Publication Date: Available Now From Orenda
Source: Review Copy
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… Picking up where the bestselling Wicked Game left off, Deadly Game sees Matt Johnson’s damaged hero fighting on two fronts. 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 continues the story started in Wicked Game (highly recommended from me) and also takes a dark yet realistic look at the world of sex trafficking. As such it is a hard hitting novel but done with genuine thought and feeling to the subject matter, is endlessly fascinating and a totally gripping read.
I was and still am a big fan of Matt Johnson’s first novel in the Robert Finlay series but with Deadly Game he takes things both up and down a notch – emotionally speaking this is on a whole new level, with less action but more considered, brutally and beautifully authentic prose that really delves into the themes within the story and keeps you totally immersed throughout. Another book I read fast, not wanting to put it down until I was done.
Robert Finlay as a character, well, so refreshing to read a main protagonist within a thriller who is not any one thing. He has a depth that is not seen so much, a wonderfully likely outlook considering the background the author has given him, every action he takes and thought he has makes sense in the wider picture, he is both sympathetic and intriguing. He anchors us in the moment, keeping the reader emotionally invested. That is some brilliant writing right there.
Whilst we all love a good edge of the seat thriller a la Lee Child, for me the kind of novels Matt writes are more in my ballpark, I want that emotive edge and that sense of genuine involvement. Proving here that you can give multiple layers to the crime thriller genre and still not lose the thrill aspect, a thing that whilst it is not rare is not common either, Deadly Game comes highly recommended by me. I can’t speak for anyone else but I simply can’t wait for the next one, to see the bigger picture the author is creating here and because seriously, its just a damned fine read. Don’t miss it.
Follow the Tour!