Cover Image: Perfect Crime

Perfect Crime

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I haven't read any of this series before, but this book reads well as a stand alone novel. 
Police Callanach and Ava obviously have history (I'm sure I'll go back and find out more about that in the previous books soon), and it comes to a head in this story. They are investigating a suicide in the town, when it becomes clear that everything is not all it appears to be - is someone actually murdering people who previously tried to commit suicide?
This was a fun book, with decoys and twists to keep you guessing, I have to say I didn't figure this one out!
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When I started to read this book, I did not realise that it was the fifth book in the series. That is completely my error but luckily it didn't impact the storyline at all; the only thing it did mean was that some things, events and people were mentioned that I didn't fully understand the relevance of because I hadn't read the others. But again, that is to no fault of the author and I am looking forward to reading the other books in the series; both previous and any future novels. 

The cases being investigated were SO GRIPPING and I truly did not see the culprit being who it was. There were so many well consealed facts that it was easy to see how the killer was so clever, meaning you'd never guess it was them. The detail that is conveyed into their planning and reasoning was truly well written, and fascinating to read.

The plots of deception and misslead were ingenious and everything in the last few chapters were conveyed with such urgency! I felt like I couldn't turn the page fast enough to see what was going to happen next. The novel is so well written and thoroughly enjoyable to read.
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Somehow this series of police procedurals set in Edinburgh have passed me by- don't know how that happened! Even though I hadn't read the others I was able to slot in & engage with the characters right away.

A young man is all set to jump off the Queensferry bridge into the icy waters of the River Forth when a counsellor who also works for a suicide prevention charity manages to talk him out of it. Not long after the same young man is found at the base of a high castle wall. It is presumed that he had eventually succeeded in his death wish.  Another body is found. The method of suicide seems to be very unusual. There is nothing to connect these people. When another death occurs in the most bizarre method of suicide there still doesn't seem to be  a connection apart from their previous thoughts or attempts at suicide.

Luc Callanach has other worries. An old man in a care home dies shortly after Luc visited him. A visit where he had used his police credentials to gain entry. This puts him under suspicion.

This was a fast paced enjoyable read. For once I guessed the killer! Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read & review this book- I'll be looking out for the next one.
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Brilliant read. The fifth book in a series which is building stronger characters and relationships each time. Can be read as a stand alone, but why would you when the earlier books are available and add so much.
Several strong story lines in this one book, with sensitively handled suicide situations, good police procedurals, forensics, the potential for ongoing romance, and a good romp - what more could you want!
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Another brilliant book by Helen Fields. I’ve read all the Luc Callanach books and look forward to each one.
Following an attempted suicide, Stephen Berry is later found dead at a local landmark. Following similar incidents, other potential suicide victims are being murdered but what is the link? 
In a story running alongside, Luc tracks down the men responsible for raping his mother, with disastrous consequences. 
Once again, a great thriller and I can’t wait for the next one.
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Perfect Crime by Helen Fields is the 5th in the Luc Callanach series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Avon Books, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Series Background:    (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)
DI Luc Callanach is half French and half Scottish, living most of his life in France, and working for Interpol. Due to a false rape allegation made by co-worker Astrid Borde, he leaves France, his job, his friends, his mother. Very few are sad to see him go. With some assistance from his bosses, he heads to Edinburgh to take command of a homicide team. His welcome is not particularly warm. He and DS Lively will never be close, but they tolerate each other - barely. Luc does make friends with a colleague, newly appointed DCI Ava Taylor, and finds an unlikely friend in a journalist.


My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
Some new members have joined the team. Although Max Tripp has worked with them for years, he has now been promoted to Detective Sergeant. DC Janet Monroe and DI Pax Graham have now both transferred permanently. They will all be needed. There are a couple of cases on the table, and neither one is straight forward.

There seems to be a run on suicides right now, and it looks like whole team is going to be kept busy. There are a lot of questions regarding these deaths, and some of these are leading to the idea that there could be a serial killer out there, helping the victims die.

Then there is Bruce Jenson, an Alzheimer’s patient in a nursing home. Luc had visited the man, just prior to Mr. Jenson being murdered. If the true reason for his visit comes out, Luc will have a good motive, and move to the top of the suspect list. DI Graham will be investigating this murder, and already he and Luc are not seeing eye to eye.

Meanwhile, the relationship between Luc and Ava may be heating up….or not.


