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  • The Wild Inside

  • A Novel of Suspense
  • By: Christine Carbo
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (378 ratings)

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The Wild Inside cover art

The Wild Inside

By: Christine Carbo
Narrated by: R.C. Bray
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Summary

For fans of Louise Penny, C. J. Box, and Nevada Barr comes a haunting crime novel set in Glacier National Park, where one man finds himself on a collision course with the dark heart of the wild and the even darker heart of human nature.

It was a clear, starry night in Glacier National Park. Fourteen-year-old Ted Systead and his father were camping peacefully beneath the rugged peaks and sweeping sky when the unimaginable happened: Ted's father was mauled by a grizzly bear and dragged to his death.

Now, 20 years later, as a special agent for the Department of the Interior, Ted is called back to investigate a crime that echoes the horror of that night. Only this time the victim was tied to a tree before the animal's attack. Ted teams up with one of the park officers - a man named Monty, whose pleasant exterior masks an all-too-vivid knowledge of the area. Residents of the nearby community are less than forthcoming. Suspicious of outsiders and intimately connected to the wilderness that surrounds them, they confront their fellow man and nature with equal measures of reverence and brutality. As the days pass with no clear answers, not only is human life at stake but so too is that of a majestic creature who carries with it valuable evidence. Ted's search for truth takes him far into the wilderness, on the trail of a killer, and eventually to a shocking and unexpectedly personal conclusion.

Rich in atmosphere and evocative, lush descriptions, The Wild Inside is a gripping debut novel about the wondrously perilous intersection between man and nature.

©2015 Christine Carbo (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Wild Inside

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

Something Refreshingly Different

Having read a lot of detective thrillers over the years I can say that this one offers something just a little different. the key difference of course is the setting which is brought to life well in Carbo's text. The juxtaposition of modern humanity with the wilderness of Glacier Park offers many interesting scenarios. Issues around tourism and ecological sustainability are in a delicate balance and are highlighted well in the text.

It brings a new life to cliched scenes from the genre such as the grisly autopsy . . . and their will be few more grisly than the one in this! When scene of crime examinations have to take into account things like the shape of bear footprints it certainly adds a little something.

Carbo has imagined an interesting lead for her stories. Ted Systead has a great backstory and his character and the others are sympathetically developed. RC Bray, perhaps showing a slightly softer side than his usual delivers the top-notch quality that I've now come to take for granted of him.

Overall though, it's not hugely fast-paced and I didn't feel a great sense of suspense. The key reason to invest in this series is that the setting and characters are just a bit different and they do add considerable interest.

9 people found this helpful

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The Wild Inside - an unexpected gem of a read

The Wild Inside - an unexpected gem of a read
Don't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, really enjoyable.
Suspense book that had me fooled until the very end,
with a great taste of the great outdoors of Montana.
R C Bray a great narrator will definitely being looking out for more
books narrated by him & written by Christine Carbo

4 people found this helpful

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So glad I listened to this.

This audiobook has been in my suggested list for a while and I’d discounted it for one reason or another. When I finally started listening to it I realised that I’d been mistaken. It’s a long, slow, thoughtful book that moves at natures pace. No sensational set pieces, just damn good writing. As for the narrator, I’d listen to him reading a telephone directory! The measured pace of his voice wove into the story to great effect.

1 person found this helpful

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Me too!

Stumbled onto this. New author and narrator to me. Was sucked into the story very quickly . Enjoyed everything. From the characterisation to descriptions to not working out who did it. It does plod along without any shock horror but it suited the storyline and I enjoyed the narration. I always know if it’s a good combination of story well written and excellent narration if I forget I’m listening..get so involved I can see it playing out in my minds eye. Hope the next one is as good!!

1 person found this helpful

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Slow…

This was quite hard work to get through and didn’t end with the big finish I was hoping to get having got through it. Somewhat predictable.
Narrator wasn’t my favourite either which I think led further to the heavy and slow feeling of the story

1 person found this helpful

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Not My Usual Genre

If I told anyone who knows me that I was reading a book with the theme of a wilderness of park I think most people would be shocked. I love R.C Bray so it was he who led me to this series.
I really enjoyed the book, I like the way the author writes and descibes thing's. I'm now on my 3rd book and I'll hopefully get to listen to the last book before my membership runs out on the 26th!

