Survivor’s Guilt

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Pub Date 28 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 28 Oct 2021


‘Tense, twisty, emotional and gripping. Will definitely be reading more from Matilda Darke and this gets a huge 5 stars from me!’ Angela Marsons

‘Matilda Darke is an excellent character’ BA Paris

Nine months ago DCI Matilda Darke survived a bullet to the head. The brutal attack claimed dozens of lives, including those she loved most, and the nightmares still plague her every waking thought.
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. Desperate to find a lead, DCI Darke and her team must face a terrifying truth: a serial killer is on the loose in Sheffield.
 Matilda has led countless murder investigations before but the lingering emotional scars from her ordeal and the uneasiness within her once-tight team have left tensions high. As the body count rises, Matilda realises that this might just be where it all ends.
The brand new instalment in the DCI Matilda Darke series will leave you on the edge of your seat. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Kathy Reichs and Peter James.

‘Had me in tears at one point. Brilliant, non-stop stuff. Feel like I’ve been through some sort of psychological bombardment. Exhausted. Terrific’ John Barlow, author of Right to Kill

‘Tense, twisty, emotional and gripping. Will definitely be reading more from Matilda Darke and this gets a huge 5 stars from me!’ Angela Marsons

‘Matilda Darke is...

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ISBN 9780008460648
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Featured Reviews

Less than a year ago DCI Matilda Darke and her team stared death in the face. Not all of them survived and amongst the many who lost their lives were family members and friends. Now though, Matilda is back at work and a body has been found. When similarities are discovered which seem to link the new investigation to a number of cold cases it suggests there is a serial killer roaming the streets of Sheffield once again.

Matilda is a past master at keeping her feelings to herself but, as the kidnapping of Carl Meagan four years earlier showed, that isn't always a good idea. Now her emotions are so close to the surface that keeping them hidden is getting harder by the day. With the body count rising the risk of failure is a torment she can't escape but is unable to share, what will happen if it all goes wrong again?

This is an absolutely fantastic continuation from the previous, traumatic book by the excellent Michael Wood and I was hooked from the first word to the last. By moving on nine months the aftermath of the shootings is dealt with gradually and the current case is allowed to take centre stage.

The resolution of the investigation is shocking in the extreme and I defy anyone to work it out ahead of time but it is in no way unrealistic or disappointing. Added to this there is, at the very end, a cliffhanger and the need to wait once again to see what happens next!

I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the opinions expressed are my own. This is first class British crime writing which will keep you up all night. Absolutely unputdownable and highly recommended.

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My thoughts about Michael Wood’s Survivor’s Guilt, is what can I say its spectacular a breathtaking thriller that grips you right from the very first page, till you reach the end. Michael Wood again hits the jackpot with his writing, which is incredible and fascinating,the way Michael writes a story is always special,when it comes to great storytelling, Michael Wood is a pure talent that he is in a league of his own. Survivor’s Guilt is indeed one of this year’s best police procedural thrillers this year,and the return of DCI Matilda Darke is another feature in his cap. The story of Survivor’s Guilt, begins after the events of Time Is Running Out, Nine months ago DCI Matilda Darke survived a bullet to the head. The brutal attack claimed dozens of lives, including those she loved most, and the nightmares still plague her every waking thought.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. Desperate to find a lead, DCI Darke and her team must face a terrifying truth: a serial killer is on the loose in Sheffield. Matilda has led countless murder investigations before but the lingering emotional scars from her ordeal and the uneasiness within her once-tight team have left tensions high. As the body count rises, Matilda realises that this might just be where it all ends. Survivor’s Guilt is a well written and well crafted suspense police procedural thriller, that will take you on a Rollercoaster ride.Michael Wood’s brilliant follow up to the excellent Time Is Running Out, Survivor’s Guilt is not only brilliant,but beyond excellent,and Hard-hitting magnificent.I would like to say thank you to Author Michael Wood, Netgally and Publishers One More Chapter,for kindly gifting me a copy of this brilliant thriller,for me to read and review which has been a privilege.

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Thankyou to NetGalley, HarperCollins Publishers UK, One More Chapter and the author, Michael Wood, for 5he opportunity to read an advanced readers copy of Survivor's Guilt 8n exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.
Absolutely love this book, this series and this author.
This instalment in the Matilda Drake series was a roller-coaster read. The characters are well drawn and realistic . I was hooked from the start.
Highly recommend this book and this series.

