November 4

Shadows – Paul Finch

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…

 

My thanks to Sabah at Avon for my review copy and the chance to join the tour

 

A new Paul Finch book is always met with much excitement at Grab This Book so when Shadows hit my Kindle I could not wait to start reading.

Lucy Clayburn returns for a second outing following her debut in Strangers. Having read Strangers will help you better understand  a couple of the conversations in Shadows, however, Shadows can definitely be read as a stand alone novel. Both are great reads so you are not going to be unhappy whichever reading option you opt for!

Lucy had a terrible start to her police career and has been working hard to restore her credibility and prove her value to the department.  Events in Strangers has significantly helped and her stock is rising but now an old acquaintance is looking for help as one of his friends has been caught in possession of narcotics – if Lucy can have a lesser charge pursued he can provide information on a violent armed robber.

The possibility of catching a serial offender gives Lucy the opportunity to join the high profile team that work on capturing armed robbers.  She embraces the opportunity and tries to ensure she shines through careful planning and preparation. It is great to see Lucy getting the chance to step-up and her enthusiasm and determination make her an engaging a likeable character.

Away from Lucy’s case the reader gets to see what the “bad guys” are up to.  Established (and high profile) criminals are being attacked in places they believe to be safe.  It looks like there are new players in town and they are intent on disrupting the old guard and taking out the competition.  Their mission is deadly and the story takes a dark turn when they met out their unpleasant lessons and establish their authority. It makes for gripping story telling and I got completely caught up in events.

I have yet to read a Paul Finch book that I have not enjoyed – Shadows is another great read and I highly recommend it.

Shadows is published by Avon and can be ordered in paperback or digital format here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadows-gripping-thriller-bestseller-Clayburn/dp/0007551339/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509788309&sr=1-1&keywords=paul+finch

 

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April 17

Ashes to Ashes – Paul Finch

Ashes to AshesJohn 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…

 

My thanks to Helena at Avon for my review copy and the opportunity to join the blog tour.

Mark “Heck” Heckenburg is back and I couldn’t be happier. Each book in this series has been a 5 star read for me and Ashes to Ashes keeps that streak going. I think that we have to conclude that Paul Finch writes the books that I want to read.

Ashes to Ashes opens with a fairly gruesome attack, two men are torched to death by a mystery figure wielding a flamethrower. If you have read Finch’s previous books you will know that there is no sugar-coating to be found, Ashes to Ashes will contain scenes which are shocking and potentially disturbing but it makes for gripping reading too.

Heck is in London on the trail of a torturer, however, his chief suspect will flee the city and it is not long before Heck will find himself back in the North West in his hometown of Bradburn. Returning to his childhood haunts will bring Heck back into contact with old friends and family and we get to see in more detail how Heck’s past very much shaped the man he would become.

In Bradburn Heck and his colleagues find themselves stretched between hunting for their torturer (Sagan) and the flamethrower killer (dubbed The Incinerator). To get any clue on their suspects Heck will need to engage and confront the local gangs and this means putting himself in the firing line. Ashes to Ashes keeps the action coming thick and fast, The Incinerator is a chilling character and their pursuit of the potential victims lead to some wonderful moments of suspense.

Ashes to Ashes was an absolute joy to read.  If you like a police thriller with a deliciously dark edge then look no further.

 

Ashes to Ashes is published by Avon and is available in paperback and digital format. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ashes-bestseller-gripping-Detective-Heckenburg/dp/0007551290/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492421085&sr=1-1&keywords=ashes+to+ashes+paul+finch

Follow the tour

Blog tour(2)

 

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September 21

Strangers – Paul Finch

strangersUnknown, 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…

 

My thanks to Helena at Avon Books for my review copy and the opportunity to be the first leg on the Strangers blog tour

 

I suspect that one observation shall crop up quite frequently when Strangers is reviewed…No Heck.  But what is it that makes Heck so good?  Well it’s Paul Finch of course! So when I heard that Lucy Clayburn would be the lead character in Strangers I was actually really pleased. New characters means new opportunities, new adventures and a blank canvas for an author to take a very different approach – one that would not work for the characters we may already associate with that author.

