Cover Image: Survivor’s Guilt

Survivor’s Guilt

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Member Reviews

I have followed and loved these characters from the beginning and feel like I know them personally, they are real to me and I go through everything with them. I could literally shout and screen how good these books are. Already longing for the next one. Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for an advance copy.
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Matilda Darke is back , after what happened in the last instalment Matilda is not feeling back to her best . She is acting out of sorts and ruffling a few feathers within her team.
The team are investigating the murders of a number of Sheffield prostitutes , and Matilda is reunited with Carl Meagan , he was kidnapped over  four years ago , and life back home is not as easy as everyone thought it would be.
Michael Wood’s writing gets better with each new book , there are twists and turns that  left me urging Matilda on.
I loved the ending , and cannot wait for the next book in the series. This book is definitely a rollercoaster of a read I didn’t think the last one could be surpassed , but I was wrong ( pleasantly so!) 

Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter.
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“You’re a survivor aren’t you, Matilda? But what’s the point of surviving, when everyone around you is dead?”

These are the words haunting DCI Matilda Darke as she returns to begin her eighth investigation with the Homicide and Major Crime Unit based in Sheffield. A case that has blighted the DCI’s  career for the past four years, that of the kidnap of Carl Meagan, is about to be happily concluded with his long awaited return home. For Matilda, finally back  to work following her near death experience which cost a number of her team members their lives, she’s keen to focus on this unexpected positive outcome whilst battling her survivor’s guilt and processing all the conflicting emotions associated with so much tragedy and loss. Elsewhere in Sheffield the focus is on the red light district and the disappearance and/or murder of a growing tally of prostitutes. 

Even though I confess to not having read every single book in the series I was eager to catch up with Matilda and her colleagues, previously  finding them to be a thoroughly likeable, down to earth bunch, with well developed backstories, and an often entertaining group dynamic. Plus the author more or less guarantees his readers a well paced juicy storyline to sink their teeth into alongside whatever the team’s current personal issues happen to be. It soon becomes clear that a great deal has been happening in Sheffield since I was last in the company of these dedicated, hard working individuals and I regretted the fact I’d somehow missed out on  book number 7. However Michael Wood does a great job in bringing those readers lagging behind up to speed, frequently alluding to the past and the shocking, devastating circumstances surrounding Matilda’s protracted absence from her job but I still wasn’t fully prepared for the fact so many of the regulars have been brutally killed off!! I thought I’d misread the situation but no, this is the reality the now depleted team face, their colleagues sorely missed but not forgotten. Thus the mood is sombre and reflective as we rejoin them for another investigation but you cannot fault their professionalism. The easy going straight talking banter and camaraderie may be diluted for the time being but there are glimpses of it peeking through the storyline and with new recruit Zofia joining the ranks, keen to make a good impression, you like to think in time these colleagues will find their way towards a new normal. Much of that depends upon a visibly altered Matilda and whether she still warrants her place in the hot seat. She seems incapable of preventing the cracks that are dividing her off from the rest of her colleagues especially DC Christian Brady, DS Siân Mills and best friend Adele from deepening further. Up until now they’ve remained fiercely loyal and protective of their leader but they’re beginning to lose patience and faith in her ability to conduct this investigation and bring it to a successful conclusion. Distracted by Carl’s homecoming and suffering horrendous flashbacks of the attack that put her in a coma Matilda is definitely on the edge, permanently stuck in fight or flight mode, pushing everyone away with her sharp tongue and erratic behaviour. She’s sadly morphed into a Jekyll and Hyde figure, wary, mistrustful with an air of the green eyed monster about her. Definitely nothing like the Matilda fans of the series will know and love and I found myself losing a certain amount of respect for her. 