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Absolutely brilliant! I love the Matilda Darke series of books; after the last instalment I didn’t think Michael could shock his readers any more than he already has….but what an ending! I gasped when it was revealed who was the killer, I did not see that coming! I can not wait to see what happens in the next book, which I hope he’s already writing!

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I really enjoyed this book. It was a great storyline with excellent characters. I would highly recommend this book as it was a great read.

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DI Matilda Darke #8

‘You’re a survivor, aren’t you Matilda?’ She may well have survived the dramatic events that concluded the last book but she’s not coping as her loyal team at The Homicide and Major Crime Unit will attest. Her attention at the start of the book is on the return home of Carl Meagan, kidnapped several years ago but the rest of the team are focused on a case of some missing prostitutes and some who have been murdered.

Well, I wasn’t sure how Michael Wood could follow the last instalment but oh boy, he has. This is a stellar series with fantastic characters and in this one we see them struggling to cope with the aftermath of the losses suffered in book 7 and with Matilda’s erratic behaviour. This is a very loyal team who care about their colleagues and have each other’s backs and their camaraderie and professionalism comes across well. It’s extremely good on the shifting dynamics after a tragedy, everything has changed to a lesser of greater degree. It’s an emotional read in places with raw grief on display which is so moving as are the emotions of the parents of Carl Meagan. I like how this has been a continuous thread through the series but the author does a good job at filling in the blanks for first time readers.

The prostitute storyline is extremely good and I especially like the inclusion of the very likeable characters of Bev and Sarah and you feel such sympathy for how lives can change so easily. Bev is fantastic character, such a caring Mother Earth figure who really looks out for her fellow workers. This is a dark and gritty case and an audacious plan is required to find and apprehend a killer who is beyond ruthless. You certainly get on a rollercoaster with this storyline as the plot twists and turns in unexpected directions. As the end approaches you do feel as if you’ve been clobbered with a sledge hammer so great is the shock. There’s tension and then there’s a Michael Wood ending which is different level. I could churn out all the cliches of wide open jaws, popping eyes, sharp intakes of breath etc, but nothing will do it justice. Authors who aren’t sure how to finish a book should read this authors work - that’s how you do it!!! Roll on number 9, I can hardly wait!!!

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to HarperCollins UK / One More Chapter for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

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Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A really good read.i would recommend this book to all.

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Yet another fantastic read in this highly recommended series. I was dreading finishing it and I definitely didn’t guess the culprit, something which I was a bit: miffed about because I normally do!
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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The 8th book in the Matilda Darke series and it starts with a recap of the disastrous 2015 case of Carl Meagan who was abducted from his home. A botched ransom drop is something Matilda will never forget or forgive herself for, this subplot continues through the book. and ties up loose ends. from the original story. The book fast-forwards to 2019 to where Matilda has returned to work after many months of sick leave from when she received a near-fatal bullet wound to the head. several of her colleagues weren't so lucky and did not survive the attack. Going back to work was never going to be easy, the depleted team have a massive task ahead as prostitutes are being murdered on the streets of Sheffield. This book is a brilliant addition to the series, the ending is mind-blowing, I enjoyed it immensely, bring on number 9

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I couldn’t wait to start reading this after the events of the previous book. It is a fantastic series and this is no exception. Having been seriously wounded, after nine months, Matilda Darke has returned to work although suffering psychological problems which are well portrayed. There is also the culmination of an abduction which has run throughout the books. Having come to know all the characters over the previous seven books, it was great to catch up with those still there and understand the grief for those lost. As always there is a gripping plot which makes unexpected twists, particularly the final one. And yes, I can’t wait for the next installment. It is definitely worth starting with the first book and following through, although having read this one, I’m sure that would happen! A highly recommended police procedural series.
Thanks to Harper Collins UK,One more chapter and NetGalley for an ARC in return for an honest review.

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I dudnt think Woods could top his last Novel but man was I wrong! This book had me gripped from the very first page to the last. I've read all his books but this has got to be up there with the most addictive, shocking and cunning books of his I've read. Was not disappointed!

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Woohoo Michael Woods is back with the eighth book in the DCI Maltilda Darke series. I wasn’t sure how Michael Woods could top Time Is Running Out (the seventh book) my favourite book in this series so far! But he has! Survivor’s Guilt is yet another binge worthy addition to this stellar series. So buckle up for a bumpy ride, as the author takes you on a rollercoaster with highs, lows, twist and turns galore.  

Survivor’s Guilt begins 9 months after the brutal attack that left Matilda in a coma, an attack that also resulted in the deaths of several of her close friends and colleagues. Matilda is back at work alongside her depleted team investigating the murders of prostitutes. It soon becomes apparent that there is a serial killer is on the loose on the streets of Sheffield.

