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Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Wicked Game by Matt Johnson

Wicked Game

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One of our Books of the Year 2016.

Longlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award 2016.

A breathless and perfectly-paced thriller of a particularly explosive nature, introducing Royalty Protection Team cop Robert Finlay whose own SAS past retruns to the surface after a series of colleagues are murdered. The author's own previous real-life experience in the military and then the police provides the book with a thick veneer of realism which it wears lightly but keeps the plot on the right side of credibility, unlike so many SAS action adventure-type thrillers publishers have been deluging the market with. Finlay is a fascinating character with a deceptively normal home life and quickly attracts the reader's sympathy. Anchored in the uncertainties of the present and recent past (terrorism, political turmoil, Ireland, Iran) but with a strong moral compass, this could be the beginning of a great series and a likeable British action character. ~ Maxim Jakubowski

The Lovereading view...

Fall headlong into a gripping and absolutely cracking story, featuring an ex-SAS, turned Met Police Officer, battling for his life. This is the first in the ‘Robert Finlay series’ and the debut novel by Matt Johnson, who has experienced one hell of a career himself. In fact, when you read the information about the author at the beginning of the book, it immediately puts a whole new spin on what you're about to read. The whammy of a prologue sets the story in 2001, you are then introduced to Bob Finlay, who is settling down into family life and a new role within the police when events take an unexpected and horrifying turn. Johnson turns his knowledge into the most fabulous and readable story that just zings along with authenticity and exhilarating attitude. I’m excited to be in at the start of what promises to be a fabulous new series, and honestly can’t wait for the next! ~ Liz Robinson

April 2016 Debut of the Month.

A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...

'Wicked Game was written by ex-Met Police Officer Matt Johnson as therapy for the PTSD he suffered after witnessing several horrific London bombings, and being present at the murder of his colleague Yvonne Fletcher. He subsequently self-published this book, and achieved extraordinary sales and reviews. We’ve worked with Matt to rewrite and polish this thriller for the trade, and the results are staggering. Not only is this a compelling, revealing and action-packed thriller, but the authentic dialogue and the inside knowledge that Matt invests in the highly orchestrated plot and well-drawn characters are simply spine-tingling. Telling the story of an ex-SAS man whose carefully concealed past comes back to haunt him, putting his family, his colleagues and his new life in jeopardy, this is a vividly written novel that has bestseller written all over it.' ~ Karen Sullivan, Publisher, Orenda Books

Win Books from the Manon Bradshaw Thriller Series!

Persons Unknown, the second book in Susie Steiner's crime thriller series, is now out in paperback and to mark the publication we are giving away paperback copies of both Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown to THREE lucky winners!

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 30 April 2018. The winners will be notified by 14 May 2018,

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 30/04/2018


Wicked Game by Matt Johnson

2001. 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. Wicked Game is a taut, action-packed, emotive thriller about a man who might be your neighbor, a man who is forced to confront his past in order to face a threat that may wipe out his future, a man who is willing to do anything to protect the people he loves. But is it too late?


'Terse, tense and vivid writing. Matt Johnson is a brilliant new name in the world of thrillers. And he's going to be a big name'
Peter James

About the Author

Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for 25 years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital. Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game once again draws on Matt’s experiences and drips with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.

Author photo © Biophilic Photography

Click here to read a Q&A with the author about his new book, Deadly Game.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th March 2016


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Orenda Books


320 pages


Action Adventure / Spy
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