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Kat's Review of For Reasons Unknown by Michael Wood (Matilda Darke #1)

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Synopsis: Two murders. Twenty years. Now the killer is back for more…

DCI Matilda Darke has returned to work after a nine month absence. A shadow of her former self, she is tasked with re-opening a cold case: the terrifyingly brutal murders of Miranda and Stefan Harkness. The only witness was their eleven-year-old son, Jonathan, who was too deeply traumatized to speak a word.

Then a dead body is discovered, and the investigation leads back to Matilda's case. Suddenly the past and present converge, and it seems a killer may have come back for more…

KAT’S RATING: 5/5

KAT’S REVIEW: My, NOW I see what everybody was going on about! I’ve been seeing so much hype around this book but have literally been swamped with books and just haven’t had the chance. I finally got around to this and am so pleased I did. For a debut novel this was an absolute corker of a read and one that I can totally see why everybody would recommend (me included). DCI Matilda Darke isn’t just your both standard copper that has scars; it seems she is on the brink of destruction. We meet her upon her return to work. That in itself is a hardship and although the reader doesn’t quite know why, it’s very clear from the outset it won’t be an easy return to work for her.

Although Matilda has returned she is assigned with the cold case of the murders of Miranda and Stefan Harkness. A number of Matilda’s colleagues make appearances and they all seem to have their place within the story, especially DC Rory Fleming and DS Sian Mills. Her nemesis and acting DCI in her absence is Ben Hales. He makes for a loathsome character but an interesting one. As Matilda’s cold case starts to be worked on, DCI Hales catches a new investigation involving murder.

The two cases eventually collide which although easy to spot early on, made for extremely interesting reading. The plot was so well thought out and the characters just fitted right in. This book certainly doesn’t have the feel of a debut novel, more like a seasoned professional who has launched a new series. The flow, pace and depth of the story was all absolutely spot on and there was little to find fault with.

I certainly didn’t see the ending coming and although I wasn’t surprised by the turn of events it made for a compelling read. I devoured this book in just 2 sittings and certainly think I will be following this series. There is plenty of scope with characters and storylines, not just for Matilda although I admit she makes a cracking lead. I was certainly impressed by this debut and think most people if reading it with no knowledge would assume it’s from a longer standing author. This is most certainly a book I would highly recommend. 

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