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Play Dead

(DI Sam Clayton #3)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  156 ratings  ·  29 reviews


Detective Inspector Sam Clayton is called in to investigate three victims with ties to the Norfolk Festival Orchestra.

Musician Kristina Manning is impaled by her cello spike.

The disgraced conductor is found with his head
Published September 2nd 2019 by Joffe Books
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  156 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Louise Wilson
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda Strong

A cellist is impaled with her cello spike. The conductor is found with his head stuffed in a piano. Another man is poisoned with his trumpet's mouthpiece.

All are.. or were .. members of the local orchestra. Why are they being targeted?

That's what DI Dam Clayton is investigating. His interest in this case is also more personal .. his girlfriend is also a singer in the same orchestra.

And more recently a former member of the orchestra is missing ... victim or suspect?

This small picturesque village
Books 'n' All  Promotions
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is book 3 in the Detective Sam Clayton series but the books work perfectly as stand alone.

Why are members of an orchestra dying, seemingly at the hands of their instruments? That is the question Sam and his team have to find the answer to. But as more members die the team are struggling to find a motive or a viable suspect.

I loved learning more about the characters and I especially like how Sam's ex plays a small part bringing a sense of reality to the story and characters.

The story itself
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Once I began reading, I was instantly reeled in and began looking for clues as to who was behind these gruesome acts. Play Dead is the third book in the series featuring DI Sam Clayton. Sam has been a DI in Norwich for four years, having moved from Preston, near Manchester. Sam, along with his team are working on a case where a spate of murders are taking place in the area. The victims are all musicians and are members/past members of the NFO (Norwich Festival Orchestra). Is it someone out for ...more
Joanna Larum
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third in a new series but I must admit to not having read the first two. I can say, with confidence, that it is possible to read it and enjoy it without knowing the background to the series. I will be working back and reading the first two now that I know what a good story this lady writes.
DI Sam Clayton has a new girlfriend, Melissa, who sings with the Norfolk Festival Orchestra. Her work life meets her social life when three members of the orchestra are murdered. The cellist is
Sharon Rimmelzwaan
A series of murders in a sleepy village known for being, well sleepy, is odd enough, but when the victims are all members of the same orchestra it becomes even odder.
The 3rd in a series of books which, if needs be can be a read alone, but I would always say try to start at the beginning as the characters are very deep and finely tuned throughout the series. I thoroughly enjoyed this, it held me well enough and I found it a compelling story too. Had all the wrong turns as you expect with mystery
Alyson Read
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is book number 3 in a police procedural series set in beautiful county of Norfolk. It features DI Sam Clayton, a detective who started out in the Lancashire constabulary and has risen up through the ranks to become a DI in Norwich. He is assisted by DS Julie Everett, who came to the team from working in child protection in Ipswich. Sam is divorced from wife Claire and has recently found a new girlfriend, while Julie has also split up from her partner and now raises a child alone. The body ...more
Robin Loves Reading
Not one. Not two. But three victims. And all three are connected to the Norfolk Festival Orchestra. Despite the fact that the murders could be tied together, the method that lead to their untimely deaths was complete different for each one of them. The victims were a musician, a trumpeter and the orchestra's conductor.

Why did these three die? How is the murderer connected to all of the victims to the extent that they all had to die? While the police, namely DI Sam Clayton, begin the
Hannelore Cheney
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thank you NetGalley and Joffe Books for the eARC.
DI Sam Clayton is investigating the case of a murdered cellist, part of the Norfolk Festival Orchestra. She was impaled by her cello's spike and soon other musicians are attacked/and killed, all by musical instruments.
This story didn't really hold my attention and I didn't particularly like any of the characters. Clayton is ok, but the book felt labored and similar to so many other mysteries that I was bored. I don't think I'll read any others in
LJ (On The Shelf Reviews)
So this is the third in the Detective Sam Clayton series but actually the first I’ve read. I think it works perfectly well as a standalone but you might want to read the other books in the series just get a better feel for the characters.

A Cellist from Norfolk Festival Orchestra is killed by her own cello. Then the former NFO conductor has his head stuffed into the piano and almost dies. Who is picking off members of the orchestra and why? Sam Clayton and his team have a race against time before
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After the second murder it begins to seem as if a killer is targeting the members of the local festival orchestra (conductor is paid, musicians are not). DI Sam Clayton and the team apply every bit of due diligence and are frustrated by lying witnesses, lying suspects, staging of the corpses, and a whole lot of inconsistencies. The characters are well done and the plot is no less believable than things in the news. I loved it and read it straight through!
I requested and received a free ebook
booklover BEV
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Play dead

