Cover Image: The Blackbird

The Blackbird

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Member Reviews

Dark thriller that had you hooked from the off. The book was very well written. Great plot. Very exciting. Fast paced to get your heart racing. Loved this book. It was very different to your run of the mill crime novel. It  He kept the book alive and exciting
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Blog Tour Day guys for the fantastic The Blackbird by Tim Weaver

I’m a little spider
Watch Me spin
If you’ll be my dinner
I’ll let you come in
Then I will spin my web to
Hold you tight
And gobble you up in
One big bite!


The Blackbird by Tim Weaver reminded me of this poem. Around 60% into the story as pressure mounts on the search for the missing couple, one can literally feel the creepiness like a spider weaving a web around your head and regardless of the efforts taken to break out of that sticky gluey web, we are still stuck to it. Tim Weaver’s writing is outstanding, and David Raker after 10 books in the series is in his element. After reading another book in the series, I had always wished to read the whole of them in their entirety but so far have been unsuccessful. A pop-up on social media of a new release had me instantly attracted, so obviously was overjoyed in receiving the ARC of The Blackbird, book #11 in the David Raker series, which can easily be read as a stand alone.

David Raker is a missing person investigator and his new case is as bizarre and as weird as it comes. A car has fallen into the ravine and burst into flames but the couple inside the car, Cate and Aiden have vanished without a trace and for two years, the mystery that has baffled one and all has become traumatic for Cate’s parents. David Raker is called in for any lead that would provide some semblance of closure for the grieving family but once the investigation starts, the complexity of the case that unravels for the reader causes a mind-numbing effect. Stretching back 30 years with the discovery of 3 dead bodies in Northumberland and a detective who has never let it go, the missing person's investigation wounds tighter and tighter and tension escalates to a fever pitch.

The mystery of the murders is intricate and Tim Weaver has layered the story so excellently that the readers are at a loss figuring out this puzzle and pouring oil into the burning fire is David’s hidden secret regarding Colm Healy. David Raker is a wonderful character, he is dogged in his determination to get to the truth heedless of the danger he finds himself in and there is a time when he becomes a fugitive himself hiding from the police, trying to get to the truth and what an astounding reveal it is at the end as the true horror show of the murders comes to plain light.

Brilliant and a must-read for fans of mystery thrillers, Tim Weaver’s The Blackbird is sure to leave your senses reeling.

Many thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph, and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.

This review is published on my blog https://rainnbooks.com/, Goodreads, Amazon India, Book Bub, Medium.com, Facebook, and Twitter.
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So I’ve been really tired lately, and have been falling asleep every time I try to read, so I haven’t been getting far with The Blackbird. That is until recently when I absolutely drank in the last ⅓ of the book in one sitting. 

Wow is Tim Weaver a good writer or what?! I thought I had maybe a small idea of where the story was going, then you hit a certain point where he just smacks you in the face with all the twists! And he pulls no punches, the twists keep coming right until the book ends, and it ends on a cliffhanger that makes me desperate to find out what’s coming next! The main character of Raker was great, I loved reading about him visiting all the places in my hometown, wandering down Dean Street, seeing the bridges, the Metrocentre, and plenty more. 

I’m definitely up for going back to the start and reading all of the Raker novels.
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A complex but not confusing tale very well told. It is obviously one in a series but that didn’t stop me really enjoying this stand alone offering. However I do wish I had read the prequel as it must add even more dimension to this thriller. 
I would score it four and a half stars if I could but as it’s not quite a five for me I will have to make do with the four. Not a four simply  because some of it stretched the believability but don’t be put off. Four stars from me is high praise.
I must add I hate that the author chose to call the book The Blackbird. That is one of my favourite birds and you will have to read the book to see why it makes me so cross.
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When driving home  Cate and Aiden Gascoigne are caught smiling on a CCTV camera. Moments later their car crashed &  went down a ravine. There were two witnesses that saw the event, but when the rescue services got down to the site of the crash they discovered the impossible. Although the car had burs into flames & the drop was a bad one there are no signs of the car's occupants. David Raker is called in a while after the crash by Cate's parents, desperate to know what has become of their daughter. David's search sends him to the North East to find out what Cate had found so riveting about the ancient murders of three young women. He also has to worry about his friend Colm, in hiding in North Wales after David had helped fake his death.

