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Monday 17 June 2019

'Killing State' by Judith O’Reilly

Published by Head of Zeus,
7 March 2019.
ISBN: 978-1-78954268-4 (HB)

Well, I am exhausted. I have just finished Killing State by Judith O’Reilly – a high-octane conspiracy thriller set in the near future.

Michael North is an assassin, and a dead man walking courtesy of a bullet lodged in his brain from his time as a soldier in Afghanistan that will kill him if it moves a millimetre the wrong way. He now works for The Board, a highly secretive organisation set up to protect the country at any cost. But when North is told to take out MP Honor Jones there’s a problem – he doesn’t kill women. And his intuition tells him she is innocent.

So begins a thriller with an energetic pace that doesn’t let up. At all. There are murders and fights and bombings and blood and gore from beginning to end. The action moves all over the UK, from London to Newcastle to East Anglia.

North is a great character with nothing to lose and looking for ‘inner peace’. I rather liked him. I also really warmed to the sassy and Intelligent 14-year-old IT expert Fangfang Yu….but, be warned, no one is who they seem, and no one can be trusted. Everyone has shades of good and evil.

Killing State is no deep-thinking literary novel. It does nod to the idea that power in the UK could fall into the wrong hands with grave consequences for the nation. But if it’s a fast-paced action-packed story of power and corruption and murder that you want, then Killing State is for you. It’s the first in a series featuring Michael North, and I will definitely be reading the next.
Reviewer: Mary-Jane Riley

Judith O'Reilly is author of the debut action adventure thriller Killing State. (Book 2 in the series, Curse the Day, follows later this year.) Her nonfiction books include Wife in the North, (a top-three Sunday Times bestseller and BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week) and A Year of Doing Good. Judith is a former journalist with the Sunday Times and former political producer with BBC 2's Newsnight and ITN's Channel 4 News.  Judith lives in Durham.

Mary-Jane Riley wrote her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter, when she was eight. When she grew up, she had to earn a living and became a BBC radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has covered many life-affirming stories, but also some of the darkest events of the past two decades. Then, in true journalistic style, she decided not to let the facts get in the way of a good story and got creative. She wrote for women's magazines and small presses. She formed WriteOutLoud with two writer friends to help charities get their message across using their life stories. Now she is writing crime thrillers drawing on her experiences in journalism. Her fourth book set in East Anglia and featuring investigative journalist Alex Devlin, Gone in the Night, was published by Harper Collins/Killer Reads in May 2019.

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