Listen free for 30 days

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.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.
The Barkeep cover art

The Barkeep

By: William Lashner
Narrated by: Luke Daniels
Try for £0.00

£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

Buy Now for £27.59

Buy Now for £27.59

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

Justin Chase is the perfect barkeep, tending bar as he lives his life, in a state of Zen serenity, until Birdie Grackle, a foul-mouthed alcoholic, walks into his bar and makes a startling confession.

Six years ago Justin’s life was ripped apart when he discovered his mother’s bludgeoned corpse. Now Justin’s father is serving a life sentence and Justin drowns his emotions in a pool of inner peace. But when Birdie claims he murdered Justin’s mother for cash, Justin is hurled back to the emotions, back to the past, and, most frightening of all, back to the father he tried to leave behind. Who hired Birdie Grackle to kill Justin's mother? As Justin pieces together the truth, a killing machine stalks Justin, leaving a trail of dead in his wake. Someone wants to bury the truth, and maybe Justin, too. Justin had better find some answers quick, because murder is just not Zen.

©2013 William Lashner (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Barkeep

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

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

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chip Atkinson
  • Chip Atkinson
  • 01-10-14

Probably listened to it 4 times…

… and it’s still riveting. The narrator is great at times, but I felt he was a bit over the top with 2-3 key characters.

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jeanne
  • Jeanne
  • 07-03-14

wasn't an i can't wait to get back to it

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I didn't feel there was 12 hours of story to the book. Lots of twists and turns, but I wish a few of the loose ends had been tied up.

Would you recommend The Barkeep to your friends? Why or why not?

No. It just want as thrilling as many of the other books I've read/listened to.

Did Luke Daniels do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes, he did different voices and was consistent with them. I've listened to others that are better.

Was The Barkeep worth the listening time?

For me, not really.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-05-14

The Barkeep

Entertaining. Good not great.... As a former bartender, I appreciated the many references to the world "behind the board".

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Richard Delman
  • Richard Delman
  • 28-01-18

Likable, entertaining, not masterful.

I enjoyed this book. As above, it is not a masterpiece, but then, how many of those do we get? It is entertaining, which I think is what most of us want in a thriller. It is unusual. The protagonist, Justin Chase, is a bartender whose father, McKenzie, is in prison for murdering his mother, Eleanor. Justin deteriorated after the murder, and his life has never been the same. He had graduated from law school, but never passed the bar, and floated into a series of bartending jobs, having no serious relationships and no goals. The book sets up the goal of finding out whether his father really did kill his mother, and he finds this out at the end of the book. In the meantime, the book is populated by a cast of interesting characters: Mia, the D.A., Westbrook, the cop, a very bad man named Birdie Grackle (you read that right) and some friends of Justin's. As the book progresses, Justin hooks up with Annie Overstreet, who, in a fine Oedipal twist, was his father's girlfriend before he went to prison. Justin uses Zen techniques to try to fend off his feelings, particularly his mourning of his mother, but also his growing attachment to Annie.
The writing is good, but the performance of Luke Daniels is amazing. Mr. Daniels tries as hard as he can to make this one of the most memorable audiobooks you have heard, and he does a truly respectable job of it. He uses a tremendous range of voices, expressing the voices of characters, moods, different properties of speech, passions, and pretty much anything you can think of in a good narrator. I will now take serious looks at books that he narrates. He won't make you forget Frank Muller, and he's not Edoardo Ballerini, but he is doing his damned best, and that is good enough for me.
The book could have benefitted from some editing. It is too long. A number of the scenes do not advance the plot, which they should, a cardinal rule of all novels and particularly thrillers. The author needs to keep you interested and wondering whodunit.
This book is worth reading. It kept me entertained, and that is a fine thing these days. Winter can be cold and wet, even here in "sunny" California. Light a fire, pick up a blankie, and settle down in your favorite chair. Needless to say, only light a fire if you have a fireplace, or else you might have a scene from one of these thrillers.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Wayne
  • Wayne
  • 12-09-16

Murder mystery or failed attempt at comedy?

I really like this author and this narrator, but Barkeep is an awful audiobook. I found listening to this shipwreck painful. William Lashner's attempts at levity repeatedly fall flat in this silly story. Luke Daniels, one of my favorite narrators, consistently over performs while trying to capture the emotion of the horrible dialog.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for ZeraGirl
  • ZeraGirl
  • 24-10-15

Wow, what a read !!

This book was a total surprise for me. At the very beginning I didn't think I would enjoy it. After a slow start, for me that is, it captivated me and kept me enthralled. It kept me guessing until almost the very end. I think Mr. Lashner has gained another fan.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lady S.
  • Lady S.
  • 25-07-15

Strangely entertaining

The premise of the story was good, there were lots of twists and ah ha moments. But the narration was off at times I couldn't tell when another charade was speaking because they all sounded the same and there was a bit too much mindless rambling. With all that being said it was a pretty good.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Elizabeth
  • Elizabeth
  • 02-12-15

Terrific

Wonderful narration... He captured the different characters - amazing
Great story - couldn't put it down
I finished it in a day

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sarah
  • Sarah
  • 29-10-15

Unusual Characters, Original Plot!

I thought the book was fabulous. I really liked the main character, a bartender who doesn't drink and follows the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the mentally challenged but endearing killer, the jaded former mistress of the imprisoned father. It was a good mystery with complex intrigue. One complaint - I thought the very annoying and disgusting old codger character went on with his rambling way too long, to the point where I had to fast forward a couple of times. The narrator did his voice much too well - an authentic Texas drunk accent which reminded me of people I have encountered here in the Lone Star State.

The detailed descriptions of the mixed drinks were a fun touch but I think this book might not be a good choice for recovering alcoholics.

I agree with other reviewers the ending was a little strange - and a bit weak compared to the rest of the book. Pretty satisfying outcomes all in all, however.

I definitely recommend this book. It was another one that caused me to sit in the driveway listening after I got home.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Linda
  • Linda
  • 17-07-15

Good every thing.

What made the experience of listening to The Barkeep the most enjoyable?

Luke Daniels.

What does Luke Daniels bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He can bring the characters to life. He has quite a range of voices to offer. He is my favorite narrator next to Ray Porter.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

No

5 people found this helpful