Worst Fear by Matt Hilton (Grey and Po #4)

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Synopsis: Private investigator Tess Grey discovers that someone from her past is pursuing a deadly vendetta and she could be the next to die.

“If I?m dead, contact Teresa Grey at Cumberland County Sheriff’s Dept. Tell her”

When the body of a young woman is found on a rocky Maine beach, having fallen from the cliffs above, the initial verdict is suicide. But hidden on the dead woman’s social network page is a post requesting that Tess Grey be informed in the event of her death. And why would Chelsea Grace, who was terrified of heights, have chosen to end her life in a way that invoked her very worst fear?

Having not seen Chelsea for years, Tess has no idea why her old university roommate would leave such a message. But, determined to find out what really happened to her, Tess and her partner Po discover that Chelsea isn’t the first of her old university friends to suffer ? and she won’t be the last. It would appear that someone is holding a deadly grudge: could Tess herself be a target?

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: I am a massive fan of this series and the characters are hugely appealing to me. Tess Grey a PI who was an ex-copper working alongside her partner and lover Nicholas ‘Po’ Villere. This latest installment starts out with Tess looking into the death of somebody she went to college with. Would her old friend really have jumped to her death when she was afraid of heights? It’s ppretty clear early on that this is something more than a one off and somebody from Tess past is trying to even up the score.

Tess and Po are the characters that make this story (especially Po). Although this time around is isn’t just Tess who has problems. Po’s bar is being targetted and he is determined to get to the bottom of the who and the why with his own unique style! Meanwhile as Tess begins to dig through her own memories of the past she begins to see a pattern forming. The great part of this book is we see how and why the crimes are being committed before Tess does. Although I love this series I felt there was a little something missing. Maybe it’s because I see Tess figuring out other people’s problems as opposed to her own? That aside, this still made for a fantastic read.

My one small niggle was that we didn’t see the appearance of Po and Tess good friend Pinky until far too late in the book. As usual he wades in with every ounce of his being to do what he can to help his two friends. The later part of the book was a little more pacey and I enjoyed it more than the first half because the action was ramped up to the maximum.

As ever another cracking read in this series that I love. I literally cannot wait for the next book as this series is firmly in my Top 5 of must reads. With original and engaging characters, and a storyline that will keep yu turning pages you can’t really ask for too much more!

Raw Wounds by Matt Hilton (Grey and Po #3)

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Synopsis: Tess Grey and Nicolas Po Villere return to Louisiana to confront Po’s tormented past. Ex-con Nicolas Po Villere has no love for the mother who abandoned him as a child. Yet when she asks to see him on her deathbed, he returns home to Louisiana with his partner Tess Grey to try to reconcile their troubled past.

But Po is not prepared for the news his mother gives him: that he is not the last of the Villere family line. He has a younger sister, Emilia, whom he’s never met. But Emilia is missing, and Tess and Po must track her down before it s too late.  Tess and Po aren’t the only ones looking for Emilia. As they are to discover, Emilia has disappeared for a very good reason and if Po has any chance of finding her alive, he must join forces with his most hated enemy in order to prevent his little sister becoming the next victim of a deranged, cannibalistic killer.

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

Kat’s Review: I absolutely love the characters in these books and although the two lead characters are Tess Grey and Nicholas ‘Po’ Villere I have to say that Po is the start of the show. In addition their friend Pinky is an absolute corker of a character and he has to feature in this series on as permanent a basis as the main two characters. I think part of my attraction to these characters is that they are original and reading about them and the way they talk and their background is so refreshing. Po is an ex-con and Tess is an ex-cop and somehow they just make a perfect team. Not only are they a team they are also partners. Thankfully not in that ‘romance gets in the way of a good story’ kinda’ way!

Po receives a phone call from his estranged mother who is on her deathbed but is reluctant to disclose what she needs to see him about. With a bounty on Po’s head if he returns to the area, he of course…returns to the area. Alongside him is Tess and Pinky. What he didn’t account for was the revelation that he has a sister Emilia he has never met before. Unfortunately she also happens to be missing. What ensures is an absolutely brilliant and captivating story line which sees Po Tess and Pinky all fighting against more than one group for the safe retrieval of Emilia.

I was totally and utterly absorbed in the story and it caught me from the very first chapter. Full of villains you love to loathe as well as plenty of action. I have grown to love this series and think this is the best one so far. It reveals a lot more on Po’s history and cements both his and Tess relationship as well as the strong bond he and his friend Pinky have. I think having read this 3rd book I need a friend like Pinky in my life!

There are a number of ‘bad guys’ featuring but the way that Cleary was written literally had me shivering. The last quarter of the book is packed full of action and I read the last part of the book in one sitting. I had read for so long I didn’t realise my room was in complete darkness as I hadn’t moved. An outstanding read and a series that is original and fresh feeling, I absolutely loved it and cannot WAIT for the next book in the series.

Painted Skins by Matt Hilton (Grey and Po #2)

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Synopsis: PI Tess Grey and her partner Nicolas Po Villere have been hired by Margaret Norris to find her granddaughter, Jasmine Reed, who has been missing for sixteen days. But if Tess is to have any chance of finding Jazz, she needs to know the truth about the young woman s troubled past. What is it that Margaret Norris isn’t telling her?

