But for the Grace: A DC Smith Investigation Series, Book 2 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
"We are living in the departure lounge," said Ralph Greenwood, "and flights leave with monotonous regularity." So when another resident of the Rosemary House care home is found dead in her chair one Saturday evening in December, no one is very surprised - not until the results of a routine post-mortem reveal something extraordinary. Sergeant DC Smith and his team have to tread carefully as they investigate what took place, and Smith himself has to confront some difficult memories. Others, meanwhile, seem intent on getting him to leave the force altogether, while, despite his best efforts, his social life also becomes a little more complicated. To top it all, Kings Lake has been waiting weeks for the snow to fall, in a winter that seems as if it will never end.
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 16 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||October 11, 2016|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #82,181 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#725 in Traditional Detective Mysteries (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,877 in Police Procedural Mysteries
#2,928 in Crime Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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The one thing I find a bit curious and puzzling in both books, however, is the perspective on age and aging. Perhaps the population in the UK ages far more dramatically than is the case with the population in the US, but the book characters seem to each be about 10 to 15 years older than their given ages, which tends to jar my attention away from the story suddenly at various intervals. In the US, at least, people in their early 50's are generally perceived to be hitting or thoroughly enjoying their professional peaks, and it is rather uncommon for people in their early to mid-70's to be consigned to care homes, or what are referred to as assisted living homes in the US. The average age of occupants of such facilities in the US is probably a good deal closer to mid-80's, and at least 30% of individuals also elect to continue working well past the age of 65, particularly if they own a business or simply enjoy their work or profession. While many do retire at 65, a small percentage also do so for the express purpose of starting a new career or to start a business. It is true that there are certainly some as young as mid-40's in special living facilities, due to very severe diseases, like early on-set Alzheimer's or aggressive MS and other catastrophic physical illnesses, but those would be the exceptions, by far. Certainly, most people in their 70's continue to live independently in their own homes or apartments, many in their 80's and some in their 90's also do, often with family members or professional care givers helping with shopping or chores, and checking in to see that all is well with them. For these reasons, I think that most US readers would find it a bit difficult to identify with or relate to characters in their early 50's who consider themselves so far past their working prime, nor with care homes where the majority of occupants are in their mid-70's and requiring that level of daily living assistance and care. It took some mental gyrations and adjustments every so often, since the characters' ages had seemed rather implausible, but the book was excellent apart from that.
I've recommended this author to my spouse, who has also downloaded the first book, and fully intends to read this one as well. We both hope there will be many more to come of this series.
DC is ably assisted in his investigation by a cast of supporting characters: DC Christopher Waters, Detective Inspector Allison Reeve, the pompous Superintendent Allen, Charlie Hills, John Murray and Maggie Henderson, among others. Each of the minor characters is distinctly and vividly depicted, so the reader comes to know them well. Peter Grainger has a real talent for drawing the reader in to the characters' lives. It takes a while, maybe even more than one book, to get to the depths of Smith's character, just as it would if you met him in real life. You have to know him for a while before you learn the story of his late wife's long, losing battle with cancer, and even longer before he'll pick up his guitar and play for you. Smith is someone I intend to become even better acquainted with in the rest of Grainger's books and, I hope, future books yet to be written.
Top reviews from other countries
This is the tale of a death in a care home that seems straightforward enough until the postmortem throws up some unexpected results. The story unfolds quite slowly, giving us time to get to know the characters, not only the staff and residents of the home, but also the police officers. There were a few twists in the story keeping me guessing till the end. There were enough loose ends in the unfolding saga of DC Smith to make me want to buy the next book.
I am asking myself if I can eke out the series to last me till Christmas, or whether I just go for it and read the lot in a week. I can see this as a TV series, although I am really enjoying it as a book. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys well written stories that make you think a bit after you have put them down. I hope the next one is just as good!
Absolutely recommend this book to readers who enjoy police procedurals that are engaging, witty and keep you guessing.
The characters are believable - especially Detective Sergeant DS Smith, a quiet, sensitive man approaching retirement who has the wisdom gained from what appears to have been an eventful life in Army Intelligence and then the police who seeks the truth even when it is unexpected or unwelcomed. Cleverly, Smith's story is slowly being developed across the series of books which augers well for the future. A man of few but carefully chosen words with an ironic, often mordant sense of humour - the sort of policeman you want to believe in.
This is a story about real life - the boring minutiae of an investigation into an everyday event that produces uncertainty and then an investigation into a possible crime - well written so that it becomes a page turner. As in real life this is a story where the outcome is always in doubt..... As Smith might say - "You can be sure of nothing" Even the choice of the name "Smith" implies "ordinary" but this a well told story that is far ordinary.
From my dim and distant youth I have a recollection of the impact of reading "Hallelujah Corner" by John Harris (a long lost book it seems) had on me - I remember it was about real people in real situations but was a very well told story (off to find a copy!). Peter Grainger has that gift too - well written, believable stories but thought provoking stories. Long may they continue.