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Wicked Game is the debut novel of Matt Johnson, an ex-soldier and police officer from the UK.
"Terse, tense and vivid writing. Matt Johnson is a brilliant new name in the world of thrillers. And he's going to be a big name." Peter James, International best-selling crime thriller novelist.
“…imagine a book with the realism of Ryan & McNab [and] the story telling of Patterson…” Amazon review May 2013.
First published in 2012 as an independent e-book for Amazon Kindle, Wicked Game has already received over 130 independent 5* reader reviews. Following release, the book was listed in the top ten best-selling novels in the Amazon ‘Thriller’ category.
In March 2013, Wicked Game was listed amongst the top debut novels for the year by the Apple UK iBookstore.
Readers describe Wicked Game as being a debut novel to rival established best selling-authors including Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Chris Ryan and Andy McNab.
About the author
Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for twenty-five years.
Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital.
Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Whilst undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism.
One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. He has used his detailed knowledge and memory to create a fast paced, exciting and authentic tale of modern day policing.
Matt Johnson is living proof that PTSD is a condition that can be controlled and overcome with the right help and support. He has been described by many fans as an inspiration to fellow sufferers.
Matt has recently been interviewed and featured on BBC Radio Wales, Talk Radio Europe, BRFm radio, in the South Wales Argus and has been featured in the UK National Police and MOD Oracle magazines.
Wicked Game – the novel
The year is 2001.
Age is catching up with Robert Finlay. As a police officer on the Royalty Protection team based in London he is looking forward to returning to uniform policing and a less stressful life with his new family.
But fate has plans for Finlay. His past is about to come back to haunt him.
A policeman is killed in a bomb explosion and a second is gunned down on his own driveway.
Finlay discovers that both of the murdered policemen are former Army colleagues from the SAS Regiment. His family learn that he is not the ordinary man they once thought.
Finlay doesn’t see himself as a hero, just a survivor. A 'Wicked Game', in which he is the target, is about to test his long-forgotten skills in a fight against a determined and unidentified enemy.
“An amazing debut novel by Matt Johnson. This was a book I simply could not put down, it is so fast paced with numerous twists and turns that it gets your attention in the first few pages. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a gritty thriller.” Goodreads.com
And from Amazon…
“The plot is strong and features an SAS soldier turned policeman whose past comes back to haunt him. The story raced along at a high pace, twisting and turning and keeping you guessing. Each character is thoughtfully introduced and effectively developed. That bond between former soldiers is brilliantly captured and the dialogue and engagement is written in such a way that the reader feels a part of this. Matt Johnson has stepped into a very busy genre but has come up with something fresh and distinctive”
“…loved, loved, loved reading this book, my husband was constantly trying to read it over my shoulder... he is very happy now I've finished so he can read it. I connected with the character Finlay from the start - the contrast between the "family man" and "soldier" was brilliant and when the two worlds collide well...just read it for yourself...Cleverly written, it is a typical hard to put down book and real page turner”
“Wicked Game had me gripped from the start, believable characters nicely paced with a few twists and turns had me reading the book in no time at all.
Messr`s McNab and Ryan look over your shoulders, there is a new kid in town. His name is Matt Johnson!”
“…from the outset I was submersed in the story and enjoyed the journey immensely. The perspective is well balanced, allowing the opportunity to explore both sides of the plot. This is not just a "gung-ho" self indulged storyline too often seen from many of the pretenders in this genre. Highly recommended”
“Matt Johnson has an enviable gift that he has used exceptionally well. This is one of my Top 5 debut novels of all time! Which considering I have been reading the likes of Stephen King, Stephen Leather, James Ellroy, Carl Hiaasen, James Lee Burke, Robert Crais for as long as I can remember, he is in esteemed company!”
“Wicked Game is simply the best debut novel I've ever read. Finished over a weekend, I just couldn't put it down. The pace of the storyline is relentless and thoroughly absorbing. My own dad was ex military and served as a police officer for over 20 yrs so the topic of the novel was of great interest to me anyway. I've read dozens of books on the SAS, IRA etc and Wicked Game has joined them all on the top shelf. From page 1 it just grabbed my balls and didn't let go until the end. Massive congratulations to the author.”