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

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

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…

| MY THOUGHTS |

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!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

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.

| LAST BOOK I FINISHED READING |

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 … ❤️]

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

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.]

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

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

40115401

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)

aboutthebook

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?

mythoughts

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

page-divide_12_orig

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

20-books-of-summer-cathy

20 Books of Summer

 

20-books-of-summer-cathy

I don’t often join challenges but this one caught my eye last year on Cleopatra Loves Books and I really like the thought of being able to catch up on my overflowing TBR in this way.

20 Books of Summer is a yearly challenge by Cathy at Cathy746 with an aim to read twenty books over the summer months starting on 1 June 2018 and running until 3 September 2018 and I’ve decided to join in.

Now, because I’m crazy and only decided this rather last minute, these 20 books will actually be read on top of the ones I’ve already committed myself to for blog tours. That’s the plan anyway. I hear you laughing. That’s okay. I’m laughing too. 😂

So, here are the 20 books on my list for now. I’ve spotted a few that seem rather long so I may need to switch those for something shorter. We’ll see.

In no particular order, here we go. With links to Goodreads for your convenience.

1. Rachel Rhys – Fatal Inheritance – [review]
2. Sarah Pinborough – Cross Her Heart – [review]
3. Cara Hunter – Close to Home – [review]
4. Riley Sager – Last Time I Lied – [review]

5. J.D. Barker – The Fifth to Die – [review]
6. Fredrick Backman – Us Against You – [review]
7. Sibel Hodge – Into the Darkness – [review]
8. Claire Douglas – Do Not Disturb – [review]

9. Shari Lapena – An Unwanted Guest – [review]
10. Louise Candlish – Our House – [review]
11. Steve Cavanagh – The Defence – [review]
12. Liz Nugent – Skin Deep – [review]

13. Amanda Jennings – The Cliff House – [review]
14. Michael Wood – The Hangman’s Hold – [review]
15. Celeste Ng – Little Fires Everywhere – [review]
16. Andrew Wilson – A Different Kind of Evil – [review]

17. Karin Slaughter – Pieces of Her – [review]
18. Ruth Ware – The Death of Mrs Westaway – [review]
19. Elly Griffiths – The Zig Zag Girl – [review]
20. Linwood Barclay – A Noise Downstairs – [review]

page-divide_12_orig

That’s it. What do you think? Would you consider giving this challenge a go? What do you think of my choices? Will I make it or fail miserably? And on a scale of 1 to 10, how crazy do you think I am now? 😂

Wish me luck! xx

 

My Top 10 Favourite Series of 2017

series

I can’t wrap my head around the fact it’s time to compile favourites of the year already. Where did this year go? I don’t know but I do know that it was filled with absolutely amazing books and since my list of favourites was getting way too long, I decided to split things up. Next week, I’ll be telling you all about stand-alones but today, the focus is on series. Not all of these were published this year but as I’ve been catching up and did actually read them this year, I think that counts.

So, here we go. In alphabetical order, this is my Top 10 Favourite Series of 2017.

Angela Marsons – DI Kim Stone

I read the first book in the DI Kim Stone series when it first came out and then somehow lost track of the series but thanks to an amazing fellow blogger, I set myself the challenge to catch up before Dead Souls was published back in April. Nailed it, in case you missed it. Still one of my proudest moments. 😉 This is just an incredibly thrilling and gripping series and the last one left me completely discombobulated.

Carol Wyer – DI Robyn Carter

An author who quickly found her way onto my list of go-to authors and another series that just keeps getting better. Carol Wyer has an uncanny ability to make me sympathise with the “bad guys”. She also has this mean streak of letting you get to know a character and caring for them, only to kill them off. Love it! There’s also an intriguing backstory that has me hooked!

C.J. Carver – Dan Forrester

I knew from the second I started reading the first book that this series would make the list. This series is perfect for binge-reading, which is exactly what I did and I read all three in three days. My reviews will be shared soon but I tell you right now, if you are not reading these, you are missing out!

David Videcette – DI Jake Flannagan

I can’t tell you the truth, but I can tell you a story …

With that one sentence, David Videcette had me hook, line and sinker! The author is a former Scotland Yard investigator and boy, does that show! Inspired by true events, this series just blows my mind to smithereens.

Graham Smith – Jake Boulder

Bad boy Jake Boulder wormed his way into my heart from the minute I met him and Graham Smith effortlessly found his way onto my list of go-to authors this year.

Helen Fields – DI Luc Callanagh

Truly magnificent series with taut and brilliantly executed plots full of lovely gruesomeness! Possibly not for the faint-hearted. Watch out for book 3 Perfect Death, which is coming in January!

Michael Wood – DCI Matilda Darke

32078405

An absolute corker! 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?

Rachel Amphlett – Detective Kay Hunter

Rachel Amphlett always delivers an interesting premise and manages to balance Kay Hunter’s personal and professional life like no other. These are all hugely entertaining page-turners and I always quite happily drop whatever it is I’m doing to read the next instalment as soon as it publishes.

Sarah Hilary – DI Marnie Rome

29757993

Without a doubt the best one in the series yet. Sarah Hilary’s writing just keeps getting better and better. Marnie’s foster brother returns, and it’s obvious he’s not done playing games. Meanwhile, Noah is faced with some difficult decisions concerning his brother.

Sarah Ward – DC Connie Childs

I didn’t review either one of these on the blog. A Deadly Thaw was published before I started blogging and I read A Patient Fury on holiday. It left me rather speechless. While I did take notes, by the time I got home they made zero sense to me so the review was never written. Sarah Ward continues to raise the bar and blow my mind at the same time. This is a corker of a series and a writer to watch!

***

And there you have it. The best series this year according to little old me. Do you agree with my choices? Did I forget to include a firm favourite of yours? Have you read any of these or would you like to? Do let me know in the comments so we can talk about books!

Next Friday, I’ll be sharing my Top 10 favourite stand-alone books of 2017. Or maybe 20. I haven’t quite figured it out yet. See you then!

Happy reading! xx