituals under control, whilst working long hours under pressure and trying to cope with family problems too. This is a well written police procedural with realistic characters and situations, and I look forward to reading more in the series.

Richard Elfyn's brilliant narration added to my enjoyment of the book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Clau
  • 16-02-19

A great thriller

In this second book we meet again with Inspector Drake... and his life is even more complicated.

He and Caron are called to investigate a murder in a ferry but quickly it's becoming clear that there is a lot more going on. Drake's personal life is getting more difficult to handle, and it's not only the (rightful) demands of his wife asking him to take an interest in the lives of his daughters. His father's sickness has become terminal, and his cousin, who claimed to have information on the case, it's up to his neck in personal troubles. And, of course, there is the counselling he is undergoing about his OCD.

Yeah, you can say his plate is full...

Drake and Caron follow the leads, between lots of red herrings, twist and turns that make this case really hard. And in the middle of all this, Drake's new chief decided to demote him.

This is a really good thriller, with an excellent side of policial procedure, great pace and plot that will keep you enthralled until the end.

The narration by Richard Elfyn is superb, and adds to the enjoyment of the whole story.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jan
  • 20-03-19

Solid police work

Wales, law-enforcement, OCD, procedural

DI Drake of the Northern Welsh Police has a difficult profession, OCD, the all too typical marriage problems, problems with his father's health, a superior who is somewhat difficult, civilians who demand to treated like Tsars, and does Suduko to manage stress. Wait, what? Suduko for stress easement? Well, he certainly needs the stress relief with this demented a case: too many suspects, uppity middle managers, still struggling with the aftermath of an earlier case, red herrings galore, and then there are the plot twists. The publisher's blurb does give a quick overview of the first murder, but there are more. The book demands the reader's full attention and is insistent that it be read to the end promptly! Excellent read!
Richard Elfyn gives a fine audio performance as narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mindy H
  • 19-02-19

A new and improved Inspector Drake?

Inspector Ian Drake works hard to control is Ritual habits as he faces family turmoil and illness in the midst of a complicated new case. He fears that his new boss will use his OCD tendencies against him. Add in visits to a department therapist and an case with more twists and turns that the Welsh highways, you have a story that is fast paced and engaging. One of my favorite all time narrators Richard Elfyn draws you fully into the characters with a slightly musical lilt.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Turning Another Page
  • 26-08-19

Worse than Dead

Finding clues to a mystery is always fun, except when it comes to murder, right?! It starts to get creepier as you get closer to the killer and trying to figure out how they think. The bodies are piling up and the killer begins to make mistakes. But, what is more important is if they know that you are onto them, they become more unpredictable which is dangerous. For Puleston’s second installment, Worse than Dead, readers will find themselves plunged into a crime mystery that has clearly screams high society criminal activity, but how far up the ranks does it go?

Inspector Ian Drake has been called in when a body turns up with a bunch of codes and numbers to sort out. Then, as if that isn’t tough enough to decipher through, Drake’s cousin comes into the mix and stirs up trouble talking about drugs and a huge crime ring that threatens more death on the town. Then, Drake’s personal life has a major play on his mood and thoughts about the case as well. With his father’s health failing, and his relationship with his wife on rocky terms, he doesn’t know how much more he can take. What will it take to find the killer after the second body is found?

Puleston has an entertaining story, with likable characters, as well as some twists and turns. This story has a slow beginning, but does pick up slightly and keep a steady pace throughout the read. It appears to be well-written as well; however, this prediction is based on the narrator’s effortless voice relay. Since this review is complimenting the audiobook, Elfyn does a great job with vocal differentiation and pace. If you are a reader of crime mysteries and police procedure, you may want to pick up this read. Since this is the second installment in the Inspector Drake Mysteries, the reader is able to jump right in.

An audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a four-star rating to Worse than Dead by Stephen Puleston.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Aurora Dawn
  • 14-03-19

Cancer, Drugs and Murder

As the stresses in his family live continue, Drake and his team are tasked to investigate a murder on the local ferry, leading them to a complex and very sophisticated drug ring, money laundering and even more murders.
If you enjoy police procedures stories with a very English flare you'll probably love this one almost as much as I did. It's fast paced with careful, methodical investigation techniques and a quirky, obsessive hero determined to endear himself to you, even as he drives the reader crazy with his rituals.
Well worth the read.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LINDA SUTTON
  • 02-03-19

Great Audiobook

It was very intriguing, suspenseful, and mind blowing because it keeps you wondering who killed Frank Rosen. I enjoyed this book and will listen to this book.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JPhillips
  • 24-05-20

An Excellent Thriller!

An excellent thriller that was brought to life by the superb narration of Richard Elfyn. Ian Drake has a new detective case for his methodical investigation. Contains plenty of action and several plot twists. A highly enjoyable police procedural that I highly recommend.

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  • David C Taylor
  • 15-05-20

Crime thriller with plenty of twists

Worse than Dead is the second DI Drake story that centers on an almost locked room mystery – the only wrinkle is the murder occurs on a ferry that is in transit. DI Drake has to face his own demons as well as adjust to working with a new Chief Inspector. This story is action packed and filled with a number of twists that make the story near impossible to predict. I have to admit to having been shocked once I found out how wrong I was about a couple of the characters. Once again Richard Elfyn’s narration brought the story to life with his various character voices as well as painting a rich narrative based on the author’s excellent story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • little-debbie
  • 12-05-20

Great Audio book

I was lucky enough to have gotten a free audio book code from the author. I am volunteering to leave this review. Great audio book the ending is the best.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Q Garcia
  • 09-05-20

Death Ferry

After an engineer on a ferry is found murdered, this story takes off nonstop. As bodies pile up, Drake is torn between his home life, his new superior, and clues that point nowhere and everywhere. This is another great installment in the Drake series. I was gifted this from the author.