The Rule of Fear by Luke Delaney (Jack King #1)

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Synopsis: The new novel by Luke Delaney, ex-Met detective and author of the terrifyingly authentic DI Sean Corrigan series. Perfect for fans of Mark Billingham, Peter James and Stuart MacBride.

Sergeant Jack King is back on active duty after months off following a violent encounter. On the Met’s promotional fast-track scheme, King is headed straight for the top, but policing the streets is where his heart truly lies.

Tasked with cleaning up the notorious Grove Wood estate, King is determined to rise to the challenge. But it’s not just drug dealers and petty thugs his team have to worry about. Someone on the estate is preying on children, and they need to find the culprit, fast.

Soon King finds himself over his head: the local residents won’t play ball, his superiors want results yesterday, and he’s refusing to admit that he’s suffering from PTSD. As the pressures combine, the line between right and wrong starts to blur and King finds himself in a downward spiral. Only he can save himself – but is it already too late?

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: I felt very torn both reading and reviewing this book. First of all this is Luke Delaney’s first novel not featuring DI Sean Corrigan. I am a huge fan of this series but it’s always nice to see what authors do outside of the norm. This book is a very stark story and one that is all too chillingly possible. With Luke Delaney being ex-copper I would imagine his experience and knowledge plays a large part in the sort or things that a copper has to go through. This story follows Sergeant Jack King as he returns to work following a brutal and extremely violent encounter.

The opening of the book is where the reader meets Jack and we see him experience his violent encounter immediately. There is no fluffing this up, and to be truthful its exposed in all its horrifying glory. When he sets himself the task of returning to work he has no idea that he will be placed in the notorious Wood Grove Estate. He and a team of 3 others are tasked with cleaning up the Estate and this may well help Jack move up the ladder quickly as he is part of an accelerated promotion programme.

Jack is not necessarily a likeable character but one that I think people can empathise with. He is seriously damaged and as he and his colleagues take on their new task he slips further down the hole of PTSD. This book, although brutal still have Delaney’s excellent writing skills, and its certainly an easy to read book. However, it makes for extremely uncomfortable reading at times. To watch a person slip and make more and more mistakes is not a nice thing to do, although it no doubt happens. The story itself I would say isn’t a fast paced thriller, more like a real eye opener as you delve into an individuals mind and see how they begin to decline in things such as the decisions you make.

I ended up finishing the book with a bitter taste in my mouth which made me question how to review and rate it. I’m not normally stuck on reading and reviewing, but this book left me feeling uncertain. I certainly didn’t hate the book, I just hated the circumstances, the result and ultimately the position that one man ends up in due to an illness that was forced upon him because he was doing his job! Ultimately I felt like I cannot give it less than 4 stars, because Luke Delaney has done his job and done it spectacularly. However, for me personally it was just too bleak and soul destroying, but that said it was just my emotional response to the story line. This book is, as Delaney has shown previously, was an excellent story with his usual writing skills on display. It won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, and I for one cant wait to see the return of Sean Corrigan. Having said that it is still a quality piece of writing which some people will no doubt love and some people will loathe!

The Jackdaw by Luke Delaney (Sean Corrigan #4)

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My Rating: 4/5

Availability: 12 March 2015 – Hardcover, Kindle, Nook, Kobo,

24 Sept 2015 – Paperback

Synopsis: Guilty or not guilty? A lone vigilante is abducting wealthy Londoners and putting their fate in the hands of the public. Within hours of disappearing, the victims appear on the internet, bound to a chair in a white room. Revenge or mercy? Their crimes of greed and incompetence are broadcast to the watching thousands who make up the jury. Once the verdict is cast, the man who calls himself ‘The Jackdaw’ will be judge and executioner.

Live or die? DI Sean Corrigan and his Special Investigations Unit are under pressure to solve this case fast. But as The Jackdaw’s popularity grows, Corrigan realizes he’s hunting a dangerously clever and elusive adversary – one who won’t stop until his mission is complete.

