Perfect Crime (DI Callanach Thriller #5), by Helen Sarah Fields

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Helen Fields, and Avon Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

In a series that keeps finding new ways to impress, Helen Fields captivates the reader’s attention yet again. While on a short holiday from work, DI Luc Callanach finds himself at a care facility, where he comes face to face with one of the residents, riddled with dementia. The reason for the visit is to allow Callanach to confront one of the two men who raped his mother many years ago. Barely able to hold his emotions in check, Callanach wants to make it clear that he will never forget the horrible things his mother was forced to endure, even if he may be facing his biological father at present. Upon returning to Police Scotland, Callanach and DCI Ava Turner are called out to a crime scene next to a castle wall. They are baffled to discover why they might be involved in what appears to be a clear-cut jump. How quickly suicide turns into a homicide, as some of the injuries discovered in the post-mortem are surely the work of someone else. Seeking to better understand the victim’s backstory, Callanach and Turner learn he visited a counselling centre to help with suicidal thoughts, but this brings them no closer to understanding what took place. When a second victim turns up dead with another suicidal presentation, Callanach and Turner wonder if there is a killer on the loose, seeking to turn thoughts into action. Meanwhile, the man Callanach visited turns up dead the same day as the aforementioned visit, smothered with a pillow. Could Callanach have taken out his aggression on a man who could not fight back? DCI Turner seeks to keep her underling’s ties to the victim off the radar, but does wonder if a temporary leave may help from muddying the waters too much. When a third victim is discovered, Callanach and Turner know that they must act fast, not only finding the killer, but also honing in on potential targets before their psychological worries cause a loss of life. Might there be someone lurking in the shadows who acts as a conduit for those who seek death already, or perhaps someone with a sinister game-plan, seeking only pawns in their sadistic adventure. Another stellar addition to the series that will have readers rushing to learn more. Recommended for those who have come to enjoy the nuances of the series, as well as those who love multi-layered police procedurals.

I remember randomly stumbling upon Helen Fields and this series, seeing much of the hype it was getting. As soon as I allowed myself a chance to delve in, I was hooked. From its interesting cases through to its characters who offer multi-faceted approaches to make the narrative even better, there is something for everyone . DI Luc Callanach again takes centre stage in this piece, working through some of the revelations of his personal life, while also trying to advance his career in Police Scotland. Series fans will know he is the ‘pretty boy’ of MIT, but his dedication and determination are second to none. His ongoing interaction with his friend (and now superior) DCI Ava Turner gives the reader something to enjoy as a secondary storyline in this novel, serving as character development for both. Ava Turner proves to be an interesting character in her own right, offering the story new and interesting flavours as she seeks to come to terms with a handful of conflicting emotions as they relate to Callanach. Turner is also trying to keep her team together, even as the commanding officer looks for any holes to tear her apart. With interesting characters who serve in many capacities, Fields keeps the reader’s attention throughout, helping to enrich the story’s growth. The story was a wonderful spin on the usual police procedural, with a killer whose intention is to offer a ‘shove’ for someone already on the precarious edge of life. Adding some development in the Callanach saga can only have interesting fallout for the protagonist, in this and future novels. One can hope that there are more books in this series, whose momentum never stops.

Kudos, Madam Fields, for another wonderful novel. I cannot wait to see where you will take DI Luc Callanach in the near future.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: