Important announcement

In writing terms, probably one of the most significant I will ever make.

Those of you who have been following my twitter and facebook pages will be aware that I have been in protracted negotiations with a new London-based publisher. I’m pleased to announce that I have agreed terms with Orenda Books.

And here is the result

The Press announcement from Orenda Books

and… the new cover for Wicked Game

Wicked Game cover


Press Release

9 October 2015

Orenda Books signs ex-Met Police Officer’s debut thriller

Karen Sullivan is delighted to announce the acquisition of World Rights for debut author, Matt Johnson’s Wicked Game, in a deal negotiated with James Wills of Watson, Little Ltd.

Karen says, ‘Wicked Game was written by ex-Met Police Officer Matt Johnson as therapy for the PTSD he suffered after witnessing several horrific London bombings, and being present at the murder of his colleague Yvonne Fletcher. He subsequently self-published this book, and achieved extraordinary sales and reviews. We’ve worked with Matt to rewrite and polish this thriller for the trade, and the results are staggering. Not only is this a compelling, revealing and action-packed thriller, but the authentic dialogue and the inside knowledge that Matt invests in the highly orchestrated plot and well-drawn characters are simply spine-tingling. Telling the story of an ex-SAS man whose carefully concealed past comes back to haunt him, putting his family, his colleagues and his new life in jeopardy, this is a vividly written novel that has bestseller written all over it. As Peter James says, “Matt Johnson is going to be a big name”.’

Matt says, ‘When I was introduced to Karen Sullivan from Orenda, I realised that we had found a publisher with the experience, drive and editorial vision to help me develop my embryonic writing career.  Orenda Books is an exciting new publisher. I am immensely fortunate and privileged to be joining them. I look forward to enjoying a long and rewarding future together.’

James Wills says, ‘As soon as I started reading WICKED GAME I knew it was going to be special. The authenticity of Matt Johnson’s writing jumps out from every fast-turned page. Orenda is a fine home for this thrilling debut and I can’t wait for more people to be immersed in Finlay’s world.’

Wicked Game is the first in the Robert Finlay series, and will be published in ebook on 24 December and print on 15th March 16. Matt will be appearing at a number of festivals and events in 2016.

For more information, please contact

And before I go any further, I want to say thanks, a big thanks, to all the people who have read my work and who have been kind enough to review it and to tell me how much you have enjoyed it. And I also want to say a special thanks to Antony Loveless, who on seeing a soldier in Afghanistan reading Wicked Game on his kindle, decided to buy the book and then, when he enjoyed it, was kind enough to introduce me to his agent. It’s that kind of luck and kindness that is the fine line between success and failure.

The self-published version of ‘Wicked Game‘ has now been withdrawn from sale. The newly worked version can be pre-ordered now. From 24th December, it will be available in e-book versions in all formats. You can also pre-order the paperback which will go on sale on 15 March 2016. It is available to order now through on-line retailers such as Amazon and through all regular book shops. I’ve included links below and will update as more become available.
I will also be doing a couple of book launches (details to follow) and some author events and literary festivals. I plan to set up an ‘events’ page on this site to tell you where I will be at the bar looking for a free beer and at what times.
And now… to answer a question that many of those who have read the self-published version of the book will ask, ‘Is it worth forking out for another copy?’
My answer is that I will have to leave that to you to decide. The new version of Wicked Game has benefited from the input of a bloody good editor. It is essentially, the same story but it is now told from the perspective of just three of the main characters, the main protagonist Finlay, Commander Grahamslaw of the Anti-terrorist squad and the lead terrorist, Declan Costello. The length of the book has increased by about 10K words and now includes more background on Finlay’s time in the SAS and his role at the Iranian Embassy siege in 1980. There is also more background with regards to Grahamslaw and the challenges he faces investigating the threat to Finlay’s family and friends.
I have no doubt that the new book is an improvement on the original. I hope you do too.
These are the Amazon links to pre-order the book. As other ways of purchasing the book go live, I will post them on the blog.

AustraliaCanadaIndiaUnited StatesUnited KingdomGermany, FranceSpain, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, Mexico

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