Set in Norwich Norfolk, D.I Sam Clayton and D.S Julie Everett. This is the third book in the series but can be read as a stand alone, I was hooked from the start. Three victims in death all from the same orchestra. A mind blowing read that will keep you guessing right to the end that you don't expect. Brilliant.
Connie Pettigrew
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
The description of this book really snagged my attention, especially as I hadn't read something along the topic of a string of murders involving members of an orchestra. As the book went on there were more plot twists to keep my interest but I found myself getting bogged down in the minutiae of police procedure that didn't feel necessary to the plot. The characters didn't have enough development to really delve into the story and form an attachment with them that I felt I needed to relate to ...more
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Play Dead has a steady pace with a few twists and turns to make it a bit more interesting. I liked Sam and a few of the other characters. It's not that often that one finds orchestras in crime novels, which made it more fun.
Helen A
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good series

Liked all three books. Having the detectives be imperfect but facing their issues is a refreshing factor. Look forward to future books with DI Clayton and Julie.
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This third book in the DI Sam Clayton series finds Sam investigating a string of murders where all the victims either have been or still are members of the NFO (Norwich Festival Orchestra).
The victims have all been killed using their instruments.
What is the connection between their deaths and the orchestra.?
Sam and his teams investigation seems to point to revenge killings, they pinpoint persons of interest but they have gone missing.
Will they be able to gather together all the threads and
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
The starting premise of this book was interesting but as it went on, became a bit draggy and I felt the second half of the book and ending were rather lackuster.
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

When a cellist and music therapist is found dead in her home under mysterious circumstances, DI Sam Clayton from Anglian Constabulary and his DS Julie Everett, DC Dave Bullard team are called in to investigate.
A woman is found dead in her home impaled by her own cello. The victim was a member of the Norwich Festival Orchestra.

Soon after they start questioning suspects, one of the suspects, Mike Proctor is found slumped under the piano lid in his home. He’s been poisoned and left for
Ruth Matheson
Aug 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This author is new to me and although the novel is the third in the series, it easily reads as a standalone too. Set in Norwich, there are a series of murders and attempted murders of various members of the local amateur orchestra and it's the job of DI Sam Clayton to figure out what is going on. Add to that a missing person who may or may not be linked to the murders!
Overall I enjoyed reading the book however there were times when I felt it didn't quite flow within a chapter. Also DI Clayton is
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book and the characters. The plot was interesting but something was missing. The motive felt a bit weak - once they found the culprit I found myself thinking Was that it? Still an enjoyable read and a bit calmer than the first book in the series
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-reviews
Detective Inspector Sam Clayton is called out to investigate the death of Kristine Manning, a cello player with the Norfolk Festival Orchestra. But this is only the start. The retired conductor Mike Proctor is found next, but survives. Will there be more deaths and what is the motive.
D.I. Clayton and his team investigate.
Although the third in the series it can easily be read as a standalone story, it was also my first in the series.
An enjoyable crime story, with characters I look forward to
Aileen  (Ailz) Grist
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's good to find a policeman who, while fighting crime, isn't also fighting his superiors. A murder of a cellist with the Norwich Orchestra leads DIClayton and his team on an eye opening view of life within the orchestra. Between several members taking tablets for stage fright and others taking recreational drugs, it's not the serene world they expected.

A good read which I enjoyed immensly

I read a free advance review copy. This review is voluntary, honest and my own opinion.
Angie Rose, Nomad
A cellist has been found impaled by her instrument and for DI Sam Clayton it is initially seen as a stand-alone murder, yet when more members of the orchestra end up murdered, it becomes obvious something sinister is lurking under the surface. Is the culprit the disgraced former conductor, the partying ex-flautist, or is there an unknown assailant waiting for their cue?

This is the third book in the DI Sam Clayton series and, while I read it as a stand-alone, I highly recommend you don’t. Sam and
Kerry Swinnerton
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three and a half stars

I enjoy Sam Clayton and his team, Julie Everett and Dave Bullard, and feel that now, in this third of the series, Ms Penketh has got a cohesive team to keep together for further stories.
Perhaps a little far fetched for my liking.....I find that serial killer stories seem to all follow the “Midsommer Murder” format of outlandish plot lines with rather unbelievable characters.
That said, the story has enough interest to keep the reader engaged and has what I term “need to
Meg Bortin
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another romp through Norfolk with doughty Detective Inspector Sam Clayton, this time in search of the criminal mastermind of a plot involving musicians. Clayton is engagingly human as he courts his new girlfriend, juggles with mixed feelings about his ex-wife and considers the mystery of women's handbags, all the while pursuing clue after clue en route to a surprising conclusion. Along the way, he finds ecstasy (the drug), the crooked son of a lord and (spoiler alert) a body in a deep freeze. ...more
Leyla Johnson
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book started off really well and I was expecting a real mystery, unfortunately it fell away from the mystery to the involving more of police procedures.
Being so, it turned out to be a very good read, and even though most things were clear by mid book, the characters, the writing style and the entertainment value where all there, making this a good read.
Anne Hill
Very enjoyable

The plot was very good and had no gaping holes, very well thought out. The main characters are very human and well drawn out. What's not to love about an English murder mystery.
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Play Dead

Good mystery. Something different for sure. Enjoyed all the good guys but The story short of wandered in places. Kept me reading tho and that makes a good read for me.
Angela Cullen
rated it liked it
Oct 01, 2019
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