My Opinions: 
This series continues to be one of the best out there right now. Each book takes the reader on a ride investigating the horrors of humanity. Helen Fields makes sure that her readers see every crime scene in vivid detail. Reader be warned!

The writing flows, the plot twists, the characters bleed….and we feel and see it all.

Helen Fields adds depth to her characters through their personal stories, which are often woven through the crimes that they are investigating. This worked very well in this book.

This book took a look at mental health and suicide, the long-term effects of rape, and of stress. How these affect not only the victim, but others. The author handled all of this really well.

The author, as always, gives us an idea of where the next book may head, and I can’t wait…, and yet I almost wish she wouldn't do this.
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When words like gripping and won't be able to put it down are used next to the title, it tends to inspire a certain expectation of what's inside the book. Don't get me wrong, Perfect Crime is a good enough crime thriller, but gripping? Not so much. There are two cases running side by side, and both are way too easy to figure out from pretty early in the story. That said, the book does run the usual formula for the genre, and there are plenty of tense situations to keep things moving along at a good pace. There's also some romance between our two main characters, and honestly, I'm still not sure how I feel about how that part played out. Nevertheless, the story is well-written, and it did hold my interest even after I had it figured out.
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BOOK BLURB

Stephen Berry is about to jump off a bridge until a suicide prevention counsellor stops him. A week later, Stephen is dead. Found at the bottom of a cliff, DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner are drafted in to investigate whether he jumped or whether he was pushed…

As they dig deeper, more would-be suicides roll in: a woman found dead in a bath; a man violently electrocuted. But these are carefully curated deaths – nothing like the impulsive suicide attempts they’ve been made out to be.

Little do Callanach and Turner know how close their perpetrator is as, across Edinburgh, a violent and psychopathic killer gains more confidence with every life he takes…



BOOK REVIEW

Hats off to Helen she has yet again delivered a masterpiece of criminal genius. If you have not read previous books in the series its ok you will pick up the thread in this. But its definitely best read in its place within the series to get the greatest benefit of who and what the  books are about. This story is more about the dynamics of Luc and Ava than the crimes they are investigating. Sometimes within a series of books you long to know more about  the characters and its that storyline that binds this book together. This is a storyline that is will they wont they  scenario ? get together ? kiss ? fall in  love? you get the picture. Its those questions that rattle round your mind more than the who committed the crimes. That's ok they keep you trapped within the book making it even more compelling. As bodies mount up and cases overlap we see the MIT team chase down leads to bring about a conclusion. The added ingredient of a blast from Luc's past gives us a whole new avenue to follow and adds a surprising sting in this tale. With an ending that will keep us the reader gasping for  the next one. It has also given  Helen more avenue's to explore as the series progresses.
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This is a book written on a very sensitive subject, attempted suicide but it is handled very well and keeps you wanting to carry on reading the book to find out what happens and who is behind it all. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and being back with DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner. These two work very well together but this story tests their friendship.

Stephen Berry is a tormented soul who is trying to attempt suicide but has picked a very public place to do it. Unfortunately a large congregates and watches him with the police arriving and friendly soul who comes to talk to him. He starts having doubts and is eventually talked into coming back to safety and staying alive. A week later he is found dead at the castle and DCI Ava Turner is there to investigate.

Its an intriguing story and keeps you guessing without giving much away. This book is very cleverly written with some descriptive writing covering Edinburgh, the counselloring centre that tried to help the people trying to commit suicide and the police procedures. Lots going on to keep you interested in the book and I didn't want to put it down. I do enjoy this series.
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I really enjoyed getting to meet Ava, Luc and the rest of the team last year. I still haven’t had the chance to read the earlier books so this was only the second book in the series that I have read. There were a couple of things that I felt I would have understood more if I had read the earlier books but they didn’t impact on my enjoyment of the novel.

What I like about this series is it’s originality. I read a lot of crime fiction but I have never read anything like the cases in this book. There are two investigations, one was a lot more complex and creepy than the other. Unfortunately part of it was completely believable, showing some of the more sickening sides to modern day life. It was this investigation that appealed to me most. The other, didn’t really have much of an impact on me until further on in the novel. I did have my suspicions, but thankfully they were wrong. 

The relationship between Ava and Luc is a strange one. I want them to be together but at times it’s not a healthy relationship. I suspect that many readers have more sympathy and liking for him, but I prefer Ava. Probably because I am a late reader, if I read the earlier novels my feelings may change. Luc is just a little too needy.

