The List by Michael Leese

Title: The List (Martha Munro Crime Mysteries #1)

Author: Michael Leese

Published on: 19 Jan 2022

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Police Procedural

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

It was an ordinary Wednesday lunchtime for Detective Martha Munro… until it wasn’t. She receives news that two armed men stormed her house, shot her mother and kidnapped her four-year-old daughter Betty. Who would have wanted to hurt her family?

With the help of Harry the Hat, her late father’s best friend, Martha seeks out the men who killed her mother and kidnapped her daughter. She tracks them down the same day… but they are already beaten and badly injured. It was not Martha’s doing. She then tracks down the place where her daughter is held. The kid is alone…

The police arrive at the location too and Martha is accused of GBH – grievous bodily harm. Though she insists she did not harm the two men but receives no help. She’s accused of not only causing harm to the two men but also of playing a role in her daughter’s kidnap and her mother’s murder.

Martha’s father led the anti-corruption squad at Scotland Yard. Throughout his career, he made a lot of enemies – mostly the big guys. Is someone trying to take revenge now?


The List is the first book in Michael Leese’s Martha Munro Crime Mystery series.

The story begins with Martha receiving the news of her mother’s murder and her daughter’s kidnapping. She arrives at the scene of crime – her home – and in a while, Harry comes over too. Harry is a bad-guy-turned-good-guy. Though Martha’s mother never liked Harry, he still played a major role in Martha’s childhood and beyond. With Harry’s help, Martha tracks down the two men who killed her mother – the same day. But it is too late. They find the two men badly beaten up.

Martha then tracks down the location where her daughter is currently held. There too, she finds her daughter alone in the house. Soon, the police arrive and arrest Harry and Martha. Her daughter Betty is sent to Martha’s ex-husband Justin’s place. Martha insists she’s innocent and no role to play in harming the two bad men. But she’s accused of GBH and sent to trial.

The List is a fantastic start to a brand new police procedural series by Michael Leese. The story also has a dash of legal thriller-ish feel to it. I found the legal battle between Martha and the police department interesting – a straightforward portrayal of how money can buy witnesses as well as the judge.

The mystery behind Martha’s dad’s past is the main theme of this series. The List, as the title suggests, is the ‘list’ of people who were in the late John Munro’s bad books. The bad guys, the corrupt coppers and politicians whom John Munro vouched to bring down.

Soon after the kidnapping and rescue, Martha learns a secret about her dad – a secret that might be the reason behind her mother’s murder and her daughter’s kidnapping. Martha is sure her life and her daughter’s life is still at stake… and she would do anything to keep her little girl safe.

This is the first Michael Leese book I have read and I cannot wait to catch up on his other series, Detective Hooper and Rooley Mysteries. I absolutely enjoyed reading The List. Fantastic character portrayal and mind-blowing suspense to keep one guessing till the end. The book ends with a cliffhanger and it is pretty clear the game has just begun. What would Martha do next? Continue the fight her dad started and bring the bad guys down? Only time will tell…

If you love gripping police procedural, you might want to give The List by Michael Leese a try.

Many thanks to the lovely Hanna from Joffe Books for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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