AWC16: Bad Samaritan by Michael J. Malone

Review published on October 18, 2016.

A helping hand – or a murderer’s grip? This is the question presented to the reader on the attractive cover of Bad Samaritan, a compelling crime novel by Michael J. Malone, published by Saraband in March 2016.

The double plot line with the many twists and turns is hard-hitting and I found myself immersed in a crime scene scenario based in Glasgow and beyond. The fast pace and rhythm made every page a turner and each chapter end left me begging for more.

I had a chuckle while looking at the author’s Facebook page when I noticed a conversation on one of the threads, some lady readers claiming they were going to bed with Michael J. Malone (his book). I too was going to bed, but with the protagonist Detective Inspector Ray McBain. I first met the hapless McBain while reading Blood Tears and his vulnerability, countless flaws and less than perfect investigating efforts brought him to life and made him an unforgettable and loveable character. In Bad Samaritan, I was further intrigued with a heightened sense of McBain’s tortured past. Being kept on edge all the way through, I could not help but wonder if a reconciliation with historical events and unfolding circumstance would make or break this wonderful character.

Using modern language laced with lots of wit, grit and dry sarcasm in dialogue, the author compliments McBain’s relationship with supporting characters. All are unique and bring a different voice to the tale. With each interaction, I was confronted with a wave of different emotions which held me like an anchor and kept me reading to the early hours.

Without giving a spoiler to the end, I was enthused to read the last few pages twice, in order to recover from the punch that Michael J. Malone packs. His passion and flavour for crime writing shone in this sequel which jangled nerves and took my imagination on a journey with several emotions and conflicting sentiments.

There were no negatives that I could find to report in my review of Bad Samaritan other than it had to end. Captivating from start to finish, I’d recommend all bookworms regardless of being crime lovers, [should] have this book on their to read list.

Michael J. Malone is a local writer whose poetry and work has been an inspiration to many. Blood Tears won the Scottish Association of Writers Pitlochry prize and he continues to have much success in publication.

Susan McVey

Bad Samaritan by Michael J. Malone

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The Guilty One by Sophie Littlefield

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The Trespasser by Tana French

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