As it turns out that is exactly what we get as Lucy Clayburn is going undercover on the streets to pose as a working girl. No matter how good Heck may be I just cannot see him pulling off that role!

The good news (not that it comes as a surprise) is that PC Lucy Clayburn is a fabulous character.  There are so many spoilers to avoid but I can say she has a dubious reputation in her role which has put a blight on her career to date. Lucy has a wonderfully “punky” attitude which I immediately warmed to and when she is driven to do the best in her role and prove her worth to her colleagues she is a force to be reckoned with.

As we have come to expect from Paul Finch’s books the streets are full of some really nasty bad guys and in Strangers I am delighted that this theme continued.  A female serial killer is murdering and mutilating men and the police have very little to work on. Lucy is recruited to join a team of undercover officers who will pose as prostitutes in a bid to win the confidence of other street girls who may give some clues towards the possible identity of the killer.

But for Lucy a different opportunity arises when she is given some information which could bring the police closer to closing down the activities of some of the worst members of the North West’s criminal underworld. Lucy is desperate to redeem herself in the eyes of her bosses and agrees to put herself right into the heart of the gangster operations.

What she finds, and the consequences of her actions, make for a 5 star thrill-fest. One of those stories which you just do not want to end and one where you feel that no characters are absolutely guaranteed to still be alive come the last page. The best kind of story!

Paul Finch writes books I want to read. If you like crime fiction of the highest calibre then look no further.

 

Strangers is published by Avon and is available now in paperback and digital format.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Strangers-Paul-Finch/dp/0007551312/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474496962&sr=1-1&keywords=strangers+paul+finch

 

blog-tour

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June 12

Hunted – Paul Finch

hunted2Heck 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…

 

Thanks to Avon for my review copy which I received through Netgalley

 

If you follow me on Twitter (@grabthisbook) then you may have noticed me counting down the days to the release of the latest Paul Finch novel Hunted, the fifth book in the fantastic Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg series. There are lots of books I am looking forward to reading, there are few I will countdown to release. The Heckenburg novels are standout reads for me and each new release is highly anticipated – Paul Finch never fails to deliver the excitement and enjoyment I seek.

In Hunted we see Heck return to fold of the Serial Crimes Unit after his brief posting to the North (as depicted in his last full outing Dead Man Walking). A series of rather bizarre deaths across the south of England has captured Heck’s attention. The roving remit of the SCU gives him scope to relocate into a new environment to investigate further. The presence of an outsider does not sit well with the investigating officers and soon Heck finds that he is having to gain the trust of his temporary colleagues while also needing to rely upon their support to progress his investigations.

Heck tries to convince his cynical colleagues there are dark forces at work and that the seemingly unfortunate deaths he is investigating are more than just odd accidents. Meanwhile the reader is fully aware that Heck’s suspicions are right. We have had the opportunity to view the deaths from the viewpoint of the victims and we know that there are two killers at large, working as a team, and that their methods are somewhat unorthodox.

My ‘No Spoilers’ rule is fully in force here. Suffice to say that Paul Finch continues to deliver some of the most gruesome and inventive death scenes in British crime fiction. I love the warped ideas he comes up with and shudder to think what may follow.

I cannot say enough good things about Hunted. I waited patiently on it being released and I devoured it as soon as I possibly could – then immediately started to pine for the next book. If you have missed out on the Mark Heckenburg novels you have missed a real treat. Hunted is creepy, thrilling fun and I score it 5/5. This is what I read books for.

 

Hunted is available now in paperback and digital formats.

Paul Finch is on Twitter as: @paulfinchauthor
He also has a busy corner of the internet at : http://www.paulfinch-writer.blogspot.co.uk/

 

 

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April 1

A Wanted Man – Paul Finch

A Wanted Man

 

It’s 1997 and PC Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg is patrolling the rain-lashed streets of Manchester. In the quiet hours of the early morning, nothing stirs.

Until the crackle of Heck’s police radio signals that all isn’t well out there in the darkness…

‘The Spider’ – a housebreaker notorious for his violent, vicious assaults – has come out to play. And it looks like Heck’s about to become his prey…

 

This was an essential purchase for me as I am fully signed up member of the Paul Finch ‘Heckenburg’ Fan Club. A Wanted Man is a short story and when you download your digital copy you also get a sneak peak at the forthcoming Hunted (due in May).

