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Publisher's Summary

Crimebusting duo DI Jackman and DS Evans are back, solving another crime that will make your skin crawl.

Police detective Carter McLean is the only survivor of a plane crash that kills his four best friends. He returns to work, but he is left full of guilt and terrible flashbacks. So for each of his four friends, he decides to complete something that they left unfinished.

Eighteen months before the crash, Suzanne Holland disappeared, leaving a room with traces of blood but no other leads. Suzanne was the wife of one of Carter’s four best friends. Adding to the pressure, the boss’ niece has a stalker. Due to the sensitivity of the Holland case, Carter is put on this investigation.

DS Marie Evans is the only person Carter can confide in. But even she begins to doubt whether he can really cope and whether he is actually losing his mind. DI Jackman and DS Evans of the Fenland police face a battle to untangle three mysteries, and can they really believe their friend and colleague Carter?

©2017 Joy Ellis (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Fourth Friend

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The Puzzler

It remains one of my favourite Joy Ellis mysteries. Never, ever replace Richard Armitage as narrator. His voice is syrup, which can be a challenge when listening at bedtime. The characters are riveting and it becomes a solver 3-4 way through the story. But you stay tuned, to believe it will end the way you anticipate.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it!

I just started listening to this series about a week ago and have already gone through the first three. I like the characters, the narrator is excellent and the stories, too are excellent.
Would definitely recommend this audiobook!

1 person found this helpful

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Ellis has once again occupied my mind!

The story pulls you in and never lets go! The narrator Richard Armitage, does an amazing job with distinctive changes for each character. Ellis characters pull you in and keep you enthralled to the very end.

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Good story

Great narration with different voices for each character. Not the same sense of urgency as her other stories but quite an underlying twist to the plot.

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  • Kim
  • 2020-11-07

AWESOME!!!

This series is an awesome quarantine listen! As I continue through the series, the twists and turns of each story and character development is a pleasant and often unexpected surprise. It has been great getting to know these characters, even though sometimes the narrator doesn't seem to quite get the emotion of the moment quite right.

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Disappointing read

I have been a huge fan so far of the Jackman series but this one was very disappointing. The plot was very predictable and it lacked the usual tension and originality of the first two. The characters were lacking depth and I think something much more riveting and twisted could have been done with the main character.
Armitage performance is excellent as usual.
I will still continue reading the series though!

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Not the best of Joy Ellis, but good though

Not as thrilling as the others books but good enough to recommend to listen it.

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  • JJ
  • 2020-08-12

Great listen

Fantastic narrator, if only he narrated all the books. Story was pretty good, lost me a couple times. Interesting none the less.

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Another excellent book by Joy Ellis

The Jackman and Evans series gets better and better with each book. This one book offers nice twists and a solid resolution. I really enjoy this series as well as the D. I. Galena's. I wish there were more than two Matt Ballard books - waiting.

As usual, the narration by Richard Armitage is superb!

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The fourth Friend

Great read enjoyed right til the very end. Will definitely read more from this author. Great suspense all the way to the end.

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  • Maine Knitter
  • 2018-12-24

A bit of a disappointment

This is a tough one. I truly enjoy Joy Ellis’s work. After the first two books in this series, Jackman and Evans and their team have become interesting and I’m curious as to where things go with them. For that reason I finished this book. Oh, and Richard Armitage’s narration helped a great deal, too.

The story itself was difficult. I couldn’t get invested in the players, mainly Carter. I had to force myself to keep going.

I smiled at the mention of Nikki Galena (one of my favorite characters) and I want to know more about Orlagh in the basement.

This is my least favorite book in the series but I’ll continue with it while waiting for the next Nikki Galena book.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Mary Catherine
  • 2019-01-16

I did finish the book

I thought this book was OK, and I did finish it, The characters were fine, but the actual story did not sit well with me. SPOILER ALERT: I would like to listen to a police procedural where the criminal, murderer, victim, etc. is not the police, main character, co-worker, friend, spouse, neighbor, pet, or partner. I would like to listen to a book about a police team working together to solve a case using a list of suspects outside the police circle. Can't a police team work together to solve a mystery without being a part of it?. The story was not happy, and had a dreary ending. Not a bad writer, but I would like to see a different story-line in the next book. I haven't decided if I want to listen to another book by this author. There won't be many fictional police left in the UK to write about, since most of them end up dead or guilty of a major crime. Too many books turn out the same way.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Lauren
  • 2018-12-07

Ellis/Armitage knocks it out of the park again!