My Review: Luke Delaney is something of a new kid around town. His debut novel Cold Killing was released in 2013. It took me some time to get around to reading and once I had I didn’t want to stop. The first two books in the series were amazing and I really do think Delaney is a very quick rising star who will soon become as well read as the likes of Patterson and Lee Child. The one thing that for me is a winner is the lead character Sean Corrigan. He walks the tightrope to a point where you wonder whether he will fall into the worlds of the psychologically damaged and become just like the killers he hunts.

The fourth book from Luke Delaney brings Corrigan back into the fold with the latest case along with his colleagues Donnelly and Sally. It seems that there is a lone vigilante kidnapping Londoners and then putting them in front of a live audience via the web and asking them to vote so that the killer can become both judge and executioner. I only had one problem with this initial story and that was that I very recently read a book with a similarly themed plot. With that small issue aside, the story launches straight back in and I felt like I hadn’t been away from Sean and his work colleagues.

This latest book not only brings a fast paced plot to it, it also highlights Sean’s somewhat dangerous state of mind. I wasn’t a fan of the psychologist Anna appearing again and it felt like this added to Sean’s misery somewhat and it made me dislike her. The plot was well paced and there was so much going on that at times I could sympathise with the varying degrees of stress the characters were under. It also felt like we are uncovering more and more of Sean and his personal life with each case that he works. It certainly makes me question (and want to know) what will happen next. The Jackdaw made for a great killer and it was done cleverly with me thinking I had it worked out and realising I didn’t.

As ever this is a solid read and one that I think his fans will love. If you haven’t read this series I would highly recommend you do, but from book one. The first two books still remain my favourites but Luke Delaney is fast becoming one of my must read authors.

The Toy Taker by Luke Delaney (Sean Corrigan #3)

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My Rating: 4/5

 Synopsis: Your child has been taken…

Snatched in the dead of night from the safety of the family home. There’s no sign of forced entry, no one heard or saw a thing.

DI Sean Corrigan investigates.

He needs to find four-year-old George Bridgeman before abduction becomes murder. But his ability to see into dark minds, to think like those he hunts, has deserted him – just when he needs it most.

Another child vanishes.

What kind of monster is Corrigan hunting? And will he work it out in time to save the children?

My Review: Ever since the Publishers sent me the first book (which I didn’t even get around to reading for at least 10 months) I was blown away by Luke Delaney. As soon as I had finished his debut novel featuring DI Sean Corrigan (entitled Cold Killing), I had to read the second one almost immediately. With the third release due out February 2014. I was absolutely itching to get my hands on it. Luckily for me the Publishers sent me an early review copy (YAY).

The book starts out as the previous two have by throwing you headfirst into DI Corrigans world. He, along with his colleagues Dave Donnelly and Sally Jones are being relocated to Scotland Yard to become part of the newly formed Special Investigations Unit. As such they get landed with the worst crimes, which involve the disappearance of children. The thing I love about these books is not only the characters but the writing style too. I would say under normal circumstances that this author has clearly done his research. However, Luke Delaney (not his real name) was in the Met Police, followed by the CID. It is clear that Mr D clearly gets the experience and realism from his old day job!

Sean Corrigan is a character who is so interesting. He has a dark side which enables him to have remarkable insight. No, not in the sense of being psychic, just an inner strength to see things from the perspective of the killers he chases. In this latest instalment Sean’s life is topsy-turvy and the pressures of every day life are making him lose this ability. This gives the edge back to the book as the one thing that makes him better than the rest is ‘his edge’. Once again Delaney has crafted a magnificent book, which had my toes curling in fear as I almost felt like I was in the killers mind. We also get to see Sean’s personal life a little more in this book. His world is rocked with the pressures of his working and home life and we see him make some hasty decisions!

I think the first two books slightly held the edge over this one, but just in terms of story. The first two I seemed to hold my breath a lot more! 🙂 I still stand by what I previously said; Luke Delaney is one to watch. I have a feeling this guy will in a few years be up there with the long time best sellers like Lee Child, Harlan Coben and Peter James! I absolutely love this series and cannot wait for the next one. The fact that LD uses a Pseudonym makes me even more curious than usual about the author, but I guess with his past job its just something he cant do (Damn it!). Trust me on this, if you haven’t read one of his books I think you should make sure you add this to your must read list.

