PERFECT PREY BLOG TOUR
TITLE: PERFECT PREY
AUTHOR: HELEN FIELDS
Hi 🙋🏽🙋🏽 and welcome to my stop on the fabulous #PerfectPrey @Helen_fields book blog tour! I’m going to share my review with you today but urge you to check out the other incredible bloggers on the tour! Thanks so much to @Avon and Sabah Khan for my gorgeous Arc copy in return for this honest review…
Welcome to Edinburgh. Murder capital of Europe.
In the middle of a rock festival, a charity worker is sliced across the stomach. He dies minutes later. In a crowd of thousands, no one saw his attacker.
The following week, the body of a primary school teacher is found in a dumpster in an Edinburgh alley, strangled with her own woollen scarf.
D.I. Ava Turner and D.I. Luc Callanach have no leads and no motive – until around the city, graffitied on buildings, words appear describing each victim.
It’s only when they realise the words are being written before rather than after the murders, that they understand the killer is announcing his next victim…and the more innocent the better.
Extract 8 – Chapter nine page 57 – 58
Three weeks had passed since Sim Thorburn’s murder. Twenty-one days when each morning was marked by the increasing quietness and frustration of Callanach’s team. Today the atmosphere was different. Not in his incident room, but certainly across the hall. A body of men and women was massing at the station. The way they were dressed and the palpable excitement could mean only one thing. Callanach realised they were on a pre-raid briefing. DC Tripp caught his eye, and Callanach managed a nod in response before his purloined detective constable looked back at the whiteboard where DCI Edgar was pointing at the blueprint of a building and barking instructions. However much money the hackers had stolen, or ‘relocated’ as The Unsung had released a statement to explain, was enough to justify a huge public expenditure to ensure they were caught. Callanach wondered what the difference in governmental financing was between the hackers’ case and his investigation into Sim’s murder. Probably best not to know, he thought. That way lay only bitterness and disillusionment.
He had begun to accept that the trail to Sim’s killer had run from lukewarm to cold. It seemed more likely than ever that it was just some random attack, perhaps mistaken identity, perhaps someone Sim had crossed unknowingly. Since the funeral, his girlfriend had left Edinburgh and returned to her parents’ house in Newcastle, leaving only a forwarding address and a message to say how disappointed she was that there had been no progress. Callanach could sympathise.
Since then, he’d lost two more squad members to an attempted rape outside a nightclub, and even Begbie hadn’t asked for a progress report for a couple of days. Callanach watched as DCI Edgar’s team trotted out of the incident room and down the corridor like an army squadron given the go for a secret mission, albeit carrying warrants and laptops instead of guns. Tripp looked half-embarrassed, half-bored as he kept pace in the line towards the stairs.
‘Sir,’ Salter said, coming up behind him. ‘We’ve had this passed on from the uniformed team on duty. An elderly gentleman, missing all night. Wife is distraught. He’s never failed to come home before.’
Having been lucky enough to receive an arc copy of Perfect remains and being introduced to the dark and truly brilliant crime writing of Helen Fields the follow up in this excellent crime series featuring DCI Luc Callanagh was eagerly anticipated. I wasn’t disappointed…
Another exceptional thriller Perfect Prey starts as it means to go on when we are thrown straight into the action in paragraph one. Before I had even had chance to take a sip of my tea a man had been brutally murdered in the midst of a jumping crowd at a music festival. Not for the squeamish Field doesn’t hold back on the details which are written to shock , and that they did! Being both deliciously disturbing and perfectly written she excels at making the reader shudder at the horrific scenes opening out in front of their eyes. This very public murder is followed quickly by a second. This time a middle aged school teacher is brutally crushed to death by a depraved killer. The descriptions of how the killer just have jumped repeatedly on furniture to ensure a slow and agonizing death for the victim hits home just how disturbing this book is likely to be. These murders will send a chill of terror down the spine of even the most seasoned thriller/ horror reader and I certainly found myself shuddering at the brutality of it all.
The killings happen in quick succession and the action never lets up… With very little forensic evidence, clues toward the perpetrator are sparse on the ground and as the victims clock up the twists and turns ramp up to making this another input down able page turner that will leave you a little bleary eyed after an inevitably late night spent reading way beyond a normal bedtime. The victims all appear to be upstanding, kind and well liked and so the mystery of who is responsible and the motive for their henious crime makes a compelling question that ensures you won’t be able to leave this alone!
If you haven’t read Perfect Remains you really must and I encourage you to do so before tucking into Perfect Prey, despite the fact it reads perfectly well as a stand alone.
Because it’s a thoroughly compelling read, and features one of the most hateful serial killers you will ever meet between the pages of a book, also it’s the perfect introduction to the crime fighting duo that is Luc and Ava. Luc Callanagh is a very driven and emotionally damaged character, deliciously charismatic and French- an winning combination while Ava is a down to earth, film buff who is both utterly likeable and brilliantly crafted. You will also gain valuable back story and it will put book 2 in context because you will understand the dynamics between the characters. What drives them and their motivations and believe me when I say if you read this book you will love it so much your only going to hop on Amazon and order book 1 anyway so you might as well read them in order!
So we have multiple murders and the subtle hint of romance brewing between our two main protagonists as they work to solve the crimes. I love this simmering sexual chemistry between them. An intriguing undercurrent that leaves you wondering if they will ever get it together, an element of ‘ normal’ real life that adds a little Je nais sais quoi to an already amazing read and reminds you of the more positive in an otherwise dark storyline. Much needed light relief!
If you like your crime gritty and dark but with humanity streaked through the sentences. Horrific yet believable and realistic then you will love this series. On both occasions the moment I started reading I was hooked. Helen writes beautifully, she has the ability to transport you straight into the scene and it feels like a high definition movie is playing out inside your head one that will set your pulse racing and will stay with you, haunting your thoughts long after you breathlessly turn that final page .
A full on 5 star read for me. I cannot wait to see what Helen has in store for us next!