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Deadly Game

Published Date: 1st September 2016

Available in

$0

EBook
9781910633670
£5.99
15 February 2017
Paperback
9781910633663
£8.99
15 March 2017

Description

Reeling from the attempts on his life and that of his family, Police Inspector Robert Finlay returns to work to discover that any hope of a peaceful existence has been dashed. Assigned to investigate the Eastern European sex-slave industry just as a key witness is murdered. Finlay, along with his new partner Nina Brasov, finds himself facing a ruthless criminal gang, determined to keep control of the traffic of people into the UK. On the home front, Finlay’s efforts to protect his wife and child may have been in vain, as an MI5 protection officer uncovers a covert secret service operation that threatens them all… Picking up where the bestselling Wicked Game left off, Deadly Game sees Matt Johnson’s damaged hero fighting on two fronts. Aided by new allies, he must not only protect his family but save a colleague from an unseen enemy … and a shocking fate.

‘Utterly compelling and dripping with authenticity. This summer’s must-read thriller’ J S Law, author of Tenacity

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‘Nothing is clear-cut in a gripping labyrinthine plot, which – despite thrills and spills aplenty – never falls short of believable’ David Young, author of Stasi Child

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‘Terse, tense and vivid writing. Matt Johnson is a brilliant new name in the world of thrillers’ Peter James

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‘From the first page to the last, an authentic, magnetic and completely absorbing read’ Sir Ranulph Fiennes

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‘The magic mix of jeopardy, emotion and action. I could not put it down’

Louise Voss

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‘A book by an ex-cop and -soldier has the potential to go wrong and fall flat due to it being all about inside knowledge that is tough to decipher by the public. This book isn’t like that. It is a genuine page-turner, very well written, and just flows from one scenario to the next. It is clear the author lived through these times and this is evident in knowledge and description. Excellent’ Ian Patrick

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‘Finlay is an older male who is settled down with a wife and child and is feeling his age a little. He’s not some fit, handsome superhero. He’s an ordinary man, who has made career choices that have put him in extraordinary situations, which in turn have led him down a path where he has to face difficult decisions. It’s this normality about Finlay that appealed to me and kept me reading. The believability of the story. The authenticity’ Rebecca Bradley

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‘On every page, tension is carefully built, as a portentous revelation is offered or a memory smothered. Johnson litters his tale with the plotting equivalent of incendiaries: cops we don’t quite trust, a career that came abruptly to an end, a secret needing to be kept … Gripping stuff’ New Welsh Review

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Author

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, and 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. While 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. His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game once again draws on Matt’s experiences and drips with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.

Online Reviews

‘Matt moves between these transitions really well, it is a great way of keeping the reader turning the pages and it certainly did with me. I think what really helped with the pace in this book was the short chapters and brilliant dialogue. Some of my favourite scenes in the book were actually between Jenny and Robert but I also liked Robert’s conversations with Nina and Toni Fellows. The Robert Finlay series is turning into something very exciting; I’ll definitely be reading the next one.’

 Jacob Reviews Books

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Matt talks about the loss of his friend and colleague with the 35th anniversary approaching as part of the Deadly Game Blog Tour. Chillers Killers & Thrillers

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‘As I hope that I have conveyed in this review, Deadly Game is a fantastic novel. It is a page-turning thriller but so much more. It really made me think about the world, not just terrorism, but the lengths the secret state will go to to prevent secrets from spilling, whether they are justified, the implications on public life. I can’t recommend this book enough and can’t wait until the third instalment.’

 The Crime Novel Reader

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‘Whilst we all love a good edge of the seat thriller a la Lee Child, for me the kind of novels Matt writes are more in my ballpark, I want that emotive edge and that sense of genuine involvement. Proving here that you can give multiple layers to the crime thriller genre and still not lose the thrill aspect, a thing that whilst it is not rare is not common either, Deadly Game comes highly recommended by me. I can’t speak for anyone else but I simply can’t wait for the next one, to see the bigger picture the author is creating here and because seriously, its just a damned fine read. Don’t miss it.’ Liz Loves Books 

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Matt shares his ‘best of crime’ as part of the blog tour. Off-the-Shelf Books

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Matt takes part in an interview as part of the blog tour.

