Review: The Killing Club by Paul Finch (5/5) | Hall of Fame Review |

Wednesday 21 May 2014
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.

Wow, this was a rollercoaster of a read and then some! You know all those old cliches, heart stopping, edge of your seat etc, all of them apply here. I thought Stalkers and Sacrifice were good but Paul has surpassed himself with this book. I predict that this will be one of my favourite crime fiction books of 2014. I am still reeling after finishing it and my heart has only just resumed its normal rhythm. The last 150 or so pages are some of the most enjoyable and thrilling pages I've read in a number of years. I was completely lost in the story and there was no question of me stopping reading until I reached the very end. Sometimes I find it hard picturing scenes in my head, but for this book it was almost like a movie was playing in my head it was so vivid.

Fans of Paul Finch will know that this book continues the story of the Nice Guys Club from Stalkers. Having read crime fiction for a number of years I've come across some pretty sick villains, but the people who are a part of and run the club are amongst some of the absolute worst. The idea behind the club, for new readers, is that for £75,000, the Nice Guys Club will abduct a woman of the buyer's choosing and provide a safe place for him to abuse and rape her before the club dispose first of the body and then of all evidence. DS Mark Heckenburg was the officer who brought down the club, nearly losing his life in the process and resulting in the arrest of its leader Mad Mike Silver, aka Peter Rochester. Enough background about this is given to the reader in the book but I can't stress enough that reading the books in order just makes the reading experience a whole lot more enjoyable.

The book opens with Superintendent Gemma Piper and her boss discussing Rochester and agreeing that Heck should play no part in their attempt to further infiltrate the club. Despite the arrest of Rochester and the death of some of its members, it is thought that there are other clubs in operation around the world and Piper and her boss want Rochester to tell them where. Before they can do that however there's the small problem of Rochester being broken out of prison and the scene that follows this was absolutely fantastic. I won't ruin it but if I had to describe it I would say it was like a scene from Breaking Bad, and it was definitely a sign of the book starting as it means to go on. Some of the scenes in this made me forget to breathe or blink I was so hooked on what I was reading. Blood and gore galore it was bloody brilliant. The top brass are of course shell shocked, and Heck is absolutely desperate for a piece of the action. As the book moves on the club become relentless in their clean up operation and the body count is immense and to be honest I found myself wanting more as the scenes themselves were fantastic to read.

Heck has unfinished business with the club but Gemma denies him any role in the investigation. Of course for Heck to roll over and take that would make for a dull read, so he then breaks every rule possible to take down the club and again nearly loses his life in the process, multiple times! The scenes with Gemma and Heck are some of my most favourite in the book, the tension and chemistry between them is ridiculous. There's a scene I loved with Gemma where she storms into an interview room to terminate an interview where Heck is the suspect in question. She's a fantastic character. Both the personal and professional relationships of Heck and Gemma were pushed to their absolute limits and I can't wait for more in the next book. All too often writers pair colleagues together just for the sake of it but here it is just so believable, the atmosphere of the two of them together on the page is electric.

The book does not let up from the word go. Just when your heart settles down something else happens and you can't read quick enough. I was rooting for Heck right from the start and loving it when he just kept involving himself in the case. He is such a multilayered and interesting character and I feel there's so much more to learn about him. The job is basically all he lives for because of his past and because he doesn't really have any family or friends. Gemma worded it as the longest suicide note in history which I felt was a bit harsh! But probably true at the same time. I certainly felt his frustration at being denied a role in the investigation and was absolutely rooting for him throughout the book. As a huge London Underground nerd I loved the parts of the book set in a disused Tube station, so atmospheric and exciting.

Overall I cannot reccommend this book enough. In the crowded world of crime fiction there's a few authors who stand out from the rest and write incredible books, Paul Finch is one such author and is now one of my favourites. If you are a fan of crime fiction you would be an absolute fool not to pick up this book. Heckenburg is also now one of my favourite fictional detectives, up there with Tom Thorne and Roy Grace, both of whom are into double figures with book releases and I hope we are reading about Heck into double figures too as I am well and truly #HookedOnHeck! I think the only problem Paul now faces is bettering this book, however I have every faith that the next book will be brilliant too, and I can't wait for it especially after the cliffhanger in this book!

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