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Publisher's Summary

On a freezing morning four drunken students stumble upon the body of a woman in the snow. Rosie has been raped, stabbed and left for dead in a cemetery. The only suspects are the four young men now stained with her blood.

Twenty-five years later the police mount a cold-case review of Rosie’s unsolved murder, and the four are still suspects. But when two of them die in suspicious circumstances, it seems that someone is pursuing their own brand of justice....

©2003 Val McDermid (P)2004 Recorded Books Inc

Critic Reviews

"A classic.… McDermid pulls out all the stops. Impeccable." ( Guardian)
"A few more sly, old-fashioned whodunits like this and she’ll join the sturdy ranks of the queens of crime, on course to become Dame Val or Baroness McDermid." ( Sunday Times)

What listeners say about The Distant Echo

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Janet
  • 07-03-17

Absorbing story with good characters

Listening in the kitchen for an hour a day, I gradually got absorbed into the story, the lives and the places. There were several distinct characters, but not too many to become overwhelming. The storyline twists and turns and is ambushed by sudden new events. The narrator was perfect - different voices for different characters. Words quite distinct with a lovely Scottish accent. I looked forward to my listening time each day. I am a new convert to Val McDermid.

39 people found this helpful

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  • S. Christie
  • 28-07-16

Wonderful novel which is so well narrated

Loved this novel, like most I have read by this very talented author. This one was superbly narrated by Tom Cotcher. I loved the fact that the book, set in Fife where I grew up, was narrated by a Scot. Seemed to make the story all the more believable for me. Loved at the suspense and mystery that this novel creates and, surprisingly, I didn't see the final twist coming which improved this novels enjoyment for me. I have downloaded many of Val McDermid's novels, and almost all I have very much enjoyed. A recommended read.

40 people found this helpful

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  • Edward Smith
  • 01-03-17

Well written, great ending

Would you listen to The Distant Echo again? Why?

I really enjoyed The Distant Echo. The story was interesting and kept me listening late into the night, well past my bedtime! I don't typically re-read (or listen again) to my books, but there would be nothing to keep me from it. I really enjoyed it! The twisted ending blew my socks off!

What did you like best about this story?

The development of the characters from young men in university to grown men with careers, wives, and children. The end of the story was shocking to me, and it's hard to catch me out. I usually have the "whodunit" figured out by the conclusion. I didn't with this book!

What about Tom Cotcher’s performance did you like?

His accent. Otherwise, I didn't really enjoy his performance. I thought his various voices of the main characters were strange--especially Rev."Weird."

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, neither. It just kept me on the edge of my seat.

Any additional comments?

I'm going for the next book in the series now.

19 people found this helpful

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  • OZNZRAFT
  • 02-01-17

Unbelievable

Vintage VM,but there is a big hole in the conclusion, read and you decide,worthwhile
Gripping till the last

22 people found this helpful

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  • Maryb
  • 21-08-16

Val McDermid never fails.

Great writing with a very surprising ending. Audio was very good - nice voice - but some of the accents were a bit odd! Overall very enjoyable.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Ellie
  • 19-10-16

A solid listen.

I really enjoyed this book. The narrator has a lovely tone and it works well with the story. Lots of twists to keep you interested.

20 people found this helpful

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  • JOANNE ROBINSON
  • 23-12-16

Slow start

Great book. Thought the beginning was a bit strange with only 4 characters but second half if book was fabulous and kept me gripped.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Salter
  • 04-05-17

Very good...if a little predictable..

Any additional comments?

The Distant Echo is, on the whole, a very enjoyable 'whodunit'.
The story centres around a murder that takes place in the 1970's, and the subsequent investigation that ensued. The story is then picked up 25 years later, with many questions still unanswered.
Tom Cotcher turns in a very accomplished performance.
It was a shame I had a good idea of who the perpetrator was fairly early on, but still, McDermind provides us with some great twists and turns along the way.
Highly recommended...

7 people found this helpful

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  • Andy
  • 23-03-17

BRILLIANT IN EVERY WAY..

McDermid and Cotcher, a writer and narrator combination of exceptional quality. Go buy it now

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-12-16

Fantastic story - narrator could be better!

The story was nothing less than I've come to expect from Val McDermid - fantastic.
Unfortunately the narrator ruined it in parts for me. He would slip into a Scottish accent when speaking for someone American and sometimes not switch from one characters voice to another when he should have - making it slightly confusing to keep up. There were a couple of times where I had to re-listen to bits to work out exactly who was speaking.

I wouldn't let that put me off listening to one of Val McDermid's books read by him again but I feel it needs to be pointed out.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Mimosa
  • 11-01-19

Keeps you guessing ...

Really enjoyed the tension in this story. A number of threads - a number of possibilities. But all come together in the end with an unexpected finish.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Maureen
  • 14-09-20

Boring

Terrible narration, far too slow and really hard to listen to. Had to stop half way through.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-07-20

Another good one

this was an excellent book from this author enjoyed everything about this book to start to finish well worth a read. Worked it out who is was a few chapters out. Another good narration as well.

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  • Emmi
  • 30-11-19

Gripped until the end

Excellent characters and a real who-dunnit. Kept me company on many a long car trip!

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  • Georgina D
  • 28-11-19

captivating

great storyline. well written and loved the Scottish tongue and familiar places. very good narration .

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  • Sheena Avison
  • 22-09-19

Very Good

Really enjoyed this story and while I suspected who was guilty it didn’t take away from the story that i was right. I loved the accents being born in Fife but raised over seas I could hear my family in the way they spoke in how narration was told.

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  • Carol
  • 10-11-18

Riveting

Whilst a great storyline, I worked out the murderer halfway through. Tom Cotchers Scots accent was a bit hard to follow at times. Worth a listen though. I will read more by Mr McDermid

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  • Tatiana Brusyanina
  • 28-02-17

Was OK

Any additional comments?

The book was OK, not boring, but not catchy as well.Felt a bit too long when describing main heroes lives, when you'd expect twists and turns and some detective deduction work...
It's not bad, read it.

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  • Mary Thomas
  • 28-01-17

Stunning Story

Wonderful story covering twenty five years you become very involved in the involving lives of the characters. The story is complemented by the rich voice of Tom Cotcher.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • george groessler
  • 07-09-15

Dull

Dull colourless and boring. The plot was dragged out and the narrator didn't seem to like it either.