The Murder House by Michael Wood | @MichaelHWood @0neMoreChapter_

Author : Michael Wood
Title : The Murder House
Series : DCI Matilda Darke #5
Pages : 400
Publisher : One More Chapter
Publication date : January 31, 2020


It’s the most disturbing crime scene DCI Matilda Darke has ever seen…

The morning after a wedding reception at a beautiful suburban home in Sheffield, the bride’s entire family are stabbed to death – in a frenzied attack more violent than anything DCI Matilda Darke could have imagined.

Forensics point to a burglar on the run across the country. But cracks are starting to appear in Matilda’s team, someone is playing games with the evidence – and the killer might be closer to home than they thought…


Blood, guts and gore. Not exactly the aftermath you’d expect the morning following a lovely wedding but there we are. It is exactly the scene DCI Matilda Darke and her team come across when three members of a family are found brutally murdered in their home. Forensics quickly point to a petty criminal, who just happens to be on the run. But things don’t quite seem to add up and DCI Darke must keep her wits about her, while also trying to make sure her team doesn’t fall apart at the seams.

Meanwhile, Sally Meeghan is getting phone calls from someone she believes is her son. Carl went missing years ago. It’s a case that haunts Matilda Darke to this day. Is Carl still alive? Is someone playing a cruel game with his mother? And where on earth will Matilda find the time to deal with this on top of everything else?

I think you can just about get away with reading this one as a stand-alone, although why you would want to is anyone’s guess and obviously my recommendation is always to start from the beginning of a series. This team has gone through so much over the last few years, it’s really not surprising that cracks are starting to show and I truly feared for them.

But they have a job to do and a killer to catch. As to who that killer might be, I didn’t have a clue. By all appearances, this slain family seemed absolutely perfect. Who would want to harm them in such a brutal way and why? With so little information to go on, where do you even start? The tiniest little detail could blow this case right open. And let me tell you, when that happened, my jaw dropped to the floor because that is just a stroke of genius!

The Murder House is the fifth book in the DCI Matilda Darke series. I’ve been with this series from the very beginning and I feel it just isn’t talked about enough, you guys. Michael Wood delivers every single time and every single book has been outstanding but this one? Talk about raising the bar! The Murder House is intensely gripping from the first page and the pace builds up so much, I was wondering when I’d have a moment to come up for air. Deliciously dark, full of red herrings … you know what’s coming, don’t you? Best one in the series yet!

Fans of Matilda Darke will be thrilled with this latest addition, as would anyone who enjoys a solid, fast-paced and incredibly well-plotted police procedural. If Michael Wood isn’t on your radar, he bloody well should be and now is the perfect time to get caught up because there are lots of goodies coming our way from him this year.

The Murder House is available to buy!

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This Week in Books (January 15)

Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.


The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?

Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her?

Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.

And Chloe has been watching…

[review to follow soon but here’s a clue … ❤️]


Alice Teale walked out of school at the end of a bright spring day.

She’s not been seen since.

Alice was popular and well-liked, and her boyfriend, friends and family are desperate to find her.

But soon it’s clear that everyone in her life has something to hide.

Then the police receive a disturbing package.

Pages from Alice’s precious diary.

Who could have sent them? And what have they done with Alice?

[By currently, I mean I’m about to start it. Any second now. Honestly.]


It’s the most disturbing crime scene DCI Matilda Darke has ever seen…

The morning after a wedding reception at a beautiful suburban home in Sheffield, the bride’s entire family are stabbed to death – in a frenzied attack more violent than anything DCI Matilda Darke could have imagined.

Forensics point to a burglar on the run across the country. But cracks are starting to appear in Matilda’s team, someone is playing games with the evidence – and the killer might be closer to home than they thought…

[Another one of my favourite series so I’m really looking forward to this!]

