• Outside Looking In

  • DCI Matilda Darke, Book 2
  • By: Michael Wood
  • Narrated by: Stephanie Beattie
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (84 ratings)

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Outside Looking In  By  cover art

Outside Looking In

By: Michael Wood
Narrated by: Stephanie Beattie
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Publisher's Summary

The second book in Michael Wood’s darkly compelling new crime series featuring DCI Matilda Darke. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid.

When elderly George Rainsford goes to investigate a suspicious noise one night, the last thing he expects to find is a bloodbath. A man has been killed and a woman brutally beaten, left for dead.

The victims are Lois Craven and Kevin Hardaker - both married, but not to each other. Their spouses swear they knew nothing of the affair, and, besides, they both have alibis for the attack. With nothing else to link the victims, the investigation hits a dead end.

The pressure is on for investigating officer, DCI Matilda Darke: there’s a violent killer on the loose, and it looks like her team members are the new targets. With no leads and no suspects, it’s going to take all Matilda’s wits to catch him before he strikes again.

©2019 Michael Wood (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"At one point in this tense thriller, the endearing protagonist reflects that the investigation is like having 'all the pieces of the jigsaw but…from different boxes'. Matilda Darke is right - and only in the final pages is the full picture revealed…" (Chris Simms)

"Crackling dialogue, dark wit and an exciting ending. Recommended if you liked Happy Valley." (Mark Edwards)

"DCI Matilda Darke is going places." (James Oswald)

What listeners say about Outside Looking In

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another Matilda Darke winner!

Happy I found this series. Both author and narrator perfectly work well together. I would recommend this one and look forward to more.

3 people found this helpful

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DCI Matilde Darke Still Has a Lot of Problems

In the first book in the series DCI Darke is just back to work after a disastrous kidnapping case and the death of her husband from lung cancer. Her job is hanging by a thread and she is given a cold case to solve.

Now lack of financial support for major cases is causing her to worry about her professional future again and she has lost the support that she needs to solve major crimes such as the two death of a man who was parked in a lay by with an attractive woman who had managed to draw attention to their plight by using the horn of the car to signal SOS. The woman has been shot and severely assaulted. Neither were married to each other.

Also the DCI is having paranoid thoughts which some of her friends and co-employees wonder if they are the result of her psychological problems or actual threats to herself and her team.

There's some gaps in the plot and the climax left me banging my head on my keyboard, but it's not terrible.

The performance doesn't really make things better, but it also is tolerable and doesn't make things worse.

3 people found this helpful

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4

Another good mystery, part of a series but stands alone just fine.
There are many story lines that might take off and run
with the plot, but the author keeps
excellent control of each until the end. I so enjoy the narrator and the unique pronunciations she gives many words like skeleton and adversary. I check slang words with a quick search - "manky" was this book's contribution to my vocab.

2 people found this helpful

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Good Listen!

Somewhat predictable but still a good listen! Good enough that I plan on listening to Book 3 next!

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Too grim and depressing

On one hand this is an adequately crafted police procedural- but on the other hand it is just one depressing moment after another. The lead
character is named Darke and that’s a good indication of what her life is like. There were multiple bad guys and plain old disgusting human beings doing terrible things without much to balance out the badness. I just wasn’t in the mood for something so bleak. The ending hit another low note as though the author wanted to make sure the reader wouldn’t feel good about the story. I regret listening to it - so many other better books out there.

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Matilda Darke is even more enjoyable

This second DCI Matilda Darke novel is even more enjoyable than the first. It takes place nearly a year after her husband has died, and Matilda is coping better both personally and professionally. Her department is suffering from downsizing and she is haunted by the missing child from an unsolved kidnapping. Her present case involves the participants in an affair, one of whom is shot by an unknown assailant while the other is brutally beaten and left for dead. There's more than one connection between these people and Matilda and her team work to figure out its dimensions. Their interactions and methods keep the pages flipping. I really enjoyed seeing the characters flesh out and Matilda emerge from her widow's fog. Hope there will be more Matilda's in the series!

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Great story

I am enjoying this series immensely. Excellent narration. My reviews are typically a yes I like it or no I don’t. Same with this one. I don’t want to give anything away. Enjoy...

