Killing State by Judith O’Reilly Blog Tour @judithoreilly

KIlling State Cover Image


“…more twists than a pretzel. …a gritty, action-packed, page-turner.” ANDY MCNAB The bullet in his brain isn’t the problem. She is. Michael North is a hero, with a bullet in the brain to prove it. A bullet which has rewired his neural pathways and heightened his sense of intuition. A bullet which is driving him mad. Working for an extra-governmental agency called The Board, North knows one thing for sure. He is very good at killing very bad guys. But what happens when a hero is ordered to kill a good woman


Judith Author Pic

Judith O’Reilly’s claim to fame is that one of her books was a Radio 4 Book of the Week. As far as she’s concerned that’s as good as it gets.

Judith has written three books. Her latest book is called Killing State. It’s a commercial political thriller and her first novel – at least the first one she’s allowed to leave the house without her. She likes to describe it as a Lee Child meets Robert Harris, with a young and very British action hero and compelling and dynamic female characters. She may be the only person who ever thinks that. We’ll have to see.

Judith’s a former political producer with BBC 2’s Newsnight and ITN’s Channel 4 News, and a former education correspondent with The Sunday Times where she also covered politics, undercover reporting and general news. She still writes for The Sunday Times.

Her two non-fiction books were called Wife in the North and A Year of Doing Good (both published by Viking Penguin, in 2008 and 2013 respectively). Wife in the North reached number three in the UK bestsellers’ chart and was in the top ten for five weeks. It was also a top ten bestseller in Germany. It sold into ten countries, was serialised by The Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph, was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week (has she mentioned that already?), and was based on Judith’s eponymous blog which was named as one of the top 100 blogs in the world by The Sunday Times. Judith’s blog is credited with kicking off the popularity of domestic blogging in the UK. For A Year of Doing Good, she did a good deed a day for a year. It did not make her a better person. She has taught memoir and blogging at Newcastle University, and occasionally advises on strategic communications. Most of all though, she writes and drinks a lot of tea. Occasionally, she shakes things up and drinks covfefe.


I’m thrilled to be taking part in the Killing State blog tour today, a Michael North thriller by Judith O’Reilly. I was utterly gripped by this brilliant book, if you’re after a thriller which is brimming with action, I would highly recommend this one.

In Killing State, Judith introduces us to trained killer Michael North. Michael has been hired to assassinate MP Honor Jones, the Tory MP for Mile End, who has become too much of a liability for those who want her killed. But Michael’s conscience gets the better of him and he realises that he can’t kill Honor. But the people who have hired him aren’t individuals who you can turn your back on easily and hope to get away with it. Now fearing for both their lives, Honor and North go on the run and attempt to track down Honor’s friend, Peggy who has dropped all contact with anyone who knew her well. What has Peggy done to make a gang of merciless killers interested in her and why is anyone who knows her and anyone who is trying to find her, killed before they can get to the truth?

I really enjoyed reading this book. Killing State is fast paced and an action packed story. Judith pulled me into the novel with her intriguing prologue in which we see North approaching MP Honor Jones, the woman who he has been sent to kill. But the novel takes an unexpected turn when he ‘befriends’ Honor and attempts to help her escape when he tries to persuade her to flee to America. I really liked the relationship between Honor and Michael once they strike up a friendship. I was intrigued to see how this would play out for the rest of the novel and if Michael would continue to help Honor or if he would be persuaded to go against his conscience and kill her, to make life easier for him.

I was fascinated by the mystery of the disappearance of Honor’s friend, Peggy. As the story progresses we see glimpses of the past they shared together and I wanted to get to the bottom of what Peggy had caught herself up in. Michael North’s story was also captivating and I wanted to find out more about him. We learn that he suffered a gunshot wound whilst serving in the army and that the bullet is still lodged in his brain. Michael knows that one day the bullet will kill him. During the action scenes it is clear that he knows that one wrong move could dislodge the bullet and he is desperate to stay alive so that he can protect Honor. The action scenes really were captivating and there are plenty of them throughout the book.

A brilliant read for thriller seekers, this book will keep you reading well into the night. Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to read. I’m looking forward to seeing what Judith does next with the series.

Publisher: Loughman Press

Publication date: 15th March 2018 (paperback) 6th November 2017 (Kindle)

Print length: 394 pages