Criminally Good – 10 March 2017

http://www.lucyvhayauthor.com/criminally-good-interview-with-author-matt-johnson/

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Matt talks about the moving and emotive trailer for The Deadly GameSheila Rawlings

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Matt writes a fabulous guest post about reviews and the positives and negatives of social media for an author, as part of the blog tour. Reflections of a Reader

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‘I can’t recommend this book enough. I think this is a PERFECT read for thriller fans. And like I said before, this has lots of thrilling moments but it also has lots of emotion at its core. Robert is desperately trying to protect his beloved family, he is suffering with PTSD AND he is assigned to investigate the horrendous world of sex trafficing. There is so much going on in this book. I loved it. You’ll see when you read it. Just the first chapter is enough to break your heart.’ Ronnie Turner

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‘For anybody wanting an action packed, fuel filled, explosive read … Deadly Game should definitely be on their shopping list. In fact, it should be moved to the No.1 spot as that’s where it deserves to be and like me throughout the novel they’ll be sitting reading whilst all the more thinking ‘Good God’!!! I just hope there’s more of Robert Finlay to come.’ Page Turners Nook

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‘Finlay desperately fought to save a colleague. But by the end of the book it felt like there had been a real shift in direction, particularly from where we first met Finlay and Jones, just weeks before in Wicked Game. There is the promise of so many secrets yet to be revealed; of a story which is not ready to let the reader go just yet, and I for one can’t wait to read more. A tension filled and heroic deep-sea diving 5 stars from me.’ Jen Meds Book Reviews

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‘I couldn’t put it down!! If anything, it slowed down my reading so I could really take in what was happening and as a result I was constantly being pulled further and further into this murky world where it is difficult to trust anyone! A brilliant, credible thriller with a tight, multi-layered tension filled plot that comes together brilliantly.’ Have Books Will Read

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‘Johnson leaves the reader with a sense of more to come. I am very much looking forward to Finlay’s next story, and would like to state my intention, here and now, that I would love to be on the blog tour for the next book too, please. In case there was any doubt…’ Segnalibro

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Matt talks about his first CrimeFest as part of the blog tour. Cheryl MM Book Blog

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Deadly Game follows on where Wicked Game leaves off and we discover the devastating aftermath of the events chronicled in the first book. There are also loose ends to be tied off, attitudes of colleagues to be dealt with but Finlay’s main priority is still to protect his family.There is a new case to investigate involving young girls who are trafficked from Eastern Europe.A riveting read throughout and I’ll look forward to Book 3’ Mrs Bloggs Books

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‘Dealing with some extremely hard-hitting subjects, Deadly Game is not for the faint-hearted, but for those who can stomach the grittiest subjects in crime, this is definitely a book you need to add to your TBR pile and you need to do it now!’

Emma the little Book Worm

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Matt talks about modern slavery as part of the blog tour. Damp Pebbles

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Matt writes a guest post on editing books. The Writing Garnet

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‘Johnson’s writing style is tight, sharp and full of authenticity based on his own personal history as a police officer. Finlay as a character was well developed and easily likable to me and the secondary characters were also richly developed adding fantastic depth. The scariest part of the plot, for me, is that the sex trade industry is really happening and the scenes with these poor young woman were heartbreaking, shocking and harrowing.’ Novel Gossip

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Matt writes a guest post on modern slavery. My Reading Corner

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‘Unlike many in this genre I warmed to the protagonist. There are also a slew of strong female characters, there for their skills rather than for the men to win or save. A full-flavoured addition to a series that I look forward to following further. This was an immersive and entertaining read.’

Never Imitate

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‘This storyline is quite chilling. I won’t reveal what it is about but the book is set in 2001 and events that have happened since then, the events that are never far from our news makes you think about what might have happened but never made public. It is very topical and I hope that there is a follow up. It’s a series that I have enjoyed even though a military crime thriller isn’t one that I would usually read.’