The strength of this series is the characters. As a huge fan, I’ve watched Matilda and her team develop and grow into living characters. Matilda and her team’s grief is palatable as they try to make sense of what’s happened and come to terms with their losses. This book sees a shift in the team's dynamics, which is hardly surprising considering all they’ve been through, but there’s disharmony, and the divide grows between the team as Matilda’s ability to lead comes under question. It’s an emotional read in parts as we see how different members of the team struggle with the complexities of ‘survivor’s guilt’, as well as how it affects their relationships with other members of this once close team. 

It’s great the author ‘humanised’ the prostitutes, they’re not just ‘victims’. He gives each one a backstory. This series goes from strength to strength. It’s one that hasn’t lost its momentum, unlike some crime series I have given up on way before this point! Michael Wood always delivers at least one ‘OMFG I never seen that coming moment’, it’s a shocker, but cleverly executed! The tension is palatable as the plot reaches its nail biting conclusion. Survivor’s Guilt is hard-hitting, with a compelling plot, it’s superbly written and one not to be missed. A MUST READ for crime fans.

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Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for this ARC.

After the roller coaster read of Time is Running Out I wondered how this series would carry on. It begins 9 months afterwards and DCI Darke has returned to work. This is the first book so far where I didn’t much like her character, or her attitude sometimes towards her team which leads them to question her fitness and ability to do her job properly. I really liked DI Brady though, and as a side character he is really growing on me. The team investigate the murder of a woman who has similar injuries to victims from old cases and they realise there may be a serial killer on their patch. I thought this book was very well written, it was fast paced and thrilling and one where the author has captured his characters feelings, thoughts and emotions whilst grieving very eloquently, realistically and believably. And I loved that an ongoing story thread is reintroduced again here. Parts of this book were very poignant and sad to read and when I read who the murderer was - what a shock !! I don’t think I would have ever have guessed that correctly! Overall, wow what a fab read. One that didn’t disappoint and I very much look forward to the next book.

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Survivor’s Guilt by Michael Wood is an outstanding book, when I read the previous DCI Matilda Darke book Time is Running Out I didn’t think that could be surpassed, but book 8 is carrying on in the Michael Wood tradition of improving the taut storytelling with each book. The storyline is superb following on from the death and injuries to the murder team in his previous book, Matilda Darke and her reduced team have to hunt for a serial killer and a kidnapped child returns home.
An outstanding achievement.
Highly recommended

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After losing several colleagues and friends to a maniac, and mental as well as physical rehabilitation Matilda Darke is back at work. She is not her old self, and her colleagues knows it. A lot has changed in her life, and at work.

Prostitutes have been murdered one in awhile over some years, and suddenly the killer seems to be on a killing spree. Matilda takes on these cases at the same time as the old case of the old missing child case ends, when Carl is returning back to his biological parents.

There is a lot going on in this book. It starts off with a slower pace, in the aftermath of the tragedy that the whole police force suffers from. There is a lot of reflecting, and getting used to the new situation. Some have not gotten over the tragedy at all. Others are struggling hard.

The pace changes when the killing spree starts. There are many things going on simultaneously, and it gets darker and darker. The ending took me by surprise. I can honestly say I could not have guessed the culprit, but he seemed to take everyone by surprise. The last page made me want to Sheffield, to knock on Michael Wood's door, and politely make him write the next book immediately!

This series has become one of my all time favourites. The way Wood writes is different and great in every possible way. I can't drop the book for even a second. I simply have to finish it as soon as possible. Not only is the writing great, but the suspense is literally killing me, and the storytelling is superb! We want more!

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I have been looking forward too this book after the last one and boy it didnt dissapoint went throughall the emotions with matilda and her team i laughed smile, cried - poor sian and zofia and adele and oh my goodness the last two chapters i want to read the next ome now. Michael Wood definately knows how too keep us in suspense.

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DCI Matilda Darke is back to work after the horrific events from 12 months previous. The events have left their mark on the team and no one is the same as they were.
Now a killer is murdering prostitutes and can the team work together or are they too broken and emotional to work together?
Michael is the master of giving the reader a WTF moment when you scream at your kindle in shock and disbelief and your husband and child think that something is wrong!
Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for this arc in exchange for my honest review.

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The previous book to Survivor’s Guilt literally took my breath away. There was so much that happened in that book which meant I have been eagerly awaiting this one and it didn’t disappoint!

