The Body in the Marsh: DCI Craig Gillard, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Criminologist Martin Knight lives a gilded life and is a thorn in the side of the police. But then his wife, Liz, goes missing. There is no good explanation and no sign of Martin.... To make things worse, Liz is the ex-girlfriend of DCI Craig Gillard, who is drawn into the investigation.
Is it just a missing person or something worse? And what relevance do the events around the shocking Girl F case, so taken up by Knight, have to do with the present? The truth is darker than you could ever have imagined.
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|Listening Length||12 hours|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||July 26, 2018|
|Publisher||QUEST from W. F. Howes Ltd|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #24,889 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#644 in Police Procedural Mysteries
#679 in Crime Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#2,156 in Suspense (Audible Books & Originals)
Reviewed in the United States on October 1, 2017
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Top reviews from the United States
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While DCI Craig Gillard and his team are working on locating the man behind the sexual abuse and subsequent suicide of a local teenager, which has remained unsolved for five years, and has bought much misery and embarrassment for the department, he is called on to look into the disappearance of a woman.
Not only is the missing woman, Liz Knight, the wife of a popular university professor, but Gillard recognizes that she is someone whom he loved many years ago, when he was in school.
After interviewing her friends and children and finally her husband, who admits that he hasn’t heard from her in five days, and then he suddenly and mysteriously disappears, Gillard begins to suspect foul play.
With mounting evidence and uncooperative friends and family, Gillard is given a case that is pulling him in many directions.
This book, by Nick Louth, is the first of a series. Although the author introduces us to the whole team, it is mainly the Craig Gillard Show. Much time is spent to flesh out this character and the writer gives us a lot of details about the missing Liz.
While the writer is also having the team solve the case of the suicidal teen, the story gets about twenty percent of “airtime.”
But both cases are solved with a shocking conclusion.
The book has several scenes of flashback, and has writings from Liz’s diary read throughout the story, which helps build up the suspense and determination to solve the mystery. This was not an easy mystery to solve. The author kept the suspense, and twists and turns very high throughout the story, which made the book more enjoyable.
I’m definitely glad that I read this thriller. And I intend to read the next one. I give this book five stars.
DCI Craig Gillard also discovers he knew Elizabeth Knight very well for over six weeks 30 years ago, they were lovers while she was waiting to start Cambridge. Liz Bishofsford, as she was known then was a promising pianist by nine9, runner-up in BBC Young Musician at thirteen as well as a chess prodigy. She was his first love and he has never gotten over her.
The professor is finally reached at the Kent location but states she is not there and it is too dark to be out painting. He will call back to police headquarters after he goes home and gets some sleep. This is the last time he is heard from.
After investigating the primary house it is discovered to be a huge amount of blood under the rug by the dressing table. This gives a clear indication that Martin has killed his wife and is on the run.
So begins the great adventure into all the extra affairs the Professor has had and the ultimatum Liz has issued either he stops or she is divorcing him, The police discover Professor Knight was planning to leave his wife and plans to run off to Spain with his mistress.
Top reviews from other countries
I really wanted to give this book 4 stars but as it came to a close the rating started to drop. It's not a badly written piece of crime fiction, however I think it would have worked better had the padding been cut before publication and the author had thrown out his thesaurus as there's far too many redundant words.
I didn't like the blatant sexualisation of the female characters, it seemed every male couldn't interact with a female without thinking about sex with them. Even the main character Gillard is guilty of this pernicious habit. He couldn't attend an important interview with a superior officer without looking at and commenting on her bra. Most female descriptions did tend to be either sexual or negative and this misogynistic bent was a constant throughout the book, which I guess may say more about the author rather than his characters.
Spoiler 1: How come it was obvious to the reader that Kincaid was the villain he was, but not to the police, did they walk around with their heads in a bucket?
One bug bear we now have to put up with is the invasion of Americanisms and US English seeping like a cancer into our language. I can put up with our S being replaced with a Z (specialise etc). I hate with a passion the use of, gotten instead of got, but for this book to refer to a tyre repair workshop as a joint nearly had me throwing the book across the room. (Pedantic I know, but why dumb-down our great language).
Spoiler 2: The final chapter was completely pointless, the story should have ended with the conclusion of chapter 35. The last chapter added nothing to the story, opened up a history that failed to bear any relevance to the plot and finally Liz, who portrayed herself to be strong-willed, calculating and clever would never have committed suicide, it was so out of place with the character we had been given.
Spoiler 3: I am not put off by a little poetic licence and despite some parts of this investigation being preposterous two things did make me sit up and say - 'Are you kidding us?' A Home Office forensic pathologist taking his 12 year old daughter to examine a corpse and discussing it with her was just nonsense. And...
