Wednesday 28 March 2018



Looking for a fast-paced and unputdownable thriller? Then discover the unmissable Dead Watch today.

Life for the firefighters of Red Watch, East Brighton, is already complicated due to the imminent closure of their fire station. But this is soon to be the least of their worries.

When the team stumble upon a car in a ditch, they discover the driver is dead and a bag containing five hundred thousand pounds in cash. Before anyone arrives, the crew decide to take the money, believing it to be a victimless crime.

When they later learn that the driver was killed by a bullet wound to the head their world is turned upside down.

Then a stranger appears at the station claiming the money belongs to him.    

Soon the firefighters are drawn into a dangerous underworld and find themselves at the mercy of violent criminals.

But is this stranger who he claims to be?

And can Red Watch escape with the money and their lives intact?

Another enjoyable debut novel and another one from the stable of Bloodhound Books. Dead Watch offers up a Brighton fire crew, ill-advisedly lifting a holdall full of cash from an RTA. The driver of the vehicle is dead and has no further use for the money. No-one's going to miss half a million in cash, are they? Yeah, right.

Their short-sighted decision has consequences and even after handing the drug money back to the "owner" the Dead Watch crew are now on the hook and end up doing the bidding of the crime lord.

Not the most perfect of books, I can think of a couple of areas where the rationale is a bit weak and the reasoning is a bit of a stretch. I did enjoy it nevertheless.

The author is I believe a fireman (or former) and that comes through in the narrative. There's a fair bit of detail regarding duties and procedure and the effects of cutbacks and policy, both local and governmental on the fire service, which I enjoyed. The role of the union in fighting their corner is well-argued and not an opinion your average Daily Mail reader finds in his newspaper. He makes his points without ever sermonising or holding up the story.

The camaraderie of our crew as they attempt to extricate themselves from a mess of their own making is well-evident. There's a range of characters in the watch (too many to mention, as I'm rushing this piece) who annoy, irritate, amuse and anger each other at various points in the book, but whose loyalty to each other is never in doubt.

Fast-paced, a little bit educational or informative about the fire service, great characters, a decent story line, a setting I enjoyed - Brighton on the South Coast and a battle between the good guys and some villains, with family, ambition, friendship, a dash of romance and plenty of action on show.

4 from 5

Dead Watch is I think Steve Liszka's debut. Write what you know, they say. Well he has, (maybe not the stealing money bit), I'll be interested to see what he comes up with next time.

Catch him on Twitter -  @SteveLiszka

Read in March, 2018
Published - 2018
Page count - 381
Source - review copy from Bloodhound Books
Format - Kindle


  1. I do like books where you can actually learn something without taking away from the story. And I know what you mean about authors who can make their points without preaching. That takes skill, too. Sounds like a decent read, Col, and I'm glad you liked it.

    1. I agree. You get an inside peek at the life and working of the fire service and the challenges they face in this age of austerity. In addition to a tale of robbery and some grave consequences!