A PLACE CALLED FEAR By Keith Houghton (Maggie Novak Thriller Book 2)


When cops break the rules, there’s only one detective you can trust to investigate.

Florida Homicide detective Maggie Novak should be celebrating: it’s the start of a new year, and her boyfriend has just proposed. But all she can think about is the alarming news she received earlier that evening – her teammate Detective Clayton Young is missing.

With few leads, Maggie heads to the supermarket Clay was last seen. To her horror, security footage reveals a devastating scene in the parking lot: her colleague has died in fearful circumstances. As the investigation begins, Homicide Squad is rocked by the news that Clay might not be the only intended target, and that any one of them could be next on the killer’s agenda.

Clay’s partner, Detective Andy Stucker, is refusing to answer calls, and Maggie suspects he has a part to play in their colleague’s death. Scanning through Clay’s phone, she finds a message to Stucker with the words “they know.”

Who are “they”? And what do they know? As more secrets come to light, Maggie has good reason to believe the killer is just getting started. She needs to uncover the truth fast. But is it already right in front of her eyes?


I hadn’t read book one in the Maggie Novak series, but I don’t think I missed too much, a couple of things mentioned about something happening at Halloween, so I can only guess that is a reference to incidents from the first book, which I have purchased to read. But this can be read as a stand-alone novel.

There are some really great characters in this book, I loved Maggie and her partner Loomis, they seem to have a great working relationship. Maggie is proposed to by Steve Kinsey a psychiatrist, but we are never sure whether she said yes or not. The doubts she was having I would say he isn’t the one for her, but I guess we will see.

Who is the guy who rents a storage unit? What is he planning to do in there? Maggie keeps getting calls from Sasha Young saying her husband Officer Clay Young has disappeared he went out for chocolate milk but never returned. Then the action begins. Maggie checks out the store that he went to buy the milk from, watching on their CCTV she sees her colleague buy his milk, he then leaves to go back to his car, luckily the car park also has CCTV , Maggie spots something and runs to the car, to find her colleague has committed suicide.

So many things happen from then on in that to say much more would be spoilers, although I did wonder who would actually go and buy chocolate milk and then kill himself, that for me was going through my head for a lot of the story. What isn’t his partner Andy Stucker not telling them, lots of secrets being kept, was Clay having an affair? He was only 4 years away from retirement.

The plot is very well written, I loved the dialogue, some wit, some sarcasm all what you would imagine the conversations to be, when working together in such an environment. I really enjoyed this and read it in one sitting. If you like a police procedural, mystery then I would recommend this series, despite only reading the second book I look forward to the next one. What is going on with Maggie’s father? and what will happen with Maggie and Steve? Look forward to the next chapter.

I give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I would like to thank #netgalley and #Thomas&Mercer for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.

About The Author

Keith Houghton admits he spent too much of his childhood reading science fiction books, mostly by flashlight under the bedcovers, dreaming of becoming a novelist. When he was thirteen, his English teacher – fed up with reading his space stories – told him he would never make it as a science fiction writer. Undeterred, Houghton went on to pen several sci-fi novels and three comedy stage plays while raising a family and holding down a more conventional job. But it wasn’t until he started writing mystery thrillers that his dream finally became a reality. Though his head is still full of those space stories, these days he keeps his feet planted firmly on the ground, writing crime and spending quality time with his four grandchildren.

Houghton is the bestselling author of the three Gabe Quinn thrillers – killing Hope, Crossing Lines, and Taking Liberty – as well as the stand-alone psychological thrillers No Coming Back, Before you Leap, and Crash.

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