Wednesday 16 March 2022




There’s a killer lurking in all of us. Sometimes you just don’t know it.

Take Phil Mercer, for example, what dark secret from his past changes a decent man, and respected professional into a man with murder on his mind?

Down to earth Northerner, Phil Mercer, begins to question why so-called university friends failed to help him establish a practice at London’s Criminal Bar.

Despite that and colleagues’ professional jealousy, he goes on to achieve success as a fearless defender of society’s less fortunate until his career is threatened by events triggered by something completely out of his control.

Figuring his life and career are about to change forever, Mercer strives to find a way to right wrongs by inventing a new parlour game called ‘Comfort Zone.’

At a dinner party surrounded by colleagues he insists they all play the game. He introduces it after dinner as a ‘storytelling game.’

He adds – “the easy choice is not an option at all. What terrifies you? What scares you shitless? Be brave. Be reckless. You are among friends. What can possibly go wrong? It’s just a parlour game, right?”

My fourth encounter with Bentley's work, probably my last but also the one I enjoyed most.

Mental illness, depression, loss, grief, tragedy, solitude, military service, capture by an unlikely enemy, consequences, PTSD, murder and more.

Best book ever? No, far from it, but I was interested and engaged throughout. Twisty, turny, graphic violence, a main character - Phil Mercer who was worthy of sympathy. 

3 from 5

Read - (listened to) February, 2022
Published - 2020
Page count - 260 (4 hrs 28 mins)
Source - Audiobooks
Format - Audible


  1. If I'm being honest, this doesn't sound like one for me, Col. But Mercer sounds like a complex, interesting character, and as far as I'm concerned, that counts. I'm glad you found things to like about it.

    1. That's fair enough, Margot. No book is for everyone.