#BookReview of Life or Death by Chris Merritt @DrCJMerritt @bookouture @nholten40 #LifeOrDeath #NetGalley

Posted January 25, 2019 by Zoé in Book Reviews, Reviews and Stuff / 3 Comments

Life or Death by Chris Merritt
Also by this author: Last Witness
Series: Detective Zac Boateng #3
Published by Bookouture on January 23 2019
Pages: 335
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Never forget. Never forgive.

As a detective in the Metropolitan police, Zac is no stranger to murder cases, but this one is different. This is his daughter’s murder.

Years after Amelia died, Zac is still trying to trace the police officer involved in his daughter’s death.

And whilst Zac is prepared to break every rule to find the man responsible, his young and ambitious deputy, Kat, is working on a high-profile case of her own. But she knows Zac is keeping secrets from his team so she’s following his every move.

When one of Zac’s informants is killed, he knows he’s close to catching his man, but before he can act, he receives a call about his son which blows his world apart… And this time, he knows he’ll stop at nothing to save his family.

A gripping and addictive crime thriller for fans of Lee Child, Mark Billingham and Mark Dawson. Life or Death is a unputdownable thriller that will have you reading into the night.

Today I am sharing my review of Life or Death by Chris Merrit and also make sure you check out Amanda’s review over at Ginger Book Geek.

My Review

Can I breathe now!? I mean wow, I feel like I am coiled up tight after reading that! Now before I gush about this book, it is the 3rd in the series for Zac Boateng, it can be read as a stand-alone. It follows the events of book one which I have not read. Yet, apart from a couple of references, I didn’t feel like I needed to have read the first one. Saying I had brought the first book after finishing the second one!

So where do I start! The number of times I was led up the garden path was unreal! I mean I started to do a squeal and a happy dance because I was adamant I knew who the Kaiser was WRONG that will teach me. You are thrown off the scent and even though I had my suspicions well let me leave it there, all I can say is well played Mr Merritt well played.

So Zac is back, the family still has an Amelia shaped hole following book one, but this time it’s his son that is in danger! Not going to lie, I was woken up by my daughter at 5am and so I decided to read, my jaw dropped when I was reading this and it made me also give my daughter a huge squeeze.

I could relate to Zac’s behaviour and secrecy because he did not know who to trust, always one step behind, but why? He proved, like most parents would, that you would go to any lengths for your kin when there is the danger. Zac is flawed but he is passionate and he is loyal and he is a family man. All of this ooze out of him every step of the job. Whilst the majority of the book is Zac leading us, it was nice to garner it from other points of view.

We got insights from Kat Jones, a friend of Zac in a tight spot with her own dilemma of whether to help him or not. Connelly, on his team, always there for him trying to find Kofi, Zac’s boy. Kofi also gives us the sad, heartbreaking and harrowing experience of being taken, pretending to be a superhero to get through each minute. Darian Wallace the protagonist from book one, back with revenge on his mind. Susanna Pym, in a new role schmoozing the politicians, whilst leaning on an unknown person to keep tabs on the task force at hand, wanting to frame someone for the cock-ups. Then finally, an unknown voice, could this be Kaiser, watching everything and everyone and knowing things.

I sped through this book is a couple of sittings, I didn’t want to stop. The book is relentless and you find the answers are always just that bit out of your grasp, bit like dangling a carrot in a donkeys face!

I thoroughly enjoyed my second outing with Zac. I felt everything for him and Etta. I loved that this type of book could make you feel so many emotions you just don’t know whether you are coming or going and so many OMG moments too!!


So, what has been said so far on tour?

Books of all kinds says

Gripping, well-paced, and with characters that will tug on your heartstrings, LIFE OR DEATH by Chris Merritt is a cleverly written crime fiction novel with an edge. You cannot help but feel for Zac and his family and as heartbreak and drama unfold, your heart speeds up as they try to catch the killer in time

Booking Good Read says


Life and Death is definitely my new favourite part of this series, it can be read as a standalone but if you like to get a full back story you should read the books order. You will not only get more of an understanding of why Zac Boateng is the way he is, but the first two books are well worth a read.

Audio killed the bookmark says


A compulsive heart pounding installment in this fantastic police procedural series!
Zac is back and better than ever! This is the third book in the DI Zac Boateng series and in my humble opinion the best so far! Chris Merritt’s writing is so gripping he makes it impossible for you to put the book down! So make sure you have a few hours free before you pick this one up!

By the letter book reviews says

Life Or Death is an absolute nail biter of a read. I think I was more of an emotional wreck than Zac and his wife through out what was happening. I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough to see if things end well for them and Kofi. Kofi certainly pulls on the readers heart strings making you route for Zac in finding the villain. This authors books always leave me on a high and desperate for more. A series that every crime lover should have on their book shelves.

Until next time xxx

Follow the rest of the tour here

Thanks to Noelle at Bookouture for the tour invite and the author for a copy of the book in return for my honest and unbiased review

About Chris Merritt

Chris Merritt is a Clinical Psychologist and former diplomat based in London, who has been writing on psychology since 2010. In 2014 he decided to combine his Bring Her Back, his debut novel. He currently works on a mental health research project at King’s College London, and part-time as a psychologist in the NHS. When not working or writing, he loves climbing and basketball, and dreams of one day being able to work from home enough to own a whippet.

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