Perfect Kill (D I Callanach) by Helen Fields

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Perfect Kill (D I Callanach) by Helen Fields

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: I didn't realise that this was the sixth book in the series until I'd finished it, which tells you that it reads well as a standalone. I found some of the sexual and violent scenes a little graphic (I'm a bit of a wuss, you know) but it was otherwise a good read.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: February 2020
Publisher: Avon
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0008275242

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When Maggie Campbell realised that her son, Bart, was missing he was already 200 miles away and just waking from a chemically-induced sleep. Maggie knew straight away that something was wrong. Bart might be twenty but he was considerate of his mother and wouldn't have stayed out all night without letting her know. Besides, he didn't have his phone with him and he wouldn't have gone far without that. It's not long before Bart realises that he's alone, trapped in a shipping container and on his way to France, where his fate has already been decided.

Elenuta is trapped, but not in quite the same way. She's been trafficked from Romania and is now in a flat in Dumbryden Gardens in Edinburgh. Finlay did his best to keep his girls clean - that was best for business - but there was hardly any comfort in the flat and there was a constant threat that you would be chosen for 'the race' - and the girls who were chosen never seemed to return.

Meanwhile, in Paris, DI Luc Callanach, on loan to the French authorities from Police Scotland, is part of a team working on the discovery of the body of a twenty-year-old male on a building site. All his internal organs have been removed, with knowledge, if not much skill.

Back in Edinburgh, DCI Ava Turner, head of the MIT, thought that she'd found a way of forgetting about the end of her relationship with Luc Callanach, but sleeping with another DI on the Major Incident Team wasn't her brightest idea, particularly as Pax Graham is rather smitten with her - and she's no less smitten with Callanach. Then the bodies really start piling up.

It used to be that I made a point of not joining crime series once they'd really become established on the grounds that it wasn't fair on the author, but as series get longer and it's harder to pick up that initial publishing contract I found myself slipping into series where I'd missed the early books. Then there's the problem of not realising that the series is already at book six, which is what happened with Perfect Kill. It struck me that there were quite a few allusions to what looked like a very sound backstory, but I didn't realise that we were so far in, which will tell you that the book will read perfectly well as a standalone.

And it was a good read, apart from one quibble. I liked the characters and the plot is well-thought-out, but there are some graphic scenes of sexual violence. If this doesn't generally worry you then you can put this down to me being an elderly wuss with a soft heart. Either way I'd like to thank the publishers for making a copy available to the Bookbag.

Talking of long-running crime series, I suspect that the longest-running, Edinburgh series is Bob Skinner.

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