You definitely need to have read Time Is Running Out, the seventh book in the series before embarking on this one, the eighth book. Nine months have passed since previous events left Matilda’s team having to come to terms with the huge impact that has affected them all. It was heart breaking to see how the characters were trying to carry on with their lives with some coping better than others. Matilda has only recently returned and there is a serial killer on the lose.

There is a lot of tension within the team and friendships and working relationships are extremely fraught. It is understandable how most of the characters are feeling and I wondered at times if there was any way forward for them all. Along with the serial killer thread, there is also the thread to do with an earlier case of Matilda’s of which if you are a fan of this series, this is another must read as it’s something I have been very invested in throughout these books and I am sure many other readers have been also.

Survivor’s Guilt was an impressive follow on that made for both an emotional and shocking read. It was brilliant! At one part I was in tears and another I had to pick my jaw up off of the floor as I was so gobsmacked by an unexpected twist. It was so good that I had to go back and re read it as I just couldn’t comprehend what I had just read. I am literally still in shock now! Michael Wood is an author who just delivers every time with each book. It’s like I’m a literary junkie and the author is my dealer who manages to fix my cravings with each of his books. Loved it!

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This is the 8th instalment of DCI Matilda Darke series. It’s nearly a year since the devastating event that killed servers of her team and close friends. Darke is returning back to duties as the long on going Carl Meghan case comes to an end and a woman is found killed which resembles several cold cases. Her team have doubts she is for for duty and she’s goes off on a tangent with selected team members.
An amazing read, full of emotions for all the characters. This can be read out of order but would be beneficial to have the full background story. It was hard to see how Darke could return, but she has with bells on. Can’t wait for the next book.

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This series is one of the best in contemporary crime fiction. Great plots, excellent characters and superb plot lines. I thought Michael Wood would find it difficult to match the drama of his previous Matilda Darke novel but this is just as gripping but with a slightly lower body count! As Matilda continues to recover from THAT shooting, she finds it difficult to give herself over fully to her work and relations with colleagues are stretched to the limit. And the denouement....!

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Although I hadn't read any books in this series it was easy to pick up and I really enjoyed it. This was a real page turner and a book that I needed to complete in one session which I did. Off to read more in the series now

I was given an advance copy by netgalley and the publishers but the review is entirely my own.

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Michael Wood you have outdone yourself once again in this beyond excellent DCI Matilda Darke Series.

Book 7 took my breath away after a mass shooting and not knowing who on Matilda's team would survive. Many didn't.

Its nine months later and Matilda is back working with a team that has been devastated and they are facing a serial killer.

I cried with the team, I cheered them and on and even smiled with them at times.

It's a horrific case and the tension can be felt at team briefings and beyond.

The ending is jaw dropping and one I would never have seen coming.

Matilda is back !

I can't wait for book 9 in the series though I am nervous as to what Michael Wood will have Matilda and her team face next.

Don't miss this series; not one book of it !

Thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter, One More Chapter for a heart pounding roller coaster of a read.

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Although technically this book could be read on its own I would advise readers new to this author to read the series in order.
I love a book with a great twist at the end and really enjoy trying to work out what it will be. But I defy anyone to guess the ending here. I couldn't have been more shocked if it had been Matilda herself who was killing the prostitutes..I will be waiting with baited breath for Michael Wood's next book.

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Gripping, breathtaking, brilliant !!. I thoroughly enjoyed this book which was up to Michael Wood's excellent standard. His ability as a wordsmith gives his characters depth and makes the story-line totally absorbing.
I love Michael Wood's work and am eagerly awaiting his next book.
Thank you Netgalley and Harper Collins UK for giving me the chance to read and review this book.

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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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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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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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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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Excellent police procedural with a tortured DCI Darke back at the helm 😌

The previous book in this series (Time is Running Out) was so dark I wondered if the series would or could continue. I am glad that Survivor's Guilt, though filled with major characters attempting to cope with their grief and guilt, is not so hopelessly dark. It's a fascinating story, in a good part thanks to the bloodbath in Time Is Running Out.

Loved the serial killer investigation through all its twists and surprises and the continuation of young Carl's story. The murder case is new to the series and centers in the red light district of Sheffield where prostitutes are being targeted whereas Carl's abduction and the continued search for him has been a thread weaving through the series. Just when we thought he and his parents had achieved their happy reunification, Wood throws in some new issues that keep Matilda involved.

