Kiss of Death (Detective Mark Heckenburg, Book 7) by Paul Finch

KK Conley Review:

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This is a fast paced thriller featuring DS Paul ‘Heck’ Heckenburg, a loose cannon on Britain’s Serial Crimes Unit. He’s survived for ten years in the job because he gets results that are worth more than chaos he creates. While displaying immature attitudes and behavior, he can be charming, and is not so set in his opinions that he can’t change his mind. He’s tenacious, and has let the job consume his life. Overall, Heck is an entertaining protagonist who comes to understand himself better over the course of the book. Of course, he gets help from his junior partner on this journey.

My only concern is the beginning.

There’s a prologue that is unnecessary and contributes only a little to the story. It set a level of expectation for me that didn’t pay off what it promised. Chapter one describes a sting operation on a series of priest-murdering-thugs. This is well written and suspenseful, but once the sting is over, the book dissolves into exposition disguised as dialogue that explains who the main players and their relationships to each other. Too many characters were introduced at one time, and I had to write them down to keep them straight. This is the seventh book in the series, and I understand Finch’s need to describe the players. I wish he’d found a more exciting way to accomplish this.

The story is set in London with a few side trips. It revolves around ubiquitous budget cuts and fear that the Serial Crimes Unit might be dissolved. To prove their importance, the unit combines with a cold case unit and goes after the twenty most heinous criminals in the country. Some of the cases are several years old, and the criminals have disappeared. Heck is paired with a junior partner that he previously worked with, and they are assigned the crime described in the prologue.

The author describes good police work in a credible fashion. He also makes clear when Heck steps over the line. The story has several plot twists, some predictable, but most not.

Once into the story, the action starts and doesn’t let up until the final page. The book is well worth the read.

Booklist Online Review:

Not available

Amazon Description & Rating:

Could this be the end for Heck?

The Sunday Times bestseller returns with an unforgettable crime thriller. Fans of MJ Arlidge and Stuart MacBride won’t be able to put this down.

Don’t let them catch you…

A Deadly Hunt
DS ‘Heck’ Heckenburg has been tasked with retrieving one of the UK’s most wanted men. But the trail runs cold when Heck discovers a video tape showing the fugitive in a fight for his life. A fight he has no chance of winning.

A Dangerous Game
Heck realises that there’s another player in this game of cat and mouse, and this time, they’ve not just caught the prize: they’ve made sure no one else ever does.

A Man Who Plays With Fire
How far will Heck and his team go to protect some of the UK’s most brutal killers? And what price is he willing to pay?

5.0 Stars out of 5.0, (5 customer reviews)

Goodreads Rating:

4.62 Stars out of 5.0, (63 ratings)

Author’s Description:

(from Paul Finch’s Blog) Publication of KISS OF DEATH, my 7th Heck novel, is now only days away. For the uninitiated, it comes out on August 9th, and I can promise my regular readers, and even those who aren’t regular but are perhaps thinking about dipping in, that it contains its usual full-on quota of intrigue, suspense, terror (at times), its trademark irreverent approach to policing, yet more tense, emotional entanglements between Heck and the women in his life, and of course … action.

And indeed, it’s ACTION that is basically in the frame today. In particular, the really dangerous things that Heck occasionally does in order to snag the bad guys. In fact, today I’ve opted to compile a list of HECK’S TOP TEN MOST HAIR-RAISING MOMENTS – so, hopefully we can have some fun with that.

Book Trailer (audio excerpt): 


Praise for KISS OF DEATH

‘Paul Finch on absolutely top form. Kiss of Death is a non-stop gut-twister with a surprisingly spooky edge. Another amazing book from a superlative writer. I defy anyone to put it down once they’ve started reading. On my top reads list of 2018.’ HELEN FIELDS

‘Plausible, action packed, KISS OF DEATH grabbed my attention right from the start, and never let up. I couldn’t stop reading!’ LEIGH RUSSELL

‘Another characteristically exciting and dramatic outing for DS ‘Heck’ Heckenburg . . . Kiss of Death grips from the outset and doesn’t let up. Paul Finch is a master of his game!’ ALISON LITTLEWOOD

‘Perfectly paced, this is a gripping, dark thriller which will leave you in suspense until the very last page.’ NEIL SPRING

‘Dark and twisted, Kiss of Death is Paul Finch at his very best!’ NEIL WHITE

‘A slick, page-turning crime thriller that is one hell of a roller-coaster white-knuckle ride. Finch doesn’t take his foot off the accelerator right up until the last page which leaves you breathless and stunned, desperate for more. A masterpiece!’ DANIELLE RAMSAY

‘Packed with action, suspense, and mystery. Paul Finch delivers a high speed thriller, with a twist of humour and horror. John Carpenter meets The Sweeney.’ JAY STRINGER

Praise for PAUL FINCH

‘Edge-of-the-seat reading…Heck is formidable – a British Alex Cross.’ SUN

‘Wonderfully dark and peppered with grim humour. Finch is a born storyteller and writes with the authentic voice of the ex-copper he is.’ PETER JAMES

‘An ingenious and original plot. Compulsive reading.’ RACHEL ABBOTT

‘A deliciously twisted and fiendish set of murders and a great pairing of detectives.’ STAV SHEREZ

‘Avon’s big star…part edge-of-the-seat, part hide-behind-the-sofa! An excellent series.’ THE BOOKSELLER

‘An explosive thriller that will leave you completely hooked on Heck.’ WE LOVE THIS BOOK