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Extended Audio Sample The Blackbird Papers: A Novel Audiobook, by Ian Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (173 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ian Smith Narrator: Brent Jennings Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2004 ISBN: 9781415904817
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A rainy night . . . A stranded motorist . . . A Good Samaritan passerby … a Nobel Prize–winning professor . . . The setup for a shocking murder designed to cover up an even more sinister crime . . .

The Blackbird Papers marks the debut of Ian Smith, a major new talent in crime fiction, and of Sterling Bledsoe, his smart and occasionally combative sleuth.

World-renowned Dartmouth professor Wilson Bledsoe is returning from a party celebrating his latest honor when he encounters a broken-down pickup on the secluded country road to his home. The next day, the discovery of his body with a vicious racist epithet carved into his chest leads to the quick arrest of two loathsome white supremacists. The local authorities seem ready to accept the case at face value as a racial hate crime. But the murdered professor’s brother, FBI agent Sterling Bledsoe, has inserted himself into the investigation and isn’t ready to buy into this pat solution. A look around his brother’s lab and brief interviews with his students and colleagues pique Sterling’s curiosity about Wilson’s pet project: a nearly completed paper on the mysterious deaths of hundreds of local blackbirds.

Fast-paced and cleverly constructed, The Blackbird Papers introduces a major new talent in mystery and crime fiction. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Ian Smith’s debut novel, The Blackbird Papers, is exceptional on all levels: the characters and setting are fresh, the plot is riveting, and you feel like you are in totally new territory. Take note of a career about to soar. Harlan Coben, author of No Second Chance

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle Patterson | 1/10/2014

    " Loved it; page turner. The characters are so fresh and vivid. I enjoyed this debut novel and hoping Ian Smith writes another follow up one. It was refreshing to see a well written, thought out plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teresa | 12/25/2013

    " Kept my interest to the very end "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben | 12/23/2013

    " An entertaining "whodunit" with elements of corporate conspiracy. This is author Ian Smith's debut novel and that showed at times in that plot movement and character development was occasionally clunky, but I would definitely be interested in more novels from this author like "The Blackbird Papers." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sam | 12/10/2013

    " Really good book worth reading. Highly recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kanesha | 12/2/2013

    " This was a very good book! Before this I only knew of Ian Smith as Dr. Ian Smith on Celebrity Fit Club but he took this book to a new level. I would suggest this book to anyone looking for a good exciting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erik | 11/9/2013

    " Read this book in one weekend. Very good book, although the ending kind of sucks. Would recommend to anyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Markw | 11/8/2013

    " what a great book...lot of intrigue around campus and real world "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cindy Smith | 11/5/2013

    " this was ok to good. had your murder, rogue fbi agent, chases, etc "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 K | 9/28/2013

    " good 1st. some typos in arc, some dangling scenarios, but overall good popcorn. wonder about some of the factual info re redwing blackbirds, sunflower oil corps, etc. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eboni | 9/16/2013

    " Excellent murder suspense! Definitely did not expect the ending and hate there has not been a follow up to this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jay | 12/30/2012

    " Good debut mystery,worth a read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 8/5/2009

    " Great thriller from a new writer "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eddie | 8/2/2006

    " Excellent murder mystery; a page turner. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melina | 4/25/2006

    " I wish the author would try his hand at another work of fictionl I really enjoyed this story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 2/19/2006

    " Nice read, some unusual, unexpexted turns in a classical "whodunnit". Really nice setting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daphne | 11/14/2005

    " Come on Dr. Smith! This was a phenomenal read! Where's the next book???? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sholeen | 5/8/2005

    " Seems the only draw is the descriptions of the Upper Valley, and those don't really ring true from my experience. I think I made it to page 15 or something. Life is short and there are tons of great books out there.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 June | 9/20/2004

    " This book was a well written and exciting mystery with lots of twists and turns. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 9/19/2004

    " I didn't want to put this book down! A well-written story with very believable characters. "

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About the Author

Ian Smith, MD, has been an award-winning medical correspondent for NBC News and a contributor to the Today show. He is a medical columnist for Men’s Health magazine and a commentator for NPR’s Tavis Smiley show and for the nationally syndicated talk show The View. He lives in New York City.