How do you find the missing when there’s no trail to follow?
DC Lucy Clayburn is having a tough time of it. Not only is her estranged father one of the North West’s toughest gangsters, but she is in the midst of one of the biggest police operations of her life.
Members of the public have started to disappear, taken from the streets as they’re going about their every day lives. But no bodies are appearing – it’s almost as if the victims never existed.
Lucy must chase a trail of dead ends and false starts as the disappearances mount up. But when her father gets caught in the crossfire, the investigation suddenly becomes a whole lot more bloody…
My Rating: 4/5 Continue reading
Synopsis: A Deadly Hunt
DS ‘Heck’ Heckenburg has been tasked with retrieving one of the UK’s most wanted men. But the trail runs cold when Heck discovers a video tape showing the fugitive in a fight for his life. A fight he has no chance of winning.
A Dangerous Game
Heck realises that there’s another player in this game of cat and mouse, and this time, they’ve not just caught the prize: they’ve made sure no one else ever does.
A Man Who Plays With Fire
How far will Heck and his team go to protect some of the UK’s most brutal killers? And what price is he willing to pay?
My Rating: 5/5 Continue reading
Synopsis: As a female cop walking the mean streets of Manchester, life can be tough for PC Lucy Clayburn. But when one of the North West’s toughest gangsters is your father, things can be particularly difficult.
When Lucy’s patch is gripped by a spate of murder-robberies, the police are quick to action. Yet when it transpires that the targets are Manchester’s criminal underworld, attitudes change.
Lucy is soon faced with one of the toughest cases of her life – and one which will prove once and for all whether blood really is thicker than water…
Kat’s Rating: 4/5
Kat’s Review: I was looking forward to the second installment in this series as I loved the first book. This second book was I thought very different to the first. For a start the beginning was a little…sludgy? Is that even a word? I absolutely loved Lucy but couldn’t help but feel like she was stuck in a rut? When a spate of Robberies start occurring Lucy of course has to get involved and it seems like there could be crossover with other cases. A few characters in this book I didn’t warm to and by the end of the book I discovered why. However I still felt like the beginning was like she was wading in deep mud.
Skip forward to maybe the halfway point and it turns into a full on action packed 5 star read. It was literally like reading about a different woman. With Manchester’s Underworld leading figures now being targeted it felt like the book ratcheted up the ante and it was every man for themselves. Lucy finds herself in literally more and more hot water as the book continues which just makes it all the more engaging and the second half of the book I read in one sitting, it was absolutely first class.
As for the ‘Daddy Issue’ let’s not spoil for others but suffice to say this is a cracking element to the series made all the more interesting with this book. I was almost smiling ‘gleefully’ at the events that transpired for Lucy on this front. I think for me there was only one element missing and that’s a senior figure that is there for Lucy. normally in books like this there is a chain of command but it seems Lucy is almost on her own for most of the time and think that doesn’t sit quite right with me. I am a HUGE fan of this series and would highly recommend reading both this and the earlier books in order, another cracker by Finch!
Synopsis: John Sagan is a forgettable man. You could pass him in the street and not realise he’s there. But then, that’s why he’s so dangerous.
A torturer for hire, Sagan has terrorised – and mutilated – countless victims. And now he’s on the move. DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg must chase the trail, even when it leads him to his hometown of Bradburn – a place he never thought he’d set foot in again.
But Sagan isn’t the only problem. Bradburn is being terrorised by a lone killer who burns his victims to death. And with the victims chosen at random, no-one knows who will be next. Least of all Heck…
Kat’s Rating: 4/5
Kat’s Review: At last Heck is back, or if you want to be specific Detective Mark Heckenburg is back. I am up to date with this series and was looking forward to this, the sixth in the series. Heck is back in London and it seems he is on the trail of a torturer for hire who goes by the name John Sagan. However, before long Heck has to chase the tail which leads him up North to his home town of Bradburn. The interesting thread here was Heck’s family, or lack of it, should I say! It certainly added another dimension to the story which made me all the more intrigued.
As usual Heck is as insubordinate as he can get away with and constantly goes with his own rules and subsequently irritates all his superiors. Thankfully it’s one of his traits that make him all the more likeable. Once set up in Bradburn, we are introduced to his uncle as well as a former school friend. Slowly the elements of his personal life are revealed giving the reader an insight into how he ended up as a copper in London. With regards to the psychotic Sagan they are chasing, it seems he has become a ghost, however what he does throw into their path are some high ranking members of a couple of Northern Gangs. This in turn leads to the other thread to the story which is where it all began, with a killer whose choice of weapons is a flamethrower who has been nicknamed ‘The Incinerator’.
Be prepared for plenty of graphic, gory and violent scenes all which made me cringe, which in turn made the book that shade darker than usual. This certainly isn’t a book for the faint-hearted, but that sort of stuff never fazes me too much it just puts a slightly different spin on the story for me. The story line itself wasn’t my favourite of this series but the personal elements certainly made it more interesting. As usual Paul Finch skills as an author leave you wanting more and sure enough by the time I had finished I was already wondering when the next book would be out. Another cracking read but not my favourite in the series!
Synopsis: Unknown, alone, and fearing for your life.
As PC Lucy Clayburn is about to find out, going undercover is the most dangerous work there is.
But, on the trail of a prolific female serial killer, there’s no other option – and these murders are as brutal as they come.
Lucy must step into the line of fire – a stranger in a criminal underworld that butchers anyone who crosses the line.
And, unknown to Lucy, she’s already treading it…
Kat’s Review: My name is Kat and I am a ‘Heck’ a-Holic’…with that in mind I was a little anxious starting a book by Paul Finch which didn’t feature my beloved Mark Heckenburg. However, I am now ‘fan girling’ over a new character so I can rejoice that I can stave off my Heck fix for a while with the new girl of the hour PC Lucy Clayburn.
