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Publisher's Summary

Grace Repton, a beautiful older woman, walks into the police station to tell Detective Matt Ballard she has information that could stop a murder. Her fiance, the infamous serial killer Jeremy Reader, has told her that he has a disciple who is going to kill using Reader's horrific methods.  

Reader murdered five women and was finally brought to justice by Detective Ballard. Reader is safely imprisoned in a high security prison, and claiming to be a reformed man who wants to help the police.   

But can Matt believe the serial killer or his peculiar wife to be? Can the love of a good woman really change a serial killer?  

And the Fenland police also have another investigation on their hands. A Lithuanian migrant worker is found dead on the fens. There is no ID on him, but he has a Tree of Life tattoo. This is the third body to be found with this distinctive tattoo. Is this gang war or something even more sinister?  

The police are stretched to the breaking point with multiple copycat murders. And Matt and his girlfriend Liz will fight for everything they care about in a heart-stopping conclusion that will have you on the edge of your seat.

©2019 Joy Ellis (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Five Bloody Hearts

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

Disappointed!!

All Joy Ellis novels are in my Audible library. FIVE BLOODY HEARTS is the first to fail to earn 4 or 5 stars. This 10 hour audio novel contains at least 3 hours of useless fill words that do not add/contribute to the story. The plot is quite interesting. The narration is barely acceptable.

7 people found this helpful

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Much better narrator

This took me a long time to get through the first few chapters. I’d start and stop and start over. At least the new narrator is 100% better than the reader of the previous book.

The story was interesting - eventually. I was disturbed by the relationship between Matt and Liz in the last book and I’m glad to see how that was resolved. Now Matt is awaiting retirement and Liz is recovering from their last case. A copycat killer, the original murderer now in prison, his fiancée, and other murders that appear to be a national feud keep Ballard and his team very busy. Red herrings abound. I figured out the killer (at least partly) before the end. I liked the Nikki Galena reference.

I’ve read the other series by Joy Ellis. She’s an automatic pre-order author for me.

7 people found this helpful

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When will Matt recover?

After listening to the first book...I was hoping for a recovered in-charge DCI; not so; and the narrator did not help, work to be done here. While the cast of characters are interesting, not enough to add to my "buy every one in the series list" . I will return this one. Hope they will get better, and that Matt will fully recover.

4 people found this helpful

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worth it, even with the overdramatic reading

cool story, like the characters, not a fan of the narration (at all) ; but worth it if you need to listen instead of read (like myself) - this is definitely one book i wish i could've read myself

4 people found this helpful

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Good story - terrible narration

The characters in this book are from previous storylines but because of the narration i couldn’t recognize them until well into the story. Very disappointing.

3 people found this helpful

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oops!

It was good, but I suspected the real killer from almost the beginning. Kim was correct!

3 people found this helpful

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book 2

I sorta had this one figured out at the beginning, and it turned out I was right, but I still enjoyed it a lot. other than the narrator getting to quiet at times because the character was whispering or something, he was very good.

2 people found this helpful

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Decent story, wrong reader

If I continue with this series it will have to be on my Kindle. The intonation on almost every line here was off. It wasn’t the dodgy accents either that got me. Every now and then, I caught myself reciting a sentence out loud without dropping the ending just to hear it like it should have been read. Sorry to be so negative but a good narrator is crucial for me. I can’t hear any more with this reader.

1 person found this helpful

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Another Ellis treat!

I wasn't sure how much I really liked Ballard after the first book in this series, but I'm warming up to him now! I think I was just too spoiled by DI Galena and had trouble easing into a new character set. I love the way that Ellis uses Rory in both series, although it's a bit jarring when the narrators are different and Rory speaks with a different voice! None the less, I like the cross-overs between the series. I also liked the way that this mystery was, albeit tangentially, connected to the last. Interesting twists!
I look forward to the next in series!

1 person found this helpful

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Great addition to the Ellis collection

This is another great story from the Joy Ellis collection. I am addicted to her stories. This is no different. This was captivating and even ended with the plot twist like I expected.

