I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Owen Mullen’s latest novel, Deadly Harm.
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
A Story That Will Leave You Gasping For Breath
It’s been five years since Mackenzie Darroch was abducted and held captive in a derelict house. She thought she’d found her way out of the darkness. She was wrong.When she witnesses a car crash and saves the driver’s life, it sets in motion a chain of events that will alter both their futures. The two women get involved in a high profile police case and draw the attention of a ruthless reporter. Gina Calvi is convinced Mackenzie is not what she appears and is prepared to do anything to prove it.
Meanwhile, across the city, Kirsty McBride, a young single mother, is persuaded to leave a violent relationship. Her partner, Malkie Boyle a Glasgow hardman, is due to be released from prison. Once back on the street and bent on revenge, Boyle is determined to find the people responsible for stealing his family from him. Can Mackenzie save them or will Boyle get his revenge?
An electrifying read from beginning to end. A tense, taut thriller
This is the second in the series but with enough relevant backstory that you can read it as a standalone.
Deadly Harm is largely set in Lennoxtown, a small village close to where I live and indeed where I lived as a young child and the author certainly got the setting down to a T! Owen is a master scene setter and you know that when he describes locations in his books they are going to be accurate. Perfect for those who like to feel themselves in the heart of the story!
Mackenzie Darroch has set up a refuge in Lennoxtown and when she saves the victim of a car crash, a chain of events are set in place that leave her in fear of her life.
The writer was quick to show that abusers and their victims come from all walks of life and that abuse takes many different forms, helping to break down the stereotypes society still holds about domestic violence.
Owen has taken some liberties with processes and procedures in this novel, which he notes in the acknowledgements, so it may be a little frustrating at times for readers who prefer accuracy in the procedural elements of their reading.
The characters were engaging and indeed there were a few familiar faces and places popping up from the author’s earlier series featuring PI Charlie Cameron. DI Andrew Geddes is also back in town and in this novel he and Mackenzie grow closer, but are her secrets set to destroy any relationship before it even starts? Watching the two of them, opposite in their views of the world – Geddes a cynic, hardened by his years in the force and Mackenzie, always willing to look beneath the surface to consider the whys behind someone’s behaviour, I felt for Geddes in this novel as he faced struggles in both his personal and professional life.
There are some vile characters in this book and I read all the way through praying they got what they deserved! Given the topics explored there are a few scenes which are quite disturbing to read for some.
A dark and gritty novel featuring topics such as domestic abuse, violence and murder, it is sure to shock you to the core.
Deadly Harm is available to purchase from: