Wicked Game – a fresh and distinctive novel from Matt Johnson, a brilliant new name in the world of thrillers

A warm welcome to my blog

The above header is a quote. It isn’t something I would write about my own work, and a couple of years ago, not something I would ever have thought to be written about me. And yet, it was.

Promo pic with quotes1

Wicked Game was my first novel. It came into existence almost by accident. Woven from notes made as part of my treatment for PTSD, it was first released on Kindle as a self-published work early in 2012.

Then, in 2015, the rights to Wicked Game were acquired by Orenda Books of London. Orenda assigned an editor to work with me to produce an improved and polished version of my original work. It wasn’t easy re-visiting the text that had been part of a healing process to try and put my health problems behind me but it proved to be worthwhile.

Not long after publication, Wicked Game was long-listed by the Crime Writers Association for the 2016 John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award and at the end of 2016 it was listed by Amazon as the highest-rated debut novel of the year.

In 2018, in a WH Smith poll of readers, I was voted #22 in their top 100 best-ever crime writers. Now that was something of a surprise!

Wicked Game has now been followed by Deadly Game (2017) and End Game (2018). The e-books of all three are available now from all e-book outlets. The paperbacks are available from Waterstones, WH Smith, Hive and through many independent bookshops. The audio booka are also available thanks to W F Howes direct, or through Amazon as a CD or to download.

Happy with Peter JamesA brief synopsis of all three can also be seen by clicking on ‘The books‘ tab above or on this link.

My newsletter can be signed up for here. It will contain news on new books, competitions and events and, possibly, some extracts from future works.

If you are keen to read how writing helped my PTSD, click here for my blog post on the subject and here for a recent Daily Telegraph article on my journey from PTSD to publication.

“Terse, tense and vivid writing.  Matt Johnson is a brilliant new name in the world of thrillers. And he’s going to be a big name.” Peter James, International best-selling crime thriller novelist and author of the ‘Roy Grace’ novels.

Yes, that is the Peter James. You can imagine how I felt when I received the email from him.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes says of Wicked Game “From the first page to the last, an authentic, magnetic and completely absorbing read.”

“…imagine a book with the realism of Ryan & McNab [and] the story telling of Patterson…”  Amazon review May 2013.

“Matt Johnson has stepped into a very busy genre but has come up with something fresh and distinctive. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I look forward to getting to know more about Robert Finlay”  Goodreads 2013.

Now, can I ask a real favour.

Using the ‘buttons’ just below this text, you can ‘tweet’ the book for me and/or ‘like’ my facebook page. It’s a favour, I appreciate that, but it’s a few seconds of your time that help me to gauge how well this website is received. dsc_9306

And, if you go on to read the book, please do take a few minutes to review it through your favoured retailer. Genuine feedback is a real shot in the arm to an author and helps to keep us focussed and on task. 

Many thanks for taking the time to read this. Hope you enjoy the books.

253 thoughts on “Wicked Game – a fresh and distinctive novel from Matt Johnson, a brilliant new name in the world of thrillers

  1. Hi Matt
    I’m gonna look & check out for your first book in the next week or two. Your book review sound’s great like. All the best & cheers!


  2. Just finished reading the book – absolutely fantastic! A roller coaster ride from start to finish. Very authentic too!

    Definitely looking forward to the sequel.

    Well done Matt!


  3. Matt – you have an enviable gift that you have used exceptionally well.
    This is one of my Top 5 debut novels of all time! Which considering I have been reading the likes of Stephen King, Stephen Leather, James Ellroy, Carl Hiaasen, James Lee Burke, Robert Crais – and even Stuart McBride (because he’s Scottish, Local and absolutely hilarious!) for as long as I can remember, you are in esteemed company!

    I thoroughly look forward to the follow-up… 🙂


  4. Matt….you write from the heart! Very personal story written with talent and compassion that draws your readers in to……..a sequel? Great work!


  5. reading wicked game again and just gets better resonates with me on so many levels you have a very personal style that captures the reader from the start to the finish. Marcus


  6. Hi Matt. Really enjoyed this book. Excellent story, well written and more realistic than the usual ‘hero’ type book. Emotionally exhausted..phew :).

    Looking forward to the next one.


    • thanks Wendy, did you post a review on Amazon for me, they are an important aid to potential readers
      Have a look back through my most recent posts on this blog, I did one on sequel progress. First draft is nearly complete, but that still means several months of work after proofing, editing etc. Not easy this bookwork.


  7. Hi Matt! Thanks for inviting me to read your book by the way! Unfortunately, I have not read it yet 😦 BUT I will definitely buy it at the nearest book store! The plot is interesting. Cannot wait to read it! Good luck on your upcoming works, Matt, and keep on writing! 🙂


  8. Matt,

    Wow!.*Wish you all the best with your new novel, it sounds amazing . You must do a book signing at “.Bookends “.in Ridgewood NJ . Last week Hillary Clinton was there . All famous writers , actors etc go there . Will this book be at Barnes and Noble in NJ?


  9. I downloaded this book to read on the beach on holiday. I started it the day before flying out and just finished it at 2am. Guess I’ll be doing more swimming later on today instead of reading. Excellent book. Current Copper & ex RAF.


  10. I have had the pleasure of befriending Matt whilst on-going in my own life challenges. I will admit I’m not the fastest reader and to read a book seems more of a challenge then some of my extreme challenges I partake in BUT I was thrilled page by page and have enjoyed each twist and turn in this exciting tale… Matt has brought to life the story in perfect order and I promise you; you’ll enjoy it from cover to cover. I am now a lifelong fan… and a newly converted book reader due to Matt – don’t just take my word.. read it yourself


  11. This is the best book I’ve read in a long time, I was gripped throughout! When is your next book out? Can’t wait to read more of Finlay!


  12. I came across your very interesting article in Cervus. I looked you up and found this website. I was at Pinner County from 1963-71. So great to see other ex-pupils have achieved extraordinary success like writing a best seller!


    • I didn’t actually write the article, Ilana, but I did get to see it. Yes, I was there. 68 – 74. Just behind Reg Dwight (Elton) and a year above Simon Le Bon. I wouldn’t call my success extraordinary though, just lucky to have a bit of luck in later life.


  13. Hi Matt,
    Just finished End Game! What am I going to do now?? Seriously, it was a great read, moved along at a cracking pace throughout and I thoroughly enjoyed it, like I have the whole trilogy. The problem is now that you have crafted these beautifully defined characters and folks like me will want more of them! I’m sure a wordsmith like you could create further adventure for Findlay and co.?
    Best wishes with whatever you decide to write .


  14. Hiya da Matt will check you out on Amazon and put an order in I’m a fan of action drama CR and AMc hogging my shelf let’s see if there’s room for you!!


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