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  • Mrs. Linda M. Rhodes
  • 01-28-20

Improvement

I have to say that this was a vast improvement on the first Matthew Ballard book. Also a much better narrator.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-16-20

Every Good Book needs a Good reader

Again An excellent story with the usual twists and turns , but I thought the reader was very poor . Unlike book 1 where the reader kept the story moving and the reading was very clear. In this book the story pace was slow and sometimes the voice was inaudible , and the drama just disappeared.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kirsten
  • 01-13-20

Great story but bad narration

The narrator’s accents make it very confusing to follow and not as good to listen to as other Joy Ellis books. It becomes distracting but I love her books and persevered. Glad I did cos the story line was great with lots of twists and turns

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs. A. Crawford
  • 08-13-20

Disappointing

The change of narrator ruined this book for me. He sounds bored. I lost interest in the story due to this.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Chanty
  • 11-02-19

Five Bloody Hearts

Another great story and well narrated.
Looking forward to the next Joy Ellis audible book to listen to. I’ve made sure I’ve purchased all of her books in order because I’d hate to miss the previous story, there’s none I’ve missed so far.
Enjoy!

3 people found this helpful

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  • The Aardvark
  • 10-22-19

Decent follow up to "Beware the Past"

Worth listening to if you've heard the first book in the Matt Ballad series. Otherwise I'm not sure how good the storyline is. Narration OK but the Welsh and Scottish accents were very wobbly.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lizzy
  • 10-20-19

Great second outing

A fantastic follow up to a great series debut, this outing has so many twists and turns that you’ll never guess what’s happening till right near the end, if you guess at all! I really hope that this continues because I think Matt Ballard has more stories to tell!

3 people found this helpful

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  • mrs e jackson
  • 10-02-19

Keeps you guessing right till the end

Another Joy Ellis success.
The twists and turns keep you guessing all the way through.
The only negative comment is the narrator. He just doesn’t have the range of accents or the ability to sound different when it comes to women’s voices. Also at times he sounded bored!!

3 people found this helpful

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  • J A Phillips
  • 06-09-20

A total mystery with twists

A very good story with plenty of twists. A very enjoyable read. Joy Ellis is an excellent writer.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ninja
  • 06-01-20

Great read

Well read every single time, enjoyed the twists and turns. Looking forward to book 3.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kathleen
  • 11-06-20

Disappointed

Love Joy Ellis books I buy them all but this one was very slow and disappointing and extremely predictable who the killer was (except for the helper) I am usually stuck in her books until finished but I couldn’t wait to get this one finished to move onto something more thrilling. It will not stop me reading her books because the other 99.99% of her books have been totally thrilling

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-16-19

Disappointing

The narrative was annoying and undermined the story. The story was convoluted with too many plots that merged with difficulty.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Karl
  • 10-19-19

Totally underwhelming

I had to stop listening to this book. The story was so boring but the clincher was the terrible narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • nadinesb
  • 09-01-19

A disappointment

Very contrived and obvious conclusion. Found myself really not caring about the main characters. A shame because I’ve enjoyed all of Joy Ellis’ works.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-29-22

Narrator

Very disappointed with the narrator, he mad it sound very boring and hard to follow

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-03-22

background noise

great book but the reading is terrible.
Throughout the book you can hear the readers stomach growling, noises in the background, doors closing etc. not great.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-03-21

Hard to listen to

I found the Narrator & his very bad accents hard to listen to & follow.. book was good

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-31-21

Could not listen

I love Joy Ellis and was very excited when my monthly credit came and I could purchase book 2 in the Matt Ballard series. Unfortunately, after 3 attempts to listen(one where I increased the speed x 1) I just could not listen. The readers voice was soooooo slooooow!!! and monotonous, I could not listen. How do I get a refund?

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie
  • 08-23-21

Disappointed

Could not get into as found narrator difficult to listen to. Are JE fan.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Honeybee
  • 05-21-21

Didnt have the ride of other JE stories.

I found this book a little sluggish. Lead character just didnt grab me and take me on a ride. Maybe the storyline of his impending retirement was the key to the lack of enthusiasm I found. The descriptions of emotions,places and events are wonderful. Ms Ellis does that really well. Storyl just missed the mark this time.