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 neighbour, 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?
'On every page tension is carefully built, as a portentous revelation is offered or a memory smothered. Johnson litters his tale with the plotting equivalent of incendiaries: cops we don’t quite trust, a career that came abruptly to an end, a secret needing to be kept … Gripping stuff’ New Welsh Review
'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
‘From the first page to the last, an authentic, magnetic and completely absorbing read’ Sir Ranulph Fiennes
‘A barnstormer of a book … Nothing is clear-cut in a labyrinthine plot which is gripping and which – despite thrills and spills aplenty – never falls short of believable’ David Young, author of Stasi Child
In British author Johnson's uneven first novel, cop Robert Finlay is targeted by bombers Declan Costello and Selahattin Yildrim, who have killed two men in India and two policemen in the U.K. A former SAS soldier now with the Royal Protection team in London, Finlay is proving difficult to terminate, which gives him time to figure out who is after him and why. The reason might have something to do with such events as the decades-old siege of the Iranian embassy in London. Meanwhile, he has to keep his wife and daughter safe. With assistance from MI5 operative Monaghan, his former commanding officer, and his police friend Sgt. Kevin Jones, Finlay sets out to neutralize his enemies before the plot lumbers to a contrived climax at Finlay's house. Johnson, a former soldier and police officer, knows this world firsthand, but Finlay is a one-dimensional, all-too-lucky, and saintly hero. Johnson is best at the few exciting action scenes, and describing when the cops and criminals puzzle out what their rivals are thinking.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A new talent in British literature.
If this is book one then I can't wait for the rest... I'm gonna need a bigger shelf!
Authentic, well paced and characters you believe, this really is a great first novel by Matt Johnson.