This story is filled with survivors who have suffered the deaths of their nearest and dearest in a senseless rampage nine months previous. Some are coping much better than others. The emotional heart of this story is not as much related to the serial killer's victims as it is to Matilda's colleagues and decimated team. I typically prefer police procedurals that concentrate on the cases and less on the personal lives of the investigators but, in this instance, it was riveting and appropriate after the carnage they personally faced in the previous book.

Thanks to Harper Collins UK/One More Chapter and NetGalley for sharing a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest opinion.

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Nine months ago DCI Matilda Darke survived a horrific shooting incident that claimed the lives of numerous people. Many of them were her friends and colleagues at the police station she works in. Matilda was shot in the head, and was in a coma, and had to undertake a grueling recovery process. Physically she is nearly fully recovered. Mentally, she is plagued by nightmares and guilt - why did she survive when so many others didn’t?

As soon as she is cleared to return to work she throws herself back into it. But there is no easing back in slowly. A woman found dead in the forest sends off alarm bells. There seems to be connections to other cold case murders. Could it be a serial killer? The investigation quickly grows, with the body count quickly rising. But sadly, so are tensions rising on what used to be a tight knit team. As the investigation stalls, the team begins to fall apart. If they can’t trust one another and work together, how can they save lives? Should Matilda really be back at work?

I had not read the precursor to this book, so I felt I was missing out on a lot of backstory. But Wood skillfully brings enough of the narrative in from the previous history so that you don’t feel completely lost as a reader, which you appreciate. You feel like you can keep up, and still enjoy the investigation that is unfolding before you. This book ends in a cliffhanger that leaves you wanting more. I shall be sourcing a copy of the book previous to this one first, so that I feel like a fully fledged member of the team first however! A very enjoyable read, gritty, atmospheric, and a real page turner. You won’t want to stop until you finish it.

&I received this book from Netgalley for review, but all opinions are my own.

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Not going to lie…it was with some trepidation that I picked up the 8th book in this brilliant series. Michael Wood had left his characters and me, traumatised by the events of Book 7. Now we are back, picking up the pieces and looking around to see what’s left.

Lives have been ended. Mental and physical wounds are in some cases beginning to heal; in others there’s a long way to go yet. Friendships have been fractured, and D.CI. Matilda Darke is full of grief, guilt and is unable to express how she is feeling to anyone.

Her team are in sore need of uniting under her leadership and yet as she returns to work, in many ways she is as absent as when she was on recuperative leave. The reader needs that sense of things getting back to normal, too, but Michael Wood isn’t one the kind of author who sees it as his job to make the reader feel better.

Matilda may be back at work, but she’s not herself. Nowhere near it, in fact. Her brain injury may be healing, but she’s not cleared to drive yet and things are about as far from normal as they could be. Matilda’s sister and her children are staying with her for the moment and her mother is close by, but she can’t speak to either of them about what’s she’s going through.

An old case, one that has haunted Matilda for years, looks to be resolved, but Matilda is still beating herself up for a lapse that occurred on the day her husband died and she’s not getting much joy from that resolution. Not only that but the annoying local journalist, Danny is still on her case, hounding her for that elusive interview; wanting to poke and pry into her innermost grief.

When it seems that the team have a serial killer on their hands, there’s concern that Matilda may not be up to the stress and challenges that such a big case brings. The team feels unsettled, missing their former colleagues, still haunted by the shootings they witnessed and not anywhere near ready to move on. They need leadership, but can Matilda provide it?

Verdict: Michael Wood reflects the restlessness and unsettled nature of this team so well. Refusing to reassure our anxious hearts, he creates more tension and strife within the team as we watch, heartbroken to see the fault lines that have developed between them. The tensions of this case are brittle and for the reader there is the sense that something might snap really soon. When it comes, the crisis point is sharp and brutal. Wood gives no quarter to his characters and the shocks keep coming, thick and fast. It seems that this team have a lot to go through before they can expect to have earned some respite.

As a reader that makes for a tense, exciting novel, full of danger and ratcheted up with edge of the seat tension and heightened emotion. It seems we’re in for a bumpy ride. But I would not have it any other way.

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‘What’s the point in surviving if everyone you care about is dead?’ - cover tag line.

My thanks to One More Chapter for an invitation via NetGalley to read and review ‘Survivor’s Guilt’ by Michael Wood in exchange for an honest review.

This is Book 8 in his DCI Matilda Darke series of police procedurals set in Sheffield. Unfortunately although I had read earlier books in the series, I had missed Book 7, ‘Time is Running Out’ published in February. It became quickly obvious that the outcome of that novel was relevant to this one, including Matilda only now returning to work with a reduced team.