PC Lucy Clayburn is introduced to us in a somewhat disastrous view of an assignment, and following on from that I wondered what on earth she would be doing. Well, it turns out that being a PC and making some hard earned collars on the streets meant she was a waling candidate for a new task force put together to catch what seemed to be a prolific female serial killer.
That in itself is quite an unusual scenario, as is the state of the bodies by the time this maniac woman has finished with them.
Enter Detective Superintendent Priya Newal who wants Lucy on the team. Priya makes for another strong lead female character and I like the fact that she is a firm but fair influence over Lucy. With Priya’s backing Lucy forms part of the team and goes undercover. Because of her previous assignment it seems she is even more determined to make an impression which means ultimately putting herself in danger.
From start to finish the book packs a punch, filled to the brim with dangerous individuals, strong lead and secondary characters and a pacy and thrilling story line. You can’t really ask for too much more can you? Paul Finch seems to have quite the knack of creating lead characters that stay with the reader. I know that Heck is my favourite as the series is a few books in and although Lucy is in second place, if he continues to write like this…who knows! I was so thrilled to have read and loved this book as much as I did, and I can certainly recommend it to people. All I need to do now is cross my fingers and hope I don’t have too long a wait to see Lucy again.
My Rating: 5/5
Availability: Paperback, Kindle, Nook, Kobo
Synopsis: Heck needs to watch his back. Because someone’s watching him. Across the south of England, a series of bizarre but fatal accidents are taking place. So when a local businessman survives a near-drowning but is found burnt alive in his car just weeks later, DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg is brought in to investigate. Soon it appears that other recent deaths might be linked: two thieves that were bitten to death by poisonous spiders, and a driver impaled through the chest with scaffolding. Accidents do happen but as the body count rises it’s clear that something far more sinister is at play, and it’s coming for Heck too.
My Review: One VERY important thing you need to remember to do when reading this book is BREATHE!!! I found myself holding my breath in far too many parts of this book but all in a very good way. I only recently discovered Paul Finch and his first release featuring DS Mark Heckenburg (or Heck as he is better known) was a knockout. The 3 following books in the series were all great but didn’t quite have the same pull for me as the debut to the series Stalkers. Until now…
Heck is contacted by his boss and ex-lover Gemma Piper to go and take a look at a strange case which involves a supposed accidental death. It involves going down to leafy Surrey and having to meet a new group of coppers namely one Gail Honeyford. It appears that they already have their suspicions and Gail is already on the case. However, Heck not only has the challenge of a difficult temporary colleague, but of more than one strange and bizarre cases. It seems like no type of crime from the bizarre to the downright shocking is exempt from the cases that keep cropping up.
From the outset the pace ratchets up and rarely gives you time to breathe. A few times I realised I was holding my breath for longer than necessary and as usual Heck manages to get himself into some awful positions. I for one will never look at an image of a spider in a glass jar without thinking about a particular scene in this book. Although Gemma Piper has featured in previous books she is not really a main actor in this latest instalment and if I’m honest I think that’s a good thing. It leaves open so many more possibilities, yet leaves her in the series (so to speak, sorry not very well articulated there…but you know what I mean).
Overall, this book was a first class one from Mr Finch, and certainly an instalment that will keep me going back for more. Thank goodness there is another book due for release later this year! Highly recommended book AND series.
P.S I think I am developing another fictional character crush
My Rating: 4/5
Availability: Paperback, Kindle, Audio, Nook & Kobo
Synopsis: Innocent people are dying. Who will be next? A vicious serial killer is holding the country to ransom, publicly – and gruesomely – murdering his victims.
When a man is burnt alive on a bonfire, it seems like a tragic Guy Fawkes Night accident. But with the discovery of a young couple on Valentine’s Day – each with an arrow through the heart – something more sinister becomes clear. A ‘calendar killer’ is on the loose.
Detective Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg is up against it. With a rising body count and the public’s eyes on him, Heck must find the killer before he executes more victims. Because this killer has a plan. And nothing will stop him completing it.
My Review: I read the first book by Paul Finch in this series entitled ‘Stalkers’ and absolutely LOVED it! I was really looking forward to reading the second in this series. Detective Mark Heckenburg is a bloody brilliant character. He is (well in my head anyway) very attractive in that ‘just got out of bed way’ and has a very defiant nature (what more could a woman ask forJ). Mark Heckenburg is known simply as Heck and in this latest offering is part of a team tracking down a vicious serial killer. This particular serial killer is a little different as he likes his kills to be shared with the public.
As ever the scenes described are brutally descriptive and totally engaging! The story certainly has the pace and drama but for some reason I felt that a couple of parts in the book were hard going, it just seemed a little too scripted, but that certainly didn’t deter from the overall enjoyment of the book. I really like some of the recurring characters in this series such as Gemma Piper who Heck happens to have been in a brief relationship with in the past. I must say one thing I like about Paul Finch book is that I get the feeling nobody is safe. I think he may well be a writer that will like to take major chances with characters so I am always on guard when reading wondering who he is going to kill off nextJ
The only other thing I didn’t like about this book was the last scene involving the serial killer felt a little too ‘convenient’ but other than that small factor I was kept pretty much on the edge of my seat right up until the end. Although I didn’t like this as much as I did Stalkers, I am absolutely ready for book 3. Mr Finch appears to be challenging my latest fictional crush (currently Sean Blacks character Ryan Lock) and reeling me in to maybe feel the same about Heck. Mmmmmm, book 3 may well make my mind up!