Bring Her Back by Chris Merritt @DrCJMerritt #BookReview #AuthorTakeOver #DetectiveZacBoateng #Book1

Posted March 12, 2020 by Zoé in Author TakeOver, Book Reviews / 1 Comment

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Bring Her Back by Chris Merritt @DrCJMerritt #BookReview #AuthorTakeOver #DetectiveZacBoateng #Book1Bring Her Back by Chris Merritt
Series: Detective Zac Boateng #1
Published by Bookouture on March 19, 2018
Buy on Amazon UK
Add to Goodreads
Also by this author: Last Witness, Life or Death, Bring Her Back, Last Witness, Life or Death, Last Witness , Life or Death, Knock Knock, Who's Next?

As he watches his daughter turn the corner and out of sight, he hears the shots. He’d know that sound anywhere. He shouts her name. Silence. All he can do is run.
It’s been five years since Zac’s daughter was murdered. Her killer was never found. Now he’s back working as a detective for the Metropolitan Police, and he’s more determined than ever to bring the city’s killers to justice.
When a man is found brutally murdered in a rundown south London shop, all fingers point to the highly intelligent and manipulative Darian Wallace. He’s just been released, and two years ago the victim helped send him to prison.
Still grieving, Zac knows it will take everything he’s got to catch this dangerously clever killer. But just as he feels he’s getting closer, he realises all is not quite as it seems and makes a devastating personal discovery.
Zac has a choice to make – risk letting this killer escape or watch his daughter’s murderer get away again…
An absolutely gripping thriller for fans of Mark Billingham, Peter James and Lee Child. Bring Her Back is one fast-paced thriller you won’t be able to put down.
This book was previously published as The Murder List

Well, what better way to start my reviews than by taking you back to the beginning with Zac. Back to the heartbreak and back to where the wild ride began before coming full circle. This is the book I read last even though it is the first book. For me, reading it this way round was an experience, knowing the “future” of how his life pans out with his family and his work. Without further ado here is my reshare of my review…

My Review

I have now finally read the first book in the series and it was amazing! Although I have one small complaint; because I knew what was going to happen in the book as I have read book two and three; I did not expect that in the opening chapter of the book to be bawling like a baby! Jeez! I was a wreck, I mean the blow had been softened as I knew what was coming but I still not expect that, my heart is broken completely. It is such a powerful way to open the book and it is a sucker punch in the gut but it gets you hooked straight away to Zac and his life.

I thought I had seen Zac at his lowest, however, this is the start of his low point. The scenes with Etta and Kofi made me smile, the home life is the strong point for Zac and the love for his family, his roots, all power us through. The only downside to Zac, well he goes a bit off the books and keeps his team in the dark. Zac is crippled with guilt and the feeling of letting everyone down. The depression is crushing and sometimes it the grief is so overwhelming you wonder how Zac is going to function, he has a new lease of life following a lead to close down his past. It leads him in the darker world of gangs, recognising he is getting too deep but unable to escape until it is too late.

It was fab to meet Darian Wallace in this book and this man has an amazing brain, I must admit it is a brain I am slightly jealous of! The man not so much! Watching him on a mission to reclaim the stolen years as he is on release from prison. He is cold and calculating and I was intrigued to see how everything would end especially as I have read the later books.

It is so hard to discuss the book without ruining the plot, and that is something I do not do! We have two different storylines running parallel throughout and when you see Zac mixed up in the fold, well the world may as have collapsed around me with the shocks and turns. I did have an inkling to where either of the stories might go and it really did not disappoint me.

I kept forgetting that this is a debut as I have read them in the wrong order, so it was awesome to see how the story all began. I wish I had read them in order but I think I am glad I read them in the order I did. I had the chance to truly appreciate how far his writing has come and to see how far the characters have come too. I have always loved Zac and this has just made him a firm favourite character of mine, I need another book in this series!!

Bring Her Back, formerly The Murder List, is one intense rollercoaster of a ride. I did find I was enthralled by what was going on with Darian and Zac. Zac’s homelife was at the forefront a lot, the innocence of Kofi all of which just amplified the intensity of the murders and the hunt for the killer. We meet Kat Jones who is also in the next two books and this is her introduction to Zac and the team and to us. She is tenacious and she wants to do what is right and to support Zac and her new team, and what an introduction it is!!

Chris has written characters that you care about, you hold your breath, you champion them on to the end and you might shout a little bit with all the secrets that are kept. However, when it comes to Zac and his family it seems that he always keeps secrets, as it seems the same behaviour can be seen in Life or Death, I do hope he learns soon that Kat and Etta can be trusted.

The book is at times can be dark and intense, brutal murders and so many times you will find your heart in your throat but I loved it!! It kept me on my toes and if I had not been moving house I would have devoured this book a lot quicker than I did. All I wanted to do was get back to the book, it was on my mind, I had to know who was acting out the murders? Would Zac be ok? How is Kat going to fit in the team? Don’t worry all is revealed in the book! Phew!!

This series shows us a Detective in the rawest form, his home life is prominent and he is a Detective with passion, tenacity and a lot of flaws! I love this series and I do not want it to end…please don’t let it end!


Yup, this is still how I feel about this book! It is just amazing, so much so that it made my Top 10 books from last year.

Still not sure, check out a snippet here :

What do other reviewers say?

By The Letter Book Reviews says:- Bring Her Back is a brilliant start to a new crime series. The story literally hits the ground running and the tension and pace didn’t let up until the end. Only problem is, it has left me desperate for the next one. Luckily for me as it is already out, I don’t have to wait too long before I read it. An addictive, page turner of a read.

Hooked From Page One says:- What I really enjoyed about this book was the characterisation; I really connected with Zac’s character, especially as he attempts to find out who killed his daughter and I could feel his anger as he fights to get justice. We also step into the mind of the suspect, Darian Wallace, and in these scenes, I really felt the tension rise.The Murder List  is a strong debut by Chris Merritt. The plot makes for a hugely gripping and exciting read; I was kept engaged all the way through. If you enjoy dark crime thrillers with plenty of suspense and intrigue then I highly recommend this book.

A Knights Reads says:- Zac Boateng is a tenacious detective, like a dog with a bone, wanting to bring justice to his community. He’s driven, driven by grief.  A grief that we find out about at the start of the book; I’ll warn you now, it’s a heart-breaking opener – even I shed a tear. In The Murder List, we see a very dark side to our lead character.  You might think this is not an unusual trait for a crime thriller.  But Zac Boateng is running a double investigation; one above board with his team of detectives and one under the radar with his own personal agenda. Will he have to choose between the two?

Between the Pages Book Club says:- Wow. What a great start to a new upcoming series. What a brilliant debut. A fast paced, captivating thriller that will have you hooked throughout. What an opening to this story! Poor Zac! But it did its job and made me keep reading, kept me intrigued. Zac has a lot going on, with his work life, home life and all while trying to catch his daughters killer without being caught! Phew. A determined character who doesn’t know when to stop. The Murder List does contain dark parts throughout and has a well written plot that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat.

Click the picture to meet your next favourite Detective

About Chris Merritt

Chris Merritt is a British author whose crime thrillers combine psychology, suspense, and characters you care about.

All his novels are set in London, where he lives. He began writing fiction in 2014, after previous careers as a diplomat, based in Iraq and Jerusalem, and later as a psychologist working with victims and perpetrators of crime. He specialised in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which sparked his interest in telling stories about how people cope when faced with extreme adversity.

Now he spends most of his time writing novels and drinking coffee while *thinking* about writing novels. When he’s not writing, he loves climbing and playing basketball.

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