Kiss Of Death is Paul Finch’s seventh novel about the adventures of Mark ‘Heck’ Hecklenburg, a detective with the Serious Crimes Unit in London. I haven’t read any of the other books, but this one has definitely put Finch on my list as an author I’d like to read more of. The book stands perfectly well as a standalone, though there are references to cases solved and events occurring in earlier books in the series which make me keen to go back and read them.
The story starts with Heck and his team apprehending a gang of anti-Christians who’ve been killing parish priests, interwoven with a couple of apparently unrelated scenes which become integral to the plot later on. The SCU are fighting to stay viable in an age of austerity cuts and combine with the Cold Case unit to undertake Operation Sledgehammer, dedicated to finding some of Britain’s most notorious and wanted criminals.
Assigned to find a nasty piece of work in Hull, Heck pulls on an apparently random thread and soon a much, much bigger case is unfolding, one which leads him in surprising directions. I’m not going to give away too much of the plot, but the author obviously knows his stuff as everything made logical sense as the case wound towards a resolution.
However, at the end of the book there is a massive, shocking scene which flips everything on its head for Heck. It’s a major cliffhanger and will obviously have huge repercussions moving forward. Ordinarily I’m not a fan of cliffhangers in books, but in cases like this, well into a long-running series with an established fan following, I think you can occasionally get away with it. I definitely want to read the next in the series to find out how things unfold, anyway!
Five stars for a fascinating read, excellent police procedure and a well-paced story.
Kiss Of Death is available now in all major ebook stores.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.