Book review: Perfect Silence by Helen Fields

Saturday, August 25, 2018 Permalink

I hadn’t realised this was part of a series when I requested it and though there were things I’d obviously missed in the first three books, it didn’t impact at all on my enjoyment of the fourth in the Scottish police series. In fact, it made me keen to read the previous installations… even though I guess I know some of what must eventuate; but I loved the characters and am confident enough in Fields’ ability to spin a good yarn that I’m keen to spend more time with her creations.

Book review: Perfect Silence by Helen FieldsPerfect Silence
by Helen Sarah Fields
Series: D.I. Callanach #4
Published by Avon
on August 23rd 2018
Source: Harper Collins, NetGalley
Genres: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural
ISBN: 0008275165, 9780008275167
Pages: 432
four-stars
Goodreads

When silence falls, who will hear their screams?

The body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh. When pathologists examine the remains, they make a gruesome discovery: the silhouette of a doll carved in the victim’s skin. And when a macabre ragdoll is found nestled beside an abandoned baby, DI Luc Callanch learns the killer’s horrifying game plan – cutting out dolls from the flesh of his victims.

When a series of drug-users are brutally branded with the letter Z slashed into their foreheads, Luc and his partner Ava must risk both their jobs and their lives to unearth the truth. Is this the merciless work of the same assailant?

As the killer’s twisted games persist, Luc knows it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. Can they stop another victim from being silenced forever – or is it already too late?

Fields achieves that great balance between policing and a focus on the crime/s at hand AND on the personal lives and backstories of our characters. She also manages to unfurl two plots at once without them merging in some inexplicable way or it ‘doing my head in’ because one is underdone.

I really liked our two leads: DCI Ava Turner and (her underling) Luc and gather some of the other key players… fellow coppers as well as a skirting-the-law computer hacker, a journalist and a reverend have featured previously along with Ava’s best friend Natasha.

It reminded me of JD Robb’s In Death series and Martha Grimes Richard Jury / Melrose Plant books, which have strong ensembles and aren’t overly reliant on one or two characters.

Fabulous characters aside, the plot(s) themselves are interesting though the main storyline (and crimes) are somewhat macabre. I should mention I also found it very sad, as Fields puts us in the victims’ heads and even the short time we spend with them is enough to realise young lives -and their hopes and dreams – are being snuffed out. (And that’s just not fair…)

The secondary plot is centred around a ‘new’ synthetic drug I’d not heard of…. Spice. I googled it in case it was just fictional and akin to the ‘ice’ epidemic oft-discussed here in Australia but apparently Spice (the zombie drug) is an alternative to cannabis but resulting in effects more like LSD.

The investigating team has a sense it could be a vigilante and (in retrospect) I guess there’s a similarity between the two sets of crimes – both a combo of punishment and sick pleasure… though which is which?!

I obviously very much enjoyed this book and – when my TBR pile diminishes, or I take a break on the reviewing front – I’d like to read some previous books in the series.

Perfect Silence by Helen Fields was published in Australia by Harper Collins on 23 August 2018.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.

Booktopia

four-stars

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