Source: Review copy
Publication: 6th February 2020 from Avon Books
He had never heard himself scream before. It was terrifying.
Alone, trapped in the darkness and with no way out, Bart Campbell knows that his chances of being found alive are slim.
Drugged and kidnapped, the realisation soon dawns that he’s been locked inside a shipping container far from his Edinburgh home. But what Bart doesn’t yet know is that he’s now heading for France where his unspeakable fate is already sealed…
DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are working on separate cases that soon collide as it becomes clear that the men and women being shipped to France are being traded for women trafficked into Scotland.
With so many lives at stake, they face an impossible task – but there’s no option of failure when Bart and so many others will soon be dead…
Not going to lie. I am always really keen to read the next in the Luc Callanach and Ava Turner series. Helen Fields has really nailed the art of leaving the reader wanting more, by teasing out those personal moments then dangling a big question at the end of the book.
But the #Perfect books are more than that. Each time I finish one I think to myself that the next one can’t possibly live up to her previous books, and each time Ms Fields proves me wrong. These books are addictive and Perfect Kill, the 6th in this series, is a cracking thriller/police procedural.
Tense, fast-paced, thrilling and suspenseful Perfect Kill is another terrific read. In Perfect Kill the action takes place in both Scotland and France. France because that’s where Luc is – on secondment to Interpol, trying to renew acquaintances with former colleagues after his difficult exit, and currently licking his wounds after making a complete arse of himself with DCI Turner.
In Paris, Luc is part of a team investigating a people smuggling ring and who have discovered the tortured body of a young man on a building site, who may be Scottish. In Edinburgh, Ava has been trying to move on from Luc, though not wildly successfully, and she now finds herself dealing with two murders alongside trying to establish the identity of the body that has been found in France. With an overstretched team, she has a lot on her hands.
The plot of Perfect Kill is strong and her subject matter tackles crimes that make you feel seriously queasy as she shows the dark underbelly of what people trafficking and forced prostitution means for the victims. That’s not the only major evil in this book, either. There’s another, just as horrible crime going on, but this one is covered in the dressing of a rich con trick and is going to be much harder to unmask.
Bart Campbell is a young man with everything to live for. He’s close to his mum, so when he doesn’t come home after finishing his shift in the restaurant where he works she’s not slow to call the Police. By that time, Bart is waking up to find himself chained up, in the dark and in fear for his life. It’s a race against time to see if Luc and Ava can find him.
Fields vivid and truly scary descriptions take the reader straight into the horrors of what is befalling those characters whose lives are in peril. Even when the threat to life is not acute, the way in which the women, in particular, have to live is brutal and truly shocking. Fields never flinches from showing us the true horror of such lives, drawing us in and inviting us to feel the pain.
Though Callanach and Turner work together very well and have the most professional of relationships, which means that they are well placed to discover the links between the cases they are separately working on and to bring them together in a timely fashion. Though their history means that their personal lives are very much grating on each other, an old friend’s illness will force them to set that aside for the time being.
I enjoyed too the way in which Ava’s team is becoming a greater part of the story as their characters evolve and are fleshed out.
Verdict: Perfect Kill is another must read in this series. Sharp and on-point, this police procedural is a gripping, edge of the seat twisted descent into nail-biting hell.
An international and Amazon #1 best-selling author, Helen is a former criminal and family law barrister. Every book in the Callanach series claimed an Amazon #1 bestseller flag. Her next book, the sixth in the series, ‘Perfect Kill’ is due out on 6 February 2020. Helen also writes as HS Chandler, and last year released legal thriller ‘Degrees of Guilt’. Her previous audio book ‘Perfect Crime’ knocked Michelle Obama off the #1 spot. Translated into 15 languages, and also selling in the USA, Canada & Australasia, Helen’s books have won global recognition. Her first historical thriller ‘These Lost & Broken Things’ comes out in May 2020. A further standalone thriller published by HarperColllins will come soon. She currently commutes between Hampshire, Scotland and California, where she lives with her husband and three children.