A D.I. Callanach Thriller
By Helen Fields
Publication Date: July 27, 2017
Synopsis from Publisher:
In the middle of a rock festival, a charity worker is sliced across the stomach. He dies minutes later. In a crowd of thousands, no one saw his attacker. The following week, the body of a primary school teacher is found in a dumpster in an Edinburgh alley, strangled with her own woolen scarf. D.I. Ava Turner and D.I. Luc Callanach have no leads and no motive - until around the city, graffitied on buildings, words appear describing each victim. It's only when they realize the words are being written before rather than after the murders, that they understand the killer is announcing his next victim...and the more innocent the better.
Starting a new series is always exciting for me. I enjoy getting to know the characters and feeling as if I am a part their journey. Because I enjoy series, my expectations are higher than they would be for a standalone. I expect a character driven, immersive storyline with a plot full of suspense. With Perfect Prey the D.I. Callanach series continued to meet and exceed my expectations.
In Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, murder is a rare occurrence; multiple murders in a short period of time are unheard of. Suddenly the citizens of Edinburgh are under attack, the victims have no connection to crime; they are volunteers and do-gooders who are loved and respected in the community. The killer then begins to leave clues in the form of graffiti around the city, announcing the occupation of the next victim. D.I. Callanach is in a race against a killer who leaves no evidence and whose motive is unknown. Callanach must overcome police politics and the media to find this killer before he strikes again.
I am not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing, but Fields’ writing makes me so anxious. I found myself on edge while reading this book. This feeling of anxiety is what made it almost impossible for me to stop reading. Fields’ ability to create such a tense environment is amazing. The fast pacing and a clock ticking in the background created a dramatic and compelling story. I wanted to hurry the characters along to the next development but I didn’t want the story to end.
The main character, Callanach is very withdrawn and aloof; as a former model, his good looks often intimidate others. Events in his past have scarred him and he finds it very hard to open up to anyone. In Perfect Prey, he is forced to enlist help from some very unlikely sources. In the first book of the series, Perfect Remains, you get the feeling that Callanach is lonely and isolated. He manages to form a strong friendship with fellow D.I. Ava Turner; this friendship seems to have softened him just a tad. The Callanach in Perfect Remains would have never sought help from an outside source, nevertheless become friendly with them. These new alliances have forced him to open up to people and to step out of his comfort zone.
A major part of this story takes place in the dark web. I have read other novels where a story is told using the dark web as a major component. Some of these stories were very hard to follow and complex. They included all sorts of internet and computer terminology which went right over my head. The story was lost in all the tech talk. When this story took a turn towards the dark web, I was a little nervous. I thought I was going to be overwhelmed with terms I could not understand. However Fields managed to take a very mysterious subject and make it understandable.
Although Perfect Prey is book 2 in the D.I. Callanach series, it can be read as a standalone. Fields does a good job providing needed background info. However I feel there is still a lot to learn about Callanach. Readers who start the series with Perfect Prey will be very curious about Callanach and will want to go back and read the first book. Perfect Prey is an energetic, anxiety filled, thrilling read. I eagerly await book # 3.
Murder and Moore Rating:
4 ½ out of 5 stars