I have to say I have never read any of Paul’s previous books, and I really don’t know why I’ve never come across him before. A quick look at Amazon told me this was the 6th book to feature DS Mark Heckenburg; but I must say reading this as a stand-alone, or out of sequence, book didn’t detract from my enjoyment of it.
I had only read the first 5% when I sent a tweet out saying WOW what a start to a book. The next 95% did not let me down either. Its fast paced, and intriguing.
It’s one of those books where you keep looking for a point where you can put it down and get on with what you should be doing. In the end, I gave up and just read it straight through.
Detective Sergeant Mark Heckenberg, Heck, works in the Serious Crime Unit, a national resource based in London. It has to be said he is the typical “doesn’t work to the rules” “always in trouble with his bosses-who secretly like him” type of character. A cross between a British Cop and Jack Reacher. Not my preferred type of protagonist but I really did enjoy this book.
His latest investigation is taking him home to Manchester.
A torturer-for-hire has moved from the Capital to Manchester and the SCU team follow him.
Once they’re there another crime crosses their investigation. Somebody is using a flame thrower to kill people associated some of Manchester’s gangs. Very unoriginally the press give this killer the name of “The Incinerator”.
Meanwhile, as The Incinerator piles up victim after victim it appears that The Torturer is also working within the Manchester Gang Scene.
The race is on to find both killers, who they are associated with, and why they are carrying out the killings.
Vic Ship is the head of a established gang and he has started introducing Russian Thugs into his team to enforce his law.
Lee Shaughnessy is a young man, the head of a breakaway gang. Both have a history of drugs, prostitution and violence. Both want to run Manchester, but is either of them capable of the atrocities that are taking place, or is somebody else trying to disturb the food chain.
The story runs at a very, very fast pace. Every page is a new breathless experience, and maybe, just maybe that could be the only thing wrong with it.
If you like your Lee Child you will love this.
If you prefer a more sedate, and dare I say it, more realistic read then this book won’t be for you.
I have said in previous blogs, and my Bio, I don’t do suspended reality. Yes we have violent crime on the Streets, and yes it is getting worse, but this for me was just a step too far.
However would I read the next one, yes definitely, and not only that I’m going to read the first 5 as soon as I’ve got a chance.
I think I’ve just found my guilty pleasure amongst my usually keep-it-reel reading list.