• Time Is Running Out

  • DCI Matilda Darke, Book 7
  • By: Michael Wood
  • Narrated by: Stephanie Beattie
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • 3.2 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

You’re a survivor, aren’t you, Matilda? But what’s the point in surviving when everyone around you is dead? 

When DCI Matilda Darke receives a mysterious telephone call, she immediately dismisses the threat. After all, the Homicide and Major Enquiries team are a regular target for prank calls.

But ignoring this warning might soon be the biggest regret of Matilda Darke’s life.

A lone gunman is on a deadly rampage around Sheffield, leaving a bloody trail in his wake. Taking his shots with a sickening precision, he’s about to leave his mark on the world and change Matilda and her team’s lives forever.

The next chilling instalment in the DCI Matilda Darke thriller series, perfect for fans of Patricia Gibney and Angela Marsons. 

©2021 Michael Wood (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"Excellent plotting. The twists keep on coming making this an irresistible read." (Michael J. Malone, author of A Song of Isolation)

What listeners say about Time Is Running Out

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Very very dark

OMG! The author must have been in a very dark place when he wrote this story. I had been enjoying this series and I am a huge crime drama fan but this was way over the top sick! I hope the next in the series is toned down because I'm not sure I can take another like this one. Do yourself a favor and skip this one.

1 person found this helpful

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So dark & depressing!

I had really been enjoying this series! But I’m done - didn’t even get halfway through this one and I’m out. Stephanie Beattie is phenomenal, as always - I don’t know how the poor woman made it through this miserable read!

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Extremely violent

Will not read another book in this series or by this author. This is not why I read British crime novels. Gratuitously violent. No plot, no mystery, no advancement of character development. Few are left standing. I stopped halfway through to listen to the ending for some redemption only to find via the epilogue there is more vengeance to come.

If there were negative stars for story I would check the box. Frankly I don’t care who narrated this book.

PLEASE don’t buy this book and trust the negative reviews no matter how you may have or do like the main character.

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Don't waste you time - Very Disappointing

This is the latest book in a series that started out well. The characters were well defined and realistic and the crimes they solved were plausible. However this author has slipped into the same whirlpool that many crime writers follow - every book is more extreme than the last, the crime is more violent and the characters unrealistically heroic. The initial crime could well have been used for the entire book with the police tracking down the perpetrator and working through all the motives and the relationships between the criminals. Instead we are lead through a series of totally unrealistic horrific crimes with the police not getting back up from other area and the principles expected to pursue the gunman despite being personally involved with the victims.

Despite having enjoyed all the prior books in the series this was a waste of time and money.

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VERY disappointing.

I've followed this series from the first book onward, got used to the recurring characters and generally enjoyed the books. Now that 90% of the characters
have all been killed off, I can't see the point in continuing the series! And there was just too much gore in this book - it was unpleasant and disturbing.

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Fast paced page turner

Once again Michael Woods has continued the murder mystery cases of Matilsa Dark. Ends with reader wanting to read the next book in the series to know what happens next.

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Depressing and Dark

Have loved all the books up to this one. However this story was hard to get through because of all the carnage! I read to escape-this story was too close to reality! I need a break before I continue with the rest unfortunately.

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Talk about Overkill!!

Killing so many people was so over the top. It was gratuitous and unnecessary and made for a very dark and unpleasant story.

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So, so wrong.

Is it because I live in Colorado and can still relive Columbine, the Aurora theater shooting and others? Or that at a later date my own niece was in a classroom when a student was killed just outside the door?
I have loved the Matilda Darke mysteries, but in this one the squad was made to deal a disaster of such epic proportions as to be unbelievable. I don’t believe for a minute that, even in lovely Sheffield, such a unit would be left to deal with such a overwhelming incident.
From the first shot the villain took, so much common sense and basic protocol was skewed or ignored that it was ridiculous.
If this had been written 20 years ago before the advent of mass shooting protocols I could have accepted it. I sincerely hope that the UK is not as inept as these poor officials were shown to be, even for the sake of artistic license.

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This book would take your feelings and crush them.