Spoiler 4: Sam working at a different police division and location being assigned to Gillard's case out of the blue was as far fetched as unicorns on my front lawn. Surely there was a much better way to approach the need for the Facebook reveal.
I will say that I did actually enjoy this book despite it's idiosyncrasies; even the ridiculous gangsta patois scene, but to sum up, it's not bad but it's not the best and will it entice me to read any further adventures of Craig (fanny magnet - the author's phrase) Gillard? Sadly, no.
Finally. The eating of raspberry tarts in the car was pointless waste of words.
I was drawn to it partly because some of the action takes place in Romney Marsh, an atmospheric area in the south of England that I’ve recently got to know, and partly because - like millions of others in the UK – I’ve been hooked by the policing world portrayed in Jed Mercurio’s TV series Line of Duty. Louth’s work exhibits some of the same meticulous attention to the procedural detail of detecting that he evidently relishes. At the same time, he dares to tread in areas of personal, social and cultural politics that have become increasingly fraught in recent years.
The plot of Body in the Marsh immerses us in a tangle of family and other interpersonal relationships as what Gillard thinks he knows is repeatedly derailed in a series of thrilling and often disturbing twists.
Louth isn’t shy about reproducing in his fiction real-world language reflecting the prejudices all too prevalent in our society.
Dodgy cop Kincaid “likes ruffling female feathers” and has a considerable vocabulary of sexual and racial slurs. Thoughts of sex often rise to the surface in Gillard’s own reflections on the world he moves through, in recalling his youthful encounters with the missing Liz Knight, and in his developing relationship with Sam Phillips, the young woman he rescues from a mountainside in the gripping opening sequence of the novel.
Gillard’s physicality is a major part of his persona as the drives himself to feats of endurance and arouses the interest of female characters impressed with his “well-muscled back and tight bum.”
But don’t get the impression the landscape Louth portrays is one-dimensional.
The love interest of the missing woman’s husband is no simpering bit on the side. On the contrary Natalie Krugman is a powerful, self-possessed woman, an academic steeped in complex and challenging ideas, author of books including one titled Rape, Fatherhood and the Male Mythos. Could this high-powered feminist intellectual be an accessory to a violent abduction or murder, or even herself be the culprit?
Liz’s daughter Chloe grapples with suicidal thoughts as the enormity of her mother’s disappearance takes hold. Liaison Officer Gabby Underwood deploys all her humanity and tact supporting the traumatised Chloe, her brother Oliver and their grandparents, aghast at the thought that violent crime could have torn their family apart.
One of the pivotal sequences in the book sees Gillard exploring the house Liz shared with her husband, criminologist Professor Martin Knight, who has also disappeared. At first the focus is on Gillard absorbing details of the home life of a woman who had captivated him as a young man. But little by little we are introduced to evidence that something truly horrendous and gruesome has occurred. Louth knows how to grab, and retain, the reader’s attention.
He also knows how to raise a smile with some endearingly silly humour, such as this from Assistant Chief Constable Alison Rigby when a subordinate comments on an instruction from her, “That’s a tall order ma’am”. “I’m six foot one,” Rigby snaps back. “All my orders are tall.”
I’ll happily recommend this book and give it three stars.
The main protaganist DC Gillard was definitely someone I was happy to spend my time with. The author created a robust heroic figure who felt completely real and I certainly wanted to follow him through what felt like a gripping TV drama. The women were strong characters too and I felt that the characters were all really well drawn, from stressed-out teenagers to femme fatale types.
Of course, a crime thriller needs to mess with your head a bit, and Nick Louth does this in spades. I'm not the brightest star in the firmament but I defy anyone to have sussed out what was actually going on until the denouement. For my money, if you are looking for a bit of gritty escapism with some un-sickly romance and a bit of "I'd have never guessed that..." then this is the book. Go buy it!
I was a bit worried about it early on when our hero, Craig, carried out a mountainside feat that made him into some kind of iron man. Just didn't sound feasible.
I also found the relationship between Craig and Sam unbelievable. I'm not sure many women would have been so understanding when he basically rolled off her, gave her a tenner for a taxi and then cold shouldered her for weeks without a proper explanation.
But the main issue was that NONE of the characters were likeable. It's hard to bond with a book when you don't care what happens to any of them. So, I started flicking on through pages to get to the end. Check out if I'd guessed correctly.
And then it kind of got worse when we kind of got a wrap up via a silly prison visit and then, as one reviewer mentioned, "they all lived happily every after". The prison visit was almost like a Scooby Doo wrap up scene - where the bad person gloats and smirks.