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  • Black Heart

  • Detective Dan Riley, Book 1
  • By: Anna-Lou Weatherley
  • Narrated by: James Lailey
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (3,102 ratings)

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Black Heart cover art

Black Heart

By: Anna-Lou Weatherley
Narrated by: James Lailey
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Summary

When Nigel Baxter, a middle-aged married banker with an unremarkable past, is found dead in the bath of a plush hotel suite, his wrists slit, it looks as if he's taken his own life. At first. But when Detective Inspector Daniel Riley is assigned to the case, he soon realises all isn't as it first appears to be. When a postmortem shows Baxter was poisoned, Riley suspects foul play. And then there's the odd addition of a teddy bear left at the crime scene....

Struggling to come to terms with the loss of his fiancée, Rachel, in a freak motorcycle accident and the baby she was carrying inside her, Riley throws himself into the case in a bid to distract himself from his grief. And his infamous intuition is telling him something is off, really off on this one. With the help of his dedicated team, Riley begins to delve into Baxter's life and soon realises that the amenable family man has been indulging in the 'services' of some dubious websites, ones where young women hook up with older men in return for 'favours', and there's one woman in particular he'd like to speak to. A woman calling herself Goldilocks....

©2018 Anna-Lou Weatherley (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Black Heart

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Awful!

The main character is a cop , his girlfriend, Rachel, was killed by a drunk driver a while ago but, unfortunately, she is present in every page of the book, in every thought of this cop...You will grow extremely tired of the constant references to Rachel. "She has opinions....Rachel had opinions too" "She is beautiful....like Rachel was" " ..that is what Rachel used to say". Half way the book I was going bonkers and started trying to guess what would be the next Rachel related comment:
"Rachel also used to brush her teeth"...."milk was also white when Rachel was still alive...." "look a cat....it has 4 legs....Rachel also had legs"
I am so sick of Rachel that I have stopped talking to the girl in the admin department because...yes, you guessed it...her name is Rachel....
It is a very boring, amateurish, repetitive book...."Rachel used to repeat herself quite a lot"...no wonder the price was reduced to £1.99..."Rachel bought a scarf once in a charity shop that was also £1.99!"
My recommendation is: Don't buy it (Rachel wouldn't have bought it)

108 people found this helpful

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

Riley Promises an Interesting Ride to Come

You can really settle down with this one as DI Dan Riley chats away to you throughout what I would call a character-based thriller. He's highly personable and not imbued with any super-hero like qualities. Just a good, solid detective with of course a backstory and personal life that is just a little problematic and indeed tragic. He carries the story for the most part and I certainly wouldn't describe this as a police procedural, in fact I would go as far as to say that by modern day standards the plot is a little naive in that area.

Paired against him is as twisted a lady psychopath as you're likely to imagine, this is obvious from the very opening scene and the insights into her mind are rather less comfortable. Although it likely won't appeal to everyone the chatty style was something I enjoyed, it is compact and direct writing and the story held enough suspense to make it enjoyable listening throughout.

The narration by James Lailey fits the book like a glove, he imbued a lot of personality into Riley and delivered a chillingly matter of fact Goldilocks.

So, not one I'd suggest for people who prefer detailed procedural details but a very decent story with a lead character I felt considerable empathy with. Yet another series I'd like to have the time to follow!

69 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good start to a new series

Liked this very much - good plot, strong characters and very well read. Like another reviewer I found it a refreshing change not to have a detective embroiled in hostility with the hierarchy back at base. As you are aware of the killer at the beginning there aren't many surprises in store but the storyline has been well thought out. I did think the ending was a little weak but don't let my view of that put you off, Dan Riley really is a good 'find' and I am very much hoping that this series will continue - when I had finished this listen I was very disappointed to find there wasn't another one ready to download!

37 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Great story!

I found this story completely absorbing. It raced along, with richly drawn characters and scenes of violence that were perfectly pitched (gruesome and grim, but not not gratuitously so and intelligently written). The character of Dan is very engaging and his narrative talks the reader/listener through the story throughout. There are some sloppy bits (e.g. a child psychiatry inpatient unit like this would have existed in the 60s, but certainly not in the 90s) and some things were repeated as if we had not already been told. This is why it has 4 stars, rather than 5. The narration was great, apart from the occasional mispronounced word (odd, because they are words that are in common usage. Hence, again, the 4 stars.