I’m pleased that will be another novel, I didn’t read the extract (not good with waiting patiently) but it’s one to look forward to.
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The book is set in Scotland where several gruesome murders are taking place.  It doesn’t take long for the police to figure out that all the victims have previously tried to commit suicide.  While the investigation is taking place another investigation into the death of an older man with dementia involves one of the police officers. 
    Even with several murders the book dragged along for me.  There was too much extraneous stuff that wasn’t interesting at all and that goes for the sexual stuff too.  I didn’t think it was necessary and skipped right over it.  
    This is one of the few times that I knew all along who the killer was and of course that didn’t make the story go any quicker. 
     Thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this book in exchange for my unbiased review.
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Thank you to netgalley, the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book in return for review based upon my honest opinion.

This was every bit as good as the previous four and I really love the way this series is going. Although this is the fifth book in the series, I dont feel like you would need to read this others to enjoy this book.  D.I. Luc Callanach is absolutely fantastic to read about and has to be one of my favourite book detectives. I would let him save me any day. Lol DCI Ava Turner is such a strong character in world of men. She leads her team boldly and confidently; they are a fantastic team. I love every character in this book. Even Lively is starting to grow on me.   This book, a series of victims who have previously attempted to commit suicide are being found dead in what at first looks like suicide but is soon found to be murder. Very vicious murders in fact.  At the same time, a man with perhaps a link to Luc’s mother in the past ends up dead and Luc looks suspicious.  Will Ava and her team solve this crime before one of their own is killed. Is Luc being set up for murder. Will Ava and Luc finally see how they feel about one another?  I cannot wait for the next book
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Thanks to Net Galley and Avon Books Uk for an ARC of this book in exchange for a review. 
I didn’t realize this is book five featuring D.I. Callanach, still enjoyed as a stand alone read and I warmed to D.I. Luc Callanach a lot 
Stephen Berry is about to jump off a bridge, his suicide is however prevented with the help of a counsellor but just one week later Stephen is found dead at the bottom of a cliff,  was it an accident, suicide or murder?   There are a few more deaths for the team who are being led by D.C.I. Ava Turner, a woman with her hands and feet bound is found dead in her bath and a young man horrifically electrocuted, who and why these three dead, what links them together .  
A good well thought out plot which keeps the reader engrossed. There are two investigations going on,  Luc is a witness in the second case and is stood down    Luc and Ava are obviously attracted to one another, but they both have little time for a personal life, and just as the are getting closer Ava makes a discovery which throws them as far a part as ever. 
Would definitely read more of this series and would be keen to read some of the earlier books.
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Sometimes when a book reaches the fifth in the series the author can begin to run out of steam - the characters can become tiresome, the plots repetitive and predictable... Helen Fields certainly does not suffer from the trap that other authors can fall into and Ava and Luc are just as compelling as book one and the plot is amazing and wholly original! Well done Helen! I was absolutely blown away by this book.
Ava and Luc are called to deal with a number of deaths which at first glance appear to be suicide, but on further investigation could someone else be involved? If so, who? How are the deaths of the people connected? Who would benefit from the deaths of these people? Why would someone else be involved and make the deaths appear to be suicide? Well done Helen for writing another superb book. I am always intrigued how on earth she can possibly come up with all of these bizarre ideas - she has a very strange mind!
Thanks to NetGalley for a Kindle copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Loved this new book from Helen Fields! The relationship between characters have grown more intense and in spite of the complexities, I loved watching them trying to work it out. The crime was scarier than the previous books and I love how the author upped the psychological mind tricks with this book, making the killer more personal than in the prequels. Helen Fields has grown much as a crime writer since the start of the series.
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Thank you Avon Books for the netgalley!

I've read many different books in the suspenseful/thriller arena, but I have yet to come to a book dealing with people that are involved with suicidal behavior. I have to say that this was the first I had come across and it was interesting to read something different so that attracted me to reading it. The Perfect Crime engages you right from the beginning taking no time to automatically get to the point. It was a well written book that kept me engaged, I figured out really quickly who would be behind all the murders going on.
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This is book five in the Callanach and Turner crime/police detective series, if you haven't read the previous book I suggest you do first. You could get away with reading this as a standalone but you have missed so much of the history I think you would enjoy it more if you knew the back stories.

So this book features suicide themes and some very brutal and graphic murders. Callanach and Turner are investigating what initially looks like suicide(s), as the body count rises they have to consider they have a soulless killer in Edinburgh who is escalating in brutality with every kill. The investigation is on and as with the previous books we also get the personal life of the detectives. Callanach has his own personal investigation ongoing which brings his career and home life together in a way that will threaten everything he has worked so hard on. 

