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Category: Paul Finch

  1. Kat's Review of Shadows by Paul Finch (Lucy Clayburn #2)

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    Shadows Synopsis: As a female cop walking the mean streets of Manchester, life can be tough for PC Lucy Clayburn. But when one of the North West’s toughest gangsters is your father, things can be particularly difficult.

    When Lucy's patch is gripped by a spate of murder-robberies, the police are quick to action. Yet when it transpires that the targets are Manchester’s criminal underworld, attitudes change.

    Lucy is soon faced with one of the toughest cases of her life – and one which will prove once and for all whether blood really is thicker than water…

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    Kat's Review: I was looking forward to the second installment in this series as I loved the first book. This second book was I thought very different to the first. For a start the beginning was a little...sludgy? Is that even a word? I absolutely loved Lucy but couldn't help but feel like she was stuck in a rut? When a spate of Robberies start occurring Lucy of course has to get involved and it seems like there could be crossover with other cases. A few characters in this book I didn't warm to and by the end of the book I discovered why. However I still felt like the beginning was like she was wading in deep mud. 

    Skip forward to maybe the halfway point and it turns into a full on action packed 5 star read. It was literally like reading about a different woman. With Manchester's Underworld leading figures now being targeted it felt like the book ratcheted up the ante and it was every man for themselves. Lucy finds herself in literally more and more hot water as the book continues which just makes it all the more engaging and the second half of the book I read in one sitting, it was absolutely first class. 

    As for the 'Daddy Issue' let's not spoil for others but suffice to say this is a cracking element to the series made all the more interesting with this book. I was almost smiling 'gleefully' at the events that transpired for Lucy on this front. I think for me there was only one element missing and that's a senior figure that is there for Lucy. normally in books like this there is a chain of command but it seems Lucy is almost on her own for most of the time and think that doesn't sit quite right with me. I am a HUGE fan of this series and would highly recommend reading both this and the earlier books in order, another cracker by Finch! 

  2. Kat's Review of Ashes to Ashes by Paul Finch (Mark Heckenburg #6)

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    Synopsis: John Sagan is a forgettable man. You could pass him in the street and not realise he’s there. But then, that’s why he’s so dangerous.

    A torturer for hire, Sagan has terrorised – and mutilated – countless victims. And now he’s on the move. DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg must chase the trail, even when it leads him to his hometown of Bradburn – a place he never thought he’d set foot in again.

    But Sagan isn’t the only problem. Bradburn is being terrorised by a lone killer who burns his victims to death. And with the victims chosen at random, no-one knows who will be next. Least of all Heck…

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

  3. Kat' Review of Strangers by Paul Finch (Lucy Clayburn #1)

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    Synopsis: Unknown, alone, and fearing for your life.

    As PC Lucy Clayburn is about to find out, going undercover is the most dangerous work there is.

    But, on the trail of a prolific female serial killer, there's no other option – and these murders are as brutal as they come.

    Lucy must step into the line of fire – a stranger in a criminal underworld that butchers anyone who crosses the line.

    And, unknown to Lucy, she's already treading it…

    Kat's Rating: 5/5

  4. Kat's Top Ten Books from 2015 - Crime, Thriller, Mystery

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    As ever the time has come again to pick my ten favourite books in this genre from the previous year. I've read over 120 books this year, but surprisingly there were 10 very clear stand out books for me. They are not in any particular order, but all ten would be highly recommended by me and as ever I can't wait to see what else these authors are going to release this year! What makes this list even better is that 3 of these authors I had read for the first time too!





    Close Your Eyes by Michael Robotham

    Synopsis: A mother and her teenage daughter are found murdered in a remote farmhouse, one defiled by multiple stab wounds and the other left lying like Sleeping Beauty waiting for her Prince. Reluctantly, clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin is drawn into the investigation when a former student, calling himself 'the Mindhunter', jeopardises the police inquiry by leaking details to the media and stirring up public anger. With no shortage of suspects and tempers beginning to fray, Joe discover links between these murders and a series of brutal attacks where his victims have been choked unconscious and had the letter 'A' carved into their foreheads. As the case becomes ever more complex, nothing is quite what it seems and soon Joe's fate, and that of those closest to him, become intertwined with a merciless, unpredictable killer. 

    Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

    Synopsis: When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping. And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad. Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour. Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price? 

    Blood Country by Sean Black

    Synopsis: The second novel in the award-nominated Byron Tibor series. 

    Having fled his home in New York, and still hunted by the Federal government, special forces veteran Byron is forced to intervene when he stumbles across unsettling events in a small Texas border town. The first novel in the series, Post, is nominated for the 2015 International Thriller Writers' Awards to be held in New York on July 11th. 

