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(DC Will MacReady #2)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation.
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside.
But this isn't the Middle East - this is Cardiff . . .

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the 'why', then surely they can find the 'who'?
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 27th 2017 by Bonnier Zaffre
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  110 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
From the opening pages of "Unforgivable" you are thrown into this hard hitting, gritty and true to life story full force.
An lone attacker enters a yearly multicultural market/Souk in Cardiff and starts throwing IED's and then continues to set off a rucksack bomb. Death, panic and commotion ensues. Shortly after an explosion rips apart a mosque, while in a courtroom across the city a group of Asians are on trial for the vicious assault and murder of a young white male. The details of the murder
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Explosive, adrenaline-pumping, and chillingly plausible!

Unforgivable is a well crafted, perfectly executed thriller that takes us on a manhunt for a ruthless terrorist and highlights how vulnerable we truly are.

The writing is tight and intense. The characterization is spot on with a whole slew of complex, genuine characters including the intelligent, gutsy, troubled Will MacReady whose greatest weakness seems to be his fearless, impulsive behaviour and his continuously unfolding personal drama.
Liz Barnsley
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unforgivable was awarded an easy 5* from me I read it cover to cover in record time. Brilliant mix of procedural and proper thriller with a truly authentic edge. Which I guess is what you get when writers do that “write what you know” stuff.

Starting with a truly horrifying and hypnotically described event, Unforgivable begins with a literal bang and basically doesn’t really let up from there – Mike Thomas pulls the reader into the real and difficult world of policing on the ground in all its man
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-crime-2017
It doesn't seem that long ago since we were introduced to the lovely DC Will MacReady in Ash and Bones. Unforgivable is the second in this must read police procedural series. Mike Thomas ups the ante and gives us an explosive and highly contemporary story. 

The book starts with a bang. An explosion causing the loss of human life. Cardiff is turned into chaos. Home made bombs. Death and destruction. We are placed at the centre of this. We see the perpetrator. We see Will and his police colleagues
The Book Review Café
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
All my reviews can be found at

I didn’t realise Unforgettable was the second book in the MacReady series, if I’m honest I’m not one for jumping ahead in a series as I fear I might have missed something, and although it’s obvious that DC Will MacReady has issues that pertain to the previous book I still think Unforgettable made for an extremely gripping standalone. It’s pretty standard to have a detective in a crime thriller with issues and MacReady is no different, hi
Joanne Robertson
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the second Will Macready book by Mike Thomas and although I’m sure you would be able to read it as a standalone novel, I would recommend also reading Ash and Bones so that you are hit with the full force of the emotions behind Will that follow him to Unforgivable. I also think the title will make much more sense right across the entire plotline then as well. I enjoyed Ash and Bones so was looking forward to Unforgivable and it definitely lived up to my, what can sometimes be quite unreac ...more
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
When a malicious spectre’s intent is merely to inflict indiscriminate damage to innocent lives their actions are Unforgivable .

From the immediate tone of the story and an accompanying eye-witness report you would naturally assume that the suspect's actions were racially motivated. As new evidence materialises complications ensue and it becomes clear that the action during the first chapter is just the beginning. So sit tight, it’s going to be a very bumpy ride...

There’s no doubt it’s an exp
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Set in Cardiff, the reader is thrown into a story filled with destruction on both personal and professional levels. There is loss, guilt, revenge, anger, retribution, family/relationships, lies/secrets, betrayal – all is not as it seems but most is unforgiveable….

Plot-wise, the story for me at first, moved along at quite an even pace but rose & fell exactly where it should – getting the #BOOMS in exactly where needed to keep the reader on edge throughout. Told in third-person POV, there initiall
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
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This is a smart, well-written thriller/crime novel which focuses on the topical issue of terrorism, specifically in Cardiff, and makes the reader think about attacks which seem to focus on the muslim population too, instead of just thinking of terrorism as something that is inflicted upon others by muslim extremists. It's an interesting look at the way the police try to prevent and track down those who are likely to carry out terrorist attacks, or already have
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have had the first book in the DC Will MacReady series, Ash and Bones on my TBR since it was published. I remember thinking at the time how drawn I was to the book, how gritty and real the blurb felt. Unfortunately time has not been on my side and I have (so far) completely failed to read it. So when I was given the opportunity to read the second book, Unforgivable it was a no-brainer for me. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t read the first in the series, I wanted to be a part of the launch tour. ...more
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Unforgivable is the second book in the DI Will MacReady series. As there is a bit of history that I think readers would benefit from knowing to do with Will's personal life, I would recommend reading Ash and Bones the first book in the series before reading this one. 

