Blog Tour: The Controller by Matt Brolly

Hey everyone,

Today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Controller by Matt Brolly and I’ll be sharing my review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Following his law degree where he developed an interest in criminal law, Matt Brolly completed his Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University.

He is the bestselling author of the DCI Lambert crime novels, Dead Eyed, Dead Lucky and Dead Embers. The fourth in the series, Dead Time, was released by Canelo in May 2018 and a prequel, Dead Water, will be published in September 2019. In 2020 the first of a new crime series set in the West Country of the UK will be released by Thomas and Mercer (Amazon Publishing).

The Controller, released in May 2019, is the first of a new thriller series set in Texas.

Matt also writes children’s books as M.J. Brolly. His first children’s book, The Sleeping Bug, was released by Oblong Books in December 2018.

Matt lives in London with his wife and their two young children. You can find out more about Matt at his website or by following him on twitter: @MattBrollyUK

Social Media:

Twitter: @MattBrollyUK



About the book:

From the bestselling author of the acclaimed DCI Lambert series comes The Controller, a gripping serial killer thriller introducing Sam Lynch and Special Agent Sandra Rose. 

It is six years since special agent Samuel Lynch left the FBI following the disappearance of his son, Daniel. Lynch believes an underground organisation known as The Railroad is responsible and has never stopped searching. 

When Special Agent Sandra Rose investigates a house invasion gone wrong, she discovers the assailant has the legendary, and infamous, Railroad tattoo carved onto his back and he claims to know Daniel’s whereabouts.

Rose draws Lynch in to her case, and together they become embroiled in an unparalleled world of violence and evil.

It seems that to see his son again, Lynch will have to confront his greatest fear and face the ultimate test: an encounter with the Railroad’s enigmatic and deadly leader, The Controller.

The Controller (Lynch & Rose 1) by Matt Brolly

My thoughts:

The Controller is the first in a new US crime thriller series by Matt Brolly, and what a promising start it is. It follows Samuel Lynch as he searches for his son who went missing six years ago, and he thinks its connected to an underground organisation known as the Railroad. Special Agent Sandra Rose, called to an assignment, ends up pulling Lynch in to the case as she believes it to be connected to the Railroad.

I found The Controller to be a solid start to a new series. It builds up enough back story, introduces the characters, and leaves enough unanswered questions that the reader will be looking forward to the next book.

The premise for the book is also quite clever. Lynch was ousted from the FBI after he carried out an investigation into The Railroad, but he ends up being pulled into Rose’s case when she finds out the assailant has the markings of the Railroad on his body.

What follows is an action-packed, dark and at times, harrowing read. You will question the motivations of those involved, while at the same time, willing Lynch on as he continues to search for his son.

The Controller is dark, cinematic and definitely one to add to your list if you enjoy US-based conspiracy thrillers.

Recommended for sure.

Check out the blog tour:

*Blog Tour* Dead Embers by Matt Brolly

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Dead Embers, the latest DCI Lambert book from Matt Brolly. I haven’t had the time to read this one yet, but I get to share the opening with you all today! Here’s the important bookish information first though!

About the author:


Following his law degree where he developed an interest in criminal law, Matt completed his Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University. He reads widely across all genres, and is currently working on the third in his Michael Lambert thriller series. Matt lives in London with his wife and their two young children.




About the book:

Dead Embers

An explosive fire. A double murder. And that’s just the start…

When DCI Michael Lambert is called out to an apparent house fire, he knows it can’t be routine. Instead he finds the remains of a burnt house, a traumatised child and two corpses – one of whom is a senior police officer.

Lambert’s got other problems. Anti-corruption are onto his boss. His relationships is on the rocks. He can’t get over his ex-wife and he keeps blacking out.

But when a detective has been murdered the stakes are too high to get distracted. All is not as it seems. As the investigation continues Lambert realises he is getting drawn into something altogether bigger and more terrifying than he could ever have imagined…

Buy the book:

Dead Embers by Matt Brolly


Chapter One


The girl pulled the duvet over her head and tried to return to sleep.

Her skin bristled with heat beneath the cover and she stuck her head back out. ‘Mummy?’ she whispered, her words lost in the darkness.

Her toys acted as if nothing was happening. She grabbed Laney and studied her face, the glass eyes and stitched smile revealing no sense of fear. A crashing noise came from downstairs and she retreated back further beneath the covers with her doll.