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  • Andromeda's Twin
  • 07-16-19

Damned good book

Book one was good, (read on the kindle) book three was superb, book two, this one, is still a damned good story, hugely entertaining, the narration is great (I am British so I do love a great British narrator especially when it's a book based in Britain), the story is rather convoluted, but that basically translates into 'twists and turns', so that should be a good thing, I certainly thought so, it's a great story and I was gobsmacked by the ending, yes, I said gobsmacked, anyone who claims to 'know who the killer is by page 5'' is lying or just made a very good guess. This is a great second book in the series which is shaping up to be one of my new favourites.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Colin Ward
  • 12-23-20

Great Action and Traction

Another great book from Michael Wood, and I am hooked by DCI Darke. I am only 2 books into the series and I feel like I've known her for years. This time she faces a very disturbing case that is tightly woven by a mass of lies all making it hardly to investigate a truly brutal attack and murder. We get to know Matilda Darke even better and although she is fighting her daemons, and being taunted with them, they don't reduce the story to a soap or cliche. I felt a real maternal side between her and her team in this book, and even the satellite characters really got some fleshing out. Twists and revelations a plenty, some I spotted early (I think) but I felt a bit like I was getting a Matilda "hunch".
Nicely crafted story, once again brilliantly narrated by a voice that simply "IS" Matilda. Anyone who likes Cleeves' Vera Stanhope, and TV's Jack Frost will really tune into these crime novels that do keep up the pace and action, but have a reality of character in them.
I've already bought book 3...

5 people found this helpful

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  • lynnegrant
  • 11-20-19

Enjoying this series

Love the narrator's voice and expressions, also loving the plot twists and turns. Looking forward to the next book in this series.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-25-20

A bit slow

The storyline was slow in places and quite predictable. Not a gripping read. Disappointing, wouldn’t recommend

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs CJ
  • 09-29-20

My, but she’s irritating

I sort of enjoyed the second story in this series. Most of the characters are well rounded and the plot is complicated. But Matilda as a police officer is verging on incompetent, and as such would surely never be given the leeway she’s received so far. I found the subplot with the journalist was unbelievable. Matilda’s grief is very well drawn. However, the narration is excellent, and makes this a decent listen.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Stewart Webb
  • 09-23-20

Enjoyable and Easy

This is book two. I would advise you listen to part book one first to get the most out of this. A good book. not quite so many twists as the first but still a good easy listen. The story does veer of at some pretty unbelievable angles. But I'll forgive the author that. I think he pulls it off.

Very well read by the narrator. Not much, if any gore. which makes a nice change. some violence, but not too graphic. A good book. But not a great one. Mind I'm off to download book 3. So it must be doing something right!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Liga K.
  • 09-18-20

filled with stories all in one

I really had many suspicions about who did what but up till it was revealed i had no clue. i mean, some tiny clues were dropped but then smoothly covered with convincing counterparts so it was gripping and i enjoyed it! will read thr next ons!

3 people found this helpful

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  • julie albrighton
  • 07-10-20

good read

starting to get to know the characters now and with it being at Sheffield it feels local. familiar.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Gail J Elverd
  • 03-09-20

Very disappointing!

IMO. Too many exclamations! too much over reaction. Personally too much graphic details. No believable characters. Only redeeming point was an interesting plot, but so badly written.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Laura
  • 08-04-22

Decent plot let down by dreadfully dull characters

This series is incredibly popular, and I think I've bought and returned a couple of them more than once (I wish Audible would show you if you've ever bought a book, not just that you currently have it). The problem for me is that the characters are so lacking in substance of any kind - they speak and think in cliches and along stereotypical lines ('men are only good for one thing'); they have 'bonding' conversations about chocolate bars, and are a bit titillated by the idea someone might be gay; a woman thinks about her own 'ample bosom'. The possibilities for human character are extremely limited (people are young or old, fat or thin, anxious or the epitome of poise, etc); every exchange is helpfully glossed for us ('did she just feel that because her own husband had died?'; 'when she spoke to Jenny she always felt better') except for the occasions when something is being telegraphed from the rooftops and the character doesn't notice it (the DCI failing to piece together an anxious neighbour with a baby and a black eye being shouted at from inside the house by her husband was a particular highlight, not helped by the anguished "why oh why hadn't she seen it coming?" when crisis results a few chapters later). The plotting - standard police procedural - is the only reason to listen, and it's not bad as these things go. But for me the unrelenting shallowness and cliched tedium of the characters made me feel angry with myself for listening to it (even on 1.3x speed), and I returned it about halfway through. Again.

1 person found this helpful