Cover Image: Survivor’s Guilt

Survivor’s Guilt

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Member Reviews

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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If you have read book seven in this series, Time Is Running Out, then you will know what a completely shocking, tense, pulse-pounding and game changing read it was. I think I was left shell shocked. Still am a touch to be honest. And with that in mind I'd say that if you haven't read it, don't read this book. Not yet. It is one very much rooted in the after effects of that very disturbing set of events and as such is better read not as an introduction to the series but as a continuation. And it is a continuation, seeing perhaps not a closure of that storyline, or even one other very key part of Matilda's backstory, but certainly a very big change, one that will potentially leave readers both delighted and perhaps just a touch maudlin. And I mean that in a good way, if that's possible.

This was always going to be a tough story to handle, for readers just as much as the characters. The title sums things up perfectly and the preceding events have taken their toll, physically and emotionally, something which the author has explored very carefully in this book. They don't take over, don't entirely dominate, but it is impossible to ignore the impact that the progression of the story has on the characters and subsequent events. There is a melancholic and reflective undertone to the story, perhaps some challenge to the previous unity of this wonderful team, and understandably so. It adds a kind of conflict and tension to an already on edge team and loyalties are well and truly tested.  It's almost impossible as a fan of the series not to be affected by what happens, but if you think this is going to be a 'safe' story, you really don't know this author. Seems he has a really sadistic streak when it comes to his characters because he's really not finished with them yet.

Aside from the obvious emotional side to the tale there are two threads to this story. First up is the ongoing story of Carl Meagan, the case which has haunted Matilda Darke throughout the course of this series. One of the great regrets of her career, and one which she has always sought to put right. This is another layer of distraction and guilt to add to Matilda's ever growing burden but something that informs the character she has become. Alongside of this is the team's investigation into a series of murders of sex workers. Although not initially linked, Matilda is convinced they are the work of one person and vows to get to the truth. Rather a large and high profile case for her first one back in the hot seat and one which really does keep the tension and the tempo of the book high. Surprises, jaw dropping revelations and moments of real peril are littered throughout, scenes that get the heart rate rising in the way that Michael Wood excels in. 

The conclusion to this particular case  -  well got to admit I did not see that one coming. At all. I'm still not sure what I think. Shock I suppose. The author kept that well hidden. And as for the books ending ... Gah. So much threat, so much uncertainty and such unease left by a seemingly very simple and, compared to the rest of the book, seemingly innocent interaction. It brought out the dread but also the intrigue and a little bit of excitement. This book could easily have signified an end, of sorts. I'm hoping the conclusion means that the story of Matilda Darke and her team is far from over.

Tense, emotional, and completely compelling. If you love the series, you will really want to read this. With a box of tissues to hand maybe. And some comfort food. Recommended.
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I wasn't aware of Michael Wood's work before this novel. I most certainly am now.
I love a good police procedural thriller and this has all the right ingredients, with the usual twists and turns and at an exciting pace.
Throw in an excellent, if somewhat damaged, CIO and you have the makings of an allnighter.
Will certainly look for others from this author and will recommend.
Many thanks.
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Having just finished Time is Running Out, the 7th in this series, and being absolutely blown away by it, I couldn't wait to get my grubby little mitts on this, the 8th in the brilliant Matilda Darke series and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest.  What I will say is that I think it would be preferable to have read the 7th book before reading this one as this one picks the story up 9 months later and will provide an explanation as to why Matilda and other characters are acting as they are.

This book follows 3 themes; the aftermath of the massacre that occurred in the previous book, the murder of prostitutes in Sheffield and the long-running theme of the kidnapping of Carl Meagan.  

Once again, Michael writes a gripping story that moves at pace.  There is violence and edge-of-the-seat moments; I took at sharp intake of breath when the murderer was revealed - I am usually quite good at figuring out who it is but this one absolutely blind-sided me and I actually gasped and said a few choice words that are not repeatable here as I try to avoid profanity in my reviews!

There is also compassion and tenderness and an authentic-feeling description of how grief and tragedy can affect people differently; it can bring you together or completely tear you apart and destroy you and those around you.  Everyone is struggling to manage their grief but can they work together to catch the killer or are they too broken?

The characters are just brilliant and I particularly liked how Michael portrayed the prostitutes as "people" rather than the usual stereotypes which made a nice change; I absolutely loved Bev and Sarah.  Matilda is, I admit, a difficult person to like in this book but given what she has endured, she is forgiven ... just this once!

Full of tension, suspense and emotion, this book and the series, is one that shouldn't be missed ... roll on number 9!

I am grateful to HarperCollins UK / One More Chapter via NetGalley for my copy in return for an honest, unbiased and unedited review.
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