Book Review: Locked in Fear by Liz Cowley and Donough O’Brien po

Life has been a bit slow lately. Let’s get fast paced and ready for action!

Goodreads Blurb

Locked in Fear by Liz Cowley and Donough O’Brien

In a sleepy country village, Detective Inspector Robin Marshal – now in retirement – is nearly killed by a stranger. His friend Alice, a police psychiatrist, discovers that the murder attempt was almost certainly ordered by a terrifying criminal, ‘Big Mack’, currently incarcerated in a notoriously violent prison. There his criminal kingdom controls not only the inmates, but many of the guards, through the power of money and the threat of extreme violence.

When Alice goes to work in the prison to find out more, she too, becomes a target, her car machine-gunned on a country road; and Robin is attacked again while recovering in Spain.

Under pressure from an outraged public and with political concern rising, the authorities try to put a stop to Big Mack’s activities. But everyone is under threat when he is suddenly at large following a murderous escape. How can this evil kingpin be stopped?

Locked in Fear is a gripping thriller perfect for fans of JD Kirk, Rob Ashman and Joy Ellis.



I felt like I ran a marathon reading Locked in Fear! It was so fast paced and full of suspense, right down to the very last page. This was easily contributed to by the short, easy-to-read chapters.

Is Locked in Fear a police drama? I don’t know. It sure felt like it at times but the protagonist is actually a psychologist named Alice. But she also works on behalf of the police and enters herself into a dangerous situation to help her friend, a retired cop. I think my answer is yes, it is a police drama, but one that is somewhat refreshing my removing an actual cop as the main character.

The insight into prison life in Locked In Fear is fascinating. However, what was more fascinating for me was the contrast between sweet, loyal Alice and devious Big Mack. They may have been completely different but the authors did a great job intertwining them both to make one hell of a story.

Unfortunately, Locked in Fear wasn’t without its downsides. For one, was it part of a series? I couldn’t find anything on Goodreads that indicated so but I did feel I was missing the back story of Alice and Robin, and the turmoil of Alice’s previous relationship with a serial killer. On the flip side, I also found that sometimes there was too much information given, for instance, I didn’t need as much conversation about clay pigeon shooting. Also, and this could be because I read an ARC, but there seem to be some continuity errors. Nothing major but enough for me to notice.

Still, Locked in Fear was a very enjoyable book and I’m glad to have had the chance to read it.

Pick up your copy of Locked in Fear here.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

*affiliate link


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