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Publisher's Summary

The Times Audiobook of the Week

On a freezing winter morning, fishermen pull a body from the sea. It is quickly discovered that the dead man was the prime suspect in a decade-old investigation, when a prominent civil servant disappeared without trace.

DCI Karen Pirie was the last detective to review the file and is drawn into a sinister world of betrayal and dark secrets. But Karen is already grappling with another case, one with even more questions and fewer answers. A skeleton has been discovered in an abandoned camper van and all clues point to a killer who never faced justice - a killer who is still out there.

In her search for the truth, Karen uncovers a network of lies that has gone unchallenged for years. But lies and secrets can turn deadly when someone is determined to keep them hidden for good....

©2020 Val McDermid (P)2020 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"No one can tell a story like she can." (Daily Express)

"The queen of psychological thrillers." (Irish Independent)

What listeners say about Still Life

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan
  • 18-11-20

Best Karen Pirie

The best book in the series. Great narrator. All the regional accents were perfect! Excellent story.

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  • Sadé 66
  • 25-08-20

The Best Yet.

This is the latest in the Karen Pirie series and I can’t fault it. Previously I had felt that the negativity and tension between KP and The Dog Biscuit (her boss) was just annoying and didn’t seem very likely. I know it’s meant to add to the tension in the plot, but I just found it pointless. In this novel Markie hardly makes an appearance and the way that the plot unfolds is just a delight. I loved it. Reading one of Val McDermid’s books is so satisfying. Her clear love of good food and good gin, her affection for her characters. Perfect. A great addition in Daisy too.

10 people found this helpful

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  • SB Irani
  • 26-08-20

Like slipping on a comfortable pair of slippers.

Karen Pirie is probably my favourite series of books. Fantastic story. Well told. Waited 2 years for this installment. Finished in 2 days!

7 people found this helpful

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  • madmso
  • 30-08-20

THE WORST VM NOVEL TO DATE

I am sad to report that I found Still Life to be patronising, predictable, part political polemic (with a clear political agenda) not helped by a terrible narrator.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Flossie_Chick
  • 13-09-20

Poor narration

I love Val McDermid but I had to stop listening and read the book instead because i just couldn’t get on with the narrator. She used bizarre inflections and emphasis and seemed to overact every sentence.

4 people found this helpful

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  • EmGem22
  • 09-09-20

Loved It

Dear Val, please write another Karen book as soon as you can. Thanks. I love the characters, the writing, the relevance and the twists and turns. Val McDermid is a great writer, you invest in her characters, her stories have depth and i look forward to each book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • loopyloz
  • 05-09-20

Amazing as always!!

Just gets better & better haven’t slept much as I couldn’t put it down. Also I’ve got to say that the narrator Cathleen McCarron did a fantastic job ! The only sad thing is I’ve listened to it & I really didn’t want it to end!

4 people found this helpful

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  • april davey
  • 25-08-20

negative

negative about the English comments Val clearly wants to leave UK didn't enjoy her points of view in this story we want to escape not have her push her opinions on to the readers ps l am a Canadian.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 25-10-20

Buy the book

Shockingly poor narration. From someone who voice trains! Did manage to suffer on to the end but it was painful. The narrator puts a terrible 'wow' intonation into every sentence, even descriptive ones. Accents are awful and inconsistent. Seriously weakens characterisation. The humour & strong character of Karen Pirie are ruined by this narrator. Advise you to read this book for yourself. Or wait until the author insists on it being redone by a decent narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gilraen
  • 09-10-20

Enjoyable despite narration.

The narrator was not very good at voices for the characters, ranging from extremely childish girly voices for some of the female characters to ponderously slow and deep voices for some of the men. Her accents were also all over the place and confusing. As narrator she also produced a smile in her voice at inappropriate times where the delivery should have been more serious. Eilidh Fraser was much better. I enjoyed the story, but am beginning to like Karen Pirie less. In the beginning she was more individua and interesting, genuinely self doubting and without ego, but now she seems to be becoming a stock character in some ways - in this book she seemed deliberately bloody minded and intolerant with her boyfriend, blaming him for the way he was brought up ( her view seemed to be that she was poor and deprived, therefore people who were better off are less morally acceptable than her), and self righteous and judgemental with other people she met.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Aingeal S
  • 10-11-20

Good story but too perfect heroine!

Very interesting and well-written story as always from Val McDermid but the adulation lavished on the heroine, Karen Pirie, becomes hard to tolerate. Other characters seem to serve the main purpose of praising Karen’s superlative intelligence, moral worth, etc, all of which compliments are graciously acknowledged by the perfect Karen. Bring back the more flawed protagonists of previous books please.

1 person found this helpful

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  • elizabeth b.
  • 24-08-20

She’s a bottler

I really like vals writing it’s easy to listen to and speeds along I don’t think it’s the best book I’ve read but do write another one so I can enjoy. And use Cathleen as narrator she is terrific

3 people found this helpful

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  • Bill
  • 21-09-20

Interesting well-narrated good tale

Love Val McDermids novels. Latest is a good tight storyline, current and interesting. Appealing characterisations. Enjoyed the narration too. Highly recommend

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  • David Oswald
  • 20-09-20

£10 pom from glenrothes still found the book aust

born in kirkcaldy (1951) what more could i ask read with mr google open memories

1 person found this helpful

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  • shabbydoo
  • 20-11-20

Just couldn’t get into it

Didn’t like the political jibes or the condescending “I’m the best Scotlands got” tone, the story seems weak. Its a struggle. The main character is full of herself, and police colleagues juvenile. Just not feeling it at the first attempt of listening, will try again when I’m really bored and desperate for something to listen to.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-10-20

Brilliant

Thank you for bringing Karen Pirie's universe to life once again. Bring on the next!

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  • Nadia David
  • 25-10-20

Cracking crime novel

I love a Scottish accent and I really enjoyed the story and the narration. Binge-listened it in a couple of days. Highly recommend it!

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  • Noelle N.
  • 03-10-20

Excellent plot

My first book with this character I’ve know the author from the series wire in the blood and really enjoyed this character.

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  • Fiona Edmonds
  • 05-09-20

Brilliant.

Perfect pace, intriguing and interesting plot, great character development. Story maintained interest and never became boring or contrived: I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially the way the female characters were so well described. The narrator did a really convincing job and was never a step out of place, always carrying the story well, very good tone and enunciation.