‘Time Is Running Out’ by Michael Wood

Author : Michael Wood
Title : Time is Running Out
Series : DCI Matilda Darke #7
Pages : 450
Publisher : One More Chapter
Publication date : February 26, 2021


You’re a survivor, aren’t you, Matilda? But what’s the point in surviving when everyone around you is dead?

When DCI Matilda Darke receives a mysterious telephone call, she immediately dismisses the threat. After-all the Homicide and Major Enquiries team are a regular target for prank calls. But ignoring this warning might soon be the biggest regret of Matilda Darke’s life.

A lone gunman is on a deadly rampage around Sheffield, leaving a bloody trail in his wake. Taking his shots with a sickening precision, he’s about to leave his mark on the world and change Matilda and her team’s lives forever.


Goodness me. I’m not entirely sure how to feel after reading this seventh instalment in the DCI Matilda Darke series. I’ve been with this series from the very beginning but I think maybe our time hasn’t just run out, it has come to an abrupt end.

I won’t be telling you anything about the plot. There is a certain amount of shock value that will have the most impact if you go in blind. This deadly rampage the lone gunman is on is brutal. There is a lot, A LOT, of violence. In fact, at times I felt there was too much of it and I doubted its necessity. Some of it felt remarkably senseless and the shock value was diminished along the way. The gunman’s motivations never really managed to convince me either. Nor did the intervention from law and order, or lack thereof, seem plausible.

There is tension a-plenty throughout. By the end, I was in serious need of a stiff drink and possibly an oxygen tank. Michael Wood seems to have left little space for the reader to actually catch their breath. Most of this comes from not knowing which step the unpredictable gunman will be taking next and the realisation that there will be many more victims before he’s done. Nobody is safe. Seriously. N-o-b-o-d-y.

As it says in the book description, these events will change the lives of Matilda and her team forever. And therein lies the issue I had with Time is Running Out. I’ve loved this series from the start and I love this team and their extended families. I understand the need to shake things up. In fact, I’m all for it. A long-running series must never grow stale and I will always appreciate an author who has no qualms about putting their main characters in harm’s way. But … well, let’s just say I think there is a line and that line may have been crossed.

You can’t help but wonder where the author will go next. If anywhere. Because it definitely feels as if he’s backed himself into a corner here. Time is Running Out is extremely shocking and upsetting, in more ways than one. Personally, I feel it went off the rails and the changes do not sit well with me. So for the first time in this series I’m saying that if there is more, I’m not sure I’ll be back for it.

Thanks to the publisher for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Time is Running Out is available to buy in ebook format. The UK paperback will be published on the 27th.

Amazon UK | Bookshop UK | Hive UK | Kobo | Waterstones

  6 comments for “‘Time Is Running Out’ by Michael Wood

  1. May 18, 2021 at 10:26 am

    OO. Interesting. Made me want to begin the series to see if I agree!


  2. Karen
    May 18, 2021 at 11:37 am

    I’ve fallen way behind with this series although I did enjoy the ones I’ve read. I’m now wondering if its worth catching up 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  3. May 18, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    I hate when an author suddenly does something in a long-running series that makes you feel you don’t want to read more of them. It happened to me with a historical crime series I loved for several books, and then the author married the hero off to a truly dreadful unsuitable spouse – I’ve never been able to bring myself to read another of them.


  4. May 20, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Fab review! A shame the series took a different direction and made you want to stop reading it… I always hate when that happens.

    Liked by 1 person

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