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The Death List (Matt Wells #1)

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  536 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Writer's block is nothing compared to the tale London-based novelist Matt Wells is now caught in. A chain of seemingly innocent e-mails from a devoted fan turns sinister when Matt discovers his correspondent is a cold-blooded killer with an agenda for murder.

This is the real thing, and soon Matt is plunged into a plot more twisted than any he could dream up for his novels.
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ebook, 432 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Mira Books (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,174)
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Majo
Tal vez hasta parecería que por tener semejante título, tendría un argumento predecible hasta el hastío, pero muy por el contrario, este libro me gustó y mucho. Rescato (dando gracias por su existencia) que va directo a los hechos. “Ocurrió el segundo asesinato, el cuerpo se encontraba a las afueras de la ciudad, en un bote. El Diablo Blanco le había cortado…”
Presentó muchas situaciones verdaderamente emocionantes en las que nuestro personaje, el escritor londinense Matt Wells se encontró en en
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Paul Pessolano
“The Death List” by Paul Johnston, published by Mira.

Category – Mystery/Thriller Publication Date – July 2007

I am often asked to recommend a British mystery. This is a British mystery, but quite unlike Agatha Christie’s “Miss Marple”.

Matt Stone (Wells) is a mystery writer of some fame, until he set his mysteries in Albania and no one seems to care for the setting or his characters.

He starts to receive fan mail that sets him on a dangerous course of murder. The course is so devious that Matt can
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Katie Kenig
I love books about writers. While I've never read anything by this Scottish author before, I grabbed the book while working at the Canmore library because it was about a mystery writer who gets caught up in the antics of a fan-turned-serial-killer. As a writer myself (okay, mostly a journalist and a wannabe author) I feel a connection with books about writers, and find them particularly fun.

The story takes place in London, and is full of fun (for me at least) slang and colloquialisms and bits of
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Darcia Helle
I realize that this is fiction but fiction still needs to make sense. And this book often did not. What was supposed to be heroic (I assume), I found to be ridiculous. Many characters' behavior was questionable at best. The writing kept me at a distance. I was never able to latch onto the characters and experience their emotions. For instance, if a character whose viewpoint I'm reading from is being tortured prior to being murdered, I expect to feel something. But this read more like a newspaper ...more
Mic
A pretty basic book - overblown emotions, often stated way too obviously, dumb assumptions, horrendously ham-fisted romantic allusions, way too much "mates would do anything for each other" stuff.

Reads like it was written by a 15yo, TBH.
Skyesix
This book is pretty action packed and keeps you on the edge of your seat but it is also very gory and gruesome in some parts.
Jefther E.
¡QUE CAGADA!

Obviamente por el rating y la primera frase nos damos cuenta casi de manera instantánea que no me gusto esta porquería de libro, porque sí, es una porquería de libro. Tuve tantos problemas con él que ni sé por dónde comenzar.

Debo decir que lo compré un lindo día de mayo en la Feria Del Libro. Lo compré porque estaba exageradamente barato y sonaba interesante: "un escritor de novela negra que se encuentra envuelto de manera dramática con un asesino en serie que decide eliminar a todas
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Zauberlehrling!
Wer SAW mag wird dieses Buch lieben. Es ist unmenschlich, bestialisch, blutrünstig und macht Angst. Es liest sich fast von selbst.

Die ersten zwei Drittel habe ich innerhalb von zwei Tagen gelesen. Ich konnte das Buch einfach nicht aus der Hand legen. Leider ist es zum Ende hin ein wenig langatmig und Turner (ein Polizist) ist unglaublich nervig. Da hilft es auch nicht, dass er schließlich einsieht, dass er auf der falschen Fährte war. Ebenso nervig ist die Ex-Frau unseres Hauptdarstellers. Ich h
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Matthew Sarookanian
I don't usually read this kind of books, so what I might say will be of no relavence to those who love books like this. In fact I did enjoy the book on the level that I think I was suppose to. The action was good and it was decently fast pace, and the story was interesting. I do enjoy the cop and killer game sort of like the Hannibal series, and there was a nice little twist at the end that I was not expecting. The problems though were that (and maybe I'm just a book snob) it was kind of poorly ...more
Cheryl
Mystery author, Matt Wells was in a bit of a stump. His books weren’t best sellers anymore and he was receiving rejections for his new ones. Matt seems to have maintained one faithful fan. This fan corresponds with Matt by email at least three times a week. At first the emails were innocent enough but recently they have started getting more personal. All Matt knows is that this fan calls himself The White Devil. The White Devil seems to be holding all the cards in the deck by teasing Matt. The W ...more
Iain McGregor
The Death List by Paul Johnston


