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The Mayfly

(Charlie Priest #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  447 ratings  ·  125 reviews
A mutilated body discovered in the woods.
A murderous plan conceived in the past.
A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .

When lawyer Charlie Priest is attacked in his own home by a man searching for information he claims Priest has, he is drawn into a web of corruption that has its roots in the last desperate days of World War Two.

When his attacker is found murdered
Paperback, 432 pages
Published June 15th 2017 by Bonnier Zaffre
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Miriam Smith
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: readers-first
I'm stunned at the professionalism and high quality writing of this brilliant book considering James Hazel is a new author and voice in the world of chilling and high octane thrillers!
I was well and truly hooked from the very first grisly page, where the author holds nothing back in the horrendous discovery of a mutilated body in a log cabin. We then switch to 1945 and the brutality and atrocities of Buchenwald concentration camp - with a mysterious order from a Military Intelligence Colonel. Fr
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
“Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.”
― Primo Levi

The Mayfly begins with the discovery of a badly mutilated body in a cabin, deep in the woods. This very much sets the scene for the horrifying events that follow.

Our protagonist Charlie Priest is a an ex Detective Inspector turned successful lawyer, who we meet in the aftermath of a break-in at his home. Ch
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a great debut from James Hazel, the first in the Charlie Priest series. There are some great reviews already on this so I will keep this succinct. Charlie is a divorced ex-cop turned successful lawyer specialising in fraud investigations. His practice consists of a diverse set of able colleagues, Vincent Okoro, Georgie Someday and the socially awkward, OCD obsessed Solly. After a harrowing night when an intruder cons his way into his apartment, Priest finds himself involved in a investig ...more
This is a creepy thriller that alternates between 2 time lines that link disturbing events in the present to a horrific chapter from the past.

In the present, DCI Tiff Rowlinson attends a gruesome scene in an isolated cabin in south Wales. So he’s more than a little surprised when British attorney general Sir Philip Wren arrives unannounced with a team from the Met. Wren doesn’t say much but 2 things are immediately clear. He is deeply unsettled by what he’s seen & has no intention of allowi
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Actually more like 4.5 stars.
This is the story of Charlie Priest, who was a police officer but is now a lawyer. Charlie is drawn into a case involving murder and the trail leads back to the end of the second world war.
I didn't know much about this book going in, and I think that's probably the best way. The plot has many twists and turns, and at no time was I ever bored. This is a very satisfying book to read, and Charlie Priest is an interesting and complex main character.
This is the first in
Liz Barnsley
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow I loved The Mayfly. More than I expected to (always a good thing) and that is probably down to the completely compelling characters (Charlie Priest my newest book crush) and the rest (Georgie my newest girl crush) plus the brilliantly horrific plot which does get right under your skin. **slight shudder**

I won’t give anything away but the story fairly rocks along, whilst at the same time fleshing out (so to speak) the characters, digging them into your consciousness so when bad things happen
Rachel Hall
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wowzers! This is an absolute firecracker of a debut novel that pulls together some remarkable characters, a fiendishly clever motive, some very brutal deaths and tops it off with an irreverent sense of humour that draws it together perfectly. The resulting novel, The Mayfly, introduces a former Detective Inspector, now turned successful fraud lawyer who is the original lovable rogue - a rough diamond of a man characterised by his social ineptness and dissociative disorder. The Mayfly opens deep ...more
Zuky the BookBum
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
There was something about The Mayfly that attracted me, even though it doesn’t really fit in with my tastes. I don’t like books where the main character is “ex-police turned lawyer/journalist/PI” etc, but the fact that this was to do with a secret society and it drew in links back from history made me too intrigued to not request it.

Charlie Priest is our main character, he’s a successful lawyer, after being a successful Detective Inspector and he’s troubled (like they always are). Priest’s broth
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fast paced, gritty, and full of intrigue, The Mayfly lived up to my high expectations and left me wanting more. It had my attention from page one and kept me devouring it until the very end.

The characters are well crafted - Charlie Priest is a great new protagonist, not your typical Detective. In fact, he's not a Detective at all anymore - he used to be, but is now a lawyer. He's brilliant, bold, and a bit of a maverick, making him a great character to read about. His assistant, Georgie, is a bi
Yvonne (It's All About Books)

Finished reading: June 3rd 2017

"I don't know what history will remember me as. A murderer? A scientist? A revolutionalist? I suppose it depends who writes the textbook you're reading. But history will remember me."

