“Outside Looking In” by Michael Wood – Book Review

“When you’re on the outside looking in you see things a lot differently.”

DCI Matilda Darke is well named, for this is a woman who is in a dark place. It is almost the first anniversary of her beloved husband’s death, AND that coincides with the anniversary of a kidnapping case gone wrong where she was blamed for the loss of a young boy. She suffers from severe panic attacks, and is hanging on by a thread… Vilified by the press, and with her small murder team being shut down, Matilda is tasked with a brutal murder and attempted murder.

A man and woman were attacked in a quiet road. They were both married, but not to each other. Their spouses have rock solid alibis. Who could have done this?

Also, Sheffield is suffering from a spate of violent armed burglaries, making the budget cuts and depleted manpower a grave concern.

The spouses of the two attack victims are featured prominently in the book. The wife of the male victim has to come to terms with her husband’s death and his infidelity all the while trying to keep things relatively ‘normal’ for her young children. This dire predicament is exacerbated by the fact that a masked gunman enters her home demanding money.

I’ve been reading without break for the past three hours and to tell the honest truth, I’m suffering by what I call reader’s headache. I literally couldn’t put this book down.

Michael Wood has once again written a crime thriller that had me feverishly turning pages. With a somewhat complex plot, he brilliantly tied it all together in a seamless fashion.

I enjoyed getting to know DCI Matilda Darke just that much better since reading the prequel and first novel in the series. I was pleased to hear that in this book she inherits a vast collection of crime fiction books, many written by my own favourite authors.

Matilda’s team support her admirably, and I was happy to re-acquaint myself with them all. I enjoy reading the passages where she is accompanied by her best friend Adele Kean, the police pathologist.

The title is perfect. No one knows exactly how people are coping with their lives by being on the outside looking in. You have to be on the inside to fully understand.

This is a series that I highly recommend to all fans of the genre. If I had to compare him to another author, then I would say his writing reminds me of the work of Angela Marsons, and coming from me that is high praise indeed. I intend to complete this series as soon as time allows. Highly recommended!This review was written voluntarily. I purchased a digital copy of this novel from Amazon.ca  ISBN: 9780008190477 – ASIN: B01BS9XGOS – 378 pages

Michael Wood is a freelance journalist and proofreader living in Sheffield. As a journalist he has covered many crime stories throughout Sheffield, gaining first-hand knowledge of police procedure. He also reviews books for CrimeSquad, a website dedicated to crime fiction.  As a huge reader of crime fiction he decided to follow in the footsteps of his favourite authors. I, for one, am glad he did.

Follow Michael Wood on Twitter.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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13 Responses to “Outside Looking In” by Michael Wood – Book Review

  1. Pingback: #BookRecommendations with titles that start with the letter ‘O’ #GreatReads | Fictionophile

  2. Pingback: Fictionophile’s MAY 2021 Reading Wrap-Up | Fictionophile

  3. Carla says:

    Excellent review Lynne. Tempting, but do I need another series on my TBR??

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dorothy Gracie says:

    Oh dear…this is not a new series at all…lol! I see now that there’s are at least 6 books. So, looks like I can look forward to even more Matilda. Not sure I read the prequel either, so I should check that out as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dorothy Gracie says:

    Ooohhh…this sounds good!!! I read the first Matilda Darke book on your excellent recommendation and loved it so I’m super thrilled to hear the second book is out. I was even lucky enough to find it available on ebook at my local library (which unfortunately does not happen very often with the new British titles you review). Both copies are borrowed right now, but I’m next in line. Excited!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is not a new title Dorothy ( as I’m sure you now realize). I’m really behind reading this series because of all my review commitments. This is only number 2 and the 7th is out now. 🥰📚


  6. dandelionsinspired says:

    I need to check out this series!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pink Roses says:

    Ok, I’m hooked. I’ll have a look at the first in the series. Thanks for the review.


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