I was about to read Paul Johnston's "Maps of hell", having read a good review of the book, however, I did a bit of research and found that it was actually book No 3 in the Matt Wells series and so I started with book No 1: "The Death List". (Incidentally, a great web site for information on authors can be found at www.fantasticfiction.co.uk).

From the outset it was clear that I was reading a 'page turner' and the action came thick and fast. The basic story is about a fading author being seduced
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Jenica Celine
I really loved and liked this book and everything itself. It just gave me an expression a real "wow." I was really shocked with the revelation on how Sara Robbins was connected with the White Devil, seriously! I didn't expect that twist! It made me loved the story and the twists more! I also loved the story's theme about revenge and seeking vengeance, How did Matt loved his job although some publishers called him pathetic novelist, How Matt protected his family specially Lucy. I admire his best ...more
Henrik
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeremy David
This was very promising at the beginning and I still have no bad things to say about the overall story. I also learned a lot of British slang. But the back half was a little lackluster, as it seemed his plan and execution against the killer was a little hard to believe, and dare I say impossible. He just so happened to be connected with a group of friends to solve all of his problems for him. And the way this one concluded was very uninspiring. But I can't disregard how much of a page turner it ...more
Alexander
THERE IS A BIG SPOILER IN THIS REVIEW!!!

This is a competently written and grisly mystery story. The motivations of the protagonist and the killer(s) are completely unconvincing and unbelievable. A rich, all-knowing and powerful murderer from a poverty-stricken background wreaks grisly revenge on all who did him wrong, then all who did wrong to the hapless writer he "adopts". Why?

What is more, at the end of the book, it is revealed that the writer's loving girlfriend, is actually the stone cold i
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Kristen
If you love thrillers set in the UK, you'll love the first installment in the Matt Wells series. Matt Stone aka Matt Wells is a crime writer who's down on his luck. His ex-wife hates him, he lost his publisher and agent, he haven't written anything in a few years. Until now, when someone emailed him, claiming his biggest fan, sending him subliminal messages. Little did Matt know, this same person is a serial killer who's copying the crimes in Matt's books, which puts him in the middle of this me ...more
Stephanie Kerr
Matt Wells was just an innocent crime writer until he starts getting e-mails from a twisted psycho killer calling himself the White Devil. After the Devil kills everyone on his own death list (a list of everyone who did him wrong) he starts on one he made for Matt. Matt can either let himself be framed for murder and hope the Devil stays away from his loved ones or he can risk his life and the lives of his friends and family to try to catch him.

My boyfriend recomended this book to my and I recom
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Linda
Mysteries are not my most favorite type of book, although I can really
enjoy the good ones. This was mehhh, interesting, kind of gruesome,
and I just couldn't get into the main character. I doubt a real person
would react the way Matt Wells did to the situation he found himself in.
Paul
Very average at best. Storyline was ok the twist was rubbish. His rugby team friends consisted of a ex SAS bloke, a millionaire and a top hacker? Really? I finished the book on principle but I can see many stopping at half way. The people who gave it 4-5 stars have never left the house clearly
Jodi Berkebile
I am one of those people who are always looking for cheap books at stores like Dollar Tree, usually you end up with a flop but sometimes you find a real gem! The Death List by Paul Johnston is one of those gems.
The book is a mystery/Thriller and a real page turner (I couldn't put it down!) its about a mystery writer named Matt Wells who is having a hard time selling his newest series. He starts getting fan mail from a man going by the name of "The white devil" who has a death list of people who
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nt
No muy agradable. Me atrevería a decir que no está bien redactado, o bueno: no está redactado de una manera que me guste. En otras ocasiones me he quejado de los libros que gastan demasiadas paginas solamente describiendo lugares, cosa que termina siendo tediosa. Pero realmente si es necesario, en un punto medio.

