The Hangman’s Hold by Michael Wood
Review Copy

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?

My Review:

I am a huge fan of the DCI Matilda Darke series and it appears to be going from strength to strength. This particular novel covers the theme of a vigilante killer of the loose, dishing out lethal justice across Sheffield.

The novel opens with Brain Appleby attending an online date with single mum and central character Adele Kean. Adele is the series pathologist, only what she doesn’t know is, Brian has secrets and is not the man he claims to be. . .
‘He genuinely liked this woman; how could he tell her so many lies?’

When Matilda is summoned to a crime scene of a figure hanging with a pillowcase over his face. She is baffled, is this suicide or murder? It then comes to light that the victim is a registered sex offender. Having served 8yrs in Ashfield prison for a series of sexual assaults on young girls. He had moved to Sheffield from Essex, without informing any of the regulating bodies.
I found this part of the novel quite fascinating, as it has recently been reported in the main stream media, that multiple REGISTERED sex offenders have become ‘lost’ in the system solely designed to regulate their activities and behaviour.

Assistant Chief Constable Valerie Masterton remains as always unpredictable. One moment she is on Matilda’s back and hounding her with updates and the media interest. The next she is supportive of Matilda and offers her much leeway.
But I love this dynamic of a formidable Detective and the boss that must reel her in every once and a while.

The victim was ostracised from his local community, his wife left him; and his family disowned him. But the police become aware his son is studying locally and begin to question if he had any involvement in his father’s demise.

Then another sex offender is murdered, and the case looks as though there may be a serial killer stalking the city. . .

‘This was an intelligent killer who would stop at nothing to make his chosen victim pay for their crimes’

Matilda is still dealing with her grief over her husband James death and her perceived failure in the Carl Meagan case. Then the killer begins to taunt her with details of Carl’s case. Is The killer targeting Matilda? Or are Carl’s distraught family using the opportunity to further make Matilda suffer?
The plot thickens, as they say. . .

This is a gripping and awesome crime fiction series. I would urge readers to start at the beginning if you are new to the series. As not only is each novel brilliant. But you will pick up on all the details surrounding Matilda’s past.
Last words of my notes read……. THAT ENDING!!!! THAT LAST PAGE!!!!!! 5*

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