Book Review: The Deadly Houses by Charlie Gallagher

The Deadly Houses
Charlie Gallagher

Detective Sergeant Maddie Ives is on the night shift at the Canterbury police station when she receives an unusual call. A man waits outside, ready to confess a murder. Adrian Hughes claims he kidnapped and brutally killed a young woman and he’s ready with all the details and evidence that will put him in jail, including where to find the woman.

The details check out but Ives thinks Hughes is lying. Her new boss is anxious for a quick conviction, however, so Ives must dig fast if she wants to uncover the whole story. While she’s out in the field, she relies on the sharp investigative skills of DC Rhiannon Davis to gather information. And soon her former partner, Harry Blaker is on the team, pulled from a quieter, low-pressure assignment he’d requested after a personal tragedy.

The reader knows there’s more because additional characters reveal strange and confusing details. And alternating scenes put the reader in an abandoned building where prisoners are forced to watch violent and disturbing videos. In a race against time and unknown enemies, Ives will need sort it out before more people die.

The Deadly Houses is the sixth book in the Maddie Ives police procedural series set in the UK but it can be read as a standalone. It was easy enough to get into the plot and I did not feel like I was missing out on a back story. That said, I found the story somewhat overloaded with details and its bad guys were a little too twisted and extreme for my tastes. The author is also a police officer and his knowledge of procedures and politics shows, making that part authentic.

The dominant theme of this story is the protection of women and children from violent partners and the author gives the reader a closer look at important police and social programs designed to help.

As with many thrillers, readers will need to bring with them the usual suspension of disbelief. Maddie Ives powers through many injuries and defies the odds in a number of situations. But she’s a likable character and has good rapport with Blaker and Davis and a peek at her personal life rounds out the story nicely.

All-in-all, I liked The Deadly Houses, but think this series is more geared towards fans of police procedurals.

I received a copy of The Deadly Houses from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

28 thoughts on “Book Review: The Deadly Houses by Charlie Gallagher

  1. HI, Barb – I greatly enjoyed reading this summary. I definitely shy away from novels with extreme and twisted villains, so I wouldn’t make it through the full novel. That’s what makes great reviews like this so perfect! Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Thank you, Donna, for the visit and comments. Yes, I also try to stay away from the twisted villains. I think I was attracted to the cover, which is very engaging and didn’t fully understand it was a police procedural. That’s okay, it was an entertaining read and I like to know what’s going on in different genres. Hope you’re getting ready for a fun hike and adventure! 🙂

    1. Hi Jill – I was thinking about how your reaction would be that way – there’s plenty of that in the news too. It wasn’t super violent, just extreme in the criminals’ methods. I’ve read enough police procedurals now to know that they aren’t my favorite genre, even the ones that are popular. Thanks for the visit!

  2. This genre doesn’t appear to me very much, and the 3 stars are not very compelling, so I’ll pass. Appealing cover though. Thanks, Barbara, for sharing the review here.

  3. Really good review. I love to read reviews like yours not just as a reader, but also as a writer. “Too many details” turns me off from a book too, even if it makes the author look good. Too many details takes away from the heart of the story. Finding the balance between good descriptive details, yet leaving much to the readers’ imagination, is not an easy feat.

    1. Thank you, Pam. I like trying out different genres. I think wannabe writers learn from that. The too many details did make the story drag a bit – close to 400 pages! Hope you are doing well and thank you for visiting 🙂

      1. Whoa. 400 pages is daunting, particularly when we have so many books we want to read. That said, I’m reading a 600+ book now. Part of the Lucinda Riley “The Seven Sisters” series, which I’m enjoying. The read goes so fast that it doesn’t seem that long. (Women’s fiction, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, all in one)

      2. Hi Pam – even though I prefer a shorter than 400 page book, I will say there’s something satisfying about finishing a long book, when the characters and plots are great (Think Youngblood Hawke 😉 ) I may need to read that again!

      3. It took me a couple months to read Atlas Shrugged. I’m not sure I’d read it again, but I feel proud I got through it! (I thought it was very good, but don’t call me an objectivist!)

      4. Ah yes, another good one. I read it in my 20s before i realized I was reading a “philosophy’ on capitalism etc. I read it just for enjoyment, and enjoy I did.

      5. Haha – I actually thought the plot was excellent. Never saw the movie. I really liked her first book, The Fountainhead. It wasn’t as heavy on her beliefs and was more of a story. 🙂

  4. This book sounds very intriguing, Barbara, and it’s nice that it can be read alone, as well. As much as I love thrillers, the story does sound a bit creepy for me right now. And I have about 5 books in line waiting to have their pages turned. 🙂 There’s just not enough time to read, is there? Thanks for a great and honest review, though. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. 💕

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