Saturday, 11 March 2017

Deadly Game by Matt Johnson Blog Tour


Reeling from the attempts on his life and that of his family, Police Inspector Robert Finlay returns to work to discover that any hope of a peaceful existence has been dashed.

Assigned to investigate the Eastern European sex-slave industry just as a key witness is murdered, Finlay, along with his new partner Nina Brasov, finds himself facing a ruthless criminal gang, determined to keep control of the traffic of people into the UK. On the home front, Finlay's efforts to protect his wife and child may have been in vain, as an MI5 protection officer uncovers a covert secret service operation that threatens them all .... Aided by new allies, he must not only protect his family but save a colleague from an unseen enemy ... and a shocking fate. Deadly Game is a stunning, terrifying and eye-opening thriller from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.


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Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for 25 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 take 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. His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game once again draws on Matt's experiences and drops with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.


I’m thrilled to be taking part in the #Deadly Game blog tour today. I’m sharing today’s blog tour stop with Chillers Killers and Thrillers.

Deadly Game is the second novel in the nail biting Robert Finlay series by Matt Johnson. After the exciting events that took place in book one, I couldn’t wait to see what Matt did next with his character.

In Deadly Game, Robert is sent on holiday. Robert suffers from PTSD and he is sent away to relax. Whilst on holiday he comes across the Christie family who are being investigated back in England by MI5. Toni Fellows, who works for MI5, is keen to recruit Robert but Robert has other idea about what he wants to do with his life and his wife Jenny wants him to lie low and concentrate on his family. She has had enough of Robert risking his and their lives and I’m sure that she wouldn’t mind of Robert had a desk job for the rest of his life. Robert is still seeking answers to events that occurred in book one although it has references to the previous book, Deadly Game can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series.

I thought that there were some fantastic new characters in this book, my favourite being Toni Fellows; I would like to learn more about her in the next book. Deadly Game definitely had more of a spy theme to it than the previous book, and the scenes in which Robert was abroad, took me back to watching The Night Manager last year. Matt opens the story painting a painful illustration of what life is like for some people in Eastern Europe, particularly young women who are desperate for a better life and who are willing to trust strangers to achieve their dream. In one short chapter I felt that I really connected to the character Relia Stagna who falls into the hands of sex traffickers and I really wanted to find out more about her and what happened to her next. ‘One day . . . with luck, she would find a new life.’ It makes my blood boil to think that this is happening to vulnerable and desperate people in the real world.

When Robert returns from his break he is assigned to investigate the Eastern European sex-slave industry. He is teamed up with Nina Brasov who I thought was another excellent addition to the series.

As it is in Wicked Game, Deadly Game is told from several viewpoints. From Robert’s viewpoint it is told in the first person narrative and in the voices of other characters it is told in the second person. Matt moves between these transitions really well, it is a great way of keeping the reader turning the pages and it certainly did with me.

I think what really helped with the pace in this book was the short chapters and brilliant dialogue. Some of my favourite scenes in the book were actually between Jenny and Robert but I also liked Robert’s conversations with Nina and Toni Fellows.

The Robert Finlay series is turning into something very exciting; I’ll definitely be reading the next one. Thank you to Karen at Orenda books for sending me a copy to review. 

Publisher: Orenda

Publication date: 20th February 2017 (Kindle) 15th March 2017 (Paperback)

Print length: 300 pages


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