1 person found this helpful

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Started well, but…

Well-narrated by RC Bray, and I quite liked the beginning. However, Ted’s behaviour is increasingly annoying- his actions are erratic and he seems both psychologically unfit for his position and on the verge of a breakdown. I found him intensely irritating.

The motive for the eventual murderer is very weak. Some of the descriptions are also very repetitive, (I thought I would scream if I heard once more about Ted’s clenched sternum!).

RC Bray probably makes this story better than it actually is, but I will listen to the second as it is included on Audible to see if the plotting improves.

1 person found this helpful

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Very good story

Loved this story could not work out who the murderer was and really liked the ending

1 person found this helpful

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Good start. Saggy middle, disappointing ending.

Interesting main character but far too much navel gazing - gets in the way of a good story.

1 person found this helpful

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Randomly selected.

I stumbled onto this book when I was looking for something new, and so pleased that I did, initially I didn't think it would work for me, but really enjoyed.
excellent work and well read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • L
  • 21-11-16

Brutal animal torture

I'm a fan of CJ Box and Craig Johnson. I always enjoy books about the mountains and the national parks, so I was excited to discover this new author. But be forewarned: the story hinges on the detailed, excruciatingly brutal torture of a dog. The scene is repeated over and over and over throughout the book until it becomes unbearable. I am not a squeamish delicate flower, but this was unnecessary and cruel. I found myself reacting at first to the characters who committed the torture, then very quickly reacting to the author who repeated the scene over and over. I couldn't finish the book. I'm sad to have pieces of this story lingering in my head and to have wasted money on it. I don't often write detailed reviews but I wish someone had warned me.

134 people found this helpful

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  • Sara
  • 18-09-15

Mystery, Thriller, Suspense & The Great Outdoors

This is a book that grabs you by the throat from the opening paragraph and doesn't let go until the last word. Narrated in a macho tough guy voice which I actually enjoyed once I got over the semi surprise of it all. Really engaging reading with perfect timing.

The story is multi dimensional, hits all the current social issues and deftly instructs the listener in an insiders view of the National Parks system and the Department of the Interior.
I love the National Parks as a visitor--but I don't know enough about the inner workings to know if the info presented here is accurate. While listening I wondered about that for about a minute and then put it out of my mind because the story was too good to waste time fussing about facts. I will say it all felt very real and believable.

I loved the sense of place the author captures in the way she presents Glacier National Park and Montana. Brutal, intense, fascinating and gruesome all wrapped up into one wild ride of a book. I join other reviewers here in saying that I hope this might end up as a new series. It was that good.

111 people found this helpful

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  • Suvartist
  • 04-04-16

Not for dog lovers...beware!

I'm so tired of writers using the abuse and killing of dogs to show how bad their villains are. Stop already! I would have liked this book except that it includes three separate episodes of dog besting and killing, and then keeps dredging up these horrific scenes. Don't read or listen to this book if you have a soft spot for our canine companions. Or bears! It also includes the tormenting of a bear. None of this was necessary for the plot.

77 people found this helpful

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  • L. O. Pardue
  • 09-05-16

Suspenseful Listen, Very Enjoyable

Was tentative about starting this audiobook as the back-story on Special Agent Systed would be hard to listen. That sad story was well handled by the author, Christine Carbo, and narrated with real warmth and empathy by Bray.

This was actually a very suspenseful, interesting audiobook from the beginning to the end. I enjoyed how the clues and leads were followed-up logically and thoroughly. I thought I had it all figured out, but then found out I was wrong. Love it when I don't see the twist coming -- and it still makes sense.

I enjoyed the descriptions of Montana and Glacier National Park. I have added it to my "Must Travel" list.

I will be spending my valuable credit on the new book by Carbo. She is on my "Definite Author List" for up-coming books.

NOTE: There is a scene involving a veterinarian and abuse of a family animal that I did not listen for 5 minutes as it was too much for me. I was still able to keep up with the story.