The Keeper by Luke Delaney (Sean Corrigan #2)

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My Rating: 5/5

 Luke Delaney published his debut novel Cold Killing back in March 2013. I finally got around to reading it in May of the same year and literally couldn’t put it down. When I received an early copy of the second in this series featuring DI Sean Corrigan I couldn’t resist putting all my other books on hold. Sean Corrigan is a brilliant lead character. It’s hard to describe his ‘gift’ that he has for being able to walk in the killer’s shoes. His imagination lets him think just like the people he is chasing. In this current book, women start disappearing from their homes in broad daylight. Sean and his team need to work around the clock, and possibly against a crazy man’s timetable before women start turning up dead.

The first few chapters re-acquaint the reader with Sean and his team. DS Sally Jones is dealing with her own demons following the last case they worked on, and DS Dave Donnelly is as usual Sean’s right hand man. Both of these characters feature heavily in the book and they have both demanded my attention from book one. This follow up is no different, and each of the characters plays their part extraordinarily well. I’m surprised that this is only Delaney’s second novel. To those that maybe didn’t know you might assume he has been writing years. I think the authors previous years in the force has enabled him to put more experience than research into the book; and it shows!

From the very beginning we know who the killer is, there is no hiding from it. What the reader is treated to is the rather warped and sick world of Thomas Keller. What I really like about this book, is that although there are no surprises as such (like I said we know who the killer is), you instead feel like you are actually in the depth of a huge Murder Investigation. The added bonus about this book is Sean Corrigan himself. His character has a very dark side. Throughout this whole book you have that horrible feeling that he is teetering between good and evil. Is his ability to ‘recreate’ the killer’s thoughts and feelings pushing him closer to their world? From the beginning to the end it’s the pure chase that kept me hooked. It didn’t matter that I knew who was doing what, it still had me reading until late in the night.

I think Luke Delaney is set to be a big name in the crime genre. If he keeps this up, he will be on Peter James tail quicker than you can say Roy Grace. This latest instalment had me thoroughly gripped from start to finish. Yep, it scared the living daylights out of me (especially as the area it’s set in I live near to), but I truly am hooked and am eagerly anticipating the next one.  

Cold Killing by Luke Delaney (Sean Corrigan #1)

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My Rating: 5/5

Well, the only thing I can say is if you havem’t read this debut novel by Luke Delaney, you should certainly give it a go, absolutely brilliant. Here’s my review…

I read the synopsis about this book and thought it sounded great. I mean w…ho better to write a book about the murky worlds of killers that an ex-copper turned CID with experience of extreme violence. When I looked at the bio of Luke Delaney I wasn’t surprised to see that this was a pseudonym, as I can’t imagine many coppers would want their real name and picture plastered about on books! This is the first in a series of books featuring DI Sean Corrigan. The difference between DI Corrigan and others is that Sean has an ability to take his thoughts to the dark side of a killer. His upbringing has left him with deep scars and emotions that haunt him; thankfully they also make him a great copper.

When I started reading this book I didn’t realise that within the first couple of chapters I would be so completely absorbed. DI Sean Corrigan is an absolutely fantastic character. He is a normal guy with a wife and kids, working a job that has unsociable hours. However when the first crime scene turns up in the book you see the other side to him. I really can’t explain just how dark this side of his character is, but just reading him processing his thoughts like a killer made me shiver. What also pulled me in with this book were the chapters that were written from the killer’s point of view. It shows just how much experience Delaney must have as it’s realistic to the point of it being terrifying.

Sean is on the trail of a killer who is frighteningly smart. He knows about forensics and every scene he shows up at is free of any DNA evidence. What struck me when reading this book was the fact that you get to see coppers work a case the real way, not like an episode of CSI. It had me horrified and intrigued in equal measures. The pace was pretty good but this was certainly secondary for me as the storyline and characters were brilliant. This was a book I didn’t want to put down and is best described as a meaty police thriller. Literally as soon as the last page was turned I was straight onto Amazon to find out when the next one is due. I was extremely pleased to see that the second book in the series `The Keeper’ is due out in September 2013.

All I can say is that Delany has clearly found his calling following a career in the police. Being an author is now clearly what he is meant to do and I for one will be keeping a close eye on all future Delaney related news. Highly recommended; especially for fans of Peter James and Mark Billingham.