This is quite a long complex book. I have read a number of this series & loved them all. Tim Weaver creates a mood & an atmosphere all his own & although some may find this book slow going I found it exactly right for the story. I had no idea where the story was leading & after that ending I hope the next one in the series won't be too long coming along. Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read & review this book- I loved it!
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I've read a few of Tim Weaver's books and thoroughly enjoyed them, so I was keen to read The Blackbird, especially after reading the blurb, which sounded very intriguing!

David Raker is a private investigator, specialising in missing persons. His latest case involves trying to trace Cate and Aiden Gascoigne, who disappeared after their car fell into a ravine and burst into flames. It's hard to say more, without giving away any spoilers, but David Raker painstaking traces every lead to try to solve the case, unwittingly starting a chain of events that - no, no spoilers! 

I'll just say that The Blackbird is a perfectly written crime thriller that completely engaged me. I read the second half in one sitting and you'll understand why when you get to that midway point yourself! It's real edge-of-your seat stuff, with the villain of the story, realising David is partway to solving the mystery, begins a cat-and-mouse chase. There are lots of threads to the story, that seem to be unconnected until they all come together in a completely brilliant way. I am in awe!

If you are the kind of reader who tries to solve the mystery alongside the detective, you will love this. I hadn't a clue whodunnit until the big reveal. You don't need to have read the other books in the series. There is an arc linking the series but it is a small part of the story. The only negative for me is that I've never been keen on books where the villain gives a detailed explanation of their crimes at the end of a story. I might have been tempted to skip that bit but there is a final jaw-dropping twist - so read carefully!

I have no idea why this series hasn't been snapped up for TV. The Blackbird is fabulous - twisty and extremely clever - one of my favourite reads this year!


Thank you to Tim Weaver and Michael Joseph (Penguin UK) for my copy of this book, which I requested via NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.
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This was the first book in this long running series I had read, but it certainly won’t be the last. 
This author knows how to grab his reader’s attention from the first page, and drag them along on a roller coaster ride of mystery and intrigue. The excitement and suspense never lets up, as we race through this very clever story at breakneck speed. I couldn’t put it down. The characterisation is so strong, I felt I knew all of the players, which makes a book for me. 
I loved this book, it is brilliantly written, and I highly recommend it.
I’m off to order more of this series for my holiday. 
My thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for my advance copy of this title.
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Another brilliant book in this fantastic series. 
Raker is a great character and as an investigator always finds himself in tricky situations. 
Raker is asked to investigate the disappearance of a husband and wife whose car crashed into a ravine, but their bodies were never found. 
Cate’s parents are desperate to know what happened and Raker takes on the case. 
I wondered how a whole book could be written about this at first, but there’s lots more to the story and it will definitely have you racing through the pages. 
Cate was doing her own investigation before she died and when Raker catches up with her findings, his life is soon in danger like hers. 
This is a brilliant crime thriller and a series that I highly recommend. 
Thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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Book 11 in this powerful series and if you have read the previous 10 you will be addicted and need no encouragement to read this
Tim Weaver has created the character David Raker who specialises in unsolvable missing persons cases, each book a new case but with central sub stories running through each book, you can read any as a stand alone tbh but for me they work great in order
The world of missing persons is fascinating to many and this story is no different, a couple disappear after a car crash, literally without trace, leaving their families bereft and confused….but of course there is much more to this story and once Raker starts to unravel the mystery it is truly chilling
Maybe a touch more character confusing then previous but none the less another enjoyable, tense story

8/10
4 Stars
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Thank you to #NetGalley for my advance copy of #TheBlackbird by #TimWeaver

