Perfect Prey by Helen Fields – review

Published by Avon

Publication date – 27 July 2017

Source – review copy

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.

A young man is murdered in front of a crowd of thousands, though no one sees the killer. A nurse is brutally murdered in her own home. DI Luc Callanach and DI Ava Turner soon find that their separate cases are linked. It appears the murderer is announcing their next victim and as more murders occur Luc and Ava are on a race to decipher the clues before the next person is killed.

This is not a slow build novel. It opens with an unusual and somewhat barbaric murder at a music festival and soon more bodies are piling up. The murders are gruesome, the kind nature of the victims making the reader perhaps feel even more sorry for them that they met such untimely and grisly ends.

The characters are beginning to develop more in this novel. There are flashes of humour from Ava Turner, which lighten the tone to just the right amount. The more I read of the novel, the more I liked Ava. Luc still has his issues, tied over from an incident from his past whilst working at Interpol. This lead him to move to Scotland and has had a somewhat physical effect on him. I’m going to sound very unsympathetic but his issues began to grate on me again, as they did with the first book. It seemed as if the issue was a little laboured. I was glad to see that a little peccadillo of his from the last novel didn’t emerge in this one. I was able to be a little bit more sympathetic towards him as a result. (I know this sounds a little vague but I don’t want to give too much away and spoil the story).

Despite my issues with Luc I still enjoyed the story. The dark web features heavily and it made the story feel all the more oppressive and gritty (in a good way) for it. It also made me glad that I really don’t know much about the dark web! The motive for the murders was dealt with in a clever way. I also love the setting of Edinburgh. The story, and back stories kept me engaged, so much so that I went to check my bookshelves to see if I had the next book in the series.

An entertaining, dark, interesting second installment in the Callanach series. I look forward to reading more Callanach and Turner stories in the future.

About the author

Helen Fields’ first love was drama and music. From a very young age she spent all her free time acting and singing until law captured her attention as a career path. She studied law at the University of East Anglia, then went on to the Inns of Court School of Law in London.

After completing her pupillage, she joined chambers in Middle Temple where she practised criminal and family law for thirteen years. Undertaking cases that ranged from Children Act proceedings and domestic violence injunctions, to large scale drug importation and murder, Helen spent years working with the police, CPS, Social Services, expert witnesses and in Courts Martials.

After her second child was born, Helen left the Bar. Together with her husband David, she went on to run Wailing Banshee Ltd, a film production company, acting as script writer and producer.

Helen self-published two fantasy books as a way of testing herself and her writing abilities. She enjoyed the creative process so much that she began writing in a much more disciplined way, and decided to move into the traditional publishing arena through an agent.

Perfect Remains is set in Scotland, where Helen feels most at one with the world. Edinburgh and San Francisco are her two favourite cities, and she travels whenever she can.

Beyond writing, she has a passion for theatre and cinema, often boring friends and family with lengthy reviews and critiques. Taking her cue from her children, she has recently taken up karate and indoor sky diving. Helen and her husband now live in Hampshire with their three children and two dogs.

 

 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. I hadn’t heard of this series before Janet, sounds interesting, if a bit grisly!

    Like

    1. janetemson says:

      It certainly is grisly! 🙂

      Like

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