67 people found this helpful

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  • RueRue
  • 11-08-15

Disappointing

I was disappointed in this one. Too long, too much exposition, too many social issues (domestic violence, animal abuse, drug use, dysfunctional families ), too many characters;
just too much of everything except for a compelling narrative. A good editor could have helped find an interesting story in this over-long melodrama.

55 people found this helpful

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  • Bonny
  • 30-06-15

I really hope this is the first in a series!

Along with the Grand Tetons, Glacier National Park is one of my favorite places. Reading The Wild Inside, it's clear that Christine Carbo also has a great and genuine appreciation for Montana, all of its beauty, and its inherent dangers and brutality. I don't read many mysteries, but this one stands out with an interesting, very human main character, Ted Systead, Special Agent for the Department of the Interior, some excellent, evocative writing, and a compelling plot. There were a few instances where the writing may have been a bit emotionally overwrought, but to be fair, it is an emotional story.

I read the book with a bit of trepidation, as my husband and youngest son will be hunting in Montana this fall and have been seriously assessing their threat from bears. Carbo writes about the grizzly in this story in a realistic (grisly, but not gratuitous) way, reminding us that Glacier is not Disney World with cute wild animal characters. I sincerely hope that Carbo intends this to be the debut in a series, as I would love to read more about Ted Systead and his life and work in the West.

55 people found this helpful

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  • Ruth Nielsen
  • 19-06-15

A compelling 5 star listening experience!

This was a book I couldn't put down. I stayed up late at night listening because I was too drawn in to stop - and it kept me awake with the haunting intensity of the story and the voice of the narrator. Although other reviews compare this book to Mysteries by C.J. Box and Nevada Barr I would say it's better. I hope there will be more to follow - a great character has been introduced in this book. Highly recommended!

28 people found this helpful

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  • Richard Delman
  • 05-01-16

What is it that people like about this book?

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

There isn't anything that could have wrought such a change. The narrator has a decent voice, but the blood and gore and guts are worse than any Dennis Lehane or James Lee Burke. The little twist that the bear might have done it lends some interest. Otherwise, I would have rated it a zero or 1.

What could Christine Carbo have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Nothing. Her ability to portray her surroundings is nowhere near that of James Lee Burke, who truly makes you smell the hyacinths, or whatever. The characters aren't very interesting, either, as most of them seem to be alcoholics or meth addicts. Not a good basis for the people at the heart of the small communities in the national park. I never really cared about any of them.

Would you be willing to try another one of R. C. Bray’s performances?

I would. I like the sound of his voice, and with better material he would be more entertaining. Another complaint which occurs with many books of the whodunit genre: there is not even a single humorous moment. Not one. Tim Hallinan can make you laugh at least once per page, without doing any harm to his plots or to the scary adventures that Poke, Rose and Miaow have. Now there is a writer you should read! What a skilled man he is!

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

A little disappointment, although my expectations were not high. I had never heard of this writer, and I definitely will not seek her out in the future. There are so many masters of this genre: why read the mediocre ones?

Any additional comments?

Nope.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Jan
  • 22-12-15

Montana Wilderness Thriller


If you like author CJ Box, you are more than likely going to like Christine Carbo. I am an avid wilderness lover, so the location tempted me to choose this listen. But I continued listening because I couldn't put it down.

Glacier National Park in Montana is the setting for this mystery/thriller. A man is found dead and tied to a tree in the park, and had been attached by a grizzly. It is unknown whether he died before or after the grizzly encounter.

Suspense builds as an interior investigator, who as a boy watched a grizzly drag his father away from a campsite, is emotionally and physically challenged to solve the mystery.

The story is believable, and the accurate descriptions of the National Park add additional credibility as the story escalates. JC Bray was the perfect choice for narration.

This deal of the day was just that.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Cathy
  • 28-08-15

Very good

Christine Carbo is a new author for me. I am now looking for more. This story was written very well, and narrated by R. C. Bray very well, too. The story keeps you listening even when you should stop and sleep or something. Hard to shut this one off. Excellent narration. Great combination, these two!

19 people found this helpful