Five years after being abducted and held captive, Mackenzie Darroch is making a difference in the world. Running a refuge for abused women, things are going well. Then she’s thrown into a bizarre situation when she saves the life of a car-crash victim. But offering the woman a place to stay, has consequences – consequences that could put both their lives in danger. And then there’s that nosy reporter who thinks Mackenzie isn’t telling the truth about a mysterious death.
Meanwhile, Detective Inspector Andrew Geddes seeks Mackenzie’s help to persuade young single mother Kirsty McBride to leave her violent partner, Malkie Boyle. However, Boyle isn’t happy with other folk poking their noses into his business and sets out to take revenge. With one murder under his belt, a few more won’t make any difference…
One of the things that irritates me about reading several books by the same author, is that sometimes the author loses their hold on the characters, the plot or even their ability to actually tell a decent story (you know who I’m talking about, Jeffery Deaver). Owen Mullen isn’t one of those authors. Instead, he’s the sort whose writing improves in leaps and bounds with each new book, telling ever-more imaginative and heart-thumping tales with each one.
Rather stupidly, I forgot I haven’t yet read ‘In Harm’s Way’, which introduces the character of Mackenzie Darroch, making ‘Deadly Harm’ that book’s sequel, sort of. However, this one works very well as a standalone, so you don’t need to read the first one to make sense of it (though I have just ordered it!)
Bringing in some of the characters from his Charlie Cameron series, Mullen focuses on a women’s refuge, revealing a talent for sensitive and thoughtful storytelling that has become increasingly apparent with his recent books. The quality of the writing is a sheer delight and the plot nothing short of brilliant, keeping me on edge the whole way through as Mr Mullen ramped up the tension, throwing his heroes into ever-greater peril. I read the second half of this book in one go, unable to put it down, and the ending left me speechless, which can’t be bad.
A thrilling, heart-thumping, twisty-turning stonker of a book.