When missing person expert  David Raker is hired to find out what happened to Cate and Aiden Gascogne he has no idea what he is letting himself in for. 
This book is extremely plotted and very scary.
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Wow!!! I absolutely loved this book kept me totally engrossed right up to the last page. 
This was a brilliant intriguing read that held me throughout  & I burnt the midnight oil on this one.
While this is number 11 in his David Raker series you can read It as a stand alone book,  especially if you want an exciting jaw dropping read.
David Raker is tasked with trying to find out what happened to Cate & Aiden Gascoigne.
Their car plunged over a 90 foot ravine & the impact let alone the fire would have killed them.
But the impossible happens & when the fire crews get to them the car is empty? 
Now two years on & David Raker is trying to find answers for the family as the couple’s disappearance has left them in limbo not being able to move forward.
This is an exciting rollercoaster of a read that does not let up from beginning to the very end.
This is a superb twisty crime thriller & writing at its very best .
It is a suspenseful riveting read that will keep you on the edge of your seat & guessing the outcome right up to the end. 
I couldn’t recommend this one more I was totally hooked.
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Another excellent addition to the David Raker series,, one of my favourites so far.

The mystery is particularly baffling, David has his work cut out for him and as ever Tim Weaver weaves a twisty, unexpected and unpredictable tale that is hugely addictive and brilliantly done.

There are some intriguing consequences to think about after the ending of this one and a teaser for the next which drove me crazy with the need to carry on immediately. I'll have to wait though sadly.

This is without doubt one of the best series out there, still as fresh and new as it was when it started. I'm a huge fan long may it continue.

Highly Recommended
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Cate and Aiden Gasgoine are recorded on CCTV driving along a road, happy and carefree. Moments later their car plunges into a ravine and bursts into flames. When fire crews get there 9 minutes later they find the car empty; Cate and Aiden have vanished. Witnesses claim they didn’t see anyone leave the car so where did they go?

Cate’s parents hire David Raker to find out what happened and he won’t stop until he uncovers the truth. But when he finds links to a thirty-year-old cold case involving a serial killer, he may have just stumbled across something worse than he could have ever possibly imagined.

This is the eleventh book in the David Raker series  but even after so many, the series never seems to feel stale the way others series can. Each new book feels fresh and this is no exception. Part of the book was set in my neck of the woods up in Newcastle and Northumberland so I really enjoyed being able to picture these places in my head.

Raker, as always, is such a sympathetic character and I love how personal each case becomes to him. The twists and turns of this novel are so well done to the point where I couldn’t put the book down because I needed to know more. Weaver teases you with little reveals but manages to still keep surprising you. The pace is relentless, the plot is fantastic and the ending? Weaver you tease.

If you like fast paced, well plotted mysteries with a smart and likeable protagonist then I can’t recommend this series enough.
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Thank you NetGalley for the ARC of The Blackbird by Tim Weaver in return for my honest review.
I am a huge fan of the David Raker series by Tim Weaver so was really excited to read his latest and Wow it did not disappoint I think this series just gets better and better.  If you have not read any of this series yet then I suggest you start at the beginning I know this is book 11 but honestly you will not be disappointed you’ll be totally hooked.
There are so many twist and turns in this book you’ll end up with whiplash, the story does not let up from the first page to the last Tim Weaver you are a genius.
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would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this brilliant book

its been a while since i last read a book by this author but oh my word this book keeps you totally engaged and reading right to the end in one sitting....

david raker find missing people.... 

cate and aiden are missing, their car went off a cliff and burst into flames....but on investigation their bodies werent in the car....

david is asked to find them by the remaining family

and begins the start of his troubles...and oh my that ending.....

couldnt put this book down, a book worthy of winning awards...
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This is a stellar addition to Tim Weaver's superb crime series featuring the widower David Raker, Missing Persons Investigator with a daughter, Annabel. Catherine 'Cate' and Aiden Gascoigne are 37 years old, who have been together 9 years, and happily married for 5 years. Living in Twickenham, Aiden is a Creative Director at a Soho web design company and Cate is a talented full time photographer. On their way to dinner at Reigate, the couple are recorded laughing together on CCTV before their car plunges down a 90 foot ravine and bursts into flames. The fire crew arrive very soon after, but find themselves facing what appears to be an impossible scenario, Cate and Aiden's bodies are not in the car. With numerous conspiracy theories to be found online, with the media referring to it as The Mystery of Gatton Hill, it remains unsolved two and a half years later.

