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Their Lost Daughters

Audible's breakthrough crime author of 2018
Written by: Joy Ellis
Narrated by: Richard Armitage
Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Introducing Audible Exclusive Their Lost Daughters, the first in the Jackman and Evans crime series, written by Joy Ellis, Audible's breakthrough crime author of 2018.

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? 

An Amazon Kindle number one best seller, Their Lost Daughters by Joy Ellis is performed by the incredible Richard Armitage (The Hobbit) and available exclusively at Audible. Be prepared for your pulse to rise and your nights to be disturbed as our breakthrough crime author of 2018 weaves her dark web of mystery. Perfect for fans of Sarah A. Denzil, LJ Ross and Denzil Meyrick. 

About the author 

Joy Ellis is not your ordinary newcomer to crime fiction. She started work in the 1960s as an apprentice florist in Covent Garden before opening her own flower shop in Lincolnshire. Later in life, she began to consider a career change towards crime writing and attended a workshop in Greece led by Sue Townsend, author of Adrian Mole. Ellis has now left the flowers behind and dedicates her life to writing gritty crime thrillers set in the Fens, where she lives with her police officer partner. 

About the narrator 

Richard Armitage is a British actor known for his vast 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. 

His audiobook credits include The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde featured in The Monster Collection, David Copperfield, and Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber, and this experience shines through in Armitage's gripping performance of Their Lost Daughters

©2017 Joy Ellis (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

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

"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 

What members say

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  • Lia
  • 14-02-19

Really Good

This is my first foray into Joy Ellis territory and I must admit that THEIR LOST DAUGHTERS is a novel that demonstrates her ability to provide character rich and atmospheric crime fiction that places her reader smack in the center of the action.

Set in and around the Lincolnshire fens (an area in England that sounds amazingly like the Louisiana/Mississippi River delta in the United States) DAUGHTERS is a chilling book filled with unusual plot twists and deception that literally compels you to keep reading.

Featuring the overworked team of officers of the Fenland police department and their simultaneous investigation of two different cases, there are as many story lines and personalities at work here as the threads in a fine tapestry. Evil abounds in this tale and revealing even a portion of the story line might reduce the enjoyment of potential readers and ruin the surprises generated by Ms. Ellis’s creative and inventive writing skills.

Richard Armitage was amazing with the delivery of the story

13 of 13 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!

35 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • Ruth Nielsen
  • 02-02-19

Excellent Introduction to a New British Detective Series

I really enjoy a well-written British police procedural as the good ones are focused on solving a mystery without all the guns, car chases and gratuitous sex that saturate the American crime stories. I was happy to stumble on this series by Joy Ellis. The main characters are decent people who are trying to do a difficult job. The mystery is complex and well developed. The narrator is fabulous and brings each character to life. A five star listen for me and I’ll be ordering the rest of the series hoping they are equally good.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Wild Horses Flying
  • 29-09-18

Disappointed

I have really liked Ellis's Fens series with Nikki Galena and crew - good plots, characters with depth. This one, "Their Lost Daughters" doesn't have much plot but is more just a fleshed out animation of the awfulness of kidnap, abuse and killing but WORST is that Ellis has gone off the deep end with overblown emotionalism - like a soap opera. If you like soap opera you'll probably like this. If she'd had an editor other than Audible - the editor would probably have pointed this out to Ellis or just not published it. None of the Fens books bulged out this way - they contained and expressed strong emotion but kept it contained within the body of the whole - so it was very effective and an important contributing element. Neither Jackman nor Evans are interesting.
Audible has made much ado about Armitage's sexy deep resonant voice - which it IS and I'm sure he IS a good actor but in this reading he uses his voice to only further the over-done emotionalism. He also puts pauses in his pacing which, on stage, are exactly right but which in reading a book are distracting and irritating.
I don't know what Ellis was thinking . . . but, for her sake, I don't think this book should have been published.

52 of 68 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...

