Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all well. Today I’m going to be posting my review of Helen Fields’ latest novel, ‘Perfect Death’. The book is released into the world today! I’m also going to be taking part in the blog tour for this book on 1st February, so keep your eyes peeled for that. So, keep reading…
There’s no easy way to die…
Unknown to DI Luc Callanach and the newly promoted DCI Ava Turner, a serial killer has Edinburgh firmly in his grip. The killer is taking his victims in the coldest, most calculating way possible – engineering slow and painful deaths by poison, with his victims entirely unaware of the drugs flooding their bloodstream until it’s too late.
But how do you catch a killer who hides in the shadows? A killer whose pleasure comes from watching pain from afar? Faced with their most difficult case yet, Callanach and Turner soon realise they face a seemingly impossible task…
** TRIGGER WARNING ** Includes descriptions to sexual assault, including a scene detailing a rape. Also includes references to mental illness, including graphic scenes of self-harm, plus suicide.
‘Perfect Death’ is released today (25th January 2018) and is the third instalment in the #1 bestselling D.I. Callanach series, following on from ‘Perfect Remains’ (January 2017) and ‘Perfect Prey’ (July 2017). Helen Fields studied Law at university and practised law for a number of years, before going on to run a film production company. She then moved towards writing as a profession.
The series has received lots of positive praise, such as Woman’s Way Magazine: “Without doubt, this is one of the best detective series I have read” and Saga Magazine: “Genuinely chilling”. Fellow authors have also praised the series, for example Chris Brookmyre stated “Relentless pace, devilish cleverness and a laser-sharp focus on plot”, and Paul Finch called it “A fast and enthralling thriller [series]”.
‘Perfect Death’ opens with the death of Lily Eustis, who is murdered in suspicious circumstances with very little forensic evidence. It soon comes to light that the killer is poisoning his victims – but the motive behind his attacks remains unclear. D.I. Turner, D.I. Callanach and the rest of the team must work hard to find the killer … but will they catch him in time?
The narrative is written in the third person throughout, and each section/chapter focuses on a different character or strand of the plot. The reader is given an insight to the lives of a large cast of characters, who are all very unique and all bring something different to the story. There are many sub-plots within the novel, with each character playing a very different role.
The two main detectives in the novel are D.I. Luc Callanach and D.I. Ava Turner. Callanach has a large amount of authority and power within the investigation, and soon becomes heavily involved in his own sub-plot. He’s an expert in the field, but this case truly tests him to his limits. Turner has been recently promoted and is taking care of her own strand to the investigation, but makes a fair few mistakes along the way. She isn’t perfect, but she always does her best to protect others.
Other characters within the novel include the victims and the victims families (who all rightfully suffer with the loss of their family members), Christian and Bradley (the less said about them in this review the better), and thugs from the nightclub (who end up taking prevalence in Callanach’s investigations). And of course, there are many other members of the police team involved in solving the cases. As you can see, there is a wide cast of characters within the novel – but all are excellently constructed and unique.
** TRIGGER WARNING ** This novel discusses the theme of sexual assault in some detail. In particular, there is a scene that describes a violent rape which some readers may find distressing. The novel also explores mental illness in some depth. There are some graphic scenes of self-harm which are pretty upsetting, and I personally really struggled to read them. If any of these issues may be triggering for you, I suggest you skip this book.
As the narrative motors on, the plot gets more and more complex, and many new strands get introduced to the story. It’s hard to keep track of everything that’s going on at once, but it is possible! The team must put in large amounts of effort and time in order to solve the case and stop the killer before it’s too late. All the consecutive narratives progress fantastically, clashing together in the end.
So, let’s talk about the ending. I did really enjoy the ending – it’s jam-packed full of action, but also contains some much-needed narrative explanation. There’s a dramatic end scene in which the killer almost succeeds with another victim, but the team manage to get there just in time. We learn all about the killer’s motive and what makes him tick, which was definitely needed! A brilliant ending.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to those of you who enjoy detective/crime fiction, specifically those involving multiple murders. It’s full of suspense, drama and plenty of twists and turns! The book did let me down slightly, however. There was a backstory introduced to one of the characters quite early on in the book, but it was quickly forgotten about in the second half of that novel, which really disappointed me. Therefore, I would recommend ‘Perfect Prey’ over this book. But still, it was a very enjoyable read!
Happy reading 🙂