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Publisher's Summary

From Anne Cleeland comes a captivating new mystery series following the perilous exploits of two Scotland Yard detectives as they track down London's most elusive killers.

First-year detective Kathleen Doyle is a plucky Irish redhead of humble origins and modest means. Chief Inspector Michael Acton is her antithesis: a British lord turned cop. He's tall, handsome, and enigmatic - to a fault. He also has a knack for solving London's most high-profile crimes. Acton selects Doyle out of the newbie squad to partner with him on a series of investigations because she always knows when someone is lying - a trait that comes in handy when interviewing suspects and witnesses.

Acton and Doyle are sent to investigate the murder of a trainer at a racetrack, and soon new killings related to the first start unfolding, dragging the two investigators into ever more perilous situations. But the real danger is the unlikely attachment that develops between the ultra-reserved, aristocratic chief inspector and his spirited, working-class sidekick... a relationship that will raise plenty of eyebrows - and hackles - among their colleagues at the Yard.

©2013 Anne Cleeland (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Murder in Thrall

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great new entry into British mysteries

I found it difficult to truly classify this book and found that to be a positive aspect of this unique new voice to British mysteries. This is part police procedural, part romance (with a slightly creepy bent) and part quasi-paranormal.

Newly promoted DC Kathleen Doyle, with her lilting Irish accent and the fey ability to "read" the truth in people becomes the protégé of DCI Michael Sinclair, an English lord called Holmes behind his back for his uncanny ability to solve the most complex of mysteries.

The mystery is moderately complex, but the true joy in this book is the unique voice of the protagonist. I look forward to reading more of Cleeland's novels, as she begins to make her mysteries more taut, because her characters are already "spot on."

Marcella Riordan's narration is superb, especially her delivery of Doyle's Irish voice!

25 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

3 and and a half

Implausable, very disturbing situation with male and female protagonists, interesting narrative perspective, should be a real stinker, but I enjoyed it, listened to it again a week later. Still disturbing, as in an "Every Breath You Take" way.

I'm sure some women still believe stalking=devotion=love. Again, should be a stinker but I enjoyed it.

15 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Could Have Been Good But...

Doyle is bright young detective. Acton is a brooding enigmatic Chief Inspector. Throw in a mystery with a lot of twists and it has everything I normally like in a book. And yet - overshadowing all of it, is this very disturbing, even creepy behavior of Acton. Not only that, but Doyle's total acceptance of it, when she finds out, without even a small freak out on him. In fact, when the author was narrating some of Acton's thoughts and actions, I actually for a minute thought I was listening to the killer's thoughts. So much of that part was just way too over the top for my taste. It gets where you just can't categorize it as romantic behavior, even if you were used to old-fashioned alpha male sexist type heroes of decades past. Then back to the actual mystery, the way the killer is finally dealt with in the end and the story tie up kind of left me a bit unsettled. So if this is the first in a series, I am curious to know whether the author will tone down that disturbing behavior and reaction of the main characters and focus more on the mystery itself. So I might give the next one a try and give the characters a chance to redeem themselves.
All that aside, I did like Marcella Riordan, Especially her narration of Doyle, with her pleasant Irish accent. So here's to hoping that by the next book. Acton gets the psychiatric help he so clearly needs, and Doyle grows a pair.

24 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Creepy romance, tale of incompetence or?

I have trouble with "police procedurals" that are actually romance novels. I have trouble with police story plots that are furthered primarily by inane mistakes and general incompetence. This story is two for two in my book of annoyances. To add to that the relationship between "brilliant" (not very smart apparently) and the "feisty" (willing to do anything asked of her by her boss/lover) young constable is creepy from start to finish. Ugh!

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Way too creepy.

Calling this a mystery is a stretch as it is surely just a romance, and a creepy one at that. Not my genre and I certainly will not listen to any more books by this author.

19 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Strange romance novel not a mystery

Sadly, like others I have read, this is a romance novel trying to hide behind the genre mystery. It was not only a romance it was strange.

The guy admitted to stalking her and then asked her to marry him. He was royalty so she giggled and said "Let's date first." Odd story line.

I wish the author had concentrated more on the mystery part because it was the part worth listening to.

I returned the book.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting, intelligent, engrossing

What made the experience of listening to Murder in Thrall the most enjoyable?

Very well written. Suspenseful, sometimes funny with very interesting and imperfect characters. I can't wait to read the next one "Murder in Retribution."

What was one of the most memorable moments of Murder in Thrall?

The epilogue was very clever. It could have been the first chapter, but was very cleverly written to be the epilogue.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene was in the epilogue when Action first met Kathleen,

Any additional comments?