Really the storyline is tragic on so many levels, from the four years Sally and Philip have lived without their son, to the decimation of the unit, the relationships that lay in tatters, to the growing number of prostitutes targeted by a ruthless, audacious killer committing these crimes without fear of detection. I loved the focus on the plight of sex workers plying their trade on the streets of Sheffield, a plot which is executed well with an enormous amount of compassion shown towards these vulnerable women who for varying reasons have found themselves selling their bodies and their souls just to survive. The bravery, desperation and hopelessness of these women facing danger on a frequent basis is keenly felt. Bev is a superb character. Her hyper vigilance is an added bonus to this investigation whilst her natural air of protectiveness towards her fellow workers, in particular Sarah who is well and truly nestled under her wing is quite touching. For shock value alone this novel is brilliant. It’s dark, dangerous, tense and twisty and the manner in which the culprit is identified and apprehended terrifyingly risky, dramatic, shocking and tragic. My eyes were popping out of their sockets!  The author has played an ace card with this out of the blue twist and although I thought I was on the right track I couldn’t quite make the final connection, possibly because it’s SO mind boggling. I must admit I struggled to believe the amount of trust placed in Matilda by certain characters; a fear borne out when part of her plans end up going awry, the result of which have a lasting and devastating impact on those involved. It’s as if she feels she has a point to prove and prove it she will no matter the cost! I felt that some of Matilda’s personal issues are too easily resolved and I was relieved that the Carl Meagan thread has been satisfactorily tied up, having been dragged out long enough. Personally I thought it was an unnecessary distraction from the main plot even if it does show Matilda in a sympathetic light and allows her to shed her guilt over her role in Carl’s disappearance. Except in truth she’s simply swapping one bucketload of guilt for another! These criticisms (almost) pale into insignificance thanks to an absolute corker of a cliffhanger. With a few carefully chosen words to pique your interest and arouse your curiosity Michael Wood ensures his readers will remain on tenterhooks, desperate for the arrival of book 9! 

On reflection this is a good, enjoyable instalment in a series I’m happy to recommend. 

My thanks as always to the publisher OMC and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read in exchange for an honest review.
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I enjoyed the book but you really need to read all of them in order to get to know the team better,  then you understand the heartbreak they are all going through.  

Matilda and her team  have  to investigate a serial killer who targets prostitutes it’s a real page turner and gripping and the twist at the end was fantastic.

I want to thank Netgalley and the publisher for an early copy,
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I am one of the readers who struggled with the previous book despite having been a huge fan of everything that came before. So much so that I was doubtful that I'd read on, but then, I couldn't resist! I'm so glad I did, having put aside my feeling of betrayal about the loss of so many great characters I was able to admire this author's instinctive ability to tell a great story, and to tell it well.

In Survivor's Guilt the title says it all. Poor Matilda Darke is coming to terms with the loss of friends as are the rest of her former team. That only spurs her on to find the potential killer of prostitutes in the area.

All I can say is if you thought the last book had some unwelcome surprises, what's revealed in this book  may be less showy but no less shocking! 

A great read and I'm back on side once more.
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DCI Matilda Darke #8

Nine months ago DCI Matilda Darke survived a bullet to the head. The brutal attack claimed dozens of lives including those she loved the most. Now she's ready to get back on the job. But a new terror awaits. A woman is found murdered and her wounds look eerily similar to several cold cases. DCI Darke and her team must face the terrifying truth: a serial killer is on the loose in Sheffield.

Matilda is still suffering after being shot nine months ago. Her team question her her fitness and ability in being able to do the job satisfactorily. The body of a woman has been found with wounds similar to some cold cases. 

This is a gripping read. It's chilling and emotional. The ending is a jaw dropper and totally unexpected. I was convinced I knew who the killer was, but I was wrong. I have only read a couple of books in this series and I really should start at the first book and read them all in order. I wish I had read Time Is Running Out  #7 before I started this book as I feel I've missed out on a lot of the background story.

I would like to thank #NetGalley #HarperCollinsUK and the author #MichaelWood for my ARC of #SurvivorsGuilt in exchange for an honest review.
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I would like to thank Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter for an advance copy of Survivor’s Guilt, the eighth novel to feature DCI Matilda Darke of the Sheffield Police.

Matilda has just returned to work after being shot when it is discovered that a serial killer is killing local prostitutes. Matilda is not the woman she was and with a reduced team tensions are running high. Is she still capable?

I quite enjoyed Survivor’s Guilt, which, as the title suggests, is as much about Matilda’s recovery and feelings as it is about the hunt for a serial killer. It is powerful reading, examining loss and guilt and the ensuing conflict that the uncertainty they engender brings. I also think the author is good on the life of prostitution and the feelings it evokes, portraying the sex workers as real, exploited people.

I feel, however, that the investigation into the murders is shoehorned into the novel as an added extra to all the emotional drama surrounding Matilda and is perfunctory in its execution. This provokes mixed feelings in me as I’m all about the investigation rather than emotions. I would have preferred more emphasis on it, but what there is is clever. The killer is well disguised and his identity is a real shocker when revealed and some of the twists along the way are unexpected. Then there is the ongoing thread about the kidnapped Carl Meagan, more guilt for Matilda. This takes a turn in this novel and ends in another cliffhanger. I’m not a fan of ongoing plot lines and I think this is getting tiresome. It’s past time for Matilda to seriously investigate it.

