Source: Review copy
Publication: 10 November 2022 from One More Chapter
My thanks to Harper Collins and One More Chapter for an advance copy for review
He took her voice
She took it back
A CENSURED DETECTIVE WITH NO LEADS
DCI Matilda Darke and her team have been restricted under special measures after a series of calamitous scandals nearly brought down the South Yorkshire police force.
A BRUTAL ATTACK WITH NO WITNESSES
Now Matilda is on the trail of another murderer, an expert in avoiding detection with no obvious motive but one obvious method.
A DEPRAVED KILLER WHO LEAVES NO TRACES
When his latest victim survives the attack despite her vocal cords being severed, Matilda is more convinced than ever of the guilt of her key suspect. If only she had a way to prove it…
How much more can Matilda Darke endure? Michael Wood is unrelenting in his determination to make sure that D.C.I Matilda Darke never, for a moment, gets any peace. In Silent Victim, Matilda is whiling her time away at home following the events which led to the dismantling of her Homicide and Major Crime Unit and the placing of the South Yorkshire Force on special measures.
It’s coming up to Christmas 2020 and CoVid socialising regulations are in full force. Adele has moved in with Matilda on a permanent basis and the two women are getting on well together. But you just know this peace and goodwill isn’t going to last. Someone is out there and they are killing women in the most brutal of ways.
The Chief is at his wits end and so he invites Matilda back, but she has conditions of her own that he has to meet before she agrees. You can’t help but love Matilda. Her empathy for the victims shines out and her compassion is what keeps her from losing her need to see justice done. She also cares deeply for her team. They have been forged in fire and when they hurt she feels their pain acutely.
In the face of a deeply misogynistic killer who is making no mistakes, Matilda really has her work cut out. The team can find no motive, nor any forensic clues to help them identify the barbaric killer. It’s one of Matilda’s most difficult cases and so she does exactly what you’d expect her to do and puts her neck on the line.
Michael Wood’s book is tension fuelled and I read it at a break-neck pace. He really makes you care about his characters and my heart was in my mouth more than once as various members of the team stood in the face of danger.
It is so good to be spending time with the team again and seeing how they are managing after all that has happened. Not all are still in the police force, and one or two new faces have come in, but they are all still very much in support of Matilda and care about her as much as she cares about them.
I had no idea who the killer was, but I was really caught up in the characters and their lives as well as needing to see justice done. As ever with Michael Wood’s series, there is a good amount of light to accompany the shade and the unrelenting pace and the terror that strikes in the heart of this story does not fade away as the denouement comes into focus.
Verdict: Another cracker of a fast-paced, tense and chilling police procedural. As ever Michael Wood leaves his readers wrung out from tension and with jangling nerves, yet still wanting more. A remarkable feat!
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Michael Wood is a freelance journalist and proofreader living in Sheffield. As a journalist he has covered many crime stories throughout Sheffield, gaining first-hand knowledge of police procedure. He also reviews books for CrimeSquad, a website dedicated to crime fiction.