Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £21.99

Buy Now for £21.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

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

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    357
  • 4 Stars
    163
  • 3 Stars
    69
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    9
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    313
  • 4 Stars
    144
  • 3 Stars
    54
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    21
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    322
  • 4 Stars
    143
  • 3 Stars
    58
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    12

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Too many jarring mispronunciations

Not perhaps one of Val McDermid’s best but an enjoyable story nonetheless…… except for the narration. Katie Leung is an excellent wee actress but not, I’m afraid, a narrator. She is unable to differentiate even basic Scottish accents (eg privately educated vs working class) and her attempts at non-Scots ones are just plain odd. Worst of all, though, are the constant mispronunciations. Those of reasonably common words are bad enough but for a Scottish reader not to be able to pronounce Scottish place names and surnames is pretty unforgivable. Surely these howlers could have been spotted and corrected in advance of release?

37 people found this helpful

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

Issues with accents

I love Val McDermid and this was a good book. The narrator didn't do a bad job but there were some avoidable mispronuniciations of fairly common words and in addition her Northern Irish accent was appallingly bad. Someone else could have voiced those characters or she could have got an accent coach for those bits. Took me right out of the story.

21 people found this helpful

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

So disappointed.......

I'm a huge fan but for the first time I've been disappointed. I had the book on Audible perhaps if I'd read it I'd feel differently, who knows. Didn't enjoy the narrator, she sounded monotone to me and pronounced some names , places and Scottish words wrongly. I'll make sure I read the next book.

17 people found this helpful

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

Loved the book but narration poor

I was gripped by this book from start to finish. I’m too young to remember Glasgow in 1979 but it took me right there.

I felt the narration was poor. There are places where the emphasis is clearly wrong and I would question some of the pronunciation.

13 people found this helpful

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

Excellent storyline!

As ever, a brilliant story from Val! Unfortunately the narration didn't quite do it justice. At times a characterless delivery with some very frustrating mispronounciations (e.g. quay, epitome).

7 people found this helpful

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

Having to stop listening due to narration

I was so looking forward to this release as really enjoy Val McDermid’s work but have had to stop listening by chapter 11 due to the narration. The narrator has long pauses all the time which breaks up the flow and are not in the correct place. She is monotone and the intonation is wrong. I’m just going to read this one I think. Enjoying the story so far but it’s being lost through the poor narration.

7 people found this helpful

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

Great depiction of the period - late 70s

I have always meant to get round to reading Val McDermid’s work, and when I see her out and about, walking in Edinburgh I feel guilty that I have not! So when she published a novel with the title 1979, a year when I was only a little younger than the protagonist - I knew this was the one for me.

A great introduction to this author’s work, and I know I will enjoy reading/listening to many more.

Now to the narration - as many have said - it’s not great. But she is clearly an excellent actress, and so
I can only blame the lack of direction. I get that presumably these are done relatively quickly and cheaply, but on many other books it is obvious when the narrator has been asked to redo a passage, and it has been dropped into the overall recording. But poor Leung seems to have been left entirely to her own devices. If someone had been listening in at the beginning - surely they could have corrected her pronunciation of Farquhar. Instead we have to endure her phonetic reading of the Scottish name for the whole book. Other phrases - where her emphasis is wrong - I think is just down to a generational thing. She simply has no idea what the phrase in question is referring to- and so needed to be told the correct emphasis. As I say - lack of direction is the issue.

5 people found this helpful

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

Brilliant listen.

So sad to finish - really enjoyable book. Writing and narration are excellent. Loving the references to the period it’s set in

5 people found this helpful

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

4 people found this helpful

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

A great story

I really enjoyed this story, however I did have one issue with it, which is a massive spoiler so I'm going to try and explain without actually saying.
There was a noticeable theme from the start of the book that once they went onto their second investigation I knew what the outcome was going to be. I didn't know how or why, but this outcome was inevitable.
I hope anybody that has read the book understands.
Still a great book.

4 people found this helpful