The characterisation is strong in this series and this novel reinforces this with its concentration on Matilda and her emotions and the conflict in the team. Matilda is struggling with what amounts to PTSD, so she’s not particularly pleasant and that’s putting mildly. I would imagine that readers new to the series will hate her, because this old hand found it hard to be sympathetic.

Survivor’s Guilt is an interesting read that I can recommend.
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This series is one of my top favourites. I have been with Detective Matilda Darke since the beginning and for me they have all been 5star reads. I thought the last book Time is Running Out was my favourite and the storyline just blew me away. Then his latest lands in my inbox WOW WOW WOW  what an explosive read. I read this tour de force of a crime thriller in one sitting, sat on the edge of my seat and constantly holding my breath. I really thought I knew what to expect from this author but he has definitely excelled himself with this book. Emotional, chilling, heartbraking and with an explosive ending I never saw coming. I need the next in this gripping and very addictive series Now !!! Another MUST READ from this author. 
Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in return for giving an honest review.
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9 months after almost losing her life in a shooting massacre that cost the lives of her father and some of her team, DCI Matilda Darke is ready to return to work. Her first day back and her first case is the murder of a street worker which is being linked to a number of cold cases some going back a few years. 
With a list of missing women who also fit the victim profile could Matilda be looking for a serial killer. Flashbacks and sleepless nights aren’t helping her and although her team wants to support her, some of them are starting to wonder if she has come back too early.
As the body count rises Matilda struggles to keep the team onside and work out how to catch a seemingly invisible killer.
Brilliantly written, shocking but with lighter moments that made you laugh.
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The eighth book in the Matilda Darke series is every bit as good as the previous seven. After the finale in the previous book, I wondered how the author would continue the series. it's cleverly executed, full of tension and the characters are well developed. The ending left me wanting more and I look forward to the next installment. Thanks to Net Galley for my ARC.
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Thank you NetGalley and especially to HarperCollins UK / One More Chapter for the much-anticipated sequel to Time is Running out. 

I had anticipated the follow up to book 7, so much that there was an element of trepidation. How could the author follow that?  Having book 8, all I can say is that wow, the author has excelled themselves and somehow produced what I personally feel is another superb book. 

How do you follow a stellar book, with another one of course!  This one deals with how the team and especially Mathilda deal with the aftermath of the previous book’s events. Which as always hits the target spot on with breath taking storytelling, that grips you on page one and doesn’t let go till the last. With an extremely well written core story about prostitute’s, being murdered. I especially liked the way the prostitutes were portrayed. 
Among the various other backdrop narratives going on is an old favourite that helps to fill in a few gaps. But the main one is the raw grief and emotions, the team and anew members go through.  

Michael Wood is a master at pulling you in making you an emotional wreck, and chucking you out at the end wanting much more having had a rollercoaster of a ride and waiting in huge anticipation for book 9
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This is the first book I have read in this series, and I don't know why I haven't read one before. It didn't spoil my enjoyment of this one though, I thought it was great. I loved the team, the writing really brought them alive, and I loved the plot. The pace of the book was good, and kept me happily page tapping ,I couldn't read it fast enough. Really enjoyed reading this book,5 stars from me and now I can't wait for the next one.
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Having read this excellent series and the jaw dropping Time is running out I was eager to read what happens next and I was not disappointed.  This book was excellent and dealt with the repercussions of the previous story really well, as well as a strong plot that has been alluded to in previous books.  Definitely a wow moment later in the book which I didn't see coming but believable.   The British crime novel series is flooded with detective series and having read quite a few this is up there at the very top.  Strong plots, characters to root for who are believable, humour and the Sheffield location makes this series fantastic.
I cannot recommend this novel (and series) enough!!!
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Thankyou to netgalley for inviting me to read and review survivors guilt in the new DCI matilda dark series.. matilda had lost her husband previously in the 9 months before she took a bullet to the head, she had to rebuild her life with physical and cognitive therapy and had to learn to walk again . Her sister harriet moved in to matildas house to help care for her after the shooting. The gunman had also shot her father, her best friends son and colleagues. Matilda has returned to work, is it too soon?, is she up to the job?, her attitude has also changed, she has lost her confidence in her ability to lead her team.. can she start to heal and find out who has been killing prostitutes? This is dark and gritty, highley recommend a I DIDNT SEE THAT COMING BOOK.... FAB
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After spending the last few months catching up with this series on audio, I am little behind with my reviews and I thought I’d write this one while it is fresh in my mind.