Having read the first in the series I thought I knew what to expect from this author but boy, I did not expect the explosive beginning to Unforgivable. I had literally got all comfy to settle down to read it and literally within a f
Elaine Tomasso
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley and Bonnier Zaffre for an advance copy of Unforgivable, the second Cardiff based police procedural to feature DC Will MacReady.

Cardiff is rocked when a lone assassin sets of several IED bombs at a popular multicultural market, escapes and goes straight to a mosque for more of the same. Witness interviews suggest the man is white so the police wonder if it is some kind of white racist backlash in view of the current trial where 5 Asian youths are on trial for killi
Ankita Singh
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley-books
Usually mystery thrillers are my absolute favorite. But I just couldn't get into Unforgivable.

I've read some great reviews about this book, and I had high hopes for it. But I just couldn't get into it.

There were too many descriptions, to begin with. The first chapter itself put me off. I like fast paced novels, where you just don't have the time to dwell on stuff because you're in a hurry to know what's gonna happen. I couldn't find that drive in this book.

So yeah, I couldn't get into Unforgivab
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
#KillerHook Alert! What a killer hook of a start! With the description of the market in full flow – could almost hear, see and smell the riot of colours, tastes and vibrancy before #BANG it exploded into one of the most explosive starts ever! I can tell you it did not let up at all right until the very last page!

DC Will MacReady and the team are thrown into the midst of what appears to be racially motivated attacks in Cardiff City Centre. While Will wants to be in the thick of the investigation
Elite Group
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
A slow-burner but worth staying with it…..

I really wanted to like this book. It’s written by someone who has first-hand experience of front-line police work and is based in Cardiff and Penarth; places I know well from the 50s and 60s. My heart began to sink though after the first couple of chapters as I couldn’t relate to either the main character or indeed the constant reminders by the author of the effects which budget cuts have had on police numbers and effectiveness.
Things looked up quite qu
Paul Cresswell
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All my reviews can be found at The Coffee & Kindle

The book starts of with an all too real terrorist(?) attack quickly followed by another attack on a mosque. Whilst everyone else is trying to find the bomber MacReady is sidelined after he is asked to investigate a knife attack.
As with all my reviews I will not spoil it for anyone by giving the plot away but needless to say everything is not how it seems.

Unforgivable is a thriller that twists and turns the reader through interconnected story lin
Grace PB
Overall this was a great read. It was an exciting book with twists and revelations throughout. I really enjoyed how the author switched points of view at pivotal moments between police and terrorist, this was a fantastic way to build tension in the lead up to key events.

The story line also felt very realistic and entirely possible, something that could only have come from the authors time working in the police. I also appreciated how the author gave an insight into the lives of the individuals
Hannah Ouston
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fantastic read with a good protagonist, a solid team, realistic portrayals of the realities of police work and a gripping story that has kept me up late to finish. A few minor issues with the writing style, but overall a brilliant second novel.
Michelle Kidwell
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it


A gritty new police drama for fans of Stuart MacBride

by Mike Thomas

Bonnier Zaffre


General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 27 Jul 2017

I am reviewing a copy of Unforgiveable through Zaffre and Netgalley:

DC Will Macready and his attackers must stop someone whose bombs have already detonated a Souk causing mass destruction, and an explosion that rips a part of a Mosque not in the Middle East but in Cardiff.

Can Macready prove himself on the new case after the previous
Martha Brindley
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the DC Will Mc Ready series and I enjoyed it just as much as book one. Set in Cardiff, it is a good mix of thriller, action and police procedural. I love the character of Will with his complicated personal life. Wazza sounds amazing with his need to eat at all times and his total lack of respect! I would recommend this book. Thank you Net Galley for my copy.
Dee-Cee  It's all about the books
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Opening the pages to Unforgivable you are thrown straight into the action, and oh boy is there plenty of action to keep you gripped.
When a bomb is set off in a busy souk there’s pure devastation, utter chaos and sadly very believable scenes. Another explosion is then set off in a Mosque, causing more devastation and to the police, to everyone really it looks like a terror attack and the hunt is on to find the killer. Reading these scenes my heart was in my mouth, I could have been in the middle
Andrew Webber
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A rollicking rollercoaster of a novel. Fast-paced, gritty, dark and intensely believable from the get-go,
I raced through it in a day and a half.

