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  • The Last Cuckoo

  • When Ghosts Live on in Stepfamilies
  • By: Maria Frankland
  • Narrated by: Chris Nuttall
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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The Last Cuckoo

By: Maria Frankland
Narrated by: Chris Nuttall
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Summary

When she was alive, no one would listen. Now she is dead, they are forced to.

After escaping an unhappy marriage, Anna had the rest of her life to look forward to. However, she soon swapped one toxic family situation for another. When she plunged to her death from the bannister to the foot of her staircase whilst painting, initial grief swiftly became speculation.

Jamie has minimal support as he mourns his mother. Struggling with his estranged father’s indifference and demands from the stepfamily Anna has thrust on him, he initially turns his loss and anger inward.

Then, the Twitter notifications begin.

Anna Hardaker is following you....

There were no shortage of jealous motives that surrounded Anna prior to her death. And for those left behind, the questions, blame, and toxicity persist as everyone strives to uncover the truth.

Meanwhile, as the tweets increase in number and intensity, Jamie’s world becomes darker and lonelier. Until he finally unleashes his rage on those who remain.

©2020 Maria Frankland (P)2020 Maria Frankland

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fantastic story and brilliantly read

I listened to this book in 2 days, I can't wait for more by the author and the narrator....

1 person found this helpful

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A well executed mystery/thriller

It’s been three weeks since Jaime lost his mother, Anna, after she fell to her death while redecorating the house she shared with her son. Struggling to contain his anger, grief and loss, Jaime finds himself isolated from the rest of the family as each member with their own agenda await the outcome of Anna’s Will.

Several days following the funeral, Jaime is appalled when he receives a Twitter notification alerting him to a tweet from Anna’s account which suggests that her death was no accident. The question is, who is behind the tweets and is there really more to Anna’s death?

The Last Cuckoo is a dark story which focuses on family dynamics and the consequences of toxic relationships. Narrated in the first person by Jaime (as though he’s talking to his mother) we are given insight into Jamie’s innermost thoughts and feelings as he reminisces about his troubled past and struggles to move on with a life without his mother. While having Jaime’s point of view offers valuable insight into his psyche, it does make him a somewhat unreliable protagonist. I felt at times that his behaviour was immature for a 24-going-on-25 year old although some of his actions were understandable considering the behaviour and characteristics of his so called family and friends.

The secondary characters were well developed. We have Jamie’s narcissistic, opportunistic father Phil, who was barely around for his son following his divorce from Anna but who begins to sniff around now that Jamie has been left a substantial amount of money in Anna’s Will. Phil’s relationship with his current wife Katherine is equally volatile and she in turn has always resented Anna and Jaime. Then we have Anna’s fiancé Iain, his antagonistic ex wife Stacey, along with his toxic self centred daughter Claudia who resents Anna’s presence in her father’s life and despises Jaime.

In the background to all these deeply unpleasant characters, is a relentless Twitter campaign orchestrated to lead those that Anna loved - and didn’t love - to the truth behind her death. I confess I had my own ideas about the culprit from the get go so I was completely unprepared for the twist at the end.

This book was my first introduction to the author and she didn’t disappoint. This was a well executed, razor taut thriller/mystery. The author did a wonderful job of creating characters that seemingly come alive. The plot maintained my interest from the offset and kept me guessing. The author has skilfully highlighted the challenges that stepfamilies face when trying to meld two families with children into one. I couldn’t help sympathising with Anna throughout. Her life had been full of disappointments and it seems that just as she had found some semblance of happiness, her life was tragically cut short. I’ll definitely be looking out for future works of this author.

I received an advanced free audible copy of The Last Cuckoo and I am voluntarily reviewing it. Chris Nutall (with his Irish accent) did a wonderful job of bringing the story and characters to life with his clear and concise narration.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Narrator!

Lovely voice to listen to! Very articulate, and at the same time brings the characters to life!

