Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today I’m posting my review of the last instalment in the “DI Callanach” series: ‘Perfect Crime’ by Helen Fields! I’ve followed this series from the beginning, and I can safely say that it is my favourite Crime series. I was lucky enough to take part in the blog tour for this book – you can find that here. So, keep reading to discover my thoughts…
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…
** TRIGGER WARNING ** This novel explores the theme of suicide in great detail, including graphic scenes of successful, and unsuccessful, suicide attempts. This novel includes graphic scenes of murder, and goes into great detail about all the grizzly details of the murder cases. The theme of rape and sexual assault is also explored in great detail.
‘Perfect Crime’ (April 2019) is the 5th book in the “DI Callanach” series, following on from ‘Perfect Remains’ (January 2017), ‘Perfect Prey’ (July 2017), ‘Perfect Death’ (January 2018) and ‘Perfect Silence’ (August 2018). Fields studied Law and then practised criminal and family law for thirteen years. She then went on to run a film production company called Wailing Banshee Ltd. with her husband, before pursuing writing.
The series has received rave reviews, from the likes of Closer: “With nail-biting twists at every turn, [the series] will have readers gripped from start to finish”, Woman’s Way Magazine: “Without doubt, this is one of the best first detective series I have read” and Saga Magazine: “Genuinely chilling”. Fellow authors have also praised the series, such as Caroline Mitchell: “Deliciously dark and gritty” and Paul Finch: “A fast and enthralling [series]”.
‘Perfect Crime’ follows detectives Luc Callanach and Ava Turner, who must work against the clock to solve a series of gruesome murders that are being posed as suicides. Who is behind the killings, and what is his/her motive?
The narrative is told in the third-person throughout, with different sections/chapters focusing on different characters. The reader is able to gain an insight to the detectives’ investigation, but the victims’ last thoughts and the acts of the killings. The reader is able to learn a lot about all of the characters within the novel.The narrative method is objective and distanced at times, but is also up-close and personal at some points.
The two main characters in the novel are D.C.I Ava Turner and D.I. Luc Callanach. Whilst they work together on the case, their relationship blossoms and they become much closer – although they do face many difficulties and obstacles throughout. We learn a lot about the detectives’ private lives. An aspect of Luc Callanach’s personal life which was brought up in the previous novel becomes extremely significant in this book, and I really appreciated how Fields turned this into a major plot point. Callanach and Turner must work around the clock to catch the killer – can they put their personal differences aside and solve the case?
Other characters in the novel include: the victims and the victims’ families (who all suffer greatly at the loss of their loved ones), fellow detectives and close staff members including Superintendent Overbeck and Dr Ailsa Lambert, and the staff members and visitors at the suicide crisis centre. There are many characters who are interviewed and linked to the murders in some way, making for a large cast of characters within the novel. But of course, all are very important and needed in order to solve the case.
** TRIGGER WARNING ** (I apologise for any spoilers here.) This novel explores the theme of suicide in great detail. It contains successful killings staged as suicides and unsuccessful suicide attempts. It explores the aspect of social media and suicide, for example how a public suicide attempt may be live streamed on social media. Some of the novel is located at a suicide crisis centre, and so mental health and suicide are discussed in detail. The novel contains graphic scenes of murder, and goes into great detail about all the grizzly details of the murder cases and bodies found. Finally, the theme of rape and sexual assault is also explored in great detail. All of these issues are explored with appropriate sensitivity, but if you feel that any of these issues may trigger a negative response, I suggest you skip this book.
As the narrative motors onwards, more murders are committed, but the detectives are no closer to solving them. The murders become more bizarre and the motive of the killer is unknown. A big curveball is thrown into the mix, and the detectives must respond to all the clues that are thrown at them. But will they catch the killer before it’s too late?
So, let’s talk about the ending! There’s a dramatic end scene that is jam-packed full of action. The characters find themselves involved in a life or death situation, and they must stop the killer in his tracks before he takes any more lives. The ending is absolutely fantastic – I physically couldn’t put the book down! I was really pleased with the way events were resolved, and I felt that Fields tied everything together brilliantly.
Overall, I highly recommend this novel to those of you who enjoy grizzly Crime series – but I would recommend starting the series from the beginning. The characters are all fantastic, and I was really pleased with how significant a previous plot point became in this book. My only criticism is that it was difficult to read at times – specifically the suicide scenes. But if you have a strong stomach, I strongly urge you to go out and start this series!
Happy reading 🙂