January 5

Games With The Dead – James Nally

Irish runaway. Insomniac. Functioning alcoholic.
Life is about to get complicated for DC Donal Lynch.

When a young woman is kidnapped, Donal is brought in to deliver the ransom money. But the tightly-planned drop off goes wrong, Julie Draper is discovered dead, and Donal finds his job on the line – a scapegoat for the officers in charge.

But when Donal is delivered a cryptic message in the night, he learns that Julie was killed long before the botched rescue mission. As he digs further into the murder in a bid to clear his own name, dark revelations make one thing certain: the police are chasing the wrong man, and the killer has far more blood on his hands than they could even imagine.


My thanks to Sabah at Avon for my review copy and the chance to join the blog tour


The third novel in the Donal Lynch series but Games With The Dead can easily be read as a stand alone novel without the need to have read the earlier books.  I can confirm this with a degree of certainty as I had not read the first two books and still thoroughly enjoyed Games.

The description of the novel (as above) led me to believe this may be a kidnap/murder tale and it is…but it is so much more as well.  The story opens with the police attempt to recover a kidnapped woman: Julie Draper. DC Donal Lynch is the man tasked with delivering the ransom payment and “rescuing” Julie from the kidnappers. Regrettably all does not go to plan and Donal will be held liable by his bosses.

With his work life in a crisis there is no respite for Donal at home either.  His girlfriend has been distant and remote since the birth of her son and Donal is hitting the drink too hard.  Not helping matters is the fact Ireland are in the soccer World Cup Finals (it is Summer 1994) and all Irish footy fans are swelling the takings at pubs up and down the land as they cheer on their heroes in the USA.  With Donal being urged on by his brother to shake off his other half we see our hero’s emotions pulled every which way.

I am reluctant to share too much of what happens to Donal during Games With The Dead, but he is given the opportunity to work for a different team within the police and it will place him in more danger than he is accustomed to facing – it makes for gripping reading.

While reading Games With The Dead I got wholly drawn into the story and Donal’s perils kept me turning the pages well into the night. After the initial kidnap drama had reached its unexpected endgame I was not sure what may lie ahead for Donal – what James Nally had in store for DC Lynch was an absolute treat for this crime fiction fan.

Highly recommended, some 90’s nostalgia and a thumping great read.


Games With The Dead is published by Avon and is available in paperback and digital format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Games-Dead-Donal-Lynch-Thriller-ebook/dp/B072S4QY15/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1515088897&sr=8-1




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