Steph’s Book Blog

Matt talks about his life in books as part of the blog tour. Random Things

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‘This is one of those books that it doesn’t have just one plot, it’s complex, full of life and twists that will make you love every page. Talking or reading about sex trafficking is never easy, is something we know it exists but don’t want to think about the life that affects or how people can make money with it. This book talks about it, but I can assure you that even if you are not in the mood for this, you will love this book no matter what your reading preferences are.’ Varietats

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‘I’m a little bit sad there’s (apparently) only one book left in this trilogy. Saying that, it seems like poor Robert Finlay does need a rest (and perhaps a good holiday?!) so I can’t be too angry there’s only one book to go. Matt Johnson is an incredible writer, he writes such real, compelling books that deal with incredibly difficult subjects (the PTSD isn’t the worst thing explored in Deadly Game, the entire sex trafficking plot is just awful, it’s something I personally hate reading about, but it was done so well). I definitely recommend Deadly Game, and Wicked Game, if you haven’t read it. They’re top notch crime thrillers.’ Girls v Books

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‘I particularly enjoyed some of the women characters, notably, his partner, Nina and the MI5 liaison officer, Toni. There is a real spark about them. My favourite though has to be Robert’s wife Jenny, so aware of her situation and so concerned for Robert. She sees the effects of PTSD on her husband and in a way, becomes our eyes. Never dull and full of tension, I’m looking forward to the next instalment of Robert’s story. In short: a nail-biting thriller and some great characters and serious issues.’

Books, Life & Everything

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Matt talks about 10 things you didn’t know about him, The Book Review Café

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‘So, to sum up: this isn’t a slick book, it has a raw quality such that the unlikely events described actually seem to make the story more credible. Again I go back to John Buchan and his ‘shockers’. They weren’t elevated literary writing perhaps but they were – and are – cracking good stories, still readable after a hundred years or more. For sheer readability and entertainment I’d see Johnson in that tradition. But unlike Buchan, at the same time, he’s exploring Finlay’s slow recovery from PTSD – not at all a quick or easy theme, but a journey I’m looking forward to him continuing in future books.’ Blue Book Balloon 

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‘The plot twists and turns and the story is incredibly planned out. There’s very little I can say without giving spoilers as so much happens in Deadly Game. It’s fast paced and keeps you on your toes till the very end. A definite recommendation from me and I will be looking forward to the next instalment in the Robert Finlay series.’ Life of a nerdish mum

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‘Picking up where the bestselling Wicked Game left off, Deadly Game sees Matt Johnson’s damaged hero fighting on two fronts. Aided by new allies, he must not only protect his family but save a colleague from an unseen enemy … and a shocking fate..’ Bibliophile book club

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‘The human element of the book appealed to me the most – Finlay’s reaction to events as opposed to gun-toting action; the horrific nature of human trafficking and the ripple effect of PTSD were all true to life and are what attracted me to this book. My head was spinning by the end of it and my paranoia levels are sky-high! This book is going to rock your socks; blow your mind and have you reeling!’

Chapter in my Life

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Matt takes part in a Q & A with The Crime Review as part of the blog tour. The Crime Review

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‘If you enjoy a dark, tense thriller with sub genre focus on military and government conspiracy, this is the book for you. I’m under the impression that this is to be a trilogy featuring Robert Finlay and am very excited to see how he chooses to finish out the series.’ The Suspense is Thrilling Me

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‘As well as being a crime fiction novel, I thoroughly enjoyed the added element of the military and how they play their parts. It made for me a really thrilling read! The pace for me was perfect. Not slow – but then not too fast that we lose the What Johnson has been able to create so beautifully are characters that make you sit and wonder how they are doing in the real world – as if they were real people in your life. You really do care for these characters and want nothing by good for them. I for one am keen to read more about Robert Finlay and wait with baited breath to see where Johnson takes Finlay next!’

