Outside Looking In: Blog Tour Review

Extremely excited to have been asked to take part in Michael Wood’s Outside Looking In Blog tour.  I absolutely adored For Reasons Unknown and you can find my review here.  I can’t wait any longer to share my thoughts, so here they are! Woohoo!

Outsde Looking In Cover


When elderly George Rainsford goes to investigate a suspicious noise one night, the last thing he expects to find is a bloodbath. A man has been killed and a woman brutally beaten, left for dead.

The victims are Lois Craven and Kevin Hardaker – both married, but not to each other. Their spouses swear they knew nothing of the affair and, besides, they both have alibis for the attack. With nothing else to link the victims, the investigation hits a dead end.

The pressure is on for investigating officer, DCI Matilda Darke: there’s a violent killer on the loose, and it looks like her team members are the new targets. With no leads and no suspects, it’s going to take all Matilda’s wits to catch him, before he strikes again.

My Rating: 5/5

My Review:

I was so excited when my pre order of this book passed through the ether and landed on my kindle– there were many EEEKS and OMFG’s expelled from my lips (sorry Michael I am over 40 and use OMG a lot! ha ha ha — but in my defense…I actually say Oh My God and not O-M-G in public).  After reading For Reasons Unknown I had eagerly been waiting for the return of the awesomeness that is DCI Matilda Darke. And #bookjunkies…it was well worth the friggin wait!  I always worry that Book 2 in the series will not have the same impact as Book 1 — my fears were unfounded as Michael Wood has completely shown that not only can he write (and bloody hell– he CAN write) but his books seem to get better each time!

Set in South Yorkshire, I knew from the start this book was destined for greatness! The reader is immediately drawn in by George Rainsford’s discovery and the questions started to scream out of my mind at a mile a minute! Who are the victims?  Why was one killed and the other left for dead? Did she know the killer?  Is there more than one killer?  You should see my notebook — full of questions — now that is exactly what I love –if I am not asking questions, then something is wrong!

Various themes are revealed throughout the pages and include: betrayal, loss, vulnerability, mental health, justice and revenge. All of these allow the reader to understand the “why” of the various story-lines and the motivation of the killer(s) for when the big reveal is …well…revealed of course!

I love the writing style of this author as well.  The character’s voices pop into my head and are distinct to the nature of the individual that is speaking from the page.  I always know when DCI Matilda Darke is getting worked up and hear myself naming the Prime Ministers as a panic attack grips her.  The prose itself pulls at your emotions in all the right places and there was many a time I found myself biting my nails and holding my breath — the suspense was killing me!

Characters are the one thing that will keep me reading a book.  If they are dull or two-dimensional — I quickly lose interest.  Fortunately Michael Wood has that rare gift that allows the reader to visualise their own view of the characters and this sets him apart of a lot of the other authors I have come across.  The choice of third person POV was perfect for how the plot was seamlessly delivered whilst tying in events from For Reasons Unknown.

DCI Darke returns a few months on from the last case and we see a (more) sober, determined yet still vulnerable woman.  I adored that her character was further developed in this book and that we got to see a great sense of humour creeping into her day-to-day activities.  It worked well and endeared me to her even more.  There is also an inner strength that shines through at exactly the times it is needed– but the doubt in herself still holds her back before she takes any leap of faith.

We also see the return of a character or two from Book 1 and  very intriguing story-lines ensue. Without giving away any spoilers, I was on the edge of my seat and questioning WTF was going on!  Well played Mr Wood! *tips hat*  Both characters left a bad taste in my mouth at the end of book 1 and their return left me with mixed feelings.  In fact, there were no characters who I did not enjoy — whether good or bad- as the author brings them all to life in that magical way it is hard not to feel something about each and every one of them.

So there you have it #bookjunkies!  Another phenomenal book from an extremely talented author.  I enjoyed this book so much, I have made it my July choice for #BookOfTheMonth.  In case I have not made myself clear enough — this is a must read peeps — so what are you waiting for?  Head over to Amazon by clicking the link below and grab yourself a copy!

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4 Replies to “Outside Looking In: Blog Tour Review”

  1. Fab review missus! Loved For Reasons Unknown so looking forward to the next instalment with Matilda

  2. I would love to read both books, don’t enjoy reading on kindle and refuse to pay £12.99 for a paperback on Amazon.