First of all I have to say that I loved the fact that I read this one. Dont get me wrong I loved the audios but you cant beat sitting down and chilling with a book. Or in my case my kindle! I actually read this book while lazing on the beach on my holiday in Wales recently. This is NOT your typical beach read haha.

With an OMG opening I was well and truly hooked. The book pretty much starts where we where left with the previous one. Each book in this series gets better and better. Keeping you on the edge of your seat all the way through.

It is jam packed with shock horror moments, has we follow a fast pasted action packed story, on the hunt for a serial killer. Not only do we have a strong plot we also have a team of characters who I absolutely love. The author weaves their personal life into the plot. Giving the story, brilliant character development which has built up throughout the series.

Each time I read a Matilda Darke book I say OMG this is the authors best one yet. But it really is! Michael Wood has gone from strength to strength. So much so that this series seriously needs to be on television. I cannot praise it enough.

I love that the cases have got darker and gruesome. Making each one more terrifying. And I always feel like I am catching up with old friends. Survivor’s Guilt is brutal, twisted and seriously addicted. I cannot recommend it enough. And not I am left waiting for the next book!

Do you see what I mean by its not your typical beach read? lol
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Quite simply, I loved this book. We’re back on South Yorkshire with DCI Matilda Darke and her team. After the explosive ending of the last book, I couldn’t wait to get stuck into this. 

Nine months after surviving a bullet to the head, Matilda is returning to work. However straightaway a new terror awaits. A woman’s body is found and her injuries look similar to several cold cases. With the body count increasing, Matilda and her team race again time to find the serial killer. Gripping, gritty and thrilling, o found this book impossible to put down. A fantastic plot like that will entertain with each turn of the page.

Thank you to NetGalley, One More Chapter and the author for the chance to review.
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This is only the second book I’ve read by Michael Wood but I loved it, they are so easy to get into I can’t put the book down once I’ve started.  Matilda is a character with a lot going off in her life and I do wish she wouldn’t slam doors quite so much, apart from that I like her.  I enjoy that there is a long term story line going on in the back ground and then a main story to each book.  The only problem is I’ll now have to start from book one and read them all, which isn’t a bad problem to have.  I would say it’s a 4.5 out of 5.

Thank you to NetGalley, HarperCollins UK and One more chapter for my advanced reading copy.
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Michael Wood can do no wrong. A bold statement I know but considering every book of his I’ve devoured have been five solid shiny star reads I’m saying it. 

Survivors Guilt is incredible. The story has been quietly bubbling away in the background of previous books and this one sees Matilda and her team launching a big investigation into the murdered and missing prostitutes in Sheffield. It’s Matilda’s first case back after being shot and not everyone thinks she’s ready. It creates a tense dynamic with her colleagues which we’ve not seen before. There are many emotional parts and having got to know these characters so well they had a big impact, especially the moments that followed Carl and his family. The ending blew my mind. It was so shocking and unexpected I stared at the page in disbelief for over a minute. Another outstanding book from one of my favourite writers.
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The previous book in this series (Time is Running Out) was literally a shock to the bone, as numerous team members were taken out in a massive ambush. Even if you haven't read the previous book, there are enough flashbacks and talks about it, so you understand just how horrific it was, and how it drastically affected the remaining members, and still does. As they each suffer their own PTSD, they now have to deal with another killer, and clues that seem to be red herrings, and the questioning of whether Matilda should have come back or gone out on disability. It's an interesting look at how a horrible situation that wasn't your fault, can cause long ripples of guilt and self-doubt, and make you question all the relationships around you. As Matilda works the case, her confidence starts to come back, but relationships still suffer. a roller coaster read, this one will make you want to go back and read the previous 7 books in the series!
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Another fraught episode in the Matilda Darke series with a serial killer on the loose in Sheffield. Running alongside is the return of young Carl Meagan kidnapped in an earlier episode whose progress or lack of keeps cropping up as the story advances. Having lost so many characters in the previous horrific episode and our heroine only just recovered from her injuries she seems intent on driving a wedge between herself and her much reduced crew. The actual murders are graphically described and the hunt eventually reaches a shock conclusion. At times over emotional but still a good yarn with young Carl being set up for the next episode!
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