And that’s my week! With a dash of Stephen King thrown in at some point. What are you reading this week? Do let me know! Happy reading! xx

The Hangman’s Hold by Michael Wood @MichaelHWood @KillerReads @HarperCollins


Author : Michael Wood
Title : The Hangman’s Hold
Series : DCI Matilda Darke #4
Pages : 416
Publisher : Killer Reads / Harper Collins
Publication date : August 24, 2018 (ebook)


Your life is in his hands.

The gripping new serial killer thriller from Michael Wood, in which Matilda Darke faces a vicious killer pursuing his own brand of lethal justice. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Helen Fields.

There’s a killer in your house.
The Hangman waits in the darkness of your living room. As soon as you get home, he will kill you – hang you by the neck – and make you pay for all the crimes you have tried desperately to forget.

He knows your darkest secrets.
The police are running out of time. DCI Matilda Darke is facing her worst nightmare: a serial killer pursuing his own brand of lethal justice, whose campaign of violence is spreading fear throughout the city.

And he is closer than you think.
As the body count rises, Matilda is personally targeted and even her most trusted colleagues fall under suspicion. But can she keep those closest to her from harm? Or is it already too late?


You’re all reading this series, right? If not, you should be! It’s one of the best ones out there and it deserves a lot more attention than it’s getting!

The Hangman’s Hold is the fourth instalment in the DCI Matilda Darke series, a series which is going from strength to strength and I have no qualms whatsoever in saying this is the best one yet. Quite frankly, I didn’t expect that because the previous book, Room Full of Killers was so utterly mind-blowing that I didn’t think Michael Wood could top that. I apologise for underestimating you, sir.

So, we meet the Hangman. He’s a vigilante serial killer with an ax to grind and the race is on to catch him from selecting another victim. The victims have been chosen for a reason and are hanged by the neck to pay for crimes they’ve committed in the past. This is where I found myself in the very strange position of almost sympathising with the killer’s reasoning. Because really, does the punishment always fit the crime? I think not.

Busy as the killer may be, they do also find the time to taunt Matilda along the way. This causes Matilda to think they’re quite close and just like her, I couldn’t at all figure out who to trust anymore on this team I’ve grown so fond of. A team that’s struggling to sink their teeth into the investigation due to a fierce case of victim apathy and yet, again, I could sympathise with that as well as it’s all too easy to imagine. I also thoroughly enjoyed how the focus shifted away from the case and delved into the impact the crimes have on family members who are left to deal with the aftermath.

It took me a while to figure out who the hangman was as Michael Wood deftly led me in the wrong direction. This is one gripping and tense story and I was hooked from the first page to the last. On top of that, this fantastic addition to the series ends on a massive cliffhanger that is sure to have readers coming back for more! I know I am!

The Hangman’s Hold is available in ebook format. The UK paperback will be published in September.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | BookdepositoryKobo | WorderyGoodreads


Book 20 from my 20 Books of Summer list. Nailed it! And with time to spare too. *smug*


A Room Full of Killers – Michael Wood



Eight killers. One house. And the almost perfect murder…

I am a huge fan of the DCI Matilda Darke series and this third installment is an absolute corker! Dare I say, the best one yet!

Matilda’s new case leads her to Starling House, a home for some of the country’s deadliest teenagers who are too young to be sent to prison. When someone is murdered, it’s up to Matilda and her team to figure out if the killer is one of the teenage boys or someone from the staff. Can any of them be trusted?

While Matilda gets distracted by various other things (a case from the past, grieving over her husband’s death and the belief someone at Starling House may actually be innocent), her colleague Rory is intent on finding out what makes children killers in the first place. Will Matilda’s distractions put her team in danger?

This is one dark and gruesome read. The prologue alone seems to come straight from some horribe horror movie and the backstories of the boys at Starling House make for some uncomfortable reading. Food for thought, for sure. And maybe also a nightmare or two.

Needless to say I was gripped from page one. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. My smug self thought she had it all figured out and was proven wrong. So wrong.

If you like a great crime procedural, this one is definitely for you. Although I would recommend you read the previous two in the series first. You won’t regret it. 5*

Amazon US  –  Amazon UK