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Publisher's Summary

A down-to-earth forensics expert has just discovered a crime scene that is out of this world.
In criminal forensics they train you to uncover evidence, no matter how brutal or bizarre the murder. But what if one night you encounter a crime scene so terrifying that no one on earth can explain it?
It begins deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, at the site of a reported shoot-out. Investigator Colin Cellars cannot find a trace of perpetrator or victim - or even confirm that anyone has been killed. As he doggedly pursues the case, he realizes there is far more at stake here than murder. Someone - or something - will stop at nothing to prevent him from discovering the truth. For the truth is not “out there”; it is locked away in Cellars’ own evidence file. And the evidence points to a killer far outside Cellars’ experience - far outside any earthly experience. But who will believe one maverick cop?
From the New York Times best-selling author of Balefire comes a chilling tale of murder, forensic detection, and vivid speculation that pits a unique crime scene investigator against a culprit who may be unlike any this world ever spawned.
Ken Goddard is the author of Balefire, among other novels. He has served as a criminalist in three California police and sheriff’s departments and as an instructor in crime scene investigation and forensic techniques at law enforcement academies throughout the United States, as well as for Interpol. He lives in Ashland, Oregon, where he is currently director of the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory, the only full-service wildlife crime laboratory in the world.
©1999 Ken Goddard (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

“First Evidence has great suspense, creepy atmosphere, and convincing nuts-and-bolts realism.  Ken Goddard has created an interesting take on an old problem and presented it with a ricochet writing style and commonsense characters.” (Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times best-selling author)
“A stunner. A gritty, compelling novel I finished in one night. Goddard is really good.” (Earl Emerson, Shamus Award–winning author)
“Goddard nicely combines our instinctive fear of things glimpsed at the corner of the eye with the mind’s rational habit of assembling evidence and making logical inferences to lead the reader into unfamiliar and unsettling territory.” (Thomas Perry, Edgar Award–winning author)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Rey on 12-31-15

Word Repetition, Slow Plot, Dumb Characters

By the end of the book--if you actually make it that far--you will be hating these words and phrases: alarm bells, spine-chilling, enticing, cold shiver, sensuous, seductive, shadow, shadowy, and dark figure.

If you're okay with mind-numbing repetition of words, here's a most basic plot of the book: Character discovers something weird/interesting. Immediately after discovery, exact weird/interesting thing happens. Character thinks it's completely normal and goes along with it until a violent yet EASILY AVOIDABLE situation happens. Character wonders why thing went wrong. Wash and repeat until you arrive at an underwhelming ending that was put off for 300 pages, or in this case, 10 hours.

I have acquired a permanent red spot on my forehead from smacking it out of frustration due to all of these characters acting so stupidly. Stupid characters acting stupid? That's fine. Intelligent and professional characters acting stupid? Gut me like the dog.


ps: Give guys more credit, please. I would enjoy a story where a male character's personality and motivations ARE NOT rendered obsolete the second a woman's naked breast is within eye shot.

pps: don't ever allow Kevin Kenerly to voice a 'Sassy Black Woman.' again. EVER. Whoever allowed him to continue in that agonizing, embarrassing, and quite frankly offensive manner should be fired. My soul left my body every time Sassy Black Woman came into the book and I am now a soulless husk on my journey to hell.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Darryl on 10-16-12

fast paced CSI crossed with X-Files

I thoroughly enjoyed this from the start. It moves fast and keeps you interested with the facts of the forensic investigation and then the UFO connection. I will go on to the next one in the series. I didn't know it was a series until i started it, and I rarely do series as they can lose their way after the first one and leave you disappointed but this was good and warrants going on. I happened to have the book also and there is a "map" of the evidence location as well as a detailed list of items that help to visualize the layout, but it may not be necessary to enjoy the book after the initial setup.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By C. P. Halliday on 07-05-13

High concept bogged down by tedious detail

Would you try another book written by Ken Goddard or narrated by Kevin Kenerly?

The narration by Kevin Kenerly made what would have been a listening ordeal merely unpleasent. His rolling, clear tones are perfect for audiobook narration, and I'll be keeping an eye out for stories narrated by him in future...just not ones written by Ken Goddard.

What was most disappointing about Ken Goddard’s story?

While the basic idea behind the story is a fun and interesting one, Ken Goddard's desire to be as technically accurate as possible bleeds any momentum out of the story, turning into a dry recitation of process and procedure interspersed with a pretty bare bones story and some rather forced action sequences. Characterisation is mostly non-existent and descriptive passages are limited to simple fact and surface detail. In a word, it's dull. I've listened to dozens of audiobooks, and with the exception of one very poorly read by Charisma Carpenter, this is the only one where I've been really tempted to simply give up and switch to something with more pace. In the end I stuck at it because I wanted to assure myself that it wouldn't get any better. It didn't.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from First Evidence?

Were I to edit this story, I think I would have cut 60-70% of the technical detail. While it's interesting the first time to learn about crime scene investigation and procedure, it is less so the third or fourth time around When it takes three or four pages to describe a trip of less than a hundred yards in which absolutely nothing happens, tedium sets in.

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