This book did a number on me. Without spoiling the contents I'll just simply state that I cried almost throughout the entirety of the story. My heart is broken.

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  • Maureen
  • 05-29-21

Loved the series till now.

Struggled to finish, and was so looking forward to this book. Every one till now has been 5 star, and this is such a disappointment. Unrelenting misery, with the shooter killing nearly all my fav characters, becoming more far-fetched with every chapter. Can't see how series will come back from this. So dismayed by this book, the series has been so very good until now.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Stef
  • 07-03-21

A story that should never have been written.

If you like useless carnage this is for you. I've enjoyed the other Matilda Darke stories but this is the worst story I have ever listened to Shame on you Michael Wood!!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Gill in Gloucs
  • 08-05-22

OTT and unbelievable

This felt like the Emmerdale plane crash meeting the Coronation Street tram disaster, and not in a good way. The narrator does her best, but the story was just too fantastical for me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-10-22

like the best season of 24 set in Sheffield

I love this series of books Michael Wood is a wonderful writer they are always engaging, funny, grim, surprising and riddled with twists but lean away from the clever fictional idea of murder towards a more gritty and human take on it.

this book is a bullet train from start to finish, it's in real time and shocking, I laughed, cried and spent most of it on the edge of my seat wonderful really enjoyed it and couldn't stop listening.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Caroline
  • 06-20-22

Destroyed the storyline

Having devoured the previous books in series, I struggled to get through this hoping it was all a bad dream!! Too much detail, too many characters eliminated, too many dead so not sure where Woods goes with this series now and not sure I want to find out - real shame!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs K N Thorne
  • 04-10-22

Characters are running out would be a better title

Narration was as good as ever by Stephanie Beattie. The storyline, plot, left a lot to be desired. Way over the top and farcical, such a shame as I have been really impressed by all the previous books in this series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Liz S
  • 02-18-22

What a bloodbath!

Like others, I wonder what the author was thinking when he wrote this book. He seems to have been hellbent on killing off or severely injuring most of the main characters - What for?? What did this achieve? I barely managed to finish listening as I couldn't bear to hear another person killed. I know that there are the occasional serial killers and that they can kill for a lengthy period before being caught, but this just felt completely unrealistic, far too graphic and I was exhausted (not in a good way) by the end of the novel. I had previously compared the stories to Silent Witness, as they are quite fond of killing main characters, but this story just took it all too far. I have worked for the police and in my experience, if an officer leaves then they have to hand in their uniform, warrant card and anything else relating to their work. How could the brother of a serial killer/ex-policeman still be able to use both his uniform and warrant card? This to me was the most unlikely element. Added to that, the bad grammar and sloppy writing and at times I was shouting at my Ipod! I have already bought the next book in the series, so will listen, but now almost wish that I hadn't used a credit to do so

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs H
  • 10-12-21

Boy this is grim

I've really enjoyed this series. no.6 was dark but this one is really really grim, and the shock continues throughout. Was the author going through something when he wrote this I wonder. It's so well written and read as usual but the story is harrowing at best. I don't know if I can continue on to no.8 when it comes out. I feel traumatised, having understood the characters who are no longer going to feature. I feel the story went too far, mindless and wanton. Think I'll opt for something less violent next

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paula C.
  • 10-06-21

Outstanding

Unbelievably well written. I was transfixed from start to finish. Such brave writing in eliminating many loved characters in one book. Thoroughly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ms Sarah Blandamour
  • 09-03-21

Not like the previous books in the series

I have listened to all of the Matilda Darke books in the last couple of weeks and really enjoyed them, listening to one then buying the next. This one however was less a Matilda Darke story and more an unnecessary culling of characters. If the author was getting bored of writing about the same people, he could have started a new series. The story was very far fetched and the further into the story I went, the more I dreaded what was going to happen next. Perhaps this was the authors intention but as a lot of readers use books to escape into a different reality where characters seem like friends, I feel like he went too far. Without a spoiler alert, I can't say much more. Will I listen to the next book? Honestly I don't know. The narrator was very good as always.

1 person found this helpful