It is worth highlighting that the split between A Wanted Man and Hunted is 50/50; which is to say that half of the book you purchase is a trailer for the next Heck novel. It meant I finished A Wanted Man slightly earlier than I had anticipated (as I believed I still had quite a bit of reading still to go). But when I pay less than £1 for a book that I really want to read I am not going to quibble too much about the length of the story. Especially when I thoroughly enjoy the story I bought.

A Wanted Man is set in the early days of Heck’s Police career and pits him against wanted felon ‘The Spider’. We get a nice glimpse into the mind of a young Heck and learn of his frustration over a run in with a senior officer. His frustration has taken him out of the Police Station and places him in prime position to uncover a suspicious incident taking place. Naturally Heck has to investigate and that is where the fun begins.

No more clues, hints or spoilers. A Wanted Man is great fun and if you enjoy Paul Finch’s books you will enjoy this one too.

I cannot comment on the Hunted teaser. There is over a month until Hunted is released and I don’t want to put myself through the torment of starting one of my most anticipated books of the year only to have to take a 5 week break to see how the story develops. I will wait for Hunted in its entirety (and probably spend the next few weeks stalking the publishers for a review copy).

 

Paul Finch is on Twitter: @paulfinchauthor

And can be found at: http://www.paulfinch-writer.blogspot.co.uk/

 

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December 23

2014 – My Magnificent Seven

Although I have only been actively blogging for six months it is time for my end of year round up. A quick check of my blog finds that I have reviewed around 50 books in the last 6 months of the year. To select a top 10 from 50 seemed too many so I was going to do a top five. Until I started my list and I discovered that I wanted to include one or two more: Grab This Book’s Magnificent Seven was born.

So in no particular order I present the seven books that I enjoyed reading most (and the reasons why) during 2014.

 

Stalkers – Paul Finch

I was late to the party on Paul Finch’s brilliant Mark Heckenburg novels. The good thing about this was: by the time I read Stalkers there were two sequels and two more on the way.

Stalkers is a compelling thriller which pulls no punches and delivers shocks and twists in equal measure. I have probably recommended Paul Finch’s books to more of my friends than any other author this year – thus far I have had nothing but positive feedback from those that took my advice.

Stalkers Review

Doctor Who: Engines of War – George Mann

Cast your eye over my blog and you will find that Doctor Who books crop up fairly frequently. I make no apology for this, I have been a fan of the show for 35 years and I have been reading Doctor Who novels since the 1980’s. Not counting the books I read more than once, or the many audio plays, I think I have read around 350 different Who novels (although it is probably more).

For me, George Mann’s Engines of War stands out as one of the best that I have read. Ever. It features the Daleks, a new companion (Scarlet) and even better – The War Doctor. The Doctor has been fighting in the Time War, the Daleks fear him and the Timelords still cannot control him. His weariness of the War is telling and this is not a Doctor that can solve all the problems and just disappear in his TARDIS waiting for the next adventure. Mann catches the fatigue and frustration of the Doctor brilliantly.

If you enjoy Doctor Who and have seen John Hurt’s War Doctor in action then this is a must read. If you like an exciting good guy/bad guy story this is also for you, there is a great adventure to share. If you hate all things Doctor Who, this may not be the book for you. But I loved it!

Engines of War Review

 

Vendetta – Dreda Say Mitchell

Some books are in my list for personal reasons and some are here as they are stand out reads. Vendetta falls into the latter category. It was (without any doubt) one of the most entertaining books that I have read in recent years.

I cannot say enough good things about Vendetta and was thrilled to be able to participate in the Blog Tour when it was published. Dreda Say Mitchell penned a fantastic article Heroes to Die For  which featured on my site. The combination of hosting the tour, having an exclusive article to feature and the book being one of my favourite reads of the year made this a memorable title for me.

