Book Title: Wicked Game
Author: Matt Johnson
Publisher: Orenda Books
Publication Date: March 15th 2016
Genre(s): Crime, Mystery & Thrillers, Action & Adventure, General Fiction (Adult)
Format Received: ARC (eBook)
Goodreads: 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. Finlay’s deeply traumatic, carefully concealed past is about to return to haunt him. 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 own SAS regiment, and in a series of explosive events, it becomes clear that he is not the ordinary man that his colleagues, friends and new family think he is. And so begins a game of cat and mouse a wicked game in which Finlay is the target, forced to test his long-buried skills in a fight against a determined and unidentified enemy.
My Review: Can I breathe yet? I don’t think I can! What a novel Matt Johnson has written, wow!
I picked this up to read as I have a blog tour coming up to take part in for Deadly Game which follows on from Wicked Game and the compulsive ‘geek-fried’ reader that I am cannot sleep if I’ve jumped into a series part way through. I can’t express enough how glad I am that my impulse to read Wicked Game kicked in. It is the first in the series and where it all begins for Robert Finlay, and boy did it begin.
As soon as you begin to read, you’re sucked in to a world you know really exists but you hope would not. Straight away the prologue shouts at you to ‘read on, this book is not to be missed and don’t put it down until you’re finished!!’
It is gripping, it is fast paced and not once did I come across a dull chapter. Each chapter has its own significant event attached to it which is completely mind blowing, quite often making your stomach flip at the events that unfold in them.
Matt Johnson has so much live wiring in his mind when it comes to description. It is just so vivid. Your imagination doesn’t need to do much work at all as it’s all there in the context of the novel – laid out bare. It’s magic! All throughout the book I was gaping at the events that unfolded, but chapter 61 made me shiver and retract into myself … it is the stuff that James Bond is made of.
The life experience of Matt Johnson made Wicked Game real for me. It made me feel like I was reading an autobiographical piece of work. His first hand experience of counter terrorist operations and police work shows all the way throughout the novel giving it a level of authenticity par with the likes of Andy McNab and Chris Ryan.
And the end … well, it is immense!! It’s left me desperate to read the next installment … I need to know what life will throw at Robert Finlay next!
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 1993, 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.