EXCERPT: A breeze rustled the branches of the trees above them. Mackenzie felt sweat drying on her brow. She closed her eyes, savouring the sensation. Panic was the enemy. No good lay down that road. Whatever story they gave the police wouldn’t save them now. Digging was their only hope.
She let her breath out slowly, forcing herself to stay calm. ‘We had that chance. It’s gone.’
‘But it’s the truth.’
‘You know it is.’
Mackenzie leaned on the spade, struggling to keep hold of her impatience. ‘I’ll tell you what I know. There’s a man with half a face lying in our garden. Explain that.’
‘I’ll tell them he attacked me.’
‘We discussed this. The way he died… they’ll never believe you.’ Mackenzie pointed to the trench at her feet. ‘And what about this?’
Caitlyn didn’t answer.
‘That’s what I thought.’ She stepped out of the grave. ‘Your turn to dig.’
ABOUT THIS BOOK: It’s been five years since Mackenzie Darroch was abducted and held captive in a derelict house.
She thought she’d found her way out of the darkness. She was wrong.
When she witnesses a car crash and saves the driver’s life, it sets in motion a chain of events that will alter both their futures.
The two women get involved in a high profile police case and draw the attention of a ruthless reporter. Gina Calvi is convinced Mackenzie is not what she appears and is prepared to do anything to prove it.
Meanwhile, across the city, Kirsty McBride, a young single mother, is persuaded to leave a violent relationship. Her partner, Malkie Boyle a Glasgow hardman, is due to be released from prison. Once back on the street and bent on revenge, Boyle is determined to find the people responsible for stealing his family from him.
Can Mackenzie save them or will Boyle get his revenge?
MY THOUGHTS: I didn’t want to put this down. I didn’t want to go to work. I wanted to stay home and read. I was late for work (just one more chapter….), and I dared not take Deadly Harm to work with me….
Mullen has a fairly unique writing style, a seamless blend of frantic and flowing. His prose is terse, but he leaves nothing out, and sweeps the reader along to a breathtaking finale – one that I never saw coming.
It was great to see some characters from Mullen’s previous books back – Charlie Cameron puts in a brief appearance, but the book belongs to the characters of Mackenzie Darroch, an abduction survivor whom we first met in In Harm’s Way, and DI Andrew Geddes, whose methods aren’t always in line with law enforcement norms, an aetheist, and who likes a drink. Well, maybe more than one. He made regular appearance’s in Mullen’s Charlie Cameron series.
Mullen tackles the subject of domestic abuse head on. There is no side-stepping issues, no oblique references. He calls a spade a space, but does so with finesse.
I simply galloped through this read, swept along by Mullen’s passion, both for his craft and his subject. I will be giving this a second, slower, more considered read to fully enjoy his little snippets of humour and the finer nuances of the plot.
My favourite quote: Some people don’t have relationships, they take hostages.
5 absolutely brilliant stars!
THE AUTHOR: Bestselling author Owen Mullen is a McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year long-listed novelist.
Owen Mullen graduated from Strathclyde University, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, and had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; Owen still loves to perform on occasion. His great love for travel has taken him on many adventures from the Amazon and Africa to the colourful continent of India and Nepal. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow, and their home away from home in the Greek Islands where the Charlie Cameron and Delaney series’, and the In Harm’s Way psychological thriller were created.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to author Owen Mullen for providing a digital ARC of his book Deadly Harm for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
for an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile, or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
This review and others also appear on Twitter, and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3026545606?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1