Book Review: Deadly Game (Matt Johnson) @MATT_JOHNSON_UK @ORENDABOOKS

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 2.12.35 PM.pngThrilled to be today’s stop on the Deadly Game, by Matt Johnson, blog tour! After reading Wicked Game (you can read my review for that one here), I was so excited to pick up where I left off and dive back into Finlay’s realm. As soon as I saw that this novel would surround Robert Finlay investigating the East European sex-slave industry, I was intrigued. I couldn’t wait to see what Finlay would do in such a dangerous, underground world.

Although the second book in the series featuring Robert Finlay, this one could be easily read as a standalone. Johnson opens the novel with the first few chapters featuring the police report highlighting the events in the entire first book. I loved this feature; Johnson takes the time to inform his reader of Finley’s past completely directly instead of slowly weaving and leaving bits of information.  I love when an author is direct and helps to set the stage for what will unfold.

The novel opens with Finlay, living in a safe house with his family, returning to work and almost instantly getting wrapped up with a prominent family that is involved in human and sex trafficking in Eastern Europe.   While on the trail of this case, Robert is also dealing with the repercussions of the last novel and the demons of his past that are still threatening to harm him.

I have mentioned several times on Clues and Reviews, especially lately, that I have become a bit weary of police procedurals. I am struggling with their monotony. I am happy to say the plot of Deadly Game seriously breaks the mould. The sex trafficking investigation was so interesting as a lead case; I was completely consumed. The writing was fast paced and non-stop.  Every time I felt like things were slowing down, Johnson would flip the switch and send me barreling into a new direction.

Unlike Wicked Game, which relied heavily on physical action and narrow escapes, Johnson focuses acutely on the psychological and strategical responses of the characters in this novel. Smart, intricate and tightly woven, Johnson’s prose had me reeling.

I also loved the introduction of all the female characters in this novel; although Jenny, Finlay’s wife, will remain my favourite, I loved the introduction of all the female police and investigative officers working together in this particular novel.  Hopefully, Johnson will continue to develop them throughout the series.

Overall, if you enjoy military thrillers or an action thriller with strong political ties, you’ll love this one.  My advice? Make sure you have ample time to read this one; once you start, Johnson barely leaves time for your to catch your breath, let alone take a break!!  I rated it 4/5 stars.

 Be sure to check out the other stops on the Deadly Game blog t

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Thanks to Orenda Publishing for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Book Review: Wicked Game (Matt Johnson) @Matt_Johnson_UK @OrendaBooks

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In preparation for my Deadly Game blog tour stop, I decided to read Wicked Game, the first in the series, by Matt Johnson. Mind you neither of these books are something I am normally drawn into reading, however, when Orenda asks you to read one of their publications, you trust in Karen and fall in line. So, that’s what I did.

Robert Finley, an ex-Army operative, is living a simple, monotonous life with his wife and daughter. He likes it that way. However, when a man connected to Robert’s past is killed, he finds himself thrown back into the past, into a life he has tried to leave behind.   What results is an encapsulating whirlwind thriller that kept me engaged and flipping the pages.

This one reminded me of novels like I Am Pilgrim (which I read for my book club) and the Jack Reacher series; character heavy, plot heavy and absolutely engaging.   This is not a book to peruse casually; once you have entered Robert’s world, expect to be sucked in.

The novel opens with some seemingly random events and, to be truthful, I was initially quite confused with all the characters being introduced. However, once the story began to come together, I was impressed. What seems like random breadcrumbs, in fact, becomes a complete puzzle as Johnson weaves and binds all bits of the plot together.

Johnson creates a stellar character in Robert Finley. When the novel opens, he is just your everyday guy, but then once his past is revealed, he becomes so much more complex! He is sort of an anti-hero type and as his past and present actions are revealed, I found myself rooting for him.

After reading this book, I cannot wait to start reading  Deadly Game and am expecting some big things…no pressure or anything.

I rated this one a 4/5 stars.

 And, be sure to watch out for my post on the blog tour for Deadly Game tomorrow!


Thanks to Orenda for my copy of this novel; it as my pleasure to provide and honest review.