The CXVI Trilogy : Claire Knight ~Guest Review~

Woohoo #bookjunkies!  My ‘lil awesome possum, Claire Knight has reviewed all three of Angie Smiths books and has sent me her reviews. Claire has been a bit of a reviewing machine as of late ~ putting me to shame ~ and has been ever so patient waiting for me to get these online.  So without further ado– here are Claire’s thoughts on the trilogy!   



Who will survive?

When the murder of a colleague is linked to a series of suspicious deaths, Detective Superintendent Greg Woods’ team are tasked with solving the mystery. New to the team is Maria Barnes, whose besmirched character sadly precedes her. However Woods quickly discovers there is more to the detective sergeant than meets the eye: her skill level, knowledge base, and investigative talents far outshine his own formidable qualities…

And why is the Secret Intelligence Service so interested in Barnes and the investigation?

It’s a race against time to stop the killer, but he’s meticulous, cunning and ruthless. He leaves the police and intelligence service questioning if they are all out of their depth…

When forces contrive against them, Woods’ life hangs in the balance and for the first time in his career he risks breaking the rules… He and Barnes decide to go it alone to uncover who or what CXVI really is… The shocking truth lies at the heart of the Government and is trapped deep underground…

Claire’s Rating: 3/5

Claire’s Review: CXVI is a suspense story based on my own doorstep of West Yorkshire. It starts with the death of a fisherman and is followed by what appear to be unrelated meticulously planned murders. But as DSI Woods and DS Barnes investigate, a connection begins to appear and things turns sinister.

The book is well written and knowing the area, felt real in location. I really enjoyed being able to picture the characters in the actual places such as the roadworks on the M1, central Wakefield and the White Rose centre.

It was a little too descriptive at points for me. Descriptions of characters interrupted the flow, I felt like I was being given a list of attributes that could have been built into the story.

I didn’t realise this was the first of a two parter so I’ll be getting part 2 to find out what happens to Woods, Barnes and our suspect.

Secrets Broken


Book II in the CXVI trilogy is not intended as a stand-alone read and should follow Book I, CXVI – The Beginning of the End.

The frantic search for Detective Sergeant Maria Barnes is on. She’s linked to the murder of the former Home Secretary and is desperate to prove her innocence, but she’s trapped. Her captor, Freddy Williams, a ruthless serial killer, holds all the cards; including the one she cannot allow him to reveal.

Barnes is forced to adopt a dangerous bluff and double-bluff strategy, which ultimately involves the Secret Intelligence Service and her former boss, Detective Superintendent Greg Woods, combining forces. But who will survive? And who can you believe?

And just what is the relationship between Barnes and Woods? Perhaps her nemesis Faulkner-Brown holds the answer, but will he be the one who brings this reluctant heroine crashing down?

Claire’s Rating: 4/5

Claire’s Review:

CXVI: Secrets Broken picks up where its predecessor leaves off with Barnes being kidnapped by Williams, leaving Woods with a gunshot wound and a dead body. But the story that follows is full of espionage and international secrets!

Barnes is whisked into a dark underworld and she doesn’t know who to trust and who is telling the truth. Woods is trying to keep up and is drawn into a world of cryptography and secret liaisons! I loved the introduction of Pendleton the Aardvark.

Where CXVI: The Beginning of the End felt like a crime novel, Secrets Broken is more of an international thriller. Personally I enjoyed Secrets Broken more than its predecessor. I did enjoy The Beginning of the End but I felt Secrets Broken had a faster pace to it.

One thing I will say, if like me, you’ve read The Beginning of the End a little while ago, it’s worth refreshing your memory as Secrets Broken picks up right where its predecessor leaves off. I can’t wait to read the conclusion Desperate Measures!

A big thank you to Angie Smith for giving me an advanced copy of this book to read and review.

Desperate Measures


She’s missing – but does she want to be found? It is now three years since Detective Superintendent Greg Woods retired, and his life has been consumed with the desperate search for his former Detective Sergeant, Maria Barnes. This chaotic, and so far unsuccessful quest, has taken its toll on his physical and mental well-being. However, he finally receives a knock at the door with what he considers to be his most promising lead. He teams up with a young, spirited and extremely competent hacker, who also holds a vested interest in finding Barnes and his old adversary Faulkner-Brown. What they discover sends shock-waves around the globe and threatens international security. With Woods’ health dramatically failing he knows this is his final chance, success or failure, his last hurrah!

Claire’s Rating:  4.5/5

Claire’s Review: 

Set a couple of years after the excitement of the first two books, CXVI Desperate Measures sets Greg Woods back on the hunt for Maria Barnes but things are different now. He’s lost his family and his body isn’t what it used to be but he has help in the form of the tech-talented Zoe. She can hack her way into anything!

In this finale to the CXVI trilogy, Angie Smith had me mentally travelling around beautiful Yorkshire and the very exclusive Antigua. At one point I was pining for a sun drenched holiday in the Caribbean. The imagery is brilliant.

Who’d have thought a story that started with Woods and Barnes chasing round West Yorkshire solving murders would end up as an international thriller which makes you question who are the good guys all the way through the trilogy!  This book has rounded off the CXVI story perfectly, every emotion was felt in the reading of this ebook.

I would highly recommend reading this trilogy back to back. Each book is a roller-coaster but combining the thrill of the three books would be a thriller triple whammy!

Many thanks to THE Book Club and Angie Smith for giving me an advanced copy of CXVI Desperate Measures for my unbiased review.

Awesome Claire!  Seems this series gets better and better each time!  I have read/reviewed the first and gave it a similar rating.  I have the other two on my TBR and look forward to reading them!  Thanks Claire and Angie Smith!

If you want to check out this trilogy– click the links below!

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2 Replies to “The CXVI Trilogy : Claire Knight ~Guest Review~”

  1. Nice one, Claire, great reviews. I’m quite tempted to give them a try now!