DEADLY GAME by Matt Johnson (Robert Finlay #2) @Matt_Johnson_UK @OrendaBooks

Deadly Game (Robert Finlay, #2)


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.



When you begin a new series and come to read the second book sometimes you have to recap about what happened before. That isn’t the case with this one. Wicked Game has stayed firmly in my memory as an absolutely unforgettable book. Deadly Game, I am sure is going to do just the same.

Police Inspector Robert Finlay’s life had been literally blown apart resulting in him, his wife Jenny and daughter having to move to a safe house and start again. I absolutely loved Jenny from the last book and although she only plays a minor role really in Deadly Game, she still remains a favourite of mine. Jenny would be more than happy for Robert to bow out of the service as his past is not willing to give him up. Robert certainly can’t return to the role he had before and there isn’t a lot of jobs that sort of fits his CV. Robert’s past had brought tremendous danger home to his family but he just can’t hide away, if he does the bad guys win. Suffering from night terrors and PTSD, he ritually has to check under and round every car before he gets into it but he is determined to work again.

When MI5 liaison officer for the family Toni Fellows arranges Robert a little R & R time in Egypt including a cover story for his past, it seems it may be just what he needs but circumstances fling him into the lime light and clutches of a family best to be avoided. Back home Robert is offered a new role in a completely different direction than he has had experience of before, investigating the harrowing, brutal sex trade that is pouring into the UK from Eastern Europe. His is partnered with the brilliant DS Nina Brasov, ace character.  Unfortunately Robert begins to recognise familiar faces.

Matt Johnson has once again produced a belting read. I loved the short chapters in the book. to begin with the scenes have a gentle build with them progressing to the more hard core details much later on, some which are very harrowing. Due to Matt Johnson’s own career he creates characters that feel like they exist. They are not all good people even if they are on the same side. Sadly because of the type of work which these officers  are involved in they can become damaged themselves and find it hard to cope. This isn’t the made up bits, this is the risks they really face daily. It does make you respect the work which these people do to protect us. A brilliant read again, so looking forward to a third book.


Matt   Johnson

Matt Johnson served as a soldier from 1975-78 and Metropolitan Police officer from 1978 -1999.

His debut novel Wicked Game – a crime thriller – was published by Orenda Books in March 2016. The sequel Deadly Game, was published March 2017.

Wicked Game was listed for the Crime Writers Association John Creasey Dagger award, has topped the Amazon and WH Smith KOBO charts in several categories and at the end of 2016 was listed by Amazon UK as the highest-rated ‘rising star’ novel of 2016.

Deadly Game tackles the current and sensitive topic of people trafficking – it is told from the authentic view that only a former cop could achieve.

Peter James, the international best-selling novelist said of Matt’s first book “Terse, tense and vivid writing. Matt Johnson is a brilliant new name in the world of thrillers.”

Sir Ranulph Fiennes said of Wicked Game – “From the first page to the last, an authentic, magnetic and completely absorbing read.”

Such endorsements would be serious praise were Matt to have been trained as a writer and have come though a traditional route. But he didn’t. In fact, his journey from the military, through policing to eventual publication might be described as unique.

In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Whilst undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism.

Matt was eventually persuaded to give this a go, and one evening, he sat at his computer and started to weave his notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. He used his detailed knowledge and recollections to create what has been described by many readers as a fast paced, exciting and authentic tale of modern day policing and terrorism.

I could be argued that Matt Johnson is living proof PTSD is a condition that can be controlled and overcome with the right help and support. He has been described by many fans as an inspiration to fellow sufferers.






This is the first book in the Robert Finlay series and a link to my review

Both books can be read as stand alone but this is a brilliant read too I would read this one first to get the whole Robert Finlay experience.

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