Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Reason To Kill (DI Matt Barnes #1)” as Want to Read:
A Reason To Kill (DI Matt Barnes #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Reason To Kill

(DI Matt Barnes #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,878 ratings  ·  103 reviews
Following a gangland assault on his life, DI Matt Barnes is determined to track down his would-be assassin, Gary Noon, an evil, sadistic psychopath, hired by the crime boss he was trying to put away, Frank Santini.This is the first in the DI Matt Barnes series of books.
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published January 21st 2013 by Head Nook Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Reason To Kill, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Reason To Kill

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,878 ratings  ·  103 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Reason To Kill (DI Matt Barnes #1)
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Non -stop action, very gruesome details ( not for everyone ), suspense, it's all here. Michael Kerr has a way of grabbing your attention and not letting go,even though sometimes you wish you could break free, such is the level of violence. There's the mob to deal with, contract killers,( one of whom is a psychopath) and bent cops, so what's new you might ask? Well nothing,apart from the fact that the author spent over 20 years in the prison service, no doubt coming into contact with some very un ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, read-2017
London police have been trying for a long time to put mob boss Frank Santini behind bars, and now they have a witness willing to testify against him. Not willing to risk that, Santini sends a contract killer after the witness who success in taking out his target, most of his protection team, and a witness besides. DI Matt Barnes barely survives the hit and is determined to get the man who had his colleagues murdered - but when the hitman learns that he left survivors, he has no intentions of let ...more
Heidi Whurr
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Spoiler alert)

Fantastic. A real page turner. I loved most things about this book including the characters. A lot of other negative comments here focus on the fact that Michael Kerr didn't develop his characters, but I disagree with them. I think he did develop his characters enough for this kind of book. I'm not reading a Jane Austin novel, I'm reading a crime thriller and Kerr used his page space brilliantly. I understood all of the characters, their motives and I liked most of them and was r
Avid Reader
Mar 25, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dreadful writing. Awful.

Author seems to have once read a 'how to write' book and mistook an exercise in character motivation for the finished novel. Every interaction is trite and the over-explaining of everyone's inner thoughts now has me giggling.

I am reading to the end though. Go ahead, judge me.
Feb 09, 2014 rated it liked it
A fast paced, slightly disturbing psychological thriller with plenty of twists and turns.
Roddy Williams
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: murder-mystery
DI Matt Barnes is part of a team assigned to protect a witness scheduled to testify against one Frank Sartini, a mob boss. Little do they know that a schizophrenic hitman is holding a couple next door hostage and in no short time shoots them, poses as the husband taking the dog for a walk and then slaughters everyone in the safe house apart from Matt, who is left for dead with a shot up leg.
The hunt is on for the killer who soon realises that Matt and the wife from the neighbouring house have su
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is that guilty-pleasure you just cannot stop reading!

Matt Barnes breaks that archetype of the middle-aged detective who drinks too much and is so emotionally scarred he can barely function. Instead, Matt is a young, breath of fresh air that restored my faith in British crime fiction. Furthermore, I enjoyed the realism that Kerr injected into Matt’s injuries. In films, and a lot of books, when someone gets shot in the leg they dig it out with a pair of pliars and just carry on going li
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the first DI Matt Barnes book I've read, and I think I like it.

A hit man is hired to kill a mob guy giving state's evidence (or whatever the UK equivalent is) against his boss, a Teflon-coated gangster who has long eluded law enforcement's grasp. The stool pigeon is in witness protection, but with a police officer on the take in the employ of said slick mob head, he's not really safe. The hit man strikes, killing the canary, four of the officers keeping watch, two neighbors, and nearly k
Dec 27, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read mysteries recreationally, but even there I require a certain level of skill and originality in writing and ideas, even if just a skillful reworking of familiar themes. I found none of these qualities in A Reason to Kill. Rather, a string of cliches laid end to end, both in event and expression. A collection of tropes and stereotypes gathered from the most simplistic U. S. crime dramas packaged thinly in the U.K., this author creates characters with no more depth than paper dolls.

I hate gi
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-ebook
If you like crime thrillers you will like this one. its definitely a case of good cop/bad cop/nasty bad guys.
there is a lot of violence a bit of sex and a lot of pent up emotion.

really quite good and I would read more from this author.
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that grips you tightly and won't let go, its straight into a fast moving story, and that's how it stays right to the end, through all its twists and turns, its a thoroughly good read. ...more
Dawn Caddell
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First book from this author, and I have to say will defo be reading his books again. Gripping from start to finish. A blooming good read...
I actually finished this book a couple of days ago but chose not to review it immediately as I really wasn't sure what I thought of it. I hoped some time to mull it over would help... unfortunately not.

So, for one thing. I finished the book early Saturday morning, and promptly forgot I had read or finished it until Sunday. I know I read some dross at times, but I don't think I have ever read a book that is quite so forgetable before!