Wow! Joy Ellis never disappoints. Her attention to character development and details is superb. Her attention to police investigative techniques and forensics adds to the richness of her stories that grabs you from the start. Richard Armitage makes Ellis's stories a living, breathing story that cannot fully be described. You are transported as if you are standing right next to each person and inside each scene. He electrifies all five of your senses and holds your attention where you cannot stop listening. You have to know what happens next.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Wayne
  • 2020-03-12

Best novel of the series

THE FOURTH FRIEND is Book 3 in the six novel (so far) Jackman and Evans series by British author Joy Ellis. For some unexplained reason I failed to listen to it until now. It's a marvelous psychological thriller, the only psychological thriller in the modern detective series. The narration by British actor Richard Armitage is flawless. Very highly recommended!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Lia
  • 2019-05-19

Disappointing

So sorry, but I have to disagree with all the five star reviews here. The book is ok, but just DEPRESSING with a capital D. Guy survives a plane crash that kills all his friends, and we watch as he sadly schleps around trying to get his life back while his burnt up, dead friends haunt him to finish "their stuff". I kept waiting for it to get better (all those 5 star reviews!), but it didn't.
Not a horrible mystery, but the story overall just left me feeling depressed. Doubt I'll bother trying the other books in this series, none of the characters really resonated with me.

Richard Armitage was great with the delivery of the story and the only reason I finished the book

10 people found this helpful

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  • Karen K-F
  • 2019-01-23

Happily not what I expected.

I read the book first and then saw that Richard Armitage was the narrator in the audible version. I had to listen. While I enjoyed reading this book Richard's narration was spot on and gave me a whole new perspective. Going to have to check out more collaborations between Joy and Richard!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Diana Hart 33
  • 2019-12-15

Loved it

I would say this is the best one yet, but they are all good, Narrator is fantastic.

2 people found this helpful

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  • E. Allison
  • 2019-06-27

Not the best in the series, but solid.

I prefer police procedurals that focus on a case, not completely focus on the internal team dynamics. I make an exception for this series because it is so well written and while I was initially wary when I noticed how focused the story was on Carter here, the way it’s laid out won me over completely. A lot of authors would have made a mess of this type of framework, but this works very smoothly.

The case is not that interesting in isolation but because of how complicated it gets, and how the suspicion dances around different suspects, including Carter, it keeps it interesting. Carter is a wild card – literally having visions of his dead friends and you wonder more and more if Carter’s guilt is just about how they died, or because he was somehow involved in the original murder. He feels more and more like a ticking time bomb and you wonder how long it will be before he snaps and how bad that will be.

Do I even have to bother mentioning how amazing Richard Armitage is at this point? His array of voices are incredible – even his female voices are impressive and his ‘old people’ voices are jaw dropping. Best voice actor I’ve heard on Audible, and that’s quite the compliment.

This series is an impressive example of the police procedural – I would usually be put off by the focus more on the team than the crime, but it’s so well written that I will read all of them without hesitation. Another strong entry. I don’t feel book 2 and 3 lived up to the exceptional #1, but still a very enjoyable read. What’s a bit missing from 2 and 3 is a great case to work on – the cases in 2 and 3 feel almost like an afterthought, an emphasis on the team and their methods and far less on the case itself. The case in #1 was fascinating, and I think if you added a more interesting case to this formula, you’d return to the excellence of #1. This one is a definite improvement on 2 and 3, if you want to focus on the investigators more than the investigation, then the story has to be interesting enough to distract from the case itself – this is an example of it done right. I was never bored or not interested, I was always curious where it was going. Not the best in the series but very solid.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ester vdD
  • 2019-05-16

Another Jackman & Evans story!

Love the way Joy Ellis describes the characters and surroundings. The story twists and turns.
I must admit I liked ‘Their list daughters’ more as a story.

The narration by Richard Armitage was sublime (as always in the books he narrates), I love the way he tells the story

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jeanne DeShazer
  • 2019-01-08

Best one in the Jackman/Evans Series

The Fourth Friend, by Joy Ellis. I listened to this on Audible. Narrated by Richard Armitage (North & South). The third installment in the Jackman and Evans series, DS Evans allows Detective Carter McLean back to work following his being the only survivor of a plane crash that killed his four best friends 18 mos earlier. When he confides in her that he sees his friends all the time and that they are each having him help them complete one last request, she wonders if she's made a mistake. When it turns out a missing woman is the wife of one of those friends, things get even dicier. I enjoy the characters in these books so much. Adding mental illness or the supernatural made the story even more interesting. Joy Ellis is very skilled at combining character, 3 different mysteries and elements of surprise making her books hard to put down. Richard Armitage is a stellar narrator moving seamlessly between character voices, leaving no doubt in your mind, which one is speaking. Enjoyed this very much.

4 people found this helpful