    Those Girls by Chevy Stevens

    Synopsis: Life has never been easy for the three Campbell sisters. Jess, Courtney, and Dani live on a remote ranch where they work hard and try to stay out of the way of their father's temper. One night, a fight gets out of hand and the sisters are forced to go on the run, only to get caught in an even worse nightmare when their truck breaks down in a small town. As events spiral out of control they find themselves in a horrifying situation and are left with no choice but to change their names and create new lives. Eighteen years later, they are still trying to forget what happened to them. But when one of the sisters goes missing, followed closely by her niece, they are pulled back into the past. And this time there's nowhere left to run. 

    Liar, Liar by M J Arlidge

    Synopsis: In the dead of night, three raging fires light up the city skies. It's more than a tragic coincidence. For DI Helen Grace the flames announce the arrival of an evil she has never encountered before. Because this is no firestarter seeking sick thrills, but something more chilling: a series of careful, calculating acts of murder. But why were the victims chosen? What's driving the killer? And who will be next? A powder keg of fear, suspicion and dread has been laid. Now all it needs is a spark to set it off. 

    The Lie by C L Taylor

    Synopsis: This was no accident…I know your name’s not really Jane Hughes . . .Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She’s happier than she’s ever been but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist. Five years earlier Jane and her then best friends went on holiday but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women. Jane has tried to put the past behind her but someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Jane and everything she loves. 

    Hunted by Paul Finch

    Synopsis: Heck needs to watch his back. Because someone’s watching him…Across the south of England, a series of bizarre but fatal accidents are taking place. So when a local businessman survives a near-drowning but is found burnt alive in his car just weeks later, DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg is brought in to investigate. Soon it appears that other recent deaths might be linked: two thieves that were bitten to death by poisonous spiders, and a driver impaled through the chest with scaffolding. Accidents do happen but as the body count rises it’s clear that something far more sinister is at play, and it’s coming for Heck too. 

    Those We Left Behind by Stuart Neville

    Synopsis: When 12-year-old Ciaran Devine confessed to murdering his foster father it sent shock waves through the nation. DCI Serena Flanagan, then an ambitious Detective Sergeant, took Ciaran's confession after days spent earning his trust. He hasn’t forgotten the kindness she showed him – in fact, she hasn't left his thoughts in the seven years he’s been locked away. Probation officer Paula Cunningham, now tasked with helping Ciaran re-enter society, suspects there was more to this case than the police uncovered. Ciaran’s confession saved his brother Thomas from a far lengthier sentence, and Cunningham can see the unnatural hold Thomas still has over his vulnerable younger brother. When she brings her fears to DCI Flanagan, the years of lies begin to unravel, setting a deadly chain of events in motion. 

    The Wronged by Kimberley Chambers

    Synopsis: With family like this, who needs enemies. There are some families that welcome newcomers with open arms, then there are the Butlers. An East End family no good girl wants to marry into. Jo fell for Vinny Butler’s good looks but when she buried her little daughter, she buried her heart as well. Michael Butler was always the nice one, until he started running the family business. Nancy is desperate to leave, and though she would never turn her back on her children, every step they take in their father’s footsteps destroys her a little more. As the old saying goes – you keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. But you keep your family right where you can see them. 

    Born In A Burial Gown by Mike Craven

    Synopsis: Detective Inspector Avison Fluke is a man on the edge. He has committed a crime to get back to work, concealed a debilitating illness and is about to be made homeless. Just as he thinks things can’t get any worse, the body of a young woman is found buried on a wet, Cumbrian building site. Shot once in the back of the head, execution style, it is a cold, calculated murder. When the post-mortem reveals she has gone to significant expense in disguising her appearance, and the only clue to her identity is a strange series of numbers, Fluke knows this is no ordinary murder. With the help of a psychotic ex-Para, a gangland leader and a woman more interested in maggots than people, Fluke must find out who she was and why she was murdered before he can even think about finding her killer. As the body count rises and his investigation takes him from poverty stricken estates to picture perfect Lake District villages, he realises his troubles are only just beginning. Because someone, somewhere has a plan and if Fluke can’t figure out what’s happening, he may just be next. 

  5. Kat's Review of Hunted by Paul Finch (Mark Heckenburg #5)

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    My Rating: 5/5

    Availability: Paperback, Kindle, Nook, Kobo

    Synopsis: Heck needs to watch his back. Because someone’s watching him. Across the south of England, a series of bizarre but fatal accidents are taking place. So when a local businessman survives a near-drowning but is found burnt alive in his car just weeks later, DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg is brought in to investigate. Soon it appears that other recent deaths might be linked: two thieves that were bitten to death by poisonous spiders, and a driver impaled through the chest with scaffolding. Accidents do happen but as the body count rises it’s clear that something far more sinister is at play, and it’s coming for Heck too.

