Book Review: Woodcutter by Shaun Baines

*I received a complimentary copy of this book, and I’m leaving a voluntary review*

Let me make this clear – this is an excellent book.

True British crime, is what this is. We follow Daniel Dayton, younger brother of Scott, and son of Ed, head of the Dayton crime empire. Daniel has since left that life behind, wanting no part of it, but external forces and threats to the Dayton name forces Daniel back into the fold.

I think that’s as far as I’ll go – I’d love to say more but I need to restrain myself. This book is great, I’d love to drone on, that’s how much I like it. It’s the kind of book I could talk about for ages.


Shaun is the kind of writer that makes you feel, and you feel a lot. There’s action, grit, suspense, but what grips me the most is the evil. Not an otherworldly, supernatural evil, but a pure, basic, human evil. There’s a rawness to it, making it so very dark. But at the same time it’s also emotional, both happy emotional and… other.

Reading this makes me want to be a better writer. I see a lot of my self in Shaun’s writing – I can compare it to my own. But he has a way with words, a way of putting a spin on things that just makes me go “damn…” (In a good way.)

I kept being surprised, being thrown off time and time again, just when I thought I’d cracked it. (This is a mobster crime story first, but also very much a mystery, so naturally I’m constantly working on trying to foresee how it ends. I couldn’t.)

I need to stop, because I’ll repeat myself. This is great. Absolutely fantastic. It’s the small details that make it, really. The ending particularly was brilliant. I caught on to it just a paragraph or two before it was revealed, and I think I audibly gasped when I understood what happened.

If this is Shaun’s first book, I’m incredibly impressed. It’s such a naturally gripping book, nothing over the top, no flashing lights or clichés, just pure genius.

I’m happy I got to read this. I think you should too.

Woodcutter by Shaun Baines.

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