Source: Review copy
Publication: 18 April 2019 from Avon
Your darkest moment is your most vulnerable…
Stephen Berry is about to jump off a bridge until a suicide prevention counsellor stops him. A week later, Stephen is dead. Found at the bottom of a cliff, DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner are drafted in to investigate whether he jumped or whether he was pushed…
As they dig deeper, more would-be suicides roll in: a woman found dead in a bath; a man violently electrocuted. But these are carefully curated deaths – nothing like the impulsive suicide attempts they’ve been made out to be.
Little do Callanach and Turner know how close their perpetrator is as, across Edinburgh, a violent and psychopathic killer gains more confidence with every life he takes…
If you have read any of these books before, you will know that there is nothing Helen Fields likes more than finding ever more gruesome ways to kill off her victims. This is an author with a deliciously dark mind who does clearly enjoys seeing what kind of psychopathic killer she will release onto the streets of Edinburgh.
Ms Fields also likes to give her more regular characters a rough ride. So just when you think the fortunes are pointing the way ahead to D.I. Luc Callanach and D.C.I. Ava Turner, Fields will snatch away any chance of that in favour of yet another deeply frustrating set of encounters. This will they/won’t they game is played with aplomb, but this time Helen Fields has really set the cat amongst the pigeons.
A string of suicides in Edinburgh now appear to be murders, though it takes the police a while to come to that conclusion. In this fifth book in the series, Fields has strengthened he cast with some new promotions including DI Pax Graham and the team as a whole now looks more solid and lode bearing which should allow for greater flexibility in the forthcoming story arcs.
The murder/suicides form the first part of the story arc, whilst a long running story involving Luc and his past forms the second thread. I’m pleased to see that D.S. Overbeck plays a larger role in this book and we begin to understand a bit more about her as a character.
As to the serial killer, it’s fair to say that finding the culprit isn’t a hard spot, but that matters little as this well-written police procedural keeps you glued to your seat as you navigate the tension-fuelled pages.
Verdict: Dark, entertaining, witty. A fast-paced, thrilling story that keeps you on the edge of your seat and puts your heart in your mouth as you wait for the outcome of a battle to the death.
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.
The Perfect series 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.
You can follow Helen on Twitter @Helen_Fields