- Paperback: 276 pages
- Publisher: Orenda (31 Mar. 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1912374099
- ISBN-13: 978-1912374090
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 34 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 132,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
End Game (Robert Finlay) Paperback – 31 Mar 2018
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"This series is notable for the brilliant way that Johnson combines various types of thrillers into something that almost feels like a political thriller in its intelligent, winding complexity and duplicity. Johnson weaves together the action and combat of a military thriller with the sneaky scheming of a spy thriller and the whodunnit and chase aspects of a police thriller to create something unique. It's smart, sharp, and keeps you guessing, with enough twists and turns to make even the regular thriller reader happy … End Game is the ideal conclusion to a wonderfully crafted and unique series. If you have even a passing interest in thrillers, this is absolutely a must-read set." The Crime Review
"Once again Matt Johnson has produced a stunning story... Simply excellent." --Mystery People
Praise for Matt Johnson:
"Terse, tense and vivid writing. Matt Johnson is a brilliant new name in the world of thrillers." -- Peter James
"A compelling mix of highly credible detail, tactics, procedures, and all striated into the political games that the intelligence services play. Highly Recommended." Shots Mag
"Gripping stuff." -- New Welsh Review
"Utterly compelling and dripping with authenticity. This summer's must-read thriller." -- J S Law, author of Tenacity
"Nothing is clear-cut in a gripping labyrinthine plot, which - despite thrills and spills aplenty - never falls short of believable." --David Young, author of Stasi Child
About the Author
Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for twenty-five years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent's Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People's Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital. Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game and now End Game, the final book in the Robert Finlay series, once again draw on Matt's experiences and drips with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.
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But oh my. What an ending. I have loved this series since I listened to the first book, Wicked Game on audiobook whilst on my travels up and down the country. I love a bit of an action thriller and I love a good police procedural and this series has always given me the best of both worlds. Daring chases, explosions, high action and high tension scenes, all centred around a man who you cannot help but love and with a central theme which keeps the reader hooked and engrossed from the off. I am so going to miss this. If you haven't read the first two books in the series (and if not, why not?) then you may find yourself at a small disadvantage when coming to the start of End Game as it is exactly what it says on the cover. The end of the game. The final play. A fight to the death as it were. Live or die - it is all in the decisions you make and maybe a little bit in the lap of the gods.
The main premise of this book, one which has fed through the previous novels, is the desire to either uncover or cover up, depending on which side of the action you are on, the existence of a manuscript which tells of the plans and organisation of a political and religious faction that could pose a significant threat to the safety of the country, if not the world. Some would have it hidden as knowledge of its contents could compromise the security services, others would wish to leverage the monetary value of such knowledge. No matter which side of the fence you are on, the one thing that is certain is that people are willing to kill for this. Robert Finlay is very much on the side of right and not wrong, but in a game played by Spooks and Politicians, it is hard to know quite what this means. What is clear is that someone is out to get Finlay and his friend and former Army colleague, Kevin Jones. But how far will they go?
Well ... pretty far as it happens, with Jones framed for the murder of his girlfriend and Finlay in the frame for assisting him. Now there are circumstances which precede this, factors which play into the hands of those who would see them taken down which take the reader right back to the very first book, but they are explained enough, or at least referred to, so you may have enough knowledge to make sense of what is happening. Not enough to be spoilers mind so you can still go back and catch up. I love the way in which Matt Johnson has created Finlay. Similar to his own story, Finlay is a man who has been through highly volatile and difficult situations, the trauma of this manifesting itself as PTSD and night tremors. Each event which unfurls impacts him in ways that you could not understand, but he uses his training, the counselling he has received and the support of his wife, Jenny, to get him through. He is a highly principled man and one you have to admire. He is loyal to a fault, determined and the almost perfect action hero. And in this book we get to see another side of his character as he finds himself involved in a hostage negotiation with a former soldier whose story he recognises well. Whilst many admire his skill in talking the man down, another would use his actions against him. Superintendent Mellor. He really is a miserable and cantankerous sod.
Another character I have grown to love in this series is Jones, although Mr Johnson shows us another, perhaps unexpected side to his character in this book. I was warned but I still wasn't expecting that lol. Jones is less, how should I phrase it ... 'refined' and perhaps a bit more gung ho than Finlay, which compliments his nature perfectly but again his loyalty is never in question and he can provide some of the lighter moments. Well at least until he is set up for murder, then it all takes a darker turn. Supported by some fantastic characters, Jenny, Toni, Grahamslaw, Nell and Stuart, they really drive the story and it is largely through the strength of their friendship that you find yourself drawn into the story as much as the thrilling nature of the plot.
Matt Johnson has created a really great back story and central story arc for the series and it is brought to a conclusion in End Game. All the lose ends, the threads from the previous two books, are pulled together here and everything, all the unconfirmed but half suspected links between characters, become very clear. Mixing more grounded moments, such as the scenes where Finlay acts as negotiator, with scenes of tense action where Finlay's and Jones' lives are very much under threat, you are taken on a complete rollercoaster of a ride. It is a ride you are happy to be on, no matter the ups and downs, twists and turns and one, if you are like me, you are very, very sad to see come to an end. I have loved to see the development of this story, thoroughly enjoyed the way in which you get the blend of third person narrative with elements of the story and then first person as Finlay takes the helm. The way in which the author has captured all emotions, good and bad, fear and anxiety, passion and compassion, and turned them into something brilliant on the page. And ultimately the way he has kept me on the edge of my seat, reading into the small hours and devouring the book so quickly I can hardly believe it is over. The tension, the heart stopping moments of action, the sheer thrill and the utter surprise. Big ticks on all of those. They are all here, just as I like them.
If you are aware at all of Matt Johnson's own story then you will see how he has used this to good effect in the creation of these books. He is someone I have a great deal of respect for, not only for what he has been through, but also the way in which he has sought to overcome it. In finding an outlet for his own PTSD, he has given us a brilliant set of action thrillers, highly regarded and quite rightly so. If you love a good action thriller, with thoroughly likeable characters, then I highly recommend you read this series from start to finish. I am very sad to see this end but I cannot wait to see what Matt Johnson brings us next as I am confident it will be a stonkingly brilliant thrill ride.
Good stuff Mr Johnson.
Wow, wow, wow, this is book just continues the fast and action packed predecessors in the series that will put any pacer maker under stress to keep a steady beat. Robert Finlay’s past is not prepared to stay there, when an old friend finds himself facing a murder charge. I mean what else can Finlay do? No matter what job title he has now, the SAS is still running through his blood and watching out for comrades would always be high on his list of ‘must do’. But it isn’t long before he finds himself set up to take a fall too. It is game on!
It has characters that make you feel like they have crawled under your skin at times, not only from what they do but how other people in the story talk about them. Robert Finlay was a bloke that wanted the quite life now seeing his time out as a Detective. This wasn’t going to happen. Finlay is a fabulous character whose career has seen to a diminishing list of friends as they have lost their lives and he was determined that this wasn’t going to happen again, especially with MI5 agent Toni Fellowes joining forces with him.
This story is one that puts all of his self-control to the test, where I was literally waiting with bated breath to see if he still had enough humanity left to make the right choices. Such a gripping perfect end.
To get the full impact of this book do read the whole series. I believe it is one of the most visual that you will come across. I just want it all to hit the big screen because it has all the ingredients to be a block buster series there too. Perfection!
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I have been a dedicated Jack Reacher fan for years, and this has almost rivalled Lee Child's work.Read more
Hopefully not the end there must be more