Blog Tour ~ The Hangman’s Hold (DCI Matilda Darke 4) by Michael Wood Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today s Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for The Hangman’s Hold by Michael Wood and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down.

About the author:

Michael is a freelance journalist and proofreader living in Sheffield. As a journalist he has covered many crime stories throughout Sheffield, gaining first-hand knowledge of police procedure. He also reviews books for CrimeSquad, a website dedicated to crime fiction.

About the book:

The Hangman’s Hold: A gripping serial killer thriller that will keep you hooked (DCI Matilda Darke Series, Book 4) by [Wood, Michael]

Your life is in his hands.

In the gripping new serial killer thriller from Michael Wood, 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.

He knows your darkest secrets.
He’ll make you pay for all the crimes you have tried desperately to forget.

And he is closer than you think.
DCI Matilda Darke is running out of time. Fear is spreading throughout the city. As the body count rises, Matilda is targeted and her most trusted colleagues fall under suspicion. But can she keep those closest to her from harm? Or is it already too late?

Click HERE to order your copy now!

Ellen’s Review:

Having loved the three previous novels in the DCI Matilda Darke series by Michael Wood and being an ardent #TeamDarke member I couldn’t wait to get stuck into book four, The Hangman’s Hold. This book could be read as a standalone but personally I’d recommend you read them all – why deny yourself the pleasure of getting to know Matilda and her team?

Michael Wood has gone really dark in The Hangman’s Hold and poor Matilda’s fragile mental strength is certainly pushed to its limits. There is a serial killer who appears to be carrying out murders in the manner of a vigilante, unhappy with how the victims have seemingly got away with crimes they decide to deal with them in the old fashioned way of hanging. Matilda and her team are being pushed from every angle, superiors, the press and even the killer, and it’s clear that not everyone disagrees with the killer’s reasoning. Matilda struggles to keep her team focused at times and it was upsetting to see cracks in what has always been a great working relationship between them all.

It was interesting to see a possible love interest on the scene for Matilda, I’d like to think she deserves a little dose of happiness (especially after the events in The Hangman’s Hold). I love the friendship element that has run through this series and watching the team grow closer and probably heavier after indulging in Sian’s treat drawer!

There are some truly horrific scenes in this book, it’s definitely not for the faint hearted! My heart rate must have been through the roof at certain points and just when you think you can’t take anymore…BAM..another gut punch of a reveal. Speaking of reveals there’s an absolute humdinger but I’ll let you discover that for yourself…..

All the stars for The Hangman’s Hold and bring on book five!!

Follow the blog tour:

A Room Full of Killers (DCI Matilda Darke 3) by Michael Wood


*Many thanks to the publishers for my Netgalley review copy*

About the 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…

A Room Full of Killers is out on February 17th (ebook) and you can preorder your copy by clicking HERE.

My thoughts:

I have been eagerly awaiting A Room Full of Killers pretty much since I finished reading Outside Looking In last year so I was delighted to have an opportunity to read it pre-publication. I knew from the first few pages that I was going to be hooked, and it was definitely worth the wait.

A Room Full of Killers is another brilliant installment in the DCI Matilda Darke series. This one focuses on Starling House and its inmates, young murderers. When one of the inmates is murdered, Darke and her team are called to investigate. What follows is a nail-biting, fast-paced and very twisted tale. Interspersed with chapters from the inmates of Starling House, A Room Full of Killers is Michael Wood’s darkest book yet. I LOVED it!!!!

Michael Wood has a skill for creating great characters, and this book is no different. I love the dynamic relationships between Matilda and her team, they all seem to bounce so well off each other. I especially like how Wood writes strong female friendships. Matilda and Adele are one of my favourite duos to catch up with. The way they are written makes the reader feel included in their friendship and invested in their characters. Very few authors make me care for their characters, but I always care about these two.

I briefly mentioned the interspersed chapters above. The reader is essentially introduced to the inmates of Starling House sporadically throughout the book. Each chapter focuses on one boy and their crime. Some of these are just horrendous to read. It’s hard to imagine a child committing murder, but that’s exactly what they’ve done and how they’ve ended up where they are. These chapters are quite chilling.

I think that A Room Full of Killers is possibly my favourite book in the series so far. It’s the one that’s made me question people more, and when I say that, I mean questioning people’s motivations for murder. Nature vs nurture and so on. As a parent, it’s hard to imagine what could drive your child to do such unspeakable acts, so this book is quite hard-hitting as it makes you wonder… what if?

I can’t recommend this series highly enough. If you’ve not read them yet, treat yourself. You won’t be disappointed!

I can’t finish this review without thanking Michael Wood. You may have seen a character called Kate Moloney mentioned above? Well that’s me. I’m truly honoured and humbled to have been written into a character. And bar the fact that I’m only 30 (😝), Michael got my description pretty spot on, especially with the nails and my love of Friends. Maybe less like the real me as the book goes on though 🤔 There aren’t enough words in my vocabulary to thank Michael enough. So all I’ll say to him is you’re great 😉😉😉


Previous reviews/blog posts:

For Reasons Unknown by Michael Wood 

Outside Looking In by Michael Wood *Blog Tour*

The Fallen by Michael Wood