I think fans of the series will be delighted we are getting some light shed on somethings left over from the previous books. Emotive, gorey, provocative, murder, suicide, police procedural, friendship, relationship, secrets and that is just some of what this book packs in. I am a Fields fan, this is a page turner and I cannot wait to see what is in store next for the characters. 4.5/5 for me this time, roll on the next.
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Good suspense thriller which had just enough twists and turns to keep me enthralled. Enjoying the Luc and Ava relationship and looking forward to seeing how that develops.  Hoping her next offering is just as good as this one. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to review it
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Murders pile up in Edinburgh as a psychopathic serial killer works his evil, leaving DCI Ava Turner and her team in the dark. What exactly is going on? We, the readers, learn the link between victims before the police do – a clever device that adds a sense of frustration and horror. My liking for Ava increased even more. She’s such an authentic, no-nonsense character— although she continues to be the only one not to recognise that she’s madly in love. She doesn’t confuse work with her personal life, however, and when DI Luc Callanach seems to be implicated in one of the murders she’s investigating, she deals with it by the book. I love a bit of romance in my crime novels and was rooting for them to finally get things together. I guessed who the killer was quite early on, but this didn’t detract from my enjoyment. Great plot, huge suspense, some horrific murders – clearly ‘the work of a deeply psychotic mind’, bizarre events and a sense that things were spiraling out of control all kept me riveted. This is quite gruesome in parts so is not for squeamish readers. I, however, thought it hugely enjoyable.
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I was late coming to this series but the moment I started reading I raced to catch up. There is a real darkness in the stories, which I love, and with two brilliant protagonists in DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner, what is not to love?

This time the story sees Luc and Ava called to the scene of what could easily be an accidental death or potentially suicide. The victim in question had only recently been stopped from jumping into the Forth, so it is not entirely unlikely that he had chosen to try again, this time succeeding where he had previously failed. And yet something doesn't seem quite right to Ava, even more so when a small anomaly is spotted during the post mortem. When another previously suicidal victim is found dead, this time in circumstances which brook no argument over whether the death is murder, it falls to Ava and the team to stop a brutal killer before they claim more lives. However ... they are a man down. This time Luc has troubles of his own as events from his mother's past come back to haunt him.

Be in no doubt that the themes in this book are quite dark. Whilst dealing very sensitively with the subject of suicide, the victims' deaths are far from peaceful, and there is no sense that they are escaping pain, more being subjected to it on a truly torturous scale. They are not graphically described, we are not there are the point of death so to speak, but enough description is given to leave you as a reader in no doubt as to what has occurred. Nothing less than I'd expect from this series which has never shied away from exploring the darker side of Edinburgh life.

Added into the tension of the investigation you have a parallel murder enquiry, led by newcomer to the team, but not to the reader, Pax Graham. This case is very personal to Luc Callanach, and sees him as one of the key suspects putting him in a truly precarious position both with his job and with Ava. and speaking of Ava, the obvious chemistry between her and Callanach is off the charts in Perfect Crime, and will drive fans of the series mad. It was never going to be easy between those two, despite everything, but another mistake from Callanach's past is going to jump up and bite him leaving some very frustrated, but excited, readers I suspect.

I loved the ebb and flow of the tension in this one - the quiet moments when Callanch and Ava are being completely honest with each other, and the moments of real breath taking action where as readers we are taken right to the cusp of a murder, being it in the present or via a series of flashbacks from the killer. And the secondary story will leave you reeling, closing down a long running storyline which I just knew had to resurface at some stage. Wasn't quite expecting that though.

I wasn't entirely surprised by the eventual reveal of the killer,  it was really only ever going to be one of two people to my mind anyway, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story at all. The distraction of the central characters, the loss of Callanach from the investigating team, even the love sick behavious displayed by Sergeant Lively, all added to the tension and the enjoyment of the novel, leaving flashes of uncertainty and suspense which drew me deeper into the story. And the ending? Well that certainly changes things a bit. I'm looking forward to seeing quite how much, and how Callanach and Ava navigate the latest bump in the road of their friendship. 

And by bump, I do mean Arthur's Seat/Salisbury Crags size hillish bumps. Possibly even Everest sized as lord knows Ava's cold enough towards Callanach right now.

Dark, intense, and full of suspense and thrills, this book will leave fans of the series begging for more. Top stuff.
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