Book Review: The Killing Files (The Project Trilogy – Part Two), By Nikki Owen

Publisher: Mira (Harlequin UK Limited)   |   Publication date: 2nd June 2016

Book Two of The Project Trilogy


The Killing Files - My Review

The Killing Files - Kindle CoverAfter the whirlwind mind games and faltering allegiances in Subject 375 (Book 1) Dr Maria Martinez is coping pretty well considering she’s been poked with a very pointy stick for years in the name of National Security. Not only does she have Asperger’s, she’s previously been accused of murdering a priest and has narrowly survived an assassination attempt, while her impressive IQ has been unwittingly taken advantage of for years by ‘The Project’.

She can find no hard evidence of the false memories she feels she’s been fed. As a consequence she’s left with a dodgy recall as to the exact nature of her own involvement in their operation, continuing to pile on the intrigue with a shovel.

It was a relief to learn that her feet had finally touched the ground after her many trials in Subject 375, but this reprieve is short-lived as an intruder finds their way onto the grounds of her remote Spanish villa, the location of which is known only to a couple of people. The frustration of there being nowhere left for this poor woman to get herself together for second is just AAAAAARGHH! I know ‘The Project’ is determined to track down potential threats to their organisation but they’re hiding in plain sight everywhere! You can almost feel them breathing down her neck while they try to coerce her into compliance, and if not brute force works a treat too.

The Killing Files follows the same formula as Subject 375. While this isn’t as ‘clinical’ in its approach, nor the plot as complex, the Doc still uses her own brand of analytical reasoning to filter everything. There is, however, a little more emotional freedom allowing Maria to develop a stronger support network. Even the bad guys making a re-appearance manage to speak in full sentences rather than triple bluffs this time!

I’ve got to say my favourite interludes are when the Doc finds herself abruptly acquainted with an amiable computer hacker. Her condition means she doesn’t immediately embrace the qualities of his sunny personality. What’s quite endearing is how she cannot accept this man calling her ‘Google’, which is his pet name for her as she can recite the minutest trivia. And so another stunted relationship begins to take shape and it’s wonderful to see it progress through the story. It’s the little things too, like her friend’s subtle gestures of reassurance that only they recognise as she searches for the Holy Grail of encrypted documents that she hopes will fill in the gaps of her enigmatic past.

‘The Project Trilogy’ is a belter of a deceptive journey for a rather unique woman who is taking baby-steps toward emotions that are alien to her. Her experiences would undoubtedly destroy us mere mortals. Although this tortured soul may have been insanely hunted both physically and mentally through two incredibly exhausting books now, I feel we’ve only just scratched the surface…

Rating: 4/5

Note: I have deliberately omitted specific character names in case you wish to read book one first (and I recommend that you do!). It’s so much better to leave the entire paranoia effect intact, so you’re completely blind to who is (or isn’t) ‘Team Maria’.

(Once again HUGE THANKS to the publisher for providing a digital copy of this book via NetGalley.) 

The Killing Files - Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Dr Maria Martinez is out of prison and on the run.

Her mission? To get back to the safety of her family.

Little does she know that this might be the most dangerous place of all…

Don’t miss the second in Nikki Owen’s electrifying Project trilogy, perfect for fans of Nicci French and Charles Cumming.

Praise for Nikki Owen

‘Powerful and gripping’ – Kimberly Chambers

‘A gripping and tense thriller’ – Heat

‘A must have’ – Sunday Express

‘Nikki Owen can write in a high-octane fashion that made me feel like I should be hyperventilating at times’ – Guy Pringle, New Books Magazine

‘A powerful, penetrating and intensely different read that seizes your attention from the very first page – Love Reading


The Killing Files - Author Profile

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Nikki Owen is an award-winning writer and columnist. Previously, Nikki was a marketing consultant and University teaching fellow before turning to writing full time. As part of her degree, she studied at the acclaimed University of Salamanca – the same city where her protagonist of Subject 375 (previously published as The Spider in the Corner of the Room) Dr Maria Martinez, hails from. Part one in the Project trilogy, Subject 375 is Nikki’s debut international novel and will be published in several languages around the world. In 2014, the trilogy was optioned by NBC Universal Television for a one-hour returnable TV series.



4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Killing Files (The Project Trilogy – Part Two), By Nikki Owen

  1. Can’t WAIT to read this, I loved ‘The Spider…’, need to get through my review list more quickly so I can get to this one! Great review, glad you enjoyed it and it wasn’t a let down (not that I could ever imagine it being one!)

    Liked by 1 person

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