The Hangman’s Hold by Michael Wood


The Hangman's Hold

7th June 2019. 4 stars

My thoughts

I’ve enjoyed the Matilda Darke novels. I like the author’s writing style, his original plots and his sympathetic portrayal of a damaged detective with demons. The books draw you in from the first few pages and the fourth in the series is no exception.

With a vigilante on the loose in Sheffield, brandishing his own distinct form of retribution, Matilda’s soon struggling to stay in control of the investigation as the body count increases. While this aspect of her character has been well written in previous novels, it felt a little strained this time. Her behaviour became more extreme and desperate as she felt the investigation, and her credibility, slipping away. Her difficulties getting over the death of her husband a year ago contributed to this behaviour, but felt repetitive, having been fully covered in previous stories. She needs to move on, I think.

Darke and her colleagues also took a long time working out what seemed fairly evident to me. This contributed to a drawn out ending that for me diminished the urgency and impact of the climax.

Otherwise, this was a very readable top notch crime story with a good cast of characters, an intriguing plot filled with enough suspense and tension to keep me turning the pages.

While it can be read as a standalone, you’ll get more from the books if you read them in order.


Your life is in his hands.

In the gripping new serial killer thriller from Michael Wood, Matilda Darke faces a vicious killer pursuing his own brand of lethal justice. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Helen Fields.

There’s a killer in your house.
The Hangman waits in the darkness.

He knows your darkest secrets.
He’ll make you pay for all the crimes you have tried desperately to forget.

And he is closer than you think.
DCI Matilda Darke is running out of time. Fear is spreading throughout the city. As the body count rises, Matilda is targeted and her most trusted colleagues fall under suspicion. But can she keep those closest to her from harm? Or is it already too late?

The Hangman's Hold

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