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5+ stars for Haunted Water (The McLaren Mysteries Book 14) #audiobookreview #mystery #britishmystery

Title: Haunted Water (The McLaren Mysteries, Book 14)

Author: Jo A. Hiestand

Narrator: Callum Hale

Genre: British Mystery, Detective Mystery, Mystery

Book Blurb:

Cameron Rutter drowned two months ago in a lake on a Cheshire moor. Some say a morgen—a spirit who drags men to a watery grave—was responsible. Others say it was the phantom Grey Lady. The police say Gareth Gynne was the guilty one. Whoever—or whatever—killed Cameron needs to be sorted out. And ex-police detective Michael McLaren is asked to do just that.

McLaren’s not keen on delving into the mystery. The accused is the nephew of McLaren’s nemesis, Charlie Harvester. And if there’s one thing McLaren doesn’t want to do is to associate with another Harvester, no matter what generation he is.

Suspects and motives for the murder rise to the surface like air bubbles in the haunted lake. Perhaps the flesh-and-blood killer was a villager opposed to Cameron’s crusade to keep the moor in its pristine state, rather than develop it for the tourist trade. Others say someone Cameron had arrested came back to kill him in a vindictive attack.

Or was the morgen really responsible?

Can McLaren discover the killer, or will he too become a victim of the haunted water?

My Review:

Story Impressions –

A mysterious drowning has McLaren grasping at straws, even considering a tall tale about a spirit dragging men into a watery grave. Just in time for Halloween, Haunted Water is the perfect read. There’s the plot with its twists and more suspects than kids trick or treating. The characters are interesting and relatable, especially McLaren. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Callum Hale narrate this mystery. An audiobook worth listening to.

Narrator’s overall voice – Callum Hale is one of the best narrators I’ve heard and trust me, I’ve heard plenty. His voice creates the descriptions needed to follow the story. Does the narrator fit the characters? Callum uses different dialects for each character which is beneficial while listening. Callum also invokes emotion while reading. Narrator’s reading style – Callum’s reading style is the perfect rhythm, allowing the listener to be fully immersed in the mystery. Narrator’s impact on reading experience – Callum makes this an entertaining listen. Everything from his pacing to the intonation in his voice to the recreation of the characters to the emotive effect on the listener all combine to make this a great performance. Narrator’s pacing – Callum’s pacing is lingering in parts, quick in others, on pace with the natural ebbs and flows of the story. Audiobook flow – The flow of the audiobook is right in line with the pace of the story. What makes this audiobook unique – A superb performance by Callum. He becomes McLaren plus all the other characters. Would I recommend this audiobook – Yes. Fans of British mysteries, this is a must-listen.

My Rating: 5+ stars

Buy it Now:

Author Biography:

Jo A. Hiestand is the author of two British mystery series. While this may not seem so unusual, Jo was born in -- and still lives in -- St. Louis, Missouri, USA. To get around the technical difficulties dictated by living in one country and writing about another -- especially about police procedures and crime detection, of which she has no personal experience -- she travels to Britain every few years for research. It was on one such trip that she met English police Inspector Tony Eyre (now retired) who supplied police information for her first novel, "Death of an Ordinary Guy." Since then, two other English police officers have become close friends of hers and help with police procedure, catching American words that creep into her writing, and reading the novel manuscripts to eliminate police inaccuracies. This is all well and good, but nothing beats hands-on experience for writing. Since one of her series features a team of police detectives from the Derbyshire CID and her other highlights an ex-cop who investigates cold cases on his own, Jo knew she'd either have to commit a crime to get first-hand police knowledge or enroll in a citizen's police academy course. The latter seemed safer, so she signed up through a St. Louis county's PD. It was there that she met future co-author police officer Paul Hornung. As Paul remembers their first ride-along, they talked more about writing than about police work. During several ride-alongs they established a bond through these two mutual interests; eventually they agreed to collaborate on books. They've done this with Paul supplying information, writing the fights scenes, and finally writing some of the chapters as one of the series characters. Writing together is definitely fun but sometimes a challenge. Neither knows specifically what the other person's chapter will be, as the storyline is never fully detailed to the other. This is so each can read the other's work with a fresh eye, untainted by "what I meant to say." It must work, for best-selling British mystery writer Peter Lovesey says, "Immaculate research, attention to detail and an elegant style are the hallmarks of Jo Hiestand’s writing. An atmospheric novel (Horns of a Dilemma)." Jo took a short respite from novel writing to try her hand with a play. Her contest-winning play "Teething Pains" was produced on stage in 2010. She flatly denies that her fear of dentistry was instrumental in selecting the subject. Her love of writing, board games and music combines in "P.I.R.A.T.E.S.", the mystery-solving game that uses maps, graphics, song lyrics, and other clues to lead the players to the lost treasure. She also enjoys walking through the woods, playing guitar and harpsichord, her animals (pets as well as backyard wildlife), and reading. Jo realizes she's living many authors' dreams. Who else has three police officers helping her commit murder?

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Reviewed by: Nancy


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