Scent of a Killer by Kevin Lewis

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Scent of a Killer by Kevin Lewis

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The second book in the D I Stacey Collins series works well as a stand alone. It's pacy, gruesome in places and very readable.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 464 Date: June 2010
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 978-0141030111

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D I Stacey Collins is beginning to wonder if it was such a good idea to introduce her teenage daughter to the father she's longed for all her life. Professional Standards at the Met are wondering about her links with the underworld and telling them that Jack Stanley, a major figure in the criminal world, is Sophie's father might well end her police career for good. She gets away with what she says on this occasion, but finds herself side-lined in the next major case – and dong jobs which could well have been handled by a rookie constable. And what a case it is. Three headless corpses have been found in a parked car in a London street and as their hands have been removed too the first major problem is identification.

I hadn't read the first D I Stacey Collins thriller and I did wonder if this might put me at something of a disadvantage, but I needn't have worried as there's sufficient back story to keep you comfortable but not so much that it gets boring. Collins is a feisty woman with a taste for wayward men and not getting tied down. The job is a major part of her life – and a cause of friction between herself and her daughter. There's even more friction when she tells Sophie that, for the time being, she can't see the father she's only just found.

The headless men case is gruesome and there's a mental conflict when it seems that they might have been paedophiles. How enthusiastic can you get about tracking down someone who is taking people (who you'd like to see off the streets) off the streets? But all that changes when the killer moves on and it's obvious that there will be no hesitation about killing the innocent as well as the guilty.

It's one of the paciest stories I've read in a long while – by the time that I was half way through I simply couldn't put the boo down. I read it in a couple of sittings and wasn't particularly keen on leaving it in between. I liked Collins and the supporting cast was three-dimensional too. People who didn't trust Collins weren't wilful – they had good reason for what they thought. If I've one quibble it's that Jack Stanley, murderer, came across as being just a little bit too likeable. It won't put me off reading the next book in the series though!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals to you then have a look at the first book in the series. You might also enjoy the work of June Hampson.

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Buy Scent of a Killer by Kevin Lewis at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Scent of a Killer by Kevin Lewis at


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