Vendetta Review

 

Digital Circumstances – Brian Stewart

Summer 2014 was an amazing time to be in Scotland. We had the Edinburgh Festival (as we always do), the Book Festival (as we always do) but we also had Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games and the small matter of the Indy Ref – the world was watching.

Three out of the four events were spectacular successes – the fourth is subject to ongoing debate but 55% of the people were happy at the time!

During the height of all things Scottish I started reading Digital Circumstances, written and self-published by Brian Stewart. The story is (mainly) set in Glasgow and had a great mix of cybercrime and gangsters. As Glasgow is a city I know well and was very much in the public eye as I was reading Digital Circumstances – it just seemed a perfect read at the time.

A fun read and worth seeking out.

Digital Circumstances Review

 

Someone Else’s Skin – Sarah Hilary

A debut novel and the introduction of a principle character (Marnie Rome) which the author is planning on developing into an ongoing series. I have included this book in my top picks of the year mainly because it was a brilliant story which I got totally drawn into as I read.

However, Someone Else’s Skin holds the honour of being the book in 2014 with the best plot twist. It totally floored me and had me re-evaluating everything I had read up to that point in the story.

I read well over 100 novels this year, it would be very remiss of me to exclude the year’s ‘Jaw Drop’ moment from the list of my top books.

Someone Else’s Skin Review

 

An Evil Mind – Chris Carter

A fellow blogger contacted me asking if I could help him by reading a Chris Carter book (a task I felt reasonably comfortable accepting). He had been set a mission by the publishers: to find readers who had not read Chris Carter’s work and see if he could turn them into fans. I agreed to help and duly received a copy of An Evil Mind.

Click through to check my review for a more comprehensive summary, however, the addition of four new Chris Carter novels to my bookcase in the last few weeks should give a fairly big clue as to how much I enjoyed An Evil Mind. When drawing up a shortlist of possible titles to include in my Magnificent Seven, nothing came close to dislodging An Evil Mind from the list.

My thanks to Shaun on this one – take some time to visit his blog at: www.bookaddictshaun.co.uk

An Evil Mind Review

 

Red Rising – Pierce Brown

The book that broke my rules. Don’t get drawn back into Fantasy novels. Don’t start a series of books if the last books are not published yet. Don’t lend out your copies of your favourite books to friends as you know they will love it. Three copies of Red Rising later I currently only have my digital copy left – I MAY get some of my paperbacks back (eventually)!

This book made me want to read Fantasy novels again – this is after an 8 year hiatus where I have only really read crime and thrillers. A must read novel and worthy for inclusion in ANY list of recommended reads.

Red Rising Review

 

So there we have it – my best reading memories from 2014 and a brief explanation as to why these books stood out for me.

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December 1

Christmas Shopping Ideas 2014

The faint sound of sleigh bells is getting louder and it is around now that ‘present panic’ starts to set in. What to get a loved one at Christmas? Stuck for an idea for the office Secret Santa? As a book lover I always encourage people to give a book as a gift and I have a few suggestions which may help simplify your shopping.

 

Vendetta
Vendetta

I will start by recommending two thrillers, both of which I have seen on supermarket shelves in the last week. Vendetta by Dreda Say Mitchell is a brilliant, fast paced story which had me hooked all the way through. The story focuses on an undercover cop in London – in the opening chapter he wakes in a strange hotel room, he has been shot and there is a dead body in the bathroom beside him yet he has no recollection of how he got there. Fans of James Paterson will enjoy the writing style which uses short chapters and constant action points.

 

Second recommendation is Dead Man Walking by Paul Finch. Another policeman, however, this time the action takes place in the Lake District – it is winter and heavy fog has shrouded a Cumbrian village. Hidden in the fog is a murderer who likes to stalk his victims before he pounces – the only way they know he is nearby is that he whistles ‘Strangers in the Night’ as he closes in. With the villagers trapped and isolated- they are easy prey.

A Christmas To Remember
A Christmas To Remember

For those looking for something a bit more seasonal and don’t want half the cast killed off during the story then I suggest A Christmas To Remember by Jenny Hale. This story has been receiving fantastic praise since its release and is hitting the perfect balance of romance, humour and lashings of Christmas cheer. On a similar theme Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake by Sue Watson is equally charming Christmas fare.