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bonnier Zaffre in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

(view spoiler)
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
The Mayfly opens with a pretty grizzly murder and this sets the tone for the rest of the book. It then follows Charlie Priest in the aftermath of an attack in his home, an attack that comes completely out of the blue. When his attacker is found dead the next day, Priest becomes entangled in a web with so many threads that it is hard to see where they begin and end.

I really liked Charlie Priest as a character. As with many main characters, Priest has his own demons and they follow him throughout
Ashley Gillan
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First things first: This book was FANTASTIC. If you're a mystery/thriller fan, you need to check this book out. OK, now on to the details.

I don't want to give too much away because the reveals are great, and you're going to want to stay up late reading.

The book follows Charlie Priest, a former cop turned lawyer with his own issues. But despite his flaws, he's a fantastic investigator, who is attacked by a strange man one night in his home. The next day, the man is dead - killed brutally - and th
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
James Hazel has an excellent way of keeping the action tight and gripping all the way through.

The police find a grisly scene in a log cabin. With the smell stale and heavy and the police taking in the atmosphere of flesh eating flies swarming around a dead naked body of a man with his flesh hanging off him. It looked like he had been poisoned.

Charlie Priest an ex-detective inspector is now working as lawyer in London has a visit from a fake policeman to Charlie Priest at his home. The fake pol
Elaine Tomasso
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I would like to thank Netgalley and Bonnier Zaffre for a review copy of The Mayfly, an exciting adventure set in and around London.

Charlie Priest used to be a policeman and now he is a successful fraud lawyer. He lives a quiet life so is surprised to be attacked in his flat and told to hand over a flash drive he doesn't have. He could live with that if the man who attacked him wasn't found dead the next day in a particularly nasty way with Charlie's business card in his pocket.

The Mayfly is a c
Karen Mace
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a chilling read this was!! It cleverly mixed the now and then and seamlessly jumped between the two and made the horrific incidents seem even more grizzly, the more that you learnt!

From the gruesome first chapter this story had me gripped and the author does a wonderful job of increasing the tension with each chapter.

Charlie Priest is unwittingly lured from his life now as a lawyer, into his old life as a policeman and investigates the murder of a man found impaled with many links to himsel
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’ll admit I had high expectations for The Mayfly as I’d seen nothing but good things about this book from my fellow book bloggers. However, even then, this surpassed my expectations….this is an excellent, well-researched, complex plot that hooks the reader from the very first page.

The Mayfly opens with the discovery of a particularly gruesome murder scene which sets the tone for the rest of the book! We are then taken back to Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945 – interestingly this is the sec
Mairead Hearne (
'A mutilated body discovered in the woods.
A murderous plan conceived in the past.
A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .’

The Mayfly is the debut novel from James Hazel and is the first in a new series featuring ex-cop turned lawyer, Charlie Priest.

Just published by Bonnier Zaffre, The Mayfly is a crime novel with a very intriguing historical twist. With the next novel, The Ash Doll, due out in Summer 2018, James Hazel is an exciting new writer to watch out for.

‘A sanctuary built out of l
Zuzana Turňová
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I když si nijak zvlášť nelibuji v thrillerech a hrdinech se zvláštními osobnostními črty, musím říct, že Charlie Priest je velkej sympaťák a rozhodně ho chci znovu potkat!
Příběh je napínavý, neotřelý a samozřejmě vede k velkému odhalení, které nezklame.
Tracy Fenton
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mayfly is the first in an exciting new series featuring a really engaging and fascinating character, Charlie Priest.

Charlie is an ex-policeman now lawyer with a select clientele of rich and powerful people. His brother is currently serving life as a convicted serial killer and his younger sister is constantly trying to fix him up on a date. His ex-wife HATES him, his staff adore him and there’s the little issue of him suffering from dissociative disorder meaning he frequently zones out from
Excellent. Love Charlie Priest (and Georgie!)

Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Mayfly by James Hazel starts with a bang with a murder followed by a sudden attack on the main character, Charlie Priest in his home. When The attacker is found dead the next day, it is Priest who investigates and sees this mystery to its finale.
I liked James's writing, his fast pace and his character Charlie Priest. Being a lawyer, Charlie comes across as a no nonsense guy who has enough grit and determination to take on a mystery which has its roots in the Nazi and World War.
This is an ext
Sorrow (Hanka the bookworm)
Charlie Priest je sympaťák a James Hazel prostě umí psát. Tuhle detektivku slupnete jak malinu a byť se rozhodně nejedná o dílo výrazných literárních kvalit, jako odpočinkovka nejen od hutných románů, ale hlavně od všech těch Žen a Dívek to funguje fantasticky. Myslím, že si po delší době přijdou na své i chlapi a já se moc těším na další osudy postav, které se v Jepici mihnuly - jmenovitě Georgii a Williama :)
Milan Raška
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hezky ctive napsane patrani / nepatrani. trochu me otravovala porucha Priesta, nechapu, proc skoro vsichni vysetrovatele maji nejakou nemoc / komplex / cokoliv. Nicmene dej je zajimavy a i prolinani s minulosti bylo velmi poutave. Dalsi dil si urcite rad prectu.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it

I think there must be two books out there called The Mayfly, the one that everyone is giving 4 and 5 stars to, and then this one that I have just read.

Because this book just about scraped 3 stars. It was very slow to get started, probably 50% in, and it was disjointed, jumping between time periods, jumping between story threads, and the characters are really difficult to gel with.

Very disappointing.
Kim Ebner
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Please check out my book blog at

This is the author's debut novel and to be totally honest, I thought it showed. Sometimes you read a debut that is just so well written that you can't believe the author is new to the task. In this case, I felt that the writing wasn't quite as polished as some other debuts that I've read this year.

Before turning his hand to creative writing, the author was a lawyer in private practice specialising in corporate and commercial litigation a
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it
A slick, twisted thriller from 1st time author James Hazel, that's not for the nervous! The story - set in modern day Britain - centres on certain horrific experiments carried out by a doctor in one of Germany's World War II death camps. Our hero is ex-cop turned lawyer, Charlie Priest who is attacked in his home by a man demanding he turns over a mysterious flash drive. What follows is the search for that flash drive and revelations about the Allies' interrogation of Nazi scientists immediately ...more
Dawn Higgins
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A thrilling ride and Captivating.

I was given this book for a honest review.
This is the first book i have read from this Author, i was not dissappoint at all,it had me gripped from the begining to the very end and i found it hard to put this book down.I must admit I havent felt this way about a book in awhile,so when i do and it keeps my attention all the way through which *The Mayfly* did,i know i will definity be reading more from this Author.

Charlie Priest explodes onto the pages right from th
Diane Hogg
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Book Description

It's happening again.

A mutilated body discovered in the woods.
A murderous plan conceived in the past.
A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .

Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by influential entrepreneur Kenneth Ellinder to investigate the murder of his son. But Priest is no ordinary lawyer. Brilliant, yet flawed, this case will push him, and those closest to him, to the edge.

Priest traces the evidence back to the desperate last days of the
Breakaway Reviewers
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A disturbing book of torture to find God.

A mutilated body found in the woods. A murderous plan conceived in the past. A reckoning seventy years in the making.

Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by an influential entrepreneur to investigate the death of his son, but Charlie is led into a far darker and complex case than just a wrongful death.

Wow! What a book, I was hooked from page one and didn’t put it down until I had finished it. Dark, gory and compelling,
Melisa Broadbent
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I did quite enjoy this book and found that it was well researched (in an area I didn’t really know much about if I’m being honest). Although grim in places I think it added to the storyline!

I liked Charlie Priest, what a character! Ex policeman turned lawyer, with a serial killer for a brother – what could go wrong here!? Lovely shy and geeky Georgie….

The story moved at a fantastic pace and switched from the present day to the 1940’s and the aftermath of the capture of a particular scary Nazi Do
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Before turning his hand to writing, James Hazel was a lawyer in private practice specialising in corporate and commercial litigation and employment law.

He was an equity partner in a regional law firm and held a number of different department headships until he quit legal practice to pursue his dream of becoming an author.

He has a keen interest in criminology and a passion for crime thrillers, ind

Other books in the series

Charlie Priest (2 books)
  • The Ash Doll (Charlie Priest #2)