P Turners Book Blog

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Matt takes part in The Secret Library – naming his choices to be part of the secret library as part of the blog tour. Café Thinking

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‘The first thing that strikes you about Deadly Game is its authenticity. Matt Johnson clearly knows his stuff, as well as being able to tell a good tale as it shows through in a compelling mix of highly credible detail, tactics, procedures, and all striated into the political games that the intelligence services play. Finlay’s first person narrative voice is punchy and to the point, and the switching between him and the third person points of view carries the story along smoothly.Mention should be made of the interesting supporting cast that add layers of intrigue into the narrative and compels the reader to look out for these thrillers from Matt Johnson. Highly Recommended.’ Shots Mag

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‘The plot in this book is absolutely 5 shining gold stars of brilliant, it really is.  There is so much tension and suspense curled around the plot that the reader almost needs to reminders to keep breathing.  The complexities of the plot make this such a thrilling read, and quite terrifyingly realistic (in a good way!).’

The Quiet Knitter

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‘I was quite blown away. As ever, you get the impression Johnson has been there, done it, and got the T-shirt – or scars! – to prove it. Again, there’s no technical overload. The subject matter is topical still, sadly – despite the book being set in 2001. I think people trafficking is the most heinous crime – worse than some murders. Johnson makes a great hero – easygoing and funny. And wife Jenny’s there again, with solid support – a typical Army wife. Can you tell yet I enjoyed it??!’ Crime Worm

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‘Johnson has created a gritty and current novel dealing with, sadly, very real issues. It is disturbing yet credible and has a real intelligence behind it. Days after finishing the book I still find myself worrying about one of the characters demonstrating just how immersed you become in this book. I eagerly anticipate the next book in the series. Highly recommended, Deadly Game is tense, topical, exciting and gripping. More than ‘just’ a detective novel it really packs a punch and leaves you breathless!’

Bloomin Brillian Books

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‘Having read both Wicked Game and Deadly Game I’ve found that the former was more action-packed whilst the latter was more suspenseful. Both are strong, credible thrillers. Through both darkly-lit novels, Finlay’s character shines as one who is, somewhat surprisingly in this genre, just a nice, decent family guy who to the reader comes across as a hero but I got the feeling that to himself personally he would find that flattering and almost unjustified. But I think he’s a great character and one that I really want to read more from. I can’t wait to read what’s next.’ Book Drunk

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Matt is interviewed in the Monmouthshire Beacon about Deadly game.

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Deadly Game read as great physcological thriller with the trauma of PTSD really adding a new and unusual twist to events. I really felt as if I got to know Finlay better here, got inside his mind (and what a chaotic place that is!) and got stuck into the crazy, unstable and dangerous world of the secret service and the problems it faces. There were many more threads to this book than I first thought and even afterwards, as it all came together, like a time delay of sorts, it’s then that I fully appreciated what I’d just read. I’m not your typical spy/thriller reader, but it got me good.’ The Book Trail

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‘I always appreciate when I can learn something as well as be entertained from a book I read and (sadly) I learned so much about sex trafficking I couldn’t stop thinking about it when I wasn’t reading the book. So heartbreaking and anger producing and you just know when you’re reading that Matt Johnson knows what he’s writing about. I had no idea and it was shocking to say the least.’

 It’s Book Talk

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‘This intelligent plot is amazingly well constructed with multiple layers. It doesn’t just show the dark and disturbing world of criminals but also the games people in government and secret services play and that right there is scary as hell all on its own. Just like the first book, Deadly Game is gripping, compelling, authentic and highly realistic. It’s a nailbiting ride of a thriller and if this was a movie, I’d be on the edge of my seat.’ Novel Delights

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Matt Johnson selects his favourite coppers in The Times

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‘Will he be able to get back a Met colleague alive, will he be able to move on and know that he is finally free from the spooks in his life. Robert Finlay is complicated person who you cannot help but like, he is human and makes poor decisions but will he be able to rescue a colleague and save trafficked women before they are murdered when they are no longer useful. A stunning thriller, a real page turner, well researched and written by a brilliant storyteller.’ Atticus Finch

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‘I didn’t get a chance to read Johnson’s first book “Wicked Game”.  If I had and it had been written as well as this one was, and all the reviews seem to point to that conclusion, then I’d have camped out overnight in-front of my local book store book on this one’s publication date or at least politely harangued my friends at Orenda for a copy. What starts out slowly, soon explodes into a vibrant and Le Carre-esque read that had me on the edge of my seat from the first page.’ The Library Door

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Reviews