In the midst 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 woollen scarf.
DI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach have no motive and no leads – until around the city, graffitied on buildings, words appear describing each victim.
It’s only when they realise the words are appearing before rather than after the murders, that they understand the killer is announcing his next victim…and the more innocent the better.
I’ve made no secret about being excited to read Perfect Prey in recent weeks, the second in the series featuring Luc Callanach and Ava Turner as detectives in the Scottish Police Force. Field’s debut last year (with the first in the series, Perfect Remains) had fast become one of my favourite books and I was dying to read more about Luc and Ava, both of whom are fired detectives with lots of baggage to keep me interested. I am pleased to say my anticipation was much rewarded with another excellent story that had great pace, great characterisation, and great villains.
I have to say I was a bit worried at first as the book opens with a pretty nasty murder. I’m not one for gore and, whilst the description wasn’t particularly graphic, I did wonder what was coming as my experience is that murders often escalate. Which they did here I have to admit but I thought that Fields walked the fine line between descriptive and gruesome really well – or at least for me…I didn’t find myself squirming once as enough was left to the imagination (and there were bits I just chose not to imagine).
The story behind the murders I thought was clever, with a twist at the end as to the motive I didn’t see coming and plenty of action to get me there. Most of the action this time was driven by Luc, an intriguing and complex character – a French officer who had to leave Interpol in public disgrace – he doesn’t do well abiding by the rules. Here he brings in civilians to help in the shape of a news blogger and a hacker. Both I found really well drawn and thought they definitely added to the story. They could do things I would struggle to imagine the police doing and getting away with and I wonder if they will make appearances in future books?
Ava popped in and out more in this book, with her investing running parallel to Luc’s. Unlike the last book, where they were very much a team, here there are tensions from Ava’s personal life which threaten their partnership and the investigation. I felt for Ava but also wanted to shake her at times as she was so obviously making the wrong decisions. Still, when she was there, Fields does a good job of developing her character, which is almost a female version of Luc’s (so no wonder there is a fiery friendship developing between them).
At the end though, there was a bit of a teaser for the next book which makes me think I’ll be seeing more of her next time. I have to say, if they carry on like this, I can’t wait. Loved this one!
Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.
Also, this post is scheduled as I am away. As always, I would appreciate your comments but I won’t be able to reply for a few weeks.