28th January 2019 – 4 stars.

Suspend disbelief and prepare to be taken on a ride filled with twists and turns, humour and escapism. If like me, you enjoy conspiracy theories and wonder what the secret services might get up to, you should appreciate this novel.

At its heart, this is a convoluted story of murder, revenge and conspiracy with the police against the secret services, especially when they’re working together to apprehend the killer, who’s executing people on a list and leaving coded messages in the form of Roman numerals.

At the heart of the story is the brilliant DS Barnes, a larger than life detective who dominates the tale and propels it along with fun, surprises galore, and a fair amount of intrigue. Her male colleagues in the police and the secret services are no match for her.

The story has pace, intrigue, several plot layers and plenty of action and twists to satisfy anyone who likes thrillers. Even though it seems implausible in places, I was enjoying the story so much I didn’t care.

But, as the blurb tells you, this is the first in a trilogy. It didn’t tell me the novel would end mid-scene, after a stunning final twist. It left me hanging in the air and frustrated as I think the author could have rounded the scene off with a few more paragraphs to conclude the book.



Dead men don’t kill – do they?

A colleague in the police force murdered. A new female sergeant acting strange.

When the murder of a police officer is linked to a series of suspicious deaths the formidable DS Greg Woods is on the case. However, all eyes are on his new colleague Maria Barnes. She’s quirky, but talented and shows skills beyond expectation. Is there more to her than meets the eye? It’s a race against time when it becomes obvious that the killer is on a mission which is far from over. Who will be his next victim? Then, a chance discovery: initials left at the crime scene. But what do they mean?

When the secret services show interest in Barnes and the case, the pair risk all by going undercover to find out who, or what CXVI really is. Their lives hang in the balance when they discover the shocking truth.


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