PUBLISHED: JUKY 27 th, 2017

Welcome to my stop on the #Unforgivable blog tour! Follow the amazing bloggers involved every day by checking the tour banner above! HUGE Thankyou to Emily and the publisher for the arc copy and for the opportunity! Xx

Mike Thomas was born in Wales in 1971. For more than two decades he served in the police, working some of Cardiff’s busiest neighbourhoods. He left the force in 2015 to write full time.

Mike has previously had two novels published and was longlisted for the Wales Book of the Year and was on the list of Waterstones ‘New Voices’. His second novel, Ugly Bus, is currently in development for a six part series with the BBC.

He lives in the wilds of Portugal with his wife, children and a senile dog who enjoys eating furniture.


A dark slice of Cardiff crime for fans of TONY PARSONS, JAMES OSWALD and LUCA VESTE. There isn’t always a welcome in the valleys . . .

Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation.
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside.
But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . .

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the ‘why’, then surely they can find the ‘who’? But that isn’t so easy, and time is fast running out . . .

MacReady is still trying to prove himself after the horrific events of the previous year, which left his sergeant injured and his job in jeopardy, so he feels sidelined when he’s asked to investigate a vicious knife attack on a young woman.

But all is not as it seems with his new case, and soon MacReady must put everything on the line in order to do what is right.


This excellent book centres around a subject very close to our hearts. Terrrorism.

The opening pages take you up to the moment of the attach … Through the eyes of the  terrorist, we see what he sees, know what he is thinking and know what he is about to do. This made a huge impact on me very quickly and I was drawn into the story fast. The moments after the horrific event are graphically yet sensitively illustrated and the scene is keenly observed by the author. It’s emotional and shocking as well as thought provoking and really makes you think about those who are involved, the injured, the police, the first aid responders and the impact on them all emotionally.

The storyline is tight and I found  the police procedural to be a really strong element  throughout- the canteen culture of the police is brilliantly depicted through the competitive banter that exists between colleagues. The sense of out doing each other and the sarcastic put downs that littered the dialogue throughout their conversations made it feel all the more real. I raced through the pages and would describe it as gritty, realistic and pacy. The fact the author is ex- police shines through making it all the more believable.

But it is the clever switching of narrative between terrorist and police that I felt was nothing short of a stroke of genius, getting inside the perpetrators head offered a really interesting angle and ramped up the enjoyment of this novel ten fold. It’s not often we get inside he head of someone who masterminds such atrocities and it was an intense experience.

I have no hesitation in recommending this hard hitting read- it’s characters are brilliant, complex and real. Will is an intriguing character with a complicated work and personal life and I liked his persona and outlook. I look forward to reading more about him in the future.

If you love a well- written crime novel with a strong element of police procedural then you will have to add this to your to be read pile! ENJOY XX





Just to set the scene, this takes place the evening after the bombs have gone off in the market and mosque, and the city is reeling. MacReady is on his way home, exhausted, but stops by the CID office on his way. Unfortunately he is accosted by two colleagues, and what they give him will play a huge part in the days to come…

Air con cool inside the nick, and welcome. Darkness had long since fallen yet the evening air remained warm and close to the point of being cloying, and it was a small joy just to escape it at last.
​MacReady was worn out and filthy and reeked of smoke. He rode the lift to the third floor of Cardiff Central, sharing the confined metal space with two response officers whose tired eyes never left their boots, whose hands were stuffed with reams of Manual of Guidance file prep forms and labelled exhibit bags. He recognised neither, which meant Job small talk was not forthcoming and he was glad because he couldn’t face it.
​The lift doors opened and MacReady stepped out.
​A voice from behind him: ‘You CID, bra?’
​MacReady turned. The response officers hovered at the open lift door. One of them a late thirtysomething blond cop, watery blue eyes beneath thinning spiked hair, arms like he worked out a lot. In his hand and held out to MacReady was the paperwork he had spied on the way up.
​He nodded at them.
​The paperwork was thrust at him again. ‘Drop these off for us then, yeah?’
​MacReady let it hover in mid-air. He’d already learned from Harrison never to lay a finger on anything that you didn’t want to become part of your workload. ‘What is it?’
​‘Handover package,’ the female uniform said. Thickset, face hard, eyes not even on MacReady as she spoke. One hand on the lift doors, her painted nails keeping them open for a quick escape. ‘Wounding from this morning. It’s already been passed from the early turn to the late shift to us, and I doubt anyone’s even opened the case file. Our stripey says you lot need to take it on. Bronze is in agreement.’
​‘Are you serious?’ MacReady gestured to a nearby window: through it the city skyline, pinpricks of white and red and yellow stretching across a blanket of black. In one corner there was a thick cluster of flashing blue lights where everyone and his dog was still working the market at Bessemer Road. ‘There is no “you lot”. Everyone’s down there, or at the mosque, remember?’
​The blond cop shoved the file into MacReady’s hands; the female officer dumped the exhibit bags on top. It happened too fast for him. MacReady grimaced as they landed on his palms, wishing he’d pulled his hands away.
‘Well you’re here, aren’t you?’ the blond cop smiled.
​‘I’m done for the day,’ MacReady replied, hitching an elbow to stop a stray sheet of paper sliding from the pile.
​The female officer gave a humourless chuckle. ‘And we’re just starting our night shift.’
​‘So give it to one of your team,’ MacReady said, and raised the bundle of forms and bags towards them.
​The response officers exchanged a quick glance. ‘Team? Are you serious?’ the blond cop asked. ‘We’re it. The two of us. For the next ten hours.’
​The female stepped back into the lift, hand still on the door. ‘And we already have three in the bin for processing. Plus seventeen calls outstanding, most of them since this morning, thanks to that.’ She nodded at the window, removed her hand from the door.
​‘So if you want to take it up with our sergeant,’ the blond cop said, joining his companion in the lift, ‘feel free to point-to-point him on Airwave.’
​‘His collar number is nine-nine-nine-too-fucking-busy,’ the female winked.
​The lift doors slid closed.