Today I’m sharing my review for The Murder House by Michael Wood, it’s the fifth book in the ‘Matilda Darke’ series, and it’s one of my favourite crime series. Read on for my thoughts….
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…
I have been (im)patiently awaiting the fifth instalment of the Matilda Darke crime series, as hand on heart I can say ‘ I absolutely love this series’. When I enjoy a series so much I always worry the book won’t be as good as previous books in the series, but I’m delighted to report that any worries I had were unjustified, in fact I would say The Murder House is the author’s best book yet, it’s dark, erring on the gory side with an intriguing plot that will leave you blurry eyed as you forsake sleep for ‘just another chapter or ten!’
Give Michael Wood his due he knows how to get the reader’s attention from the off, the first chapter opens with a wedding and ends in a bloodbath when three members of the same family are murdered in the most appalling way. On first appearance the victims appear to be the ‘perfect’ family, pillars of the local community, they regularly fundraised and contributed to local causes, so why would someone want them dead? What possible motive could they have? I must admit rather like Matilda and her team I had no idea!
For me a crime thriller is never more satisfying, than when you have a list of suspects as long as your arm and the author makes it’s almost impossible to guess the culprit, for me it makes the read that more thrilling as you try to search for clues, hold on to the suspects every word looking for the slightest slip up. I felt like a detective (admittedly an amateur one!) working alongside Matilda to capture the murderer, each character came under scrutiny.
As for Matilda I love the way her character is evolving, she’s strong and determined and yet she has a sense of vulnerability mostly due to a cold case that haunts her, Matilda feels she failed missing child, Carl Meagan, who was never found. The case is a disturbing one and one which has a big impact on the team, when you add in budget cuts, and personal issues you realise this is a team that could buckle as they are tested to the limits. These are characters with feelings, real emotions, and depth which made the read that more authentic. As the case gains momentum, the tension intensifies urging the reader onwards, through red herrings and misdirection.
Although this book could be read as a stand-alone I would urge you to start at the beginning, just because this is such a cracking series, it would be a shame if you missed out on the four previous books. I almost shrieked in frustration at Michael Wood as he winds up the The Murder House with the biggest teaser yet! Such an ingenious ploy as now I’m left counting down the days to the next book in the series.The Murder House is fast-paced read ‘whodunnit’, that I would happily recommend to all crime thriller lovers.
Publisher: One More Chapter (31 Jan. 2020)
Pages in book: 400
Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧
My thanks to the publishers for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.
Other books in the Matilda Darke series