Book Review: ‘Dead Embers’ by Matt Brolly

Today I’m thrilled to be hosting the blog tour for Matt Brolly’s gripping new novel, Dead Embers.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Dead Embers for review. The opinions below are my own and unbiased.

A devastating house fire leaves a senior police officer and her husband dead, their young daughter is rescued by firefighters just in time. It looks like a fairly straightforward case, albeit one that needs to be dealt with quickly. But then a massive twist takes the investigation in a totally different direction.

DCI Michael Lambert has to deal with this newly complicated case, an Anti-Corruption investigation into his boss which threatens to implicate him as well, and a messy private life.

Last summer I reviewed Matt Brolly’s dystopian novel ZeroI enjoyed that book so much that it made my Top 10 books of 2016. So when I was asked to join the blog tour for his latest novel, Dead Embers, I was all too happy to get on board.

This is Matt Brolly’s third book featuring DCI Michael Lambert. But you don’t need to have read the previous two in order to enjoy Dead Embers. Although, you may well find that after reading this book, you want to go back and read the others.

On the surface, it’s a pretty straightforward police procedural. But the twist that comes after the first few chapters is pretty massive. I’m not giving away any spoilers, but it definitely adds a new sense of urgency to the investigation. The case gets very dark, and to be honest, some of it is fairly grim reading. But after reading Zero, that didn’t surprise me too much – Matt Brolly obviously isn’t one to sugarcoat his novels!

There is also a really good human interest aspect to the novel. Lambert has a messy private life, and carries with him some fairly serious personal flaws. These plotlines are obviously set up in the previous two novels, but they are introduced very well into this book. The reader isn’t left missing any vital information, but I do feel like I want to go back and find out more of the detail about Lambert.

The tension just gets higher and higher in this book. It’s no surprise that I ended up reading late into the night to finish it. There’s a grimly satisfying resolution to both Dead Embers‘ main investigation and the anti-corruption plot. But Brolly also teases the reader with a tantalising glimpse at what might be coming in a future DCI Lambert novel. I hope he doesn’t leave us waiting too long, because I can’t wait to see what happens next!

The blurb:

An explosive fire. A double murder. And that’s just the start

When DCI Michael Lambert is called out to an apparent house fire, he knows it can’t be routine. Instead he finds the remains of a burnt house, a traumatised child and two corpses – one of whom is a senior police officer.

Lambert’s got other problems. Anti-corruption are onto his boss. His relationships is on the rocks. He can’t get over his ex-wife and he keeps blacking out.

But when a detective has been murdered the stakes are too high to get distracted. All is not as it seems. As the investigation continues Lambert realises he is getting drawn into something altogether bigger and more terrifying than he could ever have imagined…

Trust no one.

Gripping, chilling to its core and full of twists, the powerful new DCI Michael Lambert from Matt Brolly is perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Helen H. Durrant and Michael Hambling.

A tense thriller from one of my new favourite authors, this will keep you hooked! 8.5/10

Dead Embers is available now in Kindle format, published by Canelo

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