Victim Of Innocence by Michael Wood

Today I’m delighted to share my thoughts on Victim of Innocence, the Matilda Darke prequel from Michael Wood. I came late to this series but am loving catching up and this book gave me a good insight into Matilda’s earlier life. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Amazon

About the Book

The nightmare is just beginning…

A short story and prequel featuring DCI Matilda Darke, star of Michael Wood’s darkly compelling crime series. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Patricia Gibney.

She invited the killer into her home…
The body of a young woman is found in an apartment block in a Sheffield suburb. She was attacked at home, in a sudden moment of violence that sends shockwaves through the community. 

DCI Matilda Darke has no choice but to work with her rival, DI Ben Hales, as the investigation takes them undercover into the dark world of a serial rapist targeting innocent women on the streets of the steel city.

But can Matilda and Ben finally put their grievances aside and work together? Or will this case be their last?

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Googleplay | Apple Books

My Thoughts

This is a short prequel which could easily be read before the main series and works well as a standalone. Here we are faced with Matilda Darke as we are possibly yet to see her. Happy, carefree and in the arms of the love of her life, husband James, … even if their house is falling down around their ears. Literally.

The case that Matilda and co are called in on is a perplexing one. A woman, attacked in her own home, who dies from her injuries. There is no sign of a break in and no sign of a struggle. However, this is not the first time her name has come to the attention of the police and it remains to be proven if this is the route cause of her murder.

The story may be short but it is action packed and full of tension. We also get to experience some of the early feud between Matilda and DI Ben Hales, a conflict that will have greater meaning as the series goes on. I loved the way in which the author manages to weave in all manner of questions, leaving the reader hungry for answers and then hitting us square in the jaw with a most shocking of conclusions.

Matilda and the team are a great bunch. Although the MIT are in their infancy in this book, they still all add something to the story, each unique and diverse and you can see them starting to gel as a unit. Featuring themes of sexual assault and murder, there is nothing gratuitous in the book, but you still feel every bit of the dramatic tension as it builds towards the ending.

A fine precursor to the main series and a brilliant introduction to a fine detecting team.

About the Author

Michael Wood is the pen name (he can’t spell soo-da-nim) for Sheffield based crime writer, Michael Wood. As of 2019 he has written four novels and one prequel novella in the DCI Matilda Darke thriller series which is set in his home city of Sheffield. He is currently writing the fifth and also has other projects up the sleeves of his duffel coat. When he’s not writing, he’s usually moaning about having little sleep and talking about his favourite biscuit on social media. He’s a massive fan of reading crime fiction as he likes to keep an eye on the competition and wondering if he can steal any of their ideas, give the characters a Sheffield accent, and pass them off as his own original creation. For more information you can find him on the book of faces and the one with the blue bird.

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