Pienso que los libros que te permiten reproducir las escenas en la mente son los que me hacen decir que leer es como ver una película, pero mejor. Con este libro no se puede decir que e
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Tom Piercy
Don't expect gritty realism or a conventional modern novel. This is melodrama through and through. The characters may not have great depth, but neither are they cardboard cutouts.

The book's fascination lies in the way it explores the concept of revenge proposed in Webster's play 'The White Devil' written 400 years ago. Webster's melodramatic style is paralleled. The action is unparalleled. If you can, see a performance of Webster's 'The White Devil' before you read this book. Then take a tranqui
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Lucy Furr
About the only thing The Death List has going for it is that it was easy to read, I blew through its 400 pages in two sittings. The plot had potential, and at first I was enjoying it, but more and more the characters turned out to be stereotypical and flat reproductions of characters I've seen hundreds of times before. By page 100 I had figured out who the White Devil's "accomplice" was. There was just nothing surprising or unique about this book, and in a genre where there is a plethora of prol ...more
Messina
If you love creative and gory deaths, as well as mystery, this is a great book. And that is why I throughly enjoyed it.
Jo
Oh dear, what a mess. Too many strands which still didn't make sense when supposedly pulled together at the end, poor editing and an author incapable of differentiating between American English and the Queen's English (it's cheques not checks Johnston). What makes a crime novel for me is that hint of realism which in turn makes it more horrific knowing that certain events could happen. This grew more preposterous with every page and the author just seemed to want to put in as many ghastly deaths ...more
Jacobi
This was really solid. It reminded me of Richard Laymon's In The Dark, where something seemingly innocuous quickly spirals out of control. This isn't a gritty crime drama, but more of a over-the-top mystery/thriller in the vein of James Patterson's better stuff. The wheels begin to fall off in the end, as the police become ever unbelievable and the situations all that much more outlandish, but I had a great deal of fun with this.

I'll definitely be reading more of Paul Johnston's stuff in the fu
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Deirdre
Matt Wells isn't doing well, dumped by his agent, publisher and wife he's trying to work out a way to get back into his groove and hoping that things will get better. Then someone starts killing the people who have made his life miserable and they're telling him all about it. Watching his every move.

It was edge-of-the-seat stuff for me throughout this story, there were times I lapsed in concentration but most of the time I really wanted to know what would happen next.

Well plotted stuff and inter
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Deana
About a mystery writer who gets caught up in a real life mystery/murder case. Very barbaric, gruesome scenes but a good story with a nice plot twist at the end. Which ended like a series starter (and after looking for more books by the same author I found out it was :-) Although I am interested in reading the others, the one problem I had was likability/sympathy for the main character. Something kept me at arms length. Maybe as the series develops I will align more with him but Harry Bosch he ai ...more
Marte Patel
The first crime novel I've read in a while, which made for a nice change. The novel's ok, not particularly good, but quite fast-paced and interesting. It's very unbelievable in places, but once I got past the annoyance I always feel when blackmail's part of the main storyline, I enjoyed it. Not sure I would recommend it. I haven't read many crime novels so I wouldn't really know how it measures up.
Laurie Gienapp
Wow.. wasn't the best written story I've ever read, and there were some gaps.. but I love the concept, I loved the surprise element (thought I had it figured out, several times, but was WRONG!!) I'm delighted to hear there are two more in the series... curious to see if Johnston's writing improves... but with concepts like this, I'm still reading his books even if his writing does not improve.
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Paul Johnston was born in Edinburgh, studied Greek at Oxford, and now divides his time between the UK and a small Greek island. His highly-acclaimed Quintilian Dalrymple series won the John Creasey Memorial Dagger for best first crime novel.

Series:
* Quint Dalrymple
* Alex Mavros
* Matt Wells
More about Paul Johnston...

Other Books in the Series

Matt Wells (4 books)
  • The Soul Collector
  • Maps of Hell
  • The Nameless Dead
The Soul Collector Maps of Hell Body Politic The Bone Yard Water Of Death

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