2020 · Book review

Book Review: The House in the Woods by Mark Dawson @pbackwriter

The House in the Woods by Mark Dawson is published today and it’s the first book in the new Atticus Priest series. I’d like to say a huge thanks to Mark Dawson for the arc, it’s a fantastic book.

About the book

Four murders. Two detectives. One mystifying crime.

On Christmas Eve, DCI Mackenzie Jones is called to a shooting at a remote farmhouse. Ralph Mallender believes his father lies dead inside. When three more bodies are discovered, it’s clear a festive family gathering has turned into a gruesome tragedy.

At first it seems like an open and shut case: a murder suicide committed by Ralph’s volatile brother Cameron. Then new evidence makes Mack suspect the man who reported the crime is in fact the perpetrator.

But Mack isn’t the only one with a stake in the case. Private investigator Atticus Priest has been hired to get Ralph acquitted. That means unearthing any weaknesses in Mack’s evidence.

Irascible, impatient and unpredictable, Atticus has weaknesses of his own. Mack knows all about them because they share a past – both professionally and personally. This time round, however, they aren’t on the same side. And as Atticus picks at the loose ends of the case, everything starts to unravel in a way neither of them could ever have predicted… The House in the Woods is available to purchase now – Amazon

My thoughts

It’s Christmas Eve, a time for families to be together and that’s just what DCI Mackenzie ‘Mack’ Jones is planning when a telephone call puts a halt to those plans and she is off to the scene of a murder. Nearly a whole family has been shot dead, mum, dad, brother and sister and they’ve been found by the surviving son. To start with it looks to be a murder suicide but fast forward a few months and Ralph the surviving son is due in court charged with murder. Did he do it?

Ralph’s wife calls in private investigator Atticus Priest to try and prove her husband didn’t do it and what follows is a fantastic and gripping read.

I absolutely loved Atticus, he’s got a bit of a reputation but he’s a very clever man and has a talent for finding the truth. I loved the chemistry between him and Mack, having a past both professionally and personally I found it really interesting to see how they would get on, I mean Atticus is basically trying to prove Mack made a mistake in charging Ralph and he finds it quite difficult as it’s clear he still cares for her.

I’m not a huge fan of books set in court rooms and a large part of this story is just that but it’s done in a way that is totally fascinating and gripping and it added a different angle to the story and kept it fresh so it’s not just your average police procedural/murder mystery, it’s a real mixture and just so enjoyable.

The House in the Woods is filled with tension and the author has added quite a few red herrings in to keep you on your toes. It was full of surprises and each time I thought I had an idea of where the story was going it took a turn and I was back to square one. I’m not going to give anything away but I honestly didn’t see what was coming.

I absolutely loved The House in the Woods and I honestly can’t wait for book two (especially after that ending 😉). I’ve got a real soft spot now for Atticus Priest and his gorgeous dog and I really hope we don’t have to wait too long to find out what happens next. Highly recommended by me.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The House in the Woods by Mark Dawson @pbackwriter

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