I listened to it 3 times in one week.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great New Series

I hope this is the first of many books in this series. I haven't been this impressed with the beginning of a series since I read Sue Grafton's A Is For Alibi. The principles are intriguing and more than a little different from your usual lead characters. I didn't figure out who the villain was until the very end, which is unusual for me. I can't wait for the second book.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Characters and a Fun Twist

Murder in Thrall is an excellent introduction to the unique detective team Acton and Doyle. With lots of suprises and a whole host of interesting characters I look forward to seeing where this series goes from here.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Unique Murder Mystery/ Police Pocedural/ Romance

Where does Murder in Thrall rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is definitely one of the best books I listened to. It combines a number genre's quite well. The mystery is good. The ending was a surprise to me even though it was foreshadowed. Both Acton and Doyle are interesting characters who are a bit odd. So of course, their relationship would be different as well. I thought it was very believably written. I especially enjoyed the portrayal of the realistic compromises one makes when working for their spouse. Acton behaves creepily, but it is an authentic part of his genius self. It is pretty easy to believe that a wealthy member of the aristocracy with a brilliant mind is also creepy. It is interesting to watch him struggle against this impulse. I appreciate that the author allows Doyle to trust her intuition that Acton is not dangerous. It is important for women to be able to trust themselves. I enjoyed the romance in the book and thought it was written brilliantly. The British police procedural seemed very accurate. I googled a few of the terms I didn't know and they were used correctly. The British slang with Irish background is delightful. The Catholicism is accurate as well. Doyle is a realistic, likeable character.

What other book might you compare Murder in Thrall to and why?

The plots are entirely different, but it reminds me in some ways of The Ghost Files by Scott Nicholson. They have in common a rational paranormal feel. A Murder in Thrall is not a paranormal mystery, but it has a similar feel. Both books have witty dialogue and great narrators that bring the characters alive. Both books have a husband and wife team working together to solve the crime. The mystery/ police procedural in this book is much closer to mystery/ police procedural books. It is well written with a great ending. The epilogue describes the first time Acton met Doyle and it is perfectly placed.

What about Marcella Riordan’s performance did you like?

She does a charming Irish accent, but she also nails several types of British accents. She has wonderful pacing and can do Acton's voice with this slight hesitation that captures his character.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Every Move You Make, I'll Be Watching You.

Any additional comments?

I got the 4th book in this series for free from Audio Book Boom. I liked it so much that I went back and bought the first book in the series. I will continue to purchase the entire series one book at a time. I like it that much.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jess
  • 11-07-20

Quirky and a little unusual

A fresh and different way of telling a detective story, Overall a very enjoyable easy listen

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dallass
  • 07-05-21

Entertaining, but the narrator…

I love this series, so I was excited to finally listen to the audiobook. Unfortunately it wasn’t as good an experience as reading the books was. The narrator just didn’t get it right. Every time Doyle’s Irish accent popped up, in comparison to the English characters, it just sounded off to my ear (apologies if the narrator is Irish) and I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped. Still I’ll be continuing on as I like the series and want to listen as I do chores, etc.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • erinaf
  • 01-27-21

A British crime/romance series with a difference

As a long time fan of both romance and crime novels as well as British crime series on TV, I loved this. It took me a bit to get into the swing of the book as it starts with aspects of Acton and Doyle's working relationshio already established, but once I got my bearings I was hooked. Acton is a titled and respected DCI known for his brilliance and ability to solve tough cases. When he takes on Doyle, a newly graduated constable, people are left both jealous and scratching their heads. The novel starts about 3 months into their unusual relationship with Doyle still nervous and learning the ropes and Acton's idiosyncrasies.

When they're called to the homicide of a horse trainer, more bodies start dropping shortly after. Doyle is a gifted interrogator due to an unusual ability to read emotions, but when her close relationship to Acton pushes her to the forefront, they find she might be the next victim.

This book had some of the usual 'vibe', for want of a better word, of British cop dramas. The politics of the station is front and centre, especially since someone with Doyle's experience shouldn't be anywhere near a homicide. Tied up with the investigation is the complicated relationship between Acton and Doyle. To be honest, his behaviour would be classed as stalking and he defines it as such in the book. He'd had his eye on her for a while, taking an unusual and obsessive interest in her to the point where he'd revolved his life around hers. I'm talking background searches, GPS tracking and secret photos just to skim the surface. She's astonishingly accepting of this and once he takes a leap of faith, their lives are forever entwined and their relationship escalates at a rapid pace. This was a little unbelievable but as someone who like a possessive male in their romances, I loved this twist. He's obsessed with her and even though he tries to dial down his crazy, it's still blaring from the ramparts. The author's start of each chapter with a line or two from Acton's point of view well and truly rams this home.

While the stalking aspect won't be everyone's cup of tea, it gave the book a different feel to other crime dramas while also managing to keep the same flavour. Doyle will also be an acquired taste for some readers. She babbles and any random tidbit that comes to her mind is shared. She had a fixation on trying to expand her vocabulary so this was a quirk tied in throughout the book, using her inner monologue which the book is mainly told from. Some readers might find this too erratic and scattered for them but I loved her and found it strangely endearing. The two types of crazy just seem to work.

The who dunnit had some good suspense but the antagonist was a bit predictable as there weren't that many suspects to begin with. I would have like a bit more detail about aspects of the case and the wind up to the big reveal but I still finished the book satisfied. Acton kept a lot of information to himself and since the book is mostly from Doyle's point of view, some background is lost. I loved the epilogue and thought it was a great touch. The narrator did a superb job and I'm pretty sure I'm hooked. I'll be getting Book 2 for sure.