If fiction is not your thing then I can highly recommend Our Zoo by June Mottershead. If you remember the BBC drama of the same name then you will likely recongise June’s name – she has lived and grown up around Chester Zoo, which was originally opened by her father. Our Zoo is June’s biography and gives her unique perspective of life with the animals.

For football fans there is one stand out stocking filler: Football Clichés by Adam Hurrey. If you have ever watched a football match on television this is for you…101 ways to describe a goal? Sorted. Diagrams of a player complete with Monkey on his Back and Wise Head on his Shoulders? Hurrey has it covered. Cleverly written and laugh out loud funny.

WTF Knits
WTF Knits

Finally for the craft lovers I have to give special mention to WTF Knits by Gabrielle Grillo and Lucy Sweet. A fun wee book full of the weirdest knitting and crochet efforts from around the world. Another stocking filler as this is a collection of photographs. Yet who knew that so many people would want to knit alien autopsies, a variety of poo shapes or the Bee Gees (complete with knitted chest hair)?

 

All books listed above are easily found online and the only one you MAY struggle to find in your local shops is the knitting one (which is a shame as it is such fun).

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November 14

Dead Man Walking – Paul Finch

Dead Man Walking
Dead Man Walking

His worst nightmare is back…

As a brutal winter takes hold of the Lake District, a prolific serial killer stalks the fells. ‘The Stranger’ has returned and for DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg, the signs are all too familiar.

Last seen on Dartmoor ten years earlier, The Stranger murdered his victims in vicious, cold-blooded attacks – and when two young women go missing, Heck fears the worst.

As The Stranger lays siege to a remote community, Heck watches helplessly as the killer plays his cruel game, picking off his victims one by one. And with no way to get word out of the valley, Heck must play ball…

 

 

I think that my blog may be in danger of becoming a sub branch of the Paul Finch Fan Club. Just after I started blogging I read the first of Paul’s Mark Heckenburg novels, Stalkers. I loved it and reviewed it. I quickly read the second book in the series (loved it and reviewed it). Then I found Paul had written a Doctor Who short story within an anthology I was reading (which also got a review).

Enforced break time…there were only three Heck novels and I didn’t want to rush the last one (The Killing Club).

Some months later my resolve crumbled (mainly due to the imminent release of the 4th Heck novel). I read, and loved, The Killing Club and now sit with the brand new – as yet unpublished – Heckenburg book Dead Man Walking.

Skip forward 48 hours and I am done. Dead Man Walking has been and gone…and I loved it (I rather thought I would).

Dead Man Walking opens some 10 years in the past and we learn of a murderer, dubbed The Stranger, who is attacking then butchering his victims. The police are on the case and a trap is laid and sprung.

Jump to the present and Heck is working in Cumbria – he has fallen out with his boss (Gemma Piper) and been transferred to a small police station where he will be out of everyone’s way. Summer has gone and the Lakes are eerily quiet, particularly when the fog descends.

Two girls get lost in the hills and Heck leads the search. Battling against the fog and the bleak weather he finds one of the girls and, despite the trauma she has experienced, she tells of an attack which sounds remarkably like the work of The Stranger – has he returned?

Heck calls in Gemma. In this fourth outing Piper  takes a much more proactive role in the investigation than in previous stories. I love the Heck/Piper pairing. Given the history the pair share there is great friction between the two and this is heightened by their recent falling out and Heck’s subsequent relocation to the Lake District. For extra spice we have ‘The Other Woman’. Heck has been spending time with the local publican (Hazel), when Gemma and Hazel get together they do not exactly click! There are some great scenes between Gemma and Hazel adding a little light relief to the tale.

Light relief is very welcome as Dead Man Walking is a tense story. The dark foggy nights over a damp, isolated village makes a superb setting – a killer is picking off the villagers one by one and there is a real sense of claustrophobia as Heck, Gemma and Hazel struggle to keep one step ahead of the murderer.

