Engrossing plotlines, treacherous games, and a tormented police officer… the perfect ingredients for an exciting, gripping, and captivating thriller: Wicked Game!
Robert Finlay #1
2001. Age is catching up with Robert Finlay, a police officer on the Royalty Protection team based in London.
He’s looking forward to returning to uniform policing and a less stressful life with his new family. But fate has other plans.
Finlay’s deeply traumatic, carefully concealed past is about to return to haunt him. A policeman is killed by a bomb blast, and a second is gunned down in his own driveway. Both of the murdered men were former Army colleagues from Finlay’s own SAS regiment, and in a series of explosive events, it becomes clear that he is not the ordinary man that his colleagues, friends and new family think he is.
Wicked Game is a taut, action-packed, emotive thriller about a man who might be your neighbour, a man who is forced to confront his past in order to face a threat that may wipe out his future, a man who is willing to do anything to protect the people he loves. But is it too late?
‘Terse, tense and vivid writing. Matt Johnson is a brilliant new name in the world of thrillers. And he’s going to be a big name.’– Peter James
Knowing Matt Johnson would be one of the authors of Newcastle Noir, I just had to read his books to know what he’d be talking about. Wicked Game is a fascinating, intriguing, gripping, and captivating thriller!
Now before you start reading the book, I advise you to read the author bio first – it will enhance the reading experience as it provides an extra layer to the plot lines and gives you the background and insight into the protagonist. The character of Robert Finlay is based on the author himself which gives the story depth and an intriguing edge. It could have happened! Everything in this book feels so authentic – I had my eyes glued to the pages.
The authenticity is enhanced because of the narrative – the story is written from a third-person perspective except for Robert Finlay’s which is a first-person perspective – it all works really well and you feel the author is giving you a peek into his professional career and life.
Perhaps there are a few too many explanations about procedures and backgrounds sometimes but to me, that adds to the authenticity of the story told. This is not an author building a plot and showing us his character’s motivation, no this is an author who shares his experience and insight into the workings of the Agencies as well as the Police.
Because of all this, this excellently written book stands out from ‘normal’ detective thrillers. Combined with the engrossing plotlines, even if I had figured out who it was playing a treacherous game, I still had loads of questions to be answered, this makes for a hell of a read! A great start to a new series, cannot wait to read the next book, Deadly Game!
About the Author
Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for twenty-five years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital.
Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings, and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition.
Wicked Game is available at Amazon
|Publisher||Orenda Books (15 Mar. 2016)|