To his credit, Wood does provide enough background that I was able to understand the progression of events as well as more details about the botched kidnapping case from 2015 that has been haunting DCI Darke.

This takes place nine months after the events of ‘Time is Running Out’. The body of a woman is found with wounds that look eerily similar to several cold cases. Could a stealthy serial killer be preying on the street workers of Sheffield?

This was quite a ride! A very fast-paced twisty plot that had me completely hooked. I am planning to fill in the missing book before the next case for DCI Darke and her team.

Definitely one of my favourite series of police procedurals.

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Thank you to #NetGalley and #OneMoreChapter for the advance copy of #Survivor’sGuilt by #MichaelWood.
This is the 8th book in the DCI Martha Darke series and they just keep getting better.
Less than a year ago Martha was shot in the head and friends and colleagues killed. After extensive therapy and learning to talk and walk again Martha is back at work but is it to soon. Someone is killing women in Sheffield and it has gone unnoticed for 3 years. As the bodies mount up Martha seems to be struggling, can her colleagues rely on her to make the right decisions. The pace builds throughout the book and will keep you glued to your seat.

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This book is an emotional rollercoaster and a gripping thriller.
The human side, the relationships are as important as the mystery part and the author did an excellent job in describing the grief and the strain as well as keeping me focus on the mystery.
Excellent storytelling and character development, a riveting plot that kept me reading.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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Love the Matilda Darke series, and this book is an excellent addition to the series. Telling the aftermath of the shooting and Matilda’s return to work and struggle therein to return to a normal life.

Thoroughly enjoyable and looking forward to the next in the series

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I’d like to thank HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘Survivor’s Guilt’, book eight in the DCI Matilda Wood series written by Michael Wood, in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

As DCI Matilda Darke is struggling to recover from the near-fatal injuries that cost the lives of other members of her team, she’s called on to investigates the disappearance and murder of street girls in Sheffield who appear to be the victims of a serial killer.

‘Survivor’s Guilt’ is one of the most exciting thrillers I’ve had the pleasure to read and it’s had me gripped from page one. The plot is complex and full of action, drama, suspense and twists and turns that’s made me carry on reading late into the night unable to stop. Matilda Darke and her team are so perfectly described it’s easy to forget they’re fictional characters. I’ve been so involved in the story that I’ve been glued to the edge of my seat, open-mouthed in amazement that an author can write a novel with such a heart-stopping and shocking conclusion. This thriller is amazing, it deserves far more than five stars and I thoroughly recommend it.

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I highly recommend reading Time's Running Out before reading this one. After the drama and events of the previous book, I was quite nervous reading this one.

Matilda and the team are trying to come to terms with what happened 9 months previously while trying to catch a killer.

The emotions running through this book was heartbreaking at times. I just wanted to hug them all.

The plot built quite slowly to a nerve-wracking, thrilling OMG finale. I did not see that coming!

Absolutely brilliant book in one of the best series around.

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Michael Wood is a master of the crime thriller! This book is set 9 months after the tragic events of the previous book where Jake Harrison went on a killing spree that ended the lives of many police and other people including some we have grown fond of throughout this series.

DCI Matilda Darke has finally returned after being horrifically injured in the previous story. While her body might have recovered there is some doubt about whether she is mentally fit to return to her job and lead the team again. The team is short staffed although there is one new member - DC Zofia Nowak. They are thrown in at the deep end as a series of prostitutes are killed. Everybody’s favourite journalist (not) Danny Hanson points them towards some missing women and the numbers are climbing alarmingly.

There is one bright spot though as a child kidnapped 4 years is returned home unharmed - but is he really unharmed? Matilda finds herself torn between the cases and her desperate sadness and is struggling to lead her team effectively. Her best friend, Adele, who lost a son in the shooting rampage, blames Matilda and has cut her out of her life. This is particularly hurtful for Matilda. Thank goodness her sister is staying with her for the time being.

While the killings are one focus of this book, the other major focus is on the various ways the team is coping or not coping after the tragedy. It was hard to read about the mighty warrior for justice (Matilda) almost broken by events.

The cases are quite interesting and you wonder how this killer will ever be caught. When he is, it’s a twist of Herculean proportions. My jaw nearly hit the floor. But my lips are sealed. As with the previous book, this one ends with a cliffhanger, also jaw dropping, and I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for us next. Many thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins UK, One more Chapter for the much appreciated arc which I reviewed voluntarily and honestly.

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