Age is catching up with Robert Finlay, a police officer on the Royalty Protection team based in London. He’s looking forward to returning to uniform policing and a less stressful life with his new family. But fate has other plans. Finlay’s deeply traumatic, carefully concealed past is about to return to haunt him. A policeman is killed by a bomb blast, and a second is gunned down in his own driveway. Both of the murdered men were former Army colleagues from Finlay’s own SAS regiment, and in a series of explosive events, it becomes clear that he is not the ordinary man that his colleagues, friends and new family think he is. And so begins a game of cat and mouse a wicked game in which Finlay is the target, forced to test his long-buried skills in a fight against a determined and unidentified enemy.
Today is my turn on the blog tour for another amazing novel brought to us by Orenda.
Even though I’ve read many crime novels, I’ve never read any that are also SAS or military. By the end of the first chapter of this book I was hooked. Terrorism is a major factor throughout the novel, I can remember the events surrounding the siege at the Iranian Embassy and many of the events involving the IRA, but I have never thought about what it must have been like for the military or the police. Matt Johnson shows us what the people who had to be involved would have experienced.
When ex army colleagues are murdered Robert and Kevin are recruited by their old boss to find the people responsible and take the appropriate action. Robert is very reluctant to get involved, he is a family man but Kevin is more compliant. Robert is in a very difficult position, he is in a new job and his superiors suspect that he knows more than what he is saying.
I liked Robert and Kevin very much, both trying to cope with their past in order to deal with the present. The feelings they experienced, who to trust and how much they could reveal. The level of trust, or mistrust, is just the way I imagined it between the army and the police. I hope that in future novels we get to see the relationships build.
I had completely forgotten that the novel wasn’t set in present time, sadly terrorism is everyday news and I found at least one part of this novel very upsetting. It is quite graphic, especially at the beginning when he is describing events in Ireland. But there is also some humour and a great feeling of loyalty and friendship.
I found Wicked Game a great book to read, one that shows how rewarding it is to read something a little different.
4 Replies to “Wicked Game by Matt Johnson”
A great review, I’ve never read a book about the SAS either – it sounds as though it was a little too close to reality at times though?
The historical aspects with the IRA were, the Iranian Embassy parts not as much. I was in Manchester the week after the bombing there and it was a reminder of the devastation left. No deaths there but it made you think about what the people who had to deal with it at the time went through. You could tell that he had experienced what was in the book.
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Many thanks for the review, Steph. And sorry It has taken me so long to respond. I’m putting a link to it on my website, it that’s ok?
No problem at all.