It was hot, and not just because she was wrapped in the duvet. She wanted to leave the room, to make the small journey to Mummy and Daddy’s room, but they didn’t like her leaving her bed in the middle of the night and she wanted to be a good girl. Mummy would come to her if anything was wrong, she was sure. She listened, but all she could hear was the rapid thumping of her heart.

‘What do you think?’ she asked Laney, as more noises rose from the depths of the house. The sounds were familiar but she couldn’t recall from where. She closed her eyes and pictured the dragon from the book Mummy read to her at bedtime.

She poked Laney’s head out of the duvet and turned the doll’s face in a circle so she could check nothing was in the room with them. Laney didn’t say anything so she stuck her head back out.

The room had changed. She rubbed her eyes. She must be tired. Mummy and Daddy always said she was tired when things were going wrong. Her eyes watered, and the room faded. She glanced down at the nightlight, peering closer at the air which danced around the orange glow, when the door blew open.

She grabbed Janey closer and started to cough. A strange figure stood in her doorway. He wore a helmet and a funny mask. Behind him, something glowed like her nightlight but much brighter. It had changed the house. The man mumbled something and she struggled to keep her eyes open as he grabbed her from her bed and placed something over her mouth.

Follow the blog tour:

Dead Embers blog tour 1.jpg

Previous Matt Brolly posts:

Dead Eyed by Matt Brolly

Dead Lucky by Matt Brolly

Zero by Matt Brolly

*Blog Tour* Zero by Matt Brolly

Hi hi!

Today’s my stop on the blog tour for Zero by Matt Brolly! Having read and loved his two previous books I was delighted to be asked to read Zero for the tour! My thanks to Matt and Canelo for my review copy! And without further ado, here’s all the bookish info:

About the book:

No crime will go unpunished.
It is the near future. A zero tolerance policy results in the death penalty for all crimes, no matter how minor.

When a judge is kidnapped, and a ransom note demands the release of all prisoners awaiting execution, kleptomaniac Detective Inspector Kate Swanson is put on the case.

But soon her boss also disappears. Under increasing pressure from her superiors, and caught between the security services and the growing social unrest, Swanson must race to find a man whose murdered wife and daughter link the missing men.

Can she find him before it’s too late?


About the author:

Following his law degree where he developed an interest in criminal law, Matt Brolly completed his Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University.

He is the author of the DCI Lambert crime novels, Dead Eyed and Dead Lucky, and the near future crime trilogy, featuring DI Kate Swanson, which begins with Zero.

Matt lives in London with his wife and their two young children. You can find out more about Matt at his website or by following him on twitter: @MatthewBrolly


My thoughts:

Having read and loved Matt’s previous DCI Lambert series I was delighted to hear he was working on a new dystopian crime book. Needless to say I jumped at the chance to read it, and I’m really happy to be a part of the tour too!

Zero focuses on DI Kate Swanson and her appointment to the team investigating the kidnapping of a Judge. Working and living in a city with a zero tolerance policy on crime makes this investigation all the more difficult as it throws far more suspects in to the mix.

Zero tolerance is exactly that. Anyone caught engaging in criminal activity gets sent to the pods. The pods are travelling glass cars suspended above the city. The criminal is put into a pod for 30 days, so essentially they are starved to death in the pods. If they can’t handle the slow death, there is a suicide button which releases a toxin which causes immediate death shrouded in a red mist.

This is almost a novel of two halves. There is the general crime aspect, and then you factor in the dystopian regime-like city and it adds a sci-fi element which brings a very different feeling to the book. It’s reminiscent of The Fifth Element, but with a really dark and gritty criminal vibe the whole way through.

I read Zero fairly quickly. It was a really enjoyable crime novel, with some very interesting takes on the sci-fi/dystopian genre and it all intermingles really well. I think Matt Brolly has got the makings of a great series, DI Kate Swanson is a brilliant lead too so I am really looking forward to reading more.

Highly recommended!

Previous reviews for Matt Brolly’s books:

Dead Eyed by Matt Brolly

Dead Lucky by Matt Brolly

Make sure to keep up with the tour:


Dead Lucky by Matt Brolly

I’ve been lucky enough to receive an ARC from the author to read and review so my thanks, as always, to Matt for giving me an opportunity to review his latest novel. 😊


Matthew Brolly wrote a brilliant debut released last year called Dead Eyed. It was a stunning debut and you can read my review for it HERE.


You know when you love an authors debut novel, and you wonder if they can follow up with another cracking book?! With Dead Lucky, wonder no more! I raced through it, absolutely glued to my iPad at any reading opportunity as I was dying to know what was going on!


