• Birthdays for the Dead

  • By: Stuart MacBride
  • Narrated by: Ian Hanmore
  • Length: 14 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 01-05-12
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (123 ratings)

Regular price: $15.45

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Publisher's Summary

The gritty new standalone crime novel from the No. 1 best-selling author of Shatter the Bones and Dark Blood
Detective Constable Ash Henderson has a dark secret…
Five years ago his daughter, Rebecca, went missing on the eve of her 13th birthday. A year later the first card arrived: homemade, with a Polaroid picture stuck to the front – Rebecca, strapped to a chair, gagged and terrified. Every year another card: each one worse than the last. The tabloids call him The Birthday Boy. He’s been snatching girls for 12 years, always in the run-up to their 13th birthday, sending the families his homemade cards showing their daughters being slowly tortured to death. But Ash hasn’t told anyone about Rebecca’s birthday cards – they all think she’s just run away from home – because if anyone finds out, he’ll be taken off the investigation. And he’s sacrificed too much to give up before his daughter’s killer gets what he deserves…
©2012 Stuart MacBride (P)2011 HarperCollins
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By BSquaredInOz on 06-01-12

For those who can stomach strong violence

Would you try another book from Stuart MacBride and/or Ian Hanmore?

I would definitely listen to another book by this narrator but as for the author I'd be more picky. This book was very violent, gratuitously so in my opinion, and I didn't think much of the plotting or the main character. I'm prepared to give the author another go because there are hints of writing that I do like (particularly the humour) but I'm wary of more of the same.

What about Ian Hanmore???s performance did you like?

The changes in voices for the different characters were subtle but noticeable enough to make the book easy to follow. I do like a Scottish accent too.

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

Revulsion mostly. I've had my fill of serial killer books featuring tortured souls on disgusting quests that require the mutilation of innocent people - being a crime fiction fan I've come across a lot of these but am well and truly done with this particular sub genre. I've also had it with excessively violent blokes using their fists to solve every problem they come across.

Any additional comments?

This book was not for me but I don't think it's badly written. It just takes readers down a path I have trodden too often before.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Julie Jones on 09-05-12

Tedious violence

This piece is generally entertaining--especially the police profiler--and very well read, but the repeated and prolonged descriptions of physical assaults became tedious.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jill on 01-18-12


Set in a fictional 'Oldcastle' with completely new characters this book is grisly, violent, and shocking; 'gritty' is an understatement - it is more like being carried along on an avalanche of boulder scree.... and I absolutely loved it. MacBride has created some great new characters, and I especially enjoyed Alice aka 'Dr McFruitloop', who is more than a little off-the-wall. Generously larded with MacBride's typical black Scottish humour to help alleviate some of the more revolting bits, I found this compulsive listening. What's more the plot is well-constructed, and though I wouldn't quite say believable (I would prefer perverts like the Birthday Boy to remain firmly in the domain of fiction!), I found myself guessing till the end.

In my opinion MacBride set the bar high when he narrated some of his earlier books himself, so Ian Hanmore had a hard act to follow. He does a very good job - tackling quite a few different accents with aplomb, and was an excellent choice for the job. I really enoyed his narration.

If you are familiar with MacBride's books then you know what to expect so no warnings needed. If you are new to this author then be warned that his books are like Marmite, you either love them or hate them. Not for those offended by strong language or violence, or have too many delicacies and a sense of humour failure - for others, highly recommended!

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Cheryl on 02-03-12

Birthdays for the Dead - Stuart MacBride

If I was reading this book I wouldn't have put it down until I finished it. Totally gripping the whole way through, excellent. Narration was superb

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 04-17-18

Entertaining but a little bleak.

I really enjoyed this book but it was rather violent. The performance was first class.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Col Gorman on 11-08-17


Sounded like a great story but I could not understand the thick Scottish accent. I have enjoyed the rest of Stuart Macbrides books but could carry on with this one.

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