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Katinka
  • 28-06-18

Don't understand all the hype.

The only thing that made me finish this book was the narration. I found the book boring and my mind wandered often. If I have to hear Jackman tell his team to "get to bed and rest because things are going to get worse" one more time...

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Michelle E. Bencsko
  • 26-08-18

Not what I hoped

I found myself hooked on the Fens series which was narrated by Henrietta Meir - whose voice I very much liked.. But they all have a rather rat-a-tat-tat police-business-like delivery which eventually started to grate on me. In the last book, I felt she was rushing through it and half wondered if she just wanted to get the project over with. So I was hoping for a more animated and natural delivery from Richard Armitage, who does have a very beautiful tone to his voice. Only it was still delivered in that sort of flat manner and I felt like I just didn't need any more of that. Perhaps this is intentional, but it doesn't really make characters come alive and so I feel disconnected to them and simply "informed". So it was a disappointing to listen to. Perhaps I should try reading the books and inject my own voices into it, because I do like the stories well enough.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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!

15 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Molly
  • 18-07-18

Awful story, good characters, great performance

The narrator is great with wonderful, accurate accents. The author has good, well rounded main characters, but the plot and story is utterly implausible and ridiculous.

17 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Janna Wong Healy
  • 09-07-18

Dreary and Predictable

In a word: meh. I wanted to like this mystery but the best part of it was Richard Armitage's narration. I found the story to be sometimes diverting but mostly, it was dreary and predictable. I was not surprised by any of the twists or turns and the writing was pedestrian and lacking in insight.

Most importantly, I never got a chance to know the two detectives -- they went through their paces and did a good job of uncovering the crimes but without any hint at their personalities or knowledge of their private lives, there was no sense of satisfaction when they solved the crimes successfully.

Richard Armitage is, as usual, phenomenal. He is such a wonderful narrator. I would listen to him read the phone book. Really.

19 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 14-06-18

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.

88 of 104 people found this review helpful

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  • DartmoorDiva
  • 09-09-18

Very disappointing

I fell for the Audible hype and bought this. It’s really very pedestrian and second rate. The most ludicrous plot that gets increasingly bizarre as the book trundles laboriously on. Boring, one-dimensional characters, very average writing and, the final nail in the coffin, not particularly well read either. People in this fenland area all sound as if they come from up north! Welsh accents wandered in and out characters seemed to deliver their lines at the same pitch and tempo regardless of whether they were meant to be whispering or shouting et cetera. Compared to writers like Ian Rankin or Anne Cleaves this is really a very poor effort.

72 of 85 people found this review helpful

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  • Amy
  • 03-12-18

excellent!

Loved this book. The storyline is gripping from start to finish and the characters are brilliantly crafted. The performance was very good. I'm downloading book 2 as I type this review ...
I'd strongly recommend to anyone who enjoys crime fiction.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Marie Murphy
  • 21-06-18

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.

56 of 67 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-09-18

thoroughly disappointing

I purchased this, following what seemed to be a pretty big launch including TV adverts and a fair amount of emails and within the first hour I was already regretting it. It is like a paint by numbers approach to a detective story. The plot line is thin, but worse is the dialogue. I found myself cringing at how the characters were supposed to be conversing. I would not be recommending this book to anyone.

42 of 51 people found this review helpful

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  • Steph H
  • 16-06-18

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.

57 of 73 people found this review helpful

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  • G r
  • 17-06-18

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.

29 of 37 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-01-19

Fast paced, exciting with climatic ending

really enjoyed this book, although I listened to the 1st 2 in the wrong order. Richard Armitage's narration is superb, which highlights the fabulous writing. it was not slow to start, although I wondered how the 2 story openers would combine. They obviously did to give a climat ending. Excellent

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr Chops
  • 07-01-19

The best audio book of 2018?????

Some hints for DCI Jackman since he clearly needs help: if someone is attractive and constantly tired they are a good guy, conversely if they are ugly and not well liked, arrest them immediately since they are definitely baddies.

