The Murder House by Michael Wood

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on The Murder House by Michael Wood, the latest book in the Matilda Darke series. This is one of the darkest and most bloody books I’ve read to date and absolutely thrilling. Happy publication day Mr Wood. And thank you to the publishers for supplying an early copy via Netgalley. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Netgalley

About the Book

They were the perfect family. It was the perfect crime.

The new gripping DCI Matilda Darke crime thriller about the dark secrets that lie within a perfect family. For fans of Patricia Gibney and Angela Marsons.

It’s the most disturbing crime scene DCI Matilda Darke has ever seen…
The morning after a wedding reception at a beautiful suburban home in Sheffield, the bride’s entire family are stabbed to death – in a frenzied attack more violent than anything DCI Matilda Darke could have imagined.
Forensics point to a burglar on the run across the country. But cracks are starting to appear in Matilda’s team, someone is playing games with the evidence – and the killer might be closer to home than they thought…

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Googleplay | Apple Books

My Thoughts

Wow, wow, wowsers. This is one heck of a story and no mistake. If you love this series then prepare yourself as Matilda and co are about to embark on their bloodiest and most harrowing case to date!

Your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. And to all intents and purposes it is for new bride, Leah Mercer, it is. The whole thing goes off without a hitch and she is off and away with her new husband on her honeymoon when her whole world will be shattered. Because, in the aftermath of a beautiful wedding, comes awful, blood-soaked tragedy when the rest of her family are murdered in the very home that a few hours earlier had been hosting her reception.

It is a book that is possibly not for the squeamish. Although as readers we are not necessarily privy to all of the act of murder, the aftermath, the way it is described, the amount of detail, which is sparse and not unnecessarily gory, is just enough to convey the level of violence inflicted upon these victims. It is a messy scene, an atrocity the like of which most of the team have never seen and it takes its toll on all of them. It’s not pretty – not gratuitous either, but it is one of those undoubted ewww moments, even if one of the things that happens a bit later as a result of the violence did make me chuckle just a little bit. Let’s call it ‘gallows humour …’

The story is full of mystery and misdirection and the backstory to the characters, the victims in this novel comes under some scrutiny. The author uses this to great effect, playing with readers emotions, especially when it comes down to the only witness left alive, the one victim’s young daughter, Rachel. Could it be the killer has a conscience? Michael Wood has captured all the emotions in this novel perfectly, from the horror of the investigating team, the terror of poor Rachel or the up and down emotions of Leah when she returns from her honeymoon to her worst nightmare. It really got me hooked into the story and invested in the action and the outcome.

There are a lot of secrets being kept in this book, and not just where you would be expecting. This book marks a turning point for some of the main characters too. That’s what I love about the series – the fact that you are as involved in the lives of the team every bit as much as the victims or suspects.I felt like I got to know them even better this time around and my love for them grows with each book. They are all unique, well fleshed out and likeable characters. And I have a major case of envy for Sian’s snack draw. Mine at work is nowhere near as exciting, with herbal teas and low calorie cereal bars …

Fast paced and full of tension, this book left me guessing until the end as to who really was responsible. Despite hints being dropped throughout the investigation, it is near on impossible to pinpoint the murderer, even if the motive becomes more apparent with each page turn. This is probably my favourite book to date, the ending providing an absolutely surprise turn that promises so much for the books to come. It is a part of the story that fans will be familiar with, one which came back to bite Matilda in the previous book and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out moving forward.

Definitely recommended for Matilda fans everywhere, or even fans of a damned fine police thriller. Roll on October. I can barely wait for book six!!!

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 duffle 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.

Author links: Facebook | Twitter

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