Deadly Harm by Owen Mullen ~ She thought she’d found her way out of the darkness #TuesdayBookBlog @owenmullen6 @Bloodhoundbook #DomesticNoir

Author: Owen Mullen

Published: October 2019 by Bloodhound Books

Category: Domestic Noir, Psychological, Thriller, Suspense, Book Review


It’s been five years since Mackenzie Darroch was abducted and held captive in a derelict house. 

She thought she’d found her way out of the darkness. She was wrong.

When she witnesses a car crash and saves the driver’s life, it sets in motion a chain of events that will alter both their futures.

Owen Mullen has again tackled important and relevant issues with insight and realism. The story, split into three parts comes from several perspectives, centring around Mackenzie Darroch and the refuge she runs for women who have suffered mental and physical abuse at the hands of men.

Five years ago Mackenzie had been abducted, held captive and sexually abused. It was a long haul to get her life back on track and finding the perfect house to turn into a refuge for women like herself seemed like fate. Three years later many women had benefitted from time spent there.

Most of the women in the refuge had gone through the same emotions. Finally finding the courage to break free came at a price.

Late one night while driving home, Mackenzie became aware of the wreckage of a car on the side of the road. It was the car that had raced past her minutes before. Half dragging the female out of the driver’s seat, they both stumbled across to Mackenzie’s car with no time to spare before the crashed vehicle burst into flames. The woman, Caitlin, was fleeing an abusive husband. Eventually Mackenzie was able to persuade Caitlin to go with her to the refuge.

Meanwhile Mackenzie received a call from DI Andrew Geddes, who was directly involved in her rescue from the derelict house where she was being held during her abduction, asking for a favour. She very reluctantly had to decline. Since Caitlin’s arrival the refuge was full.

Mackenzie hated to let him down —  with all he’d done for her it felt wrong to not be more helpful; he deserved better. ‘I could speak to her if you’d like. Maybe convince her to let the system step in and take care of both of them.’

Mackenzie couldn’t have foreseen the knock on effect of these two events, which also precipitated her being hounded by hard hearted reporter, Gina Calvi. Calvi was prepared to go to any lengths to prove Mackenzie isn’t what she appears to be.

This is the sequel to In Harm’s Way, which is Mackenzie’s story. Deadly Harm could easily be read as a stand alone although having read the first book would give a greater grasp of the characters of Mackenzie and Andrew Geddes. I enjoy the way characters from other novels pop up and loved the inclusion of Andrew Geddes and the part he played. It really fleshed out his personality and gave him a realistic quality.

A short and suspenseful prologue gives a glimpse of what is to come, and was the hook that drew me in, not letting go until the totally unexpected and poignant ending. And, like the characters in Out Of The Silence, also by this author, they will stay with me. Owen Mullen is able to write exceptionally well from a woman’s perspective, specifically a victim, with sincerity and understanding. The story brings home the true horror of domestic violence and the lengths some women have to go to in order to escape the abuse. And even then the fear is still with them. 

Deadly Harm is peopled by strong, courageous and likeable women, heart stopping moments, unexpected twists and lots of drama. 

I chose to read and review Deadly Harm based on a digital copy of the book kindly supplied by the author.   

About the Author

Bestselling author Owen Mullen is a McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year long-listed novelist.
Owen graduated from Strathclyde University, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter. He had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; He still loves to perform on occasion. His passion for travel has taken him on many adventures from the Amazon and Africa to the colourful continent of India and Nepal. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow, and their home in the Greek Islands where Owen writes.

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