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  • Location: London, Romania, Bucharest

Deadly Game

Deadly Game

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: In a Deadly game, the stakes are high and any wrong move can mean ‘ Game Over’

  • ISBN: 978-1910633663
  • Genre: Spy story, Thriller

What you need to know before your trail

Robert Finlay is on holiday trying to relax. He’s trying to recover from the attempts on his life and his family not to mention the PTSD, he’s trying to keep under control.

Once back at home, he’s assigned to a new unit being set up to investigate European Sex Trafficking. On his first case, he finds a body, and then suddenly the whole case breaks open.

Working with Nina Brasov, he enters a world of trafficking and worse and finds out just how deadly the Deadly Game of the trafficking world really is.

Travel Guide

Deadly GameEastern Europe / Romania

Relia Stanga has a heartbreaking story which opens the book

Her home is a small village on the boarder with Moldova. she is only seventeen but already has the weight of the world on her shoulder.
‘One day . . . with luck, she would find a new life.’
Working in a factory, her father is a rough man and the children keep out of his way, but then the sadness of this already sorry picture fully emerges:

Every month of so, the factory would host men from the city. Men from  Brasov and Bucharest. Men who wore suits, drove Mercedes cars and talked of incredible adventures.

Those working in the factory are called pesti as the glue make them smell of fish…


Much of the book is set in and around the security services and the police in London. This is the HQ of the investigations into sex trafficking  – a thread which weaves its wicked way through the book.

This is an insight into a normally closed and closeted world. What goes on behind the scenes at these places – the author has worked in these circles so is more than well placed to know what really goes on. Now Finlay finds himself in one of the secret services ‘safe houses’ which creates a dark and claustrophobic feel to the whole story, a secret world of caverns and hidden rooms in plain sight. With visits to SAS barracks, the fear, tension and intrigue goes off the scale. But sssh these locations are secret which again ramps up the tension.

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

A gripping novel that’s for sure. From a heartbreaking first chapter, this makes a very topical read due to recent horrific events in London and even though I’d read the book before that, it all came back to me and made it even more real. I think it makes a real difference that Matt has such a background in the very area he’s writing about. It all comes across as more than authentic and in a world that we know nothing of due to the secrecy, it feels exciting to have this kind of insight.

This novel is less action packed than the first but that for me made it all the more intriguing – ok not as many locations for a booktrail point of view, but the landscape of sex trafficking is all the more horrific. When a problem deemed to ‘happen elsewhere’ comes closer to home, it feels all the more horrific and that first chapter really got me – setting the scene for what was to come.

Deadly Game read as great physcological thriller with the trauma of PTSD really adding a new and unusual twist to events. I really felt as if I got to know Finlay better here, got inside his mind (and what a chaotic place that is!) and got stuck into the crazy, unstable and dangerous world of the secret service and the problems it faces.

There were many more threads to this book than I first thought and even afterwards, as it all came together, like a time delay of sorts, it’s then that I fully appreciated what I’d just read. I’m not your typical spy/thriller reader, but it got me good.

Booktrail Boarding Pass: Deadly Game

Author/Guide: Matt Johnson   Destination: London, Romania, Bucharest  Departure Time: 2000s

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