The tormented and anguished parents of Cate, Martin and Sue Clark hire Raker, and feeling their emotional distress, he does what he shouldn't, he promises them he will get to the truth. However, he has no idea just how dangerous, macabre, and twisted the case will turn out to be, as he delves into Cate and Aiden's lives, and is looking to interview 2 witnesses, Audrey Calvert and Zoe Simmons, who came upon the site of the burning car almost immediately. He gets help accessing the police files and photographs on the incident from a Met source, Ewan Trasker, and works his way through the couple's phone records that he gets from Spike, the hacker. Raker finds himself forced to go on the run as he follows leads that point to Northumberland, and a 30 year old unsolved case of 3 murdered women, a case worked by DI Makayla Jennings.

This turns out to be merely the the tip of the iceberg in a chilling and menacing narrative that goes on to reveal a staggering number of murders over the years, and a extraordinarily intelligent serial killer who has no intention of getting caught. Raker is a remarkably tenacious and determined investigator, even when the pressures and dangers threaten to derail the case, and he has the added complications of trying to keep Colm Healy safe. This is a wonderfully complex, riveting and engaging read that kept me glued to the pages from beginning to end with its sky high levels of suspense and tension. This will appeal to crime and mystery readers who love truly twisty. thrilling and superior crime fiction, and I think that this can reasonably be read as a standalone if you have not read any of the series before. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.
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It’s been a while since I read the last book in this series, but it didn’t matter as I fell straight into this one and was comfortably reading before I knew it. There are a few references to the past, but it could be read as a standalone, and you wouldn’t feel like you were missing out on anything.
David Raker is investigating the disappearance of Cate and Aiden Gascoigne. What appears to be an impossible task turns out to be a perilous journey for everyone Raker cares about. Raker is a very straightforward character, he’s extremely good at his job, and he includes us, the reader, in every aspect of the investigation. You really feel as if you are along for the ride with him. The focus throughout the book is what is happening and the case he is looking into. Time isn’t wasted on what Raker looks like, not too much on his personal life, and it is what makes the books so clinical, but in a good way. You aren’t distracted by irrelevant information; you are on the case and running for your life alongside Raker.
I loved how all the intricacies of the story started to weave themselves together for the big reveal. It was all cleverly done and made for fascinating reading. I couldn’t quite pinpoint what would be the outcome or what had happened to everyone, but I was gripped when it all was exposed.
A fantastic read, and I really must find time to go back to book one and read the first ten books in the series. I’ve only read the eleventh, and this the twelfth book, so there is still so much of this character to enjoy.
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This is the 11th installment of the David Raker series and whilst you can read this as a standalone book, it is better to read them in order to understand the back story and characters who will be present in this book.

I am not sure where Weaver gets the inspiration for his stories but time and time again he comes up with the goods. The character of David Raker is one of the best in the business right now and this is my favourite series of books alongside Cara Hunter's Adam Fawley series.  

In this novel, a couple go missing just minutes after crashing their car down a ravine. How could they escape the car after such a crash, how can there have been no trace for so long? All these questions will be answered but not before the story becomes very complex!

Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Michael Joseph UK, Michael Joseph, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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The Blackbird is the 11th Book in the David Raker series by Tim Weaver, and he never seems to disappoint.
Couple Cate and Aiden are happily married when their car crashes down a ravine. But when the emergency services get there, there are no where to be found. 2 years later they still haven’t been found by the police. The family ask missing person investigator David Raker to take up the case.
In searching for the pair David Raker comes across an old cold case of thirty years ago where bodies of young women turn up in sand dunes on a beach. What is the connection between them and the couple that has disappeared? Raker soon finds out.
Thank you, Penguin Michael Joseph, for a copy of The Blackbird by Tim Weaver this is another fabulous episode in the series. Even though this is the 11th book in the series. The quality of the author’s writing hasn’t faltered. This is a typical intriguing storyline from the author with some parts going back and forward in time and with several sub plots which only comes clear right at the end of the book. I really enjoyed this book from the Tim Weaver including the cliff hanger at the end to entice you until the next book. 5 stars from me.
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Tim Weaver and the David Raker series is guaranteed to have me reading late into the night. Another missing person's case that only Raker can solve and so much more. The back story which runs through all of this series has a revelation which will shock the reader I kid you not. This book, this series is so GOOD and makes me want to read the next book now PLEASE!!!!!
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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