Book Review: Call to Arms by Rachel Amphlett

Title: Call to Arms
Series: A Detective Kay Hunter Novel #5
Author: Rachel Amphlett
Narrator: Alison Campbell
Publisher: Saxon Publishing
Publication Date: March 2018


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Call to Arms
A Detective Kay Hunter Novel #5
Rachel Amphlett
Narrated by Alison Campbell
Saxon Publishing, March 2018
Downloaded Unabridged Audiobook

From the publisher—

Loyalty has a price.

Kay Hunter has survived a vicious attack at the hands of one of the country’s most evil serial killers.

Returning to work after an enforced absence to recover, she discovers she wasn’t the only victim of that investigation. DI Devon Sharp remains suspended from duties, and the team is in turmoil.

Determined to prove herself once more and clear his name, Kay undertakes to solve a cold case that links Sharp to his accuser.

But as she gets closer to the truth, she realizes her inquiries could do more harm than good.

Torn between protecting her mentor and finding out the truth, the consequences of Kay’s inquiries will reach far beyond her new role….

By this time, with the fifth book in the series, you’d think I’d be prepared for another good book and, of course, I was but I really do think Rachel Amphlett has become one of my very favorite police procedural authors with Call to Arms. I expect to enjoy police procedurals for the tension and the action but this author takes it a step further by letting the reader really get to know the characters.

Kay has been on medical leave but is finally back on desk duty and is already bored. Newly promoted to Detective Inspector, she’s on probation but she’s in a better position than DI Devon Sharp who’s under suspension during an internal investigation. Kay and her team set out to look into a ten-year-old cold case involving Sharp in hopes of clearing his name and will follow one thin lead after another, getting deeper and deeper in the muck of greed and addiction.

What sets this series apart from others is the connection I’ve made with Kay and her colleagues. Even those we don’t know so well yet, such as Carys, are distinct in their personalities and I’m quite simply in book love with veterinarian Adam, Kay’s husband, and really enjoy the moments I get to spend with them and whatever random animal he’s brought home for a day or two. Kay and Adam have tragedy in their lives but they’re so committed to each other that they’re going to get through it.

Alison Campbell is a terrific narrator and I really think she did a brilliant job with this entry. No matter who was speaking, I knew who it was because she’s so good with voices, making an already strong story even better.

Call to Arms has so many personal issues for these characters while they delve into an old crime that I think it’s a story not to be missed. I’m adding it to my list of best books read in 2018 and am already salivating for book #6.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, May 2018.

A Few Words from Rachel Amphlett

Reasons why I chose my narrator

I wanted to reach more audiobook listeners with the Detective Kay Hunter series as more and more opportunities are becoming available to authors to do so, and so I opted to pay outright for the audiobooks to be produced so I could then distribute them through an aggregator that offered a worldwide reach.

Of course, the hardest part was finding a narrator who could convey the resilience of my lead protagonist, Kay Hunter as well as the supporting cast of characters who fill the stories.

I chose to work with a production company in the UK as my series is based there. Audio Factory have an established reputation having worked with the likes of the BBC and a number of publishers, and what I really liked about their website was that they have samples from each of their narrators so you can have a listen and narrow down who is the best fit for your story.

What was very important to me was to work with a narrator for this whole series, not just one book so I approached that listening phase with my ears open for a narrator that didn’t just suit the first book, Scared to Death, but who I felt would carry the range of emotions and scenes through all the books in the series.

There were three books out by the time I was doing this – Scared to Death, Will to Live, and One to Watch, and I was busy writing Hell to Pay, so I had a pretty good idea of Kay’s voice in my head and what I was listening for.

One thing became clear to me straight away – the narrators I was listening to were reading from literary transcripts, not crime fiction for the samples, and I needed to know if those voices would carry the Kay Hunter series.

I emailed Audio Factory and explained my predicament, telling them about my plans for the series, and asked if they could help.

In a day or so, I heard back and not only were Audio Factory able to suggest some narrators who had slipped my attention, they also provided links to SoundCloud with more comprehensive samples – perfect!

Within a couple more days, I’d listened to all the samples several times but kept coming back to one narrator who sounded like the best match.

And that is how I came to be working with Alison Campbell.

Alison’s the consummate professional: from performing in theatre, film, web series and corporate role-play, she’s also an integral member of the award-winning Natural Theatre Company and works with a number of publishers across a wide range of genres.

I love how she’s taken the character of Detective Kay Hunter and made it her own, and now I can’t imagine anyone else playing the role!

You can read more about the audiobook production process on my blog here ( where I interview Alison and Arran from Audio Factory and take you through the whole process in more depth – it really is an eye (ear?) opening read!



About the Author

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads // Instagram


About the Narrator

I’m a Bristol-based actress who trained at Bretton Hall and the University of Leeds. I’ve been involved with a huge range of projects and love a bit of variety of life!

I’m lucky to be a verstile performer – think everything  from Shakespeare, to  interactive theatre, comedy, solo shows and a whole host of different voice work.

I’m experienced in devising, improvisation, multi-roleing, immersive theatre and voice acting,

​I have a lot of fun performing across the UK and round the world with the award-winning Natural Theatre, specialising in immersive, interactive theatre in surprising places.

​I also teach youth theatre, facilitate theatre workshops and am experienced in corporate roleplay and presenting.

​I’m represented by Louise Alexander at BAM Associates.



Play an excerpt here.


Follow the tour here.


One thought on “Book Review: Call to Arms by Rachel Amphlett

  1. Pingback: ⭐️ Audio Blog Tour: Call to Arms by Rachel Amphlett -

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