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Sunday 17 September 2017

‘Deadly Game’ by Matt Johnson

Published by Orenda Books,
15 March 2017.
978-1910633663 (PB)

Author Matt Johnson was in the military and then became an officer serving with the Metropolitan Polices force.  These experiences have provided him with the absolutely authentic material which he uses to such good and gripping effect in Deadly Game.

We follow a group of officers from varying departments as they attempt of flush out the ruthless family of criminals running a sex-slave industry trafficking gullible girls from Romania into England and keeping them in the utmost squalor.  They have absolutely no regard for human dignity or life, male or female, and the girls themselves are expendable, there being so many more where they come from.  The officer in charge is Robert Finlay, aided by various colleagues, a man damaged by the earlier danger which his profession had put his family into. 

At the same. time, former soldiers are being exterminated one after another.  Why?  Something of enormous value has been stolen, something heavily involved with ISIS-style terrorism and the killers are determined to recover it.  But Finlay and his crew aren't sure exactly what they're looking for.

Johnson ratchets up the pace as the book progresses until the last few chapters make it impossible to put the book down until the very last page. 
Reviewer: Susan Moody

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,  he was 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. Whilst 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. He has used his detailed knowledge and memory to create a fast paced, exciting and authentic tale of modern day policing. Matt Johnson is living proof that PTSD is a condition that can be controlled and overcome with the right help and support. He has been described by many fans as an inspiration to fellow sufferers.


 Susan Moody was born in Oxford is the principal nom de plume of Susan Elizabeth Donaldson, née Horwood, a British novelist best known for her suspense novels. Susan Moody began writing crime novels with Penny Black, the first of the seven Penny Wanawake crime novels.  She has a second series of six books featuring bridge player Cassie Swan. In all, she has published 29 novels, most of them crime and suspense. Susan spent two years as a Creative Writing Tutor in Her Majesty's Prison, Bedford. She is a past Chairman of the Crime Writers' Association, serving in all as a CWA Committee member for seven years. She is a long-standing member of the prestigious Detection Club and served for three years as the President of the International Association of Crime Writers.  In 2016 Susan Moody began a new series featuring Alex Quick. Click the title to read a review of Quick and the Dead

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