Wicked Game by Matt Johnson 

About the book:

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. 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 SAS regiment, and a series of explosive events makes it clear that he is not the ordinary man that his colleagues and new family think he is. And so begins a game of cat and mouse in which Finlay is forced to test his long-buried skills in a fight against a determined, unidentified enemy.

Click HERE to get your copy!

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 1992, 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. Matt is currently working on a sequel Deadly Game.

Originally a self-published work, in 2015, the rights to Wicked Game were acquired by London based publishers Orenda Books.

Matt is an ex-soldier and cop from the UK.Matt Johnson is the author of the 2016 John Creasey CWA Dagger listed novel ‘Wicked Game’ which was listed by Amazon UK as the highest-rated rising star novel of 2016. 


My thoughts:

I’ve had Wicked Game on my Kindle since it came out, and with the news that book two is on its way, I figured now would be a good time to get this one read. It’s been so long since I looked it at that I didn’t remember the blurb which always stands in my favour as I know I have no expectations. However, this is an Orenda Books author, so I knew I was in for a treat and I wasn’t let down!

Wicked Game is a debut, and a very assured one at that. Following Robert Finlay as he leaves Royalty Protection to move to an Inspector position in a police station, this book is surprisingly fast paced. Police officers are getting murdered, and Finlay starts to make the connection between his previous classified SAS days. What follows is a highly intriguing cat and mouse chase that doesn’t let up until the very end!

I won’t go into plot details, as usual, but what I will say is that Matt Johnson has written a very cleverly plotted novel. Full of twists and turns, with some excellent characterisation and a really great descriptive narrative, Wicked Game is without doubt a superb debut.

Highly recommended! 

The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette

First off, massive thanks to the author for my copy of this book. I’m privileged to be the first to review it!

I have literally just finished this book and I’m at a loss as to where I should begin with this review. I’ll get the important bit out of the way first!

About the author: (via David’s website)

A former Scotland Yard Investigator with twenty years policing experience, including counter-terrorist operations and organised crime, David has worked as a Met detective on a wealth of infamous cases. He currently consults on security operations for high-net-worth individuals and is an expert media commentator on crime, terrorism, extremism and the London 7/7 bombings.


About the book: (via Goodreads)

We accepted it was terrorism.
What if we were wrong?

What if London’s 7/7 bombings were the greatest criminal deception of our time?

July 2005: In the midst of Operation Theseus, the largest terrorist investigation that the UK has ever known, Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan begins to ask difficult questions that lead to the mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend and his sudden suspension from the Metropolitan Police.
Who masterminded London’s summer of terror?
Why can’t Flannagan make headway in the sprawling investigation?

Are the bombers the perfect pretext to mask a different plot entirely?

Is Jake’s absent Security Service girlfriend really who she claims to be?

While hunting for the answers to the most complex terrorist case in British history, one man will uncover the greatest criminal deception of our time.
Terror, extremism and fear of the unknown,
Sometimes the answer is much closer to home.
My thoughts:

The Theseus Paradox is an expertly-written crime novel. I read a lot of crime novels, but in the interest of honesty, this is the first book I have read that deals with terrorism, religious fundamentalism and extremists in the UK. I went into this book with no idea what to expect but I was surprised at the level of investigative detail contained in The Theseus Paradox.

The main character, DI Jake Flannagan, is similar in many ways to any other detectives in crime novels. His demons are there, loud and insistent at times, but Jake’s intentions are good. Despite some minor flaws (hard drinking, womanising and so on), I found him to be an immensely likeable character. I was rooting for him and his partner, Lenny, the whole way through to book.

The London bombings are a sensitive subject, and ten years on the scars are still there, physically and emotionally for those involved. I think Videcette has dealt sensitively with a subject he has first hand knowledge of. At the time of the bombings, I was only 19 so much of what happened at the time passed me by.

During the course of his investigation, Flannagan comes up with more questions than answers. Oftentimes he (figuratively) runs into brick walls as the information gets swallowed up in the Police computer information systems. Those on Operation Theseus cannot see the wood for the trees, they have that much information and lead to sift through.

Adding to Flannagan’s woes, his girlfriend Claire disappears and he ends up suspended from the force. As he digs deeper into the bombings, and continues his search for Claire, his personal life and his work life collide giving Jake the breaks he needs for the information to collate in his brain.

I sped through the remaining 20% of The Theseus Paradox as I was trying to figure it all out in my head and I was itching to know if Flannagan and I had come to the same conclusion! I could not have been farther off if I tried! I was not expecting what Jake uncovered during his investigation and this is what made me love the book even more!

Videcette has done justice to a very sensitive subject. The Theseus Paradox is a wonderfully written story, with horrifying real life events at its core.

I gave The Theseus Paradox 5⭐️ on Goodreads as it was a unique read for me and they don’t come around very often.

Thanks again to David for allowing me to read and review The Theseus Paradox. You can purchase a copy HERE.

Happy reading! 😊📖