Crime Mystery Thriller

Knife Edge – Simon Mayo

4 July 2020
Second Eyes Book Cover Second Eyes
Simon Mayo
Doubleday UK
30 April 2020

You never know where danger may come from... 6.45am. A sweltering London rush hour. And in the last 27 minutes, seven people have been murdered. In a series of coordinated attacks, seven men and women across London have been targeted. For journalist Famie Madden, the horror unfolds as she arrives for the morning shift. The victims have one thing in common: they make up the investigations team at the news agency where Famie works. The question everyone's asking: what were they working on that could prompt such brutal devastation? As Famie starts to receive mysterious messages, she must find out whether she is being warned of the next attack, or being told that she will be the next victim...


Knife Edge is a contemporary thriller that seems to resonate on various levels with current global issues, including multiple terrorist groups and an attack on the press. In this book, I actually mean an attack on the press. A muggy May morning and within twenty-nine minutes, seven investigative journalists working for the International Press Service (IPS) are murdered.

“Mary Lawson was the first to die. Leaving Euston station shortly before 6.45, she made straight for her favourite breakfast stall. …
He was barely a metre away when she glanced at him, assuming he would be asking for change. He smiled. She only saw the knife as it pierced her chest.”

Famie Madden who also works for the IPS had personal friendships with those killed, and an intimate relationship with one man in particular. The events of the day strike fear into all the other journalists not knowing if they are now targeted by the terror group that carried out these attacks. The police lock down the building and start the investigation into who was behind these meticulously planned murders. Simon Mayo creates a tense atmosphere where suspicion is created around many individuals.

Fannie receives messages that cause her and some of her colleagues to pursue their own investigation. The plot is intriguing and explores the forces around the world that facilitate terrorist activity. Fannie’s daughter, Charlie, is also drawn into the story which enables a wider scope to include family and other personal concerns.

There were a number of issues with the flow of the story with its momentum drifting up and down and almost stalling at times, mainly when the pursuit of detail seemed more important. What saved this book was the incredible opening and it really brought the shock factor which was gripping in the early part of the book. The closing chapters scaled the tension and pace back up again to deliver an accomplished thriller.

I would recommend this book and I would like to thank Doubleday, Randon House UK and NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC in return for an honest review.

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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