1 person found this helpful

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New Author Found

Just discovered Maria Frankland books and loving them , started this morning with The Last Cuckoo and haven’t been able to put it down and the narration by Chris Nuttall is perfect , overall can’t remember enjoying a new ( to me ) author this much , in fact I’ve bought two more on the strength of this one

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A gritty northern drama with a real twist

Thoroughly enjoyed, a great insight into family trauma & psychology. loved the narration bringing you to the heart of northern England in the modern day.
A real twist at the end.

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This book was amazing and I read it within a couple of days

The story was well structured and it wasn’t until very close to the end that I guessed the outcome. This is the first thriller I have read by Maria and I am really looking forward to reading many more.

I rarely give five star ratings but this book definitely deserves it

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Intriguing till the end

Loved this book. Very well written with such a style I felt drawn in by some characters and repelled by others.
Full of twists and turns, intriguing throughout!
A definite one to delve into but also one that I am going to reread again.
5 stars!

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Another homerun by Maria Franklin

This story is so twisted I can’t even gather my thoughts to write a summary. Also, I just finished it in as the end is mine blowing as is all of Murray’s books I’m overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions. This book is so good I have never encountered an author who every book she writes blows me away. If you love books that he has twist on top of twist until the very last sentence and the best thing of all is they’re all plausible and they all makes sense then get this book. If you love a good thriller get this book I highly recommend it it’s so so so freaking awesome!

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The last cukoo

When you start this book you will probably think you have worked out the ending .what a surprise.

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A great audio book.

A really enjoyable thriller. The writer's use of language for the main character, Jamie, is brilliant. I loved how the narration of the book really brings Jamie to life.
This will keep you guessing and in my case, wrong!

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  • Kayla Krantz
  • 22-08-20

Emotional and Suspenseful

When Jamie’s mother dies, he’s not entirely sure how he’ll go on. Wrapped in grief, he does what he can to try and move on with his life. Then he gets a notification from his mother’s Twitter. He brushes it off, thinking it to be an old notification. That is, until he starts to see his mother again.

I liked Jamie’s character. He was well-rounded and easy to sympathize with. His reactions were real and easy to understand. For anyone who’s ever lost someone they’re close to, they’ll find the portrayal of grief to be very real.

This story is full of emotions and suspenseful. Plenty of twists and turns to keep you listening.

I’ve never heard a narrator with an Irish accent before so it was an interesting listen. The narrator really brought the characters and story to life.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Smith
  • 27-08-20

Great Listen

Interesting book.This book had a lot of suspense. The narrator did a fine job as well. I will probably listen to it again in the future.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for 💕 Amanda Urbinato 💕  Reviewer Extraordinaire
  • 💕 Amanda Urbinato 💕 Reviewer Extraordinaire
  • 24-02-21

I Did not expect that ending!

I went back and forth in my head about this audiobook pretty much the entire time I listened. I didn't really like it much at first. It took me a little while to get used to the narration. And the entire book was written as if Jamie was talking to his dead mother and that took some getting used to I think. But once I got about halfway through, I really started getting more into it. The characters drove me nuts. The way Jamie just handed over the money to his deadbeat father was frustrating. And the way Jamie just couldn't get over it just seemed a little off. But then, in the end, it all made sense. And I am definitely glad I kept going with this book. And I would love to read more of Maria Frankland.

This book was given to me at my request. I am providing a voluntary and honest review.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Clarisa Cruz
  • Clarisa Cruz
  • 10-11-20

Good

This is a story of a boy who lost his mother. It’s basically a conversation of the boy with his dead mother. It goes into too many unnecessary details before getting to the climax. It’s not a bad story, just too slow.

I received this book free for an honest review.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Joan
  • Joan
  • 12-10-20

It was ok

It took a while to get into this book as it is narrated by Jamie, who just lost his mother. It turns out Jamie is 25, but he sounds more like a mentally challenged teenager and he is extremely whiney and unlikable. All the characters in this book are very unlikable, so much so that I could not even muster enough sympathy for the victim, assuming she must've been just as crap if these are the kinds of people in her life.
In the beginning this was quite a guessing game trying to figure out what was going on but then you sort of guess the ending.
This book was interesting if you like dysfunctional families though, so viewed from that perspective, it is worth a read.