A Room Full of Killers by Michael Wood #BookReview

About this book…

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

Feared by the people of Sheffield, Starling House is home to some of Britain’s deadliest teenagers, still too young for prison. Now the building’s latest arrival, Ryan Asher, has been found brutally murdered – stabbed twelve times, left in a pool of blood.

When DCI Matilda Darke and her team investigate, they uncover the secrets of a house tainted by evil. Kate Moloney, the prison’s manager, is falling apart, the security system has been sabotaged, and neither the staff nor the inmates can be trusted.

There’s only one person Matilda believes is innocent, and he’s facing prison for the rest of his life. With time running out, she must solve the unsolvable to save a young man from his fate. And find a murderer in a house full of killers…

My review…

I just LOVE this series so I was really excited to start to read DCI Matilda Darke book 3 especially as I hadn’t had long to wait since reading the short prequel novella The Fallen just before Christmas. I love strong female protagonists in crime thrillers and Matilda is such an incredibly complex character with hidden and unexpected depths that I don’t think I will ever tire of her! If you have enjoyed the previous books as well then you are in a treat as I think this is the best book so far! I was awake till half two this morning finishing it (with a little break for some hot tea and a Tunnocks Teacake at midnight-reading about Sian’s snack drawer always makes me hungry!) as I physically couldn’t put it down until the case was solved.

I think one of the reasons I loved this so much was that it had an unexpected “Agatha Christie feel” to it. After the murder has occurred, all the suspects are gathered together by the detectives in one room which reminded me of the way Hercule Poirot would gather the cast of misfits together, pulling all the alibies apart individually before revealing the murderer. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy for Matilda as her investigation is also side tracked by a possible case of a miscarriage of justice. Interspersed throughout the teams investigation into the murder we hear the backstories of the eight killer’s who have come together at Sterling House and those chapters are truly chilling. These are teenage boys who have committed the most heinous of crimes and one of the team, Rory, really struggles to understand why? What has happened to these boys to turn them into killers? We are back to the nature versus nurture argument, could some people just be born evil?

Kate Maloney, the prison manager, was possibly one of the most frustrating characters I have read about recently (as well as appearing rather familiar for some reason!) so I felt absolutely no sympathy for her predicament whatsoever. And you can’t help but compare her to the fiercely loyal and single minded Matilda, who’s stubborn persistence is unfailing in her attempt to do the right thing and see justice done.

Honestly I am overwhelmed by how much Michael Wood has upped his game here and I’m already chomping at the bit for more DCI Matilda Darke. This is highly recommended by me and if you haven’t read any of this series yet I suggest you start with For Reasons Unknown, the first book and I guarantee you will be as addicted as I am!

I received a copy of this book via netgalley and have chosen to read and review it.

A Room Full of Killers (DCI Matilda Darke, Book 3) was published on 17th February 2017 by Killer Reads and is available to purchase from Amazon UK

Meet the author…

Michael Wood
Michael Wood is a proofreader and former journalist in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. He is the author of the DCI Matilda Darke series set in Sheffield. The third, A ROOM FULL OF KILLERS, will be released in February 2017. A short story prequel, THE FALLEN, is published as an ebook in December 2016 by Killer Reads at HarperCollins.

The Fallen by Michael Wood #BookReview #ShortStory

About this book…

A short story and prequel featuring DCI Matilda Darke, star of Michael Wood’s darkly compelling crime series. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid.

It’s Christmas in Sheffield. But not everyone is enjoying the festive season…

A man has been found brutally murdered in his own home. The victim is Iain Kilbride, a once-famous TV star who has faded into obscurity. All signs point to a break-in, but why has nothing been taken?

For DCI Matilda Darke, this is the perfect chance to prove her newly formed Murder Investigation Team are up to the task. Matilda suspects the clue to finding the killer lies in Iain’s past, but she’s about to discover how dark that past really is…

My review…

I just love this series featuring DCI Matilda Darke so was very excited to wake up just before Christmas to find this short story had been delivered to my Kindle in the wee small hours of the morning. Having a few hours free before the madness of Christmas begins, I settled down with coffee and cake to read it-something I don’t do nearly enough for books I have bought on their publication day.
The Fallen is a prequel set just before Christmas in 2010. It’s a time I remember well (especially the weather conditions!) So I felt the connection straight away with the setting and the general atmosphere. We come to meet the MIT right at its very beginning, with their newly created offices and even witness the birth of Sian’s snack drawer (always a favourite of mine!). And we meet a very different Matilda- happy, settled and madly in love with her husband. It actually made me quite sad as I was reading her interactions with James and also with her friend and colleague Adele, as I knew what was ahead for her.

For such a short story, the case that needs to be solved is intricately plotted and hard hitting. There is outstanding attention to detail which adds a realistic edge to Michael Wood’s police procedural. I do love this series and can’t wait to Book 3 to be published in February. But I am so glad we have had this Christmassy snapshot into a Matilda we’ve never met before, even if it is bittersweet.

The Fallen: A DCI Matilda Darke short story was published in ebook on 23rd December and is available to purchase from Amazon UK here.

About the author…

Michael Wood
Michael Wood is a proofreader and former journalist in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. He is the author of the DCI Matilda Darke series set in Sheffield. The third, A ROOM FULL OF KILLERS, will be released in February 2017. A short story prequel, THE FALLEN, is published as an ebook in December 2016 by Killer Reads at HarperCollins.