  6. Kat's Top Ten books from 2014 - Crime, Thriller & Mystery

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    As with last year I wanted to pick my top ten reads from all of last year. This doesn't mean they were published in 2014 (just that I read them in that year). There is no way I can put them in any kind of order (that's just TOO difficult) but these are definitely the best of the bunch last year for me.

    One Kick by Chelsea Cain

    Payback by Kimberley Chambers

    Bad Blood by Casey Kelleher

    An Evil Mind by Chris Carter

    Broken Dolls by James Carol

    Betrayed by Anna Smith

    Stalkers by Paul Finch

    Flare by Paul Grzegorzek

    Post by Sean Black

    Dead Scared by Sharon Bolton





  7. Kat's Review of Dead Man Walking by Paul Finch (Mark Heckenburg #4)

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    My Rating: 4/5

    Availability: Paperback & Kindle (20.11.14), Kobo (20.11.14), Nook (20.11.14)

    Synopsis: Beware the stranger in the night…

    Consigned to a remote valley in the Lake District, DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg is getting used to a quieter life – a far cry from the bloodbath of his former division, the Serial Crimes Unit. But wherever Heck goes, trouble is never far behind.

    Unknown to Heck, ‘The Stranger’ has returned. Last seen on Dartmoor ten years earlier, this prolific serial killer has found a new home. As a dense, frozen mist descends on the Lakes, The Stranger returns to his old ways, starting with two young women lost high on the hills. Only one girl is ever found – barely alive – but able to confirm Heck’s worst fears.

    As The Stranger lays siege to the remote community, Heck helplessly watches as the killer plays his cruel game, letting off his trademark call before viciously picking off his victims.

    And with no way to get word out of the valley, Heck has no choice but to play ball…

    Lock your doors and bar your windows. Because when the mist descends, you never know who’s watching you…

    **Please note, if you plan to read the Heck Books in order, then don’t read this review as it will inevitably contain spoilers**

  8. Kat's Review of The Killing Club by Paul Finch (Heckenburg #3)

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    Paul FInch The Killing CLubMy Rating: 4/5

    Availability: Paperback & Kindle, Nook and Kobo (available 22nd May 2014),

    Synopsis: DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg is used to bloodbaths. But nothing can prepare him for this. Heck’s most dangerous case to date is open again. Two years ago, countless victims were found dead - massacred at the hands of Britain’s most terrifying gang.

    When brutal murders start happening across the country, it’s clear the gang is at work again. Their victims are killed in cold blood, in broad daylight, and by any means necessary. And Heck knows it won’t be long before they come for him.

    Brace yourself as you turn the pages of a living nightmare. Welcome to The Killing Club.

    My Review: Paul Finch’s series of books featuring DS Mark Heckenburg (otherwise known as Heck) started with book one featuring a nasty bunch of killers named The Nice Guys. The Nice Guys were a horrific bunch of people who ran a ‘rape-for-hire’ business catering to the most sadistic of men. In the first of the series (entitled Stalkers) only one person ended up being behind bars and that was Peter Rochester. Between Heck’s boss DS Gemma Piper and the lead guy Frank Tasker, part of the Serious Crime Unit they are desperately trying to get some insider knowledge from him, with a view to shutting down the Nice Guys for good.

    What actually happens is that they manage to set off a chain event which is nothing short of an absolute cluster fuck. As with Finch’s previous books there are more bodies than most people have hot dinners. In addition to this you get a serving of violence, a handful of plot twists and a dash of gore. The book certainly ratchets up the dial in terms of suspense and it’s incredibly fast paced. The writing was great and you feel yourself being pulled into the story for the very beginning.

    For me though, it’s all about the characters. Now Mark Heckenburg on paper appears like many other typical Crime leads (especially where coppers are concerned). I have now realised (by the very end of this book) that Heck is a little bit special. He may appear to be like many others on paper, but in reality this is a bloke that actually doesn’t give a shit either way. Heck has some serious attitude, without appearing cocky. This latest Heck book also takes him head first into the danger zone and although he is by no means Rambo, the boy can look after himself. One thing I noted (and loved) was that there were a few situations where you realise Heck is almost at the point of giving up, and sometimes he just gets lucky. It’s nice when there isn’t always a character solving an issue because he knows everything, he is just damn lucky.

    There were loads of plot twists and believe me you wont have time to put this one down and ‘go back to it’. Its one of those you just have to keep reading. I thought this was a great book absolutely packed full of action and a thoroughly enjoyable read. However, Stalkers still holds the edge as my favourite out of the three. The ending to this latest book was also fabulous and it’s made me want to read the next one even more.