Dead Man Walking was a terrific read, there was a constant feeling of peril hanging over the key characters. Finch introduced a sinister murderer with an almost supernatural ability to hunt down his victims and you couldn’t see how Heck would outfox him. Finally, the author’s use of the weather conditions and the remote locations heightened the tension and make the plight of the characters more vivid. An atmospheric thriller which kept me engrossed right to the last page – full 5/5 awarded to Paul Finch for Dead Man Walking.

 

Dead Man Walking is published by Avon and is available from 20 November.

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November 11

The Killing Club – Paul Finch

The Killing Club
The Killing Club

DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg is used to bloodbaths. But nothing can prepare him for this.

Heck’s most dangerous case to date is open again. Two years ago, countless victims were found dead – massacred at the hands of Britain’s most terrifying gang.

When brutal murders start happening across the country, it’s clear the gang is at work again. Their victims are killed in cold blood, in broad daylight, and by any means necessary. And Heck knows it won’t be long before they come for him.

Brace yourself as you turn the pages of a living nightmare. Welcome to The Killing Club.

 

 

The Killing Club is the third in the Mark Heckenburg series and picks up on the story initially developed in the first book, Stalkers. Although The Killing Club stands well on its own it will add to your enjoyment if you read Stalkers first.

I have become a big fan of Paul Finch’s Heck series, the books have all entertained, I find they bring a great balance of action adventure and police procedural. The relationship between Heck and Gemma Piper, his Boss and former lover, adds an amusing dynamic and an unusual twist to the squad room politics.

Stalkers introduced the Nice Guys a criminal gang working in the shadows meeting the needs of clients who are prepared to pay for a very specialist service they offer. Their operation is blown wide open in Stalkers, mainly thanks to the intervention and dogged determination of Heckenburg. In The Killing Club the Nice Guys are back and they are on a mission to cover any tracks that may expose them further and that involves silencing their clients (permanently).

The action in The Killing Club is cranked up dramatically – like a movie sequel this is bigger and louder, the body count is higher and the set piece showdowns are up to 11 on the dial. All good for a reader that likes an exciting, action-packed adventure.

Heckenburg is a likeable hero – he is driven to track down the Nice Guys and that leads him to push the limits of his authority as a police officer. He clashes with colleagues and does not take kindly to being sidelined when his personal safety is in jeopardy, Heck takes matters into his own hands.

If you have not read Paul Finch then treat yourself to Stalkers, follow it up with Sacrifice and then you will find that you simply have to read The Killing Club. That is what happened to me – the urge to read the next Heck novel just became too much to resist.

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July 27

Sacrifice – Paul Finch

Innocent people are dying. Who will be next? Find out in the second Detective Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg from #1 ebookSacrifice bestseller Paul Finch.

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.

 

A couple of months ago I read Stalkers by Paul Finch. It was my introduction to Detective Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg and I loved it. My full review was posted back in June if you want to see how I enthused.

As there were only three Heckenburg books available I tried to pace myself and not just rip through them all in a week. Sadly my self-restraint lasted just a couple of weeks and I turned to the second book Sacrifice.

People are being murdered – in particularly nasty ways – and on days which coincide with festivals and holidays (Christmas Day, Valentines, May Day). Pressure mounts on the police and even the more obscure festival days are dreaded.

While Stalkers was very much about Heckenburg, I got a feeling from Sacrifice that there was a real Police team in place within Sacrifice and the dynamic between the members of the squad really added to the story. I have a fondness for the squad that Stuart MacBride created in his Logan McRae novels and I found myself comparing Heckenburg’s team with that of McRae’s – both with formidable women in charge!

Sacrifice was everything I wanted as it entertained, shocked and thrilled in equal measures (and I was genuinely surprised where the story wound up when the net started to close in on the culprit).

I cannot recommend Sacrifice enough: it is a great read and sadly I reached the end long before I wanted the story to end.

Now I am trying my best not to read the third book The Killing Club too soon (I want to have something to look forward to).

 

Long HalloweenAs an afterthought it is worth mentioning that when I finished Sacrifice I then felt compelled to read Batman: The Long Halloween. One of my favourite Batman stories which played out in the comics over a 12 month run and features most of the high profile Batman villains (let down only by a rather weak Joker plot line). If you read The Long Halloween you will see why Sacrifice brought it back to mind.

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