The characters I felt to be rather bland, they don't stand out
Phil Stutt
Sep 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a good solid book. The premise is all about revenge when a hit man attacks a mob target and takes down some Police who stand in his way. The only survivor is DI Matt Barnes who seeks revenge. I liked the development of the hitman and there was a good display of his mental health issues. I would say that the ending was fairly predictable and on the whole, the American Mob thing just seemed to be a little out of place in this English set novel - british gangsters would have sufficed. Bit ...more
Anita Hargreaves
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mark Gillingham worthy

This was a rollercoaster of a book with a mentally unstable hitman targeting both victims, cops and even his employees This man has no moral compass and doesn't do it for the money. In fact he would be an asset to the SAS. Gripping read and you want him to get his comeuppance. I thought DI Matt Barnes an honest, likeable Bruce Willis type hero and this author was imaginative and exciting.
Kavita Favelle
Dec 22, 2017 rated it liked it
For me, this is an ideal book for reading during a bus or train journey, or in an airport waiting lounge. It's well written, has nicely paced plot development and the characters are interesting enough. It's not one of those books that leaves you astonished at the plot, or makes you feel really connected to the characters, or thinking about it days after you finish it, so I think 3 stars is a fair score, but it's an enjoyable read. ...more
John Thys
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing

This is the first book I've read by this author and as it was free on Amazon I thought I'd give it a go I'm glad I did I starts off with a hit man doing his job and killing all in sight and carries on with murder and mayhem all the way through with a Di Matt Barnes trying to track down the paid assassin so as to save his own life it's a riveting book with a spectacular ending looking forward to the next installment now
Lexie Conyngham
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
There’s terrific tension in this police procedural, well-placed on the noir scale, with most of a police unit being gunned down early on and the murderer a nasty piece of work in several directions at once. I wasn’t wholly convinced by the main character’s (I mean Matt Barnes’, not the villain’s) romantic attachment and not keen on the time spent on it, nevertheless the characters are interesting and for the most part sympathetic, and the plot moves relentlessly.
Neal Russell
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Good & gripping plot.!

Found this to be a very gripping read with lots of intrigue & intensity! Kept me wanting to keep reading avidly to get into.the characters & plot that it was creating- sure, there is plenty of graphic & gratuitous violence within the dialogue but it was in my opinion validated given the context of this novel!
A very enjoyable & engrossing read I would recommend to any potential reader of this genre of fiction!
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing

This story gripped me from the beginning! It came across as though you were living it as you were reading it.
I sat in bed at nights reading and because I couldn't put it down before I knew it was 3am.
I am looking forward to reading DI BARNES books and hope they are as good,and hope Beth is his wife?
Paula D
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Page turner

A fascinating insight into the life of a hired hitman. His attention to detail and fastidious fore planning and ability to seem harmless in his daily life is intriguing. Matt Barnes survives a hit and is now a loose end to tidy up. The action doesn’t let up and the characters make you care what happens to them. A great read.
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Grabs you from the first page to the last, why have I only just discovered this brilliant author. It's everything a crime thriller should be with a great storyline and strong characters. I will definitely be following up with the second in the series. ...more
Robert Hinder
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it

First book of series as so often the lead Detective has his own flaws he has to deal with as well as catching the killer on the loose,good storyline,Interesting make up of characters will definitely move on with DI Matt Barnes
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
While protecting an informer, DI Matt Barnes, becomes the only survivor of a hit on his team and the informer. The hitman, Gary Noon, has been employed by Frank Santini, crime boss. Apart from Barnes there is another witness . Can Noon get to the witnesss first.
A fast-paced enjoyable thriller
Tim W
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Cliched and a bit old fashioned, but good fun.
Hilary. Mccarthy
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
An easy to read ,enjoyable crime thriller.
Liked the writing style and the detective Matt Barnes.
Good plot which kept one guessing .
Will look out for other books in series.
Charlie Durell
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pretty good read. Its exciting and fast paced from the start. A bit predictable towards the end but still enjoyable.
Kathy Watts
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book seemed to have an interesting plot line, however, by the end I was skimming thru just to finish.
Disappointingly, the plot was limited in its ability to hold my attention.
Jan Robbins
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reason to Kill

WOW what a fast paced page turner! Loved this book and author. Could not put it down. Looking forward to reading more from Michael Kerr
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Poison Path (DI Hogarth Poison Path #1)
  • The Taken Girls
  • Ask No Questions (Detective Caelan Small, #1)
  • Remember Me? : (Book One): A DCI McKenzie Crime Thriller
  • Rite To Silence (London Calling, #1)
  • 'Til Death (DI Steven Marr Book 1)
  • Bad To The Bones (Evan Buckley Thriller, #1)
  • The Dentist (The DS Cross mysteries Book 1)
  • Endless Evil (Pruitt County Mysteries, #1)
  • Shifting Skin (DI Jon Spicer, #2)
  • The Secret (Steve Regan Undercover Cop #0)
  • Between Two Thieves (Between Two Thieves #1)
  • Dead Inside (DC Maggie Jamieson, #1)
  • Falling Fast (McGregor and Drummond, #1)
  • The Secret Fear (DI Hogarth Secret Fear #1)
  • Where The Truth Lies (DI Ridpath #1)
  • Played to Death (Scott Drayco Mystery Series, #1)
  • The Penitent Priest (Father Tom #1)
See similar books…
I write the type of original, action-packed, violent crime thrillers that I know I would enjoy reading if they were written by such authors as: Lee Child, David Baldacci, Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly and their ilk.
Over twenty years in the Prison Service proved great research into the minds of criminals, and especially into the dark world that serial killers - of who I have met quite a few - freq

Other books in the series

DI Matt Barnes (6 books)
  • Lethal Intent (DI Matt Barnes #2)
  • A need to kill (DI Matt Barnes #3)
  • Chosen To Kill (DI Matt Barnes #4)
  • A Passion To Kill (DI Matt Barnes #5)
  • Raised To Kill (DI Matt Barnes #6)

Related Articles

Readers have a lot to look forward to this year! Just feast your eyes upon all of these debut books to check out and emerging authors to...
158 likes · 41 comments