Tess and Po aren’t the only ones looking for Jazz. With shady local businessman Daryl Bruin and his henchman John Trojak also on her trail, as well as a mysterious and violent stranger, Tess prays, for Jasmine s sake, that she and Po find her first. But it s only when Tess uncovers a link to several other missing girls that she begins to make headway in the investigation and finds herself in a desperate race against time to track down Jazz before it’s too late

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

Kat’s Review: I’m thrilled that I bumped this book up my to read list as it was much better than I expected. I LOVE it when a book surprises me like this. I read the first in this new series and although I enjoyed it, I thought it was a little slow and I struggled to connect with the lead character Tess Grey. Following on with this book, clearly I was walking through sludge with the last book as with this book I fell in love with Tess and her ex-con Partner Po.

In book one (Blood Tracks) I can now see that this was meant as an extremely good base for getting to know these characters. With this book there is no need for that as the readers have already seen Tess reasons for making her way as a Private Investigator instead of a cop. Although book one is an excellent base, I guess this book can be read as a standalone, but I always feel like its best to start a series at the beginning. In this latest instalment, Tess and Po have been hired to find the granddaughter of Margaret Norris. Jazz has been missing just over 2 weeks so Tess and Po get started on trying to trace her.

It becomes apparent pretty quickly that Jazz is also being searched for by Daryl Bruin and his henchman John Trojak, Tess and Po want to know why and the story really starts to pick up pace. It becomes clear pretty quickly that there is a lot more to Jazz being missing than a simple runaway scenario. The book has a great hold over the reader and with each chapter it seems to gain momentum, tension and pace. When their old friend Pinky appeared I rejoiced as he was such a brilliant character in the first book I was hoping he would make an appearance in the second.

This book was everything a great thriller should be and I thoroughly enjoyed every single page. I can imagine this would make a GREAT film, although quite who would play these characters who knows. What I will say is that although the Joe Hunter series of books by Matt Hilton is hugely popular, this new series seems to have fallen short and I cannot work out why. This is an absolutely amazing book and a series that I will continue to read. Hugely enjoyable and massively under rated, if you haven’t tried Matt Hilton before then these books are a great place to start!

Blood Tracks by Matt Hilton (Grey & Po #1)

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Synopsis: Introducing private investigator Tess Grey and Southern renegade ex-con Nicolas ‘Po’ Villere in the first of a brand-new series of fast-paced action thrillers. When her local District Attorney offers her a considerable sum of money to track down state witness Crawford Wynne, private investigator Tess Grey is in no position to refuse. Wynne is one of the few men still alive who can help the State nail vicious drug lord Alberto Suarez. But Tess is not the only one trying to track Wynne down. Suarez’s psychotic brother Hector has been hunting and butchering anyone who is a danger to his brother. Tess needs help and there’s only one man she can turn to: Southern renegade ex-con Nicolas Villere, known to all as Po. Po always gets his man, but he has never been teamed with a woman before. Both have their own agenda for taking on this case, and neither fully trusts the other. But of one thing they are sure: if they don’t cover each other’s backs, they are both going to die.

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: I must admit to having never got started on Matt Hilton’s successful series of books featuring Joe Hunter. I also realised I was so far behind that it would take me ages to catch up, so when I saw he had a new series out I thought it was a great opportunity to sample his writing. The two main characters in this new series are Tess Grey, an ex-copper turned Private Investigator and Nicolas ‘Po’ Villere who is an ex-con. I have to admit now I have finished the book that I struggled to get into it. Tess seemed a little dull and by the book for my liking. However, when Po turned up (GREAT lead character nickname by the way) things got a bit more interesting.

On reflection I think with it being a new series the slow start is because you are getting a feel for the character Tess. There are reasons relating to her past as to why she is the type of woman she is now. When she is given the opportunity to work for Emma Clancy as a PI she jumps at it and is introduced to Po as a man that can help her track her target down. Tess and Po need to find Crawford Wynne and bring him back as a State Witness. The story started off a little slowly and I felt like Tess needed a bit of a kick to liven herself up. Thankfully the charming ex-con Po more than made up for her as a character in the beginning.

The other character I cannot help but mention is an old friend of Po’s named Pinky. This guy HAS to make a comeback in future books as was absolutely brilliant! As the story progressed it became clear that Tess was becoming much more herself the longer she spent around Po. By the last quarter of the book we see the real Tess and it was a complete turnaround. There is the requisite bad guy and his helpers with a big dose of violence and some good old fashioned gun fighting going on. For a book that was a bit of a slow burner I ended up being totally captivated by both Tess and Po. The storyline picked up it’s pace and the last quarter was full on and I was practically speed reading. Plenty of action, thrills and two cracking new characters…what more could you ask for?

I must say this is a brilliant start to a new series and I really can’t wait to see what book 2 holds in store for them. I will certainly be getting the next in the series as soon as it’s available, and who knows maybe now I will be more inclined to get started on the Joe Hunter series. Overall I would definitely recommend this book and look forward to the next one.