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1979 cover art

1979

By: Val McDermid
Narrated by: Katie Leung
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Summary

The first in a thrilling new series from the queen of crime and an instant Sunday Times best seller narrated by acclaimed Scottish actress and Harry Potter star Katie Leung.

The shadows hide a deadly story....

1979. It is the winter of discontent, and reporter Allie Burns is chasing her first big scoop. There are few women in the newsroom, and she needs something explosive for the boys' club to take her seriously. Soon Allie and fellow journalist Danny Sullivan are exposing the criminal underbelly of respectable Scotland. They risk making powerful enemies - and Allie won't stop there. When she discovers a home-grown terrorist threat, Allie comes up with a plan to infiltrate the group and make her name. But she's a woman in a man's world...and putting a foot wrong could be fatal.

©2021 Val McDermid (P)2021 W F Howe

Critic reviews

“McDermid is at her considerable best.” (Guardian)

"No one can plot or tell a story like she can." (Daily Express)

"One of today's most accomplished crime writers." (Literary Review)

"'As good a psychological thriller as it is possible to get." (Sunday Express)

What listeners say about 1979

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyment spoiled by poor narration.

Val McDermid always writes a good yarn, and I have read most of those she has written. I think this is the first one I have listened to, and it was spoiled for me by mispronunciations, wrongly placed emphasis, and worst of all, an execrable attempt at a Belfast accent. I think in future I will stick to reading her books

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant Story

A multifaceted thriller. Kept me guessing to the very end. Moved at a great pace and had a lot of humor as well.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

Great story first I've listened to one of Vals works I definitely will be reading and listening to more

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story

Loved the story and characters. Narration was good but as someone from the area I have to agree that the Belfast accent wasn't great. More like a Dublin/American accent than Belfast. The different colloquial Scottish accents were great. I don't agree with some other reviews that the narrator was monotone. I enjoyed her narration generally. The book however ended a bit prematurely. I was genuinely shocked that it was over. These characters could definitely be built upon. Definitely worth a credit 👍

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant storyline

It's not often I see a story about newspaper reporters, but this is a very good one. With strong characters, and backbiting story pinchets, this story moves on apace. Some gory murders, and great reporting. This is one not to miss. Very well narrated

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I’m sorry, not for me

I love Val McDermid’s books but I just couldn’t get on with this one. It was a combination of a slow story and dreadful narration. The narrator has a very strong Scottish accent, which is lovely and gentle but totally unintelligible in many places. She also puts on voices for the characters but somehow manages to make every character sound exactly the same - just a higher or lower pitch. Not good. One of the very few Audible books I’ve returned for a refund.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, irritating narration

Excellent story but I was irritated by the consistent mispronunciation of the common enough Scottish name 'Farquhar' as 'Farkwar'. It astonishes me that Audible don't make more of an effort to check pronunciations, even by running the recording past the author before publishing it. Sorry, Val, but this is a regular feature of your audiobooks that needs improving.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • DR
  • 16-02-22

Narration ruins it

I found it hard to enjoy the story because the narration was so disappointing - Monotonous, irritating inflection, mispronunciations. Find it hard to judge the novel because of this. Nice sense of the period but quite slow and not gripping in the way Val McD can achieve.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed it

Enjoyable listen. I liked the moral ambiguity of the two main characters. Most of Ms McDermid’s nooks are good against evil. Allie Burns is neither, she helps create the very crimes she writes about.
Also liked the reminders of the differences between now and 1979. Somebody looks for a public phone, newspaper cuttings are on paper and stored in a vast filing system, you couldn’t find a suspect’s details on Facebook back then,
an old hot metal paper printing press.

I liked the narrator’s voice, but I’m not Scottish.

Overall, a good story.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Poor narration

Really wanted to enjoy this, but I struggled with the narration and was relieved when it ended to be honest.

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