The frequent switching of points of view between terrorist and police adds to the drama, and for an ex-police, Thomas shows a powerful ability to get inside the head of the bad guys, making the story all the more realistic as a result.

I'm a big fan of the author (his second novel Ugly Bus remains one of my favourites) and was anxiously anticipating thi
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the second in the author’s DC Will MacReady novels, and if anything, it’s better than the first, Ash and Bones, which I also reviewed. Set against a backdrop of a Cardiff on edge - a white boy has been murdered by a gang of smirking Asian youth, cue lots of EDL types protesting every morning on the court’s steps, Antifa opposing them, the police stuck in the middle - a series of bombs explodes across the city. The first hit’s a souk, an annual celebration of multiculturalism held in one ...more
Michelle Ryles
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
With such an explosive start, the reader is launched straight into the action in Unforgivable, the second book in the DC Will MacReady series. I do usually like to read books in order; sometimes you can get away with not reading the previous books and other times it really is a necessity. For me, Unforgivable just scrapes through into the former; I would have liked to have read the first book but I didn't need to have read it in order to enjoy this one.

The first chapter is quite chilling as a bo
Rachel (Rae)
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have to talk about the opening chapter it's safe to say that it grabbed hold of me and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. It's gritty and dark at times but this just made the story all the more gripping and addictive. The main point that I found was that the events in this book can and do take place which made it all the more chilling, from protest marches to actual bombs being detonated. The story feels very real almost as if you are a fly on the wall experiencing the events with the char ...more
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
**I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley**

The second in the DC Will MacReady series, Unforgivable starts with a bang - quite literally! Having enjoyed the previous installment, I was keen to read this and wasn't at all disappointed, although it was very topical at the time of reading, with various terrorist attacks in the news being quite similar to the events in the book. Chillingly similar, in fact.

Thomas writes with a familiar fluency that betrays his own years in the police force, so
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to read Unforgivable because of the atrocious terror attacks that we've seen in the UK this year, as it deals with the sensitive topic of terrorism in Cardiff, particularly the response of the police force and the challenge of staying one step ahead of the perpetrators. I can happily say that I was not disappointed! Unforgivable gives a chilling fictional narrative of the mindset behind these horrific acts, delving into the reasons and justifications behind the perpetrator's decision to ...more
Miki Jacobs
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! The book starts with a bombing in a souk. However the souk isn't in the Middle East, but in Cardiff. Just as the emergency services are getting to grips with this there is another bombing in a Mosque in Penarth. Will Macready is amongst the team working on these terrible events. In between times he gets the job of investigating the murder of a young woman near to Cardiff station. He begrudgingly does as he's told, but there are few clues to why this woman was stabbe ...more
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A classic example of an all-consuming book, Mike Thomas draws you into his written world with ease and holds your interest with plenty of twists and turns along the way.
MacReady, a Detective with a reputation to win back, is embroiled in the war against terrorism. It is written and executed in a quick-paced manner that allows the reader to feel as though they are speeding alongside him in his 'battered Peugeot' on the hunt for the mystery attacker(s). He and his colleagues become familiar to th
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well, where do i begin with this book? The cover is a great one, simplistic but really draws you in.
The blurb is hard hitting and i knew this story would be an incredible one.

Honestly, despite what i knew about the book from the cover and the blurb, i really wasn't expecting the massive plot twists, i was so shocked and tense that i could feel my heart pounding in my ribcage.
It was an intense book with very serious matters and to me, it made it all the more chilling to read.

Equally the book
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Mike Thomas was born in Wales in 1971. For more than two decades he served in the police, working some of Cardiff’s busiest neighbourhoods in uniform, public order units, drugs teams and CID. He left the force in 2015 to write full time.

His debut novel, Pocket Notebook, was published by William Heinemann (Penguin Random House) and longlisted for the Wales Book of the Year. The author was also name

Other books in the series

DC Will MacReady (2 books)
  • Ash and Bones (DC Will MacReady, #1)

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