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Tuesday 15 September 2020

‘The Deadly Houses’ by Charlie Gallagher

Published by Joffe Books,
14th July 2020.
ISBN: 978-1-78931452-6. (PB)

As a fan of Charlie Gallagher’s psychological thrillers featuring DS Maddie Ives and DI Harry Blaker, I jumped at the opportunity to read and review this 6th book in the series. I must confess that I found it difficult to piece together the opening scenes from the viewpoint of a several disparate characters until I began to see how they all fitted together. However, once I discovered the thread running through the story, the sheer pace of the action kept me turning the page and I couldn’t put the book down. The last hundred or so pages I found so compulsive that I had to read in a single sitting.

The story hinges on four brutal domestic abusers who band together not only to find their wives and children now hidden in secret locations for their protection but to destroy the lives of the people who they blame for making it possible. The sheer sadistic evil of which these men are capable makes for stomach-churning reading and this is certainly not a book for the faint hearted or squeamish. Nonetheless, I found it compulsive because Gallagher makes it all so credible. 

As you become more sucked into the story you begin to wonder what kind of situations Charlie Gallagher has come across as a serving UK police officer. 

Gallagher is not only able to weave a compulsive plot, his characters leap off the page. Young Peter will linger in the memory for some time. The contrasting personalities of feisty, often impulsive Maddie Ives and her boss the more introspective and often irascible Harry Blaker make for a perfect partnership.

If you are a fan of action-packed thrillers with a complex plot, full of twists and turns to keep you on your toes, then this book is a must.

Reviewer: Judith Cranswick

Charlie Gallagher has been a serving UK police officer for ten years. During that time he has had many roles, starting as a front-line response officer, then a member of a specialist tactical team and is currently a detective investigating serious offences. Charlie is the author of four Lanthorne police procedurals. His new series features DS Maddie Ives.

Judith Cranswick was born and brought up in Norwich. She wrote her first novel (now languishing in the back of a drawer somewhere) when her two children were toddlers, but there was little time for writing when she returned to work teaching Geography in a large comprehensive. It was only after leaving her headship that she was able to take up writing again in earnest. Judith teaches Tai Chi, and line dancing, yoga, Pilates and Zumba. Her other hobbies include reading and travelling. She is lucky enough to be a cruise lecturer. You can read some of her adventures – the Ups and Downs of Being a Cruise Lecturer on her September 2014 blog on her home page Judith’s latest book is the Undercover Geisha to read a review click on the title.

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