Can’t wait for the big reveal to find out Jackman affords his million pound windmill and house maid on a £50,000 salary. Possibly taking bribes or re selling confiscated smack.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • katy
  • 12-12-18

Superb book, well written, narrated and produced

A great book, well chosen Audible - Looking forward to listening to more Joy Ellis

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kim Davenport
  • 20-06-18

Masterful Performance By Richard Armitage

Gripping police procedural which asks the question “What makes a monster? Nature or Nurture?”

Stunning nuanced performance once again by Richard Armitage. He gets better with each audio performance.

Can’t wait for Book 2 in the Jackman / Evans series.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Philip
  • 28-08-18

Small northern town low budget police melodrama

Despite all the promotional hype I read concerning this novel - a great new writer etc etc - I struggled with this novel. Firstly, was it the writing I didn’t like or the narration. In the end I came to the conclusion they were both awful in equal measure. Well the story was plausible but lacked depth or gravitas. I found it to be utterly contrived. The police dialogue was littered with platitudes and metaphors that no modern day policeman would utter. And what ‘fledgling’ detective would call his senior ‘boss’ in this day and age? As for the dialogue it was quite stereotypical. Comments like she fell for him “hook line and sinker”, is hardly cutting edge dialogue, and “she was a girl who liked to play tonsil snooker” was about as funny as jokes little boys talk about before sex has loomed into their lives. There were too many awful lines incorporated into this new novel only made worse by the poorly constructed context. It was perhaps the literary equivalent of painting by numbers. The author collecting a lot of phrases from a low budget cop series and stringing them all together. Their Lost Daughters” read like a 1960s ‘Z cars’ series (UK TV) rather than a police drama in 2018. And even the narrator didn’t elevate this much more. Maybe he couldn’t. The characters were poorly sculpted, rather superficial and lacked credibility. None of them Yes, Armitage had a good handle on regional British accents (except for educated ones which were rather forced and unconvincing) and he rather failed to rescue this novel from one of the worst books I have read on audible for some time. My wife also struggled with it but gave it a bette score than I did for the storyline. Sorry chaps. I did try to like it. So if you like northern detective books go and read ‘a tapping at my door. Excellent. And great narration.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Rica
  • 14-08-18

Twisty

Although the writing style is unremarkable, the plot is pretty imaginative. Being from East Anglia (Fen country) it took me a while to accept the narrator’s use of almost every British accent but the local one! In the end the introduction of each new regional dialect made me laugh out loud - it was all over the shop! And all the posh characters sound like Prince Charles. The narrator certainly strutted his stuff! Entertaining in a kind of odd way.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda
  • 21-06-18

Waiting for the next book!!!

I ate this one in 2 days. I couldn’t put the story down and the narrator was the best I have ever listened to. Really worth listening to.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Judith
  • 08-09-18

Save your money

I listened to the whole book, assuming that at some stage the story would become engaging. It didn’t.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sandra
  • 30-08-18

Lacking

Another two star reviewer here has said it better than I could. I agree with that reviewer. This piece of writing misses the mark on every level and the narration is no help at all. By the end I was getting anxious to be done listening and no longer cared whodunnit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-08-18

Highly Recommended

Riveting book and superbly read by Richard Armitage The narrative is taut with lots of twists and turns. Characters are plausible although the ending could have had a postscript that followed the the outcome of one of the characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Orlagh
  • 15-08-18

Great story!

Great story with twists and turns. Excellent narration. Deffs worth a listen if crime is your bag

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-08-18

Convoluted and Confusing

There is so so much going on in this story. Way too much. Would have been a little easier to follow the written version. I would struggle to recommend this book to anyone and I don’t think I will be reading any further books in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Adrianna Strafella Coyte-King
  • 23-07-18

Brilliant

Incredible story - Sad but intriguing. The Narration was simply superb. I highly recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful