EXCERPT: He froze. Something had hold of his left ankle. He breathed hard, twice, three times, tried to get to grips with his fear, then he lost it.
‘Get off me!’ he yelled, wrenching his foot upwards, trying to scrabble away. He hit a wall with his head shortly before his foot locked solid and his hip popped from its socket. The scream he let out was loud enough to wake the entire terrace where he lived. He rolled right, instinct kicking in, and the displaced hip shifted again back into the socket, easing the dreadful pain and allowing him to lean forward to take hold of whatever had his foot.
He didn’t want to extend his hand. There was something about reaching his fingers out into the black void that seemed to be inviting a bite. Like slipping your hand into a murky river in the sort of place where, when animals attacked, the general reaction to the news was: ‘What the hell did the idiot tourist expect?’
What Bart found was both less and more terrifying. His ankle was bound by a leather strap. There was no bogeyman occupying the darkness with him. Not one that had hold of his leg anyway. The strap was thick and sturdy, with a chunky metal link sewn through it. At the end of that, he realised miserably, was a chain. What was at the end of the chain, Bart wasn’t sure he was ready to discover yet.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: 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…
MY THOUGHTS: This is the first book in this series, which I have long had marked down to read, that I have read, and I had absolutely no trouble with needing a backstory to fill things in. So if, like me, you haven’t previously read any of the series, don’t let it put you off picking up Perfect Kill by Helen Sarah Fields. You won’t regret it.
This is a delightfully twisty plot that is, in places quite horrific and gruesome…. just what I love. The descriptions are graphic, vivid and leave little to the imagination. The squalor in which the captives are held, the cruel and inhumane treatment by those holding them are all described with a stark realism.
The characters are perfectly portrayed – there is no over the top exaggeration. They all fit and contribute to a breathtakingly horrific tale of human trafficking.
The two main characters, D.I. Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner are well matched. Ava is prickly and extremely hard on herself. She is also decisive and thinks on her feet. Luc is kind and thoughtful, with a quick wit and a genuine liking for people. There has obviously been a relationship between these two in the past that has left them wary of one another, but still able to work as a team.
There is a good mix of personal and professional life, with neither one outweighing the other, and which blend seamlessly with each other.
I am impressed by Perfect Kill. I am, this year, making a concerted effort to read complete series of books I have enjoyed. The DI Callanach series is joining the list. I already have Perfect Remains.
A few of short passages from Perfect Kill by Helen Sarah Fields that I would like to share with you:
‘I’m so glad we’ve always been friends. Mainly because as an enemy you’re terrifying.’
‘Do the letters DC in front of your name stand for Doesn’t Concentrate?’
‘You cremated dinner. It was a cruel and unusual act performed on innocent protein and carbohydrates.’
‘Most human beings move forward only by realising what they don’t want, rather than by experiencing a sudden revelation about what they are actually looking for.’
THE AUTHOR: Helen Fields originally studied law. After that, she worked as a barrister for over a decade. She is currently a successful author and also runs her media company with her spouse.
Fields first became a writer in print with the release of her first novel, Perfect Remains. It came out in early 2017 and quickly climbed through the ranks to become a best seller on Amazon. It is a crime mystery novel and the first in a series featuring a Scottish detective.
Helen Fields resides with her husband David in Hampshire. They have children together and two dogs. She has a deep love of licorice in addition to writing books and reading them.
She has also self published some of her fantasy books as part of her journey. Helen decided that she wanted to go even further and now has a literary representative.
Helen Fields is the creator and the author of the D.I. Callanach series. This engaging murder mystery meets crime fiction kicked off with the release of the first book, titled Perfect Remains. The novel came out in 2017 and was nominated for a McIlvanney Prize.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Avon Books UK via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Perfect Kill by Helen Sarah Fields for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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