When I looked-up this author, I was frankly surprised that she wrote something of this calibre. Lets hope she writes a sequal that is this good.

33 people found this helpful

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AWFUL book, AWFUL language

I am about 1/3 of the way through I am fed up with hearing F*** words, C***, B****rd. Why is it necessary, people don't usually use profanities to this extent in normal everyday speech.

The characters are not at all likeable.

NO MORE - I cannot read any further.

21 people found this helpful

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Detective Dan Riley???

When I began listening to this audio book I liked the sound of it,
as it went on however..I got so annoyed, as if a detective would be as stupid as he turned out to be...and so up himself!
I just lost all interest in it but listened to the bitter end...
Bored me almost to tears!

16 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Stupid book. Shouldn’t have bought this.

Such a terrible book. No character development. Predictable. The main character is so so so infuriatingly predictable. Honestly. I don’t understand how these authors get published.
Also I’m beginning to distrust amazons review system or are readers just so easily pleased???

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story x

i couldn't stop listening. i like Dan's honest character and that he's 'real'. i can't wait for the next book.

9 people found this helpful

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

Superb!!!!

I liked it all ..... couldn’t stop listening!!! Predicted some parts but the intrigue was captivating......

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Stopped listening

Very very drawn out, an hour in still waiting for story to get going... lots of promise if condensed to 6 hours might be a corker.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lynn
  • 06-06-20

Difficult to Love

The first chapter made me sick to my stomach. I stopped listening and removed the book from my device. I intended to return it. Then I forgot about it for months. Having no credits left, I looked through my library and came across it and decided to give it another try, but since I'd already heard the first chapter skipped that. This time I finished the book. The narrator gave an excellent performance. The plot turned out to be quite clever, though far fetched. I did not appreciate the graphic descriptions of child sexual abuse. The best thing the book had going for it was the engaging, agonized hero. I'll probably try the next book in the series because I think the hero's personality and melancholy give the series promise. if you like plots that keep you guessing, and you don't mind sadistic death scenes, and the abuse theme doesn't totally spoil the book for you, then give it a try.

19 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Olivia
  • 18-08-20

On point!

EXACTLY what I look for in a good mystery thriller. Perfect balance of everything, I purchased the next book in the series before I even finished this one. A nice dose of wit/humor mixed in and made me laugh out loud a few times. I usually mow through this genre, and this was the best story in the last many. Looking forward to more from this author.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jakari
  • 04-12-22

Rachel, Rachel, Rachel!

The way that the character Daniel obsessed over Rachel was so irritating! I found myself rolling my eyes every time I heard her name. By the way Daniel referred back to Rachel in every single moment
of his daily life almost Stopped me from continuing this book. I pressed on and it ended well.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Tray Lah Lah
  • 01-12-22

Couldn't get into it...

The story moved too slow & characters too full of angst. I got bored and quit 20 chapters in.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rico Lalli
  • 02-08-21

Better Than Sherlock?

I’ve listened to the whole series (backwards by accident) & I’ve decided Detective Dan Reilly is the “emotional” Sherlock Holmes completely guided by his famous intuition. A fantastic series you won’t regret!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • scott comeaux
  • 20-06-19

At first....

At first, I did not think I would like the English accent narration. Soon the voice and story had me hooked. Can not wait to listen to the 2nd Dan Riley book!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MA Reviewer
  • 17-12-22

Wow!

"Black Heart" was not for the faint-hearted.

Thank you, Audible Plus, for introducing me to writer Anna-Lou Weatherley and narrator James Lailey.

I just finished the first two books in Anna-Lou Weatherley's Detective Dan Riley series, and I am absolutely, positively hooked.

In "Black Heart", too much time was allocated to Detective Dan Riley lamenting over the death of his former girlfriend but, overall, the book was a winner.

Narrator James Lailey gave an outstanding performance.

I have just added the entire series to my Audible library.

4.5 stars

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • T. Peppel
  • 10-12-22

Great series!

I am loving this series! It’s nice to find an author who consistently puts out great work.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kamalei
  • 01-12-22

Narrator is superb!

Narrator is amazing! Wow! Great performance! Good story line and character build up. Some minimal foul language but not so much to distract from story. Narrator brings story to life, bravo!!!!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • GenXtinction
  • 29-01-23

ABSOLUTELY INTENSE and brilliant job!!

A new author and this book along with a brilliant narrator are now on my top 5 favorites. Fascinating, and so much (if not all of it) is very real and always has been....