About the book (via Goodreads):


DCI Michael Lambert is back…

When a woman is murdered, the twisted killer forcing her husband to watch her slow and painful death, DCI Michael Lambert knows that his next case might be his toughest yet.

And when a second set of killings are discovered, with exactly the same MO, the race is on the find the lethal sociopath before he strikes again.

But Lambert never expected to receive an anonymous call from the killer. This time, it’s personal: if Lambert doesn’t find the murderer soon, his own loved ones will be next.

My Thoughts:


LOVED IT!!! 🙂 Honestly, I loved Dead Lucky! Almost from the first page, I was hooked! The story draws you in so completely and so quickly that you just can’t help but keep reading!


Dead Lucky is one of the “one more chapter” books for me. The kind of book where I keep telling myself I’ll go to sleep after one more chapter, I’ll get dressed after one more chapter, I’ll make dinner after just one more chapter. I just didn’t want to stop reading! 😂


DCI Michael Lambert is one of my favourite characters from the past 12 months. There is just something about him that I enjoy, which is testament to Matt’s writing style in that he creates great characters. It’s comforting to pick up a book with a main character that you like, it’s almost like meeting up with an old friend.


Dead Lucky picks up after Dead Eyed, so Lambert’s situation has changed since the previous book. I’m not going to go into plot details, you can read my review to get an idea. Sufficed to say, there’s enough going on without picking up a murder investigation.


Brolly has a masterful way of writing plots that reveal their secrets slowly, not enough to give you the full picture, but enough to tempt you to figure it out. I love books like this as they make you try really hard to figure out the ending, but then blindside you completely when it comes to the big reveals!


I’ve no problem in saying, despite crime fiction being pretty much the only genre I’m reading lately, I’ve become useless at figuring out who did what and why! I think that’s why I enjoy reading books like this, they challenge my brain to work harder!


Dead Lucky, my second read of 2016, is my first 5 ⭐️ read of the year on Goodreads! And it deserves every one of those stars! If you haven’t read Matt Brolly’s books, you are missing out! 😉

Dead Eyed can be bought by clicking this link!

Dead Eyed (DCI Michael Lambert, Book 1)

Dead Lucky, out January 11th, can be pre-ordered by clicking this link!

Dead Lucky (DCI Michael Lambert, Book 2)


Happy Reading 😊📖

Dead Eyed by Matt Brolly

I’ve had Dead Eyed on my Netgalley TBR for a while now and some blogger friends of mine, Noelle over at Crimebookjunkie Book Blog and Joseph at Relax and Read Book Reviews had reviewed it so my interest was piqued!

By pure coincidence, Matt emailed me a couple of weeks ago asking would I like to read and review Dead Eyed. Of course my answer was yes, happy that I had a copy of it on my kindle!
Goodreads description:

DCI Michael Lambert thought he’d closed his last case…

Yet when he’s passed a file detailing a particularly gruesome murder, Michael knows that this is no ordinary killer at work.
The removal of the victim’s eyes and the Latin inscription carved into the chest is the chilling calling-card of the ‘soul jacker’: a cold-blooded murderer who struck close to Michael once before, twenty-five years ago.
Now the long-buried case is being re-opened, and Michael is determined to use his inside knowledge to finally bring the killer to justice. But as the body count rises, Michael realises that his own links to the victims could mean that he is next on the killer’s list…

There are so many crime books out there now that it can be difficult to separate them from each other. Not the case with Dead Eyed. With a serial killer called Souljacker, you know it’s going to be good! And this is a debut! I honestly couldn’t believe that this book was a debut, it seems so accomplished that I would have expected it to be well into a series at least!

Souljacker goes around killing people, taking their eyes out, and carving a Latin phrase into their bodies. Insane, but chillingly good as a killer.

Lambert is great as a character, he has his weaknesses and demons in his past, but he’s just so easy to like as a protagonist. Sarah May proves to be a strong female character in Dead Eyed too, adept and intelligent. Together they work the case simultaneously, leading to interesting developments in the investigation.

I don’t like going to far into plots as I think it takes away from the readers experience if they know too much. Sufficed to say, Dead Eyed is an astonishing debut novel. Matt Brolly’s writing style is clear, concise and vivid. The action is relentless, there are so many twists and “I know who”  moments (I was wrong, consistently, by the way!!!) that all add up to it being a brilliant storyline, with excellent characterisation, and a truly deranged sociopathic killer.