Published by Hodder & Stoughton
Available in ebook, audio & hardback (11 February 2021) | paperback (16 September 2021)
Source: Copy received for review
ABOUT THE BOOK
‘Leave your daughter with me, or I will kill you both’
It felt like a normal Friday evening before Karl and his daughter Leah were ambushed by a figure in a blank mask. At knife point, Karl is forced to make an impossible choice. Stay and die, or walk away from Leah and take this thug’s word that they both will live.
Should Karl trust a villain and leave his daughter with a knife at her throat? Could he ever live with himself if he did?
It’s not long before more seemingly unconnected and innocent people across London are offered a deal in exchange for their life. More blood is spilled, more families shattered, and more people are left to suffer with the consequences of their decisions.
DI Alex Finn and DC Mattie Paulsen must hunt for a killer that appears to have no face, no motive and no conscience before more victims are forced to make their choice.
This is second in Will Shindler’s Finn and Paulsen series – a British detective series that ranks with Mark Billingham, M.J. Arlidge and Stuart MacBride.
Having read and enjoyed Will Shindler’s debut last year, reviewed here – The Burning Men, I jumped at the chance of reviewing The Killing Choice for the blog tour and my thanks to Jenny of Hodder & Stoughton for the invitation and review copy.
My word, this story has a twisted premise, with random people being forced at knifepoint to make a horrendous decision that none of us could ever contemplate.
Karl and his daughter Leah meet at London’s Crystal Palace dinosaur park one evening on their way to dinner. But before they can leave the park they are accosted by someone wearing a mask and carrying a large knife. Karl is faced with a terrible choice and life will never be the same again. Sadly Karl will not be the only one.
It is nearly a year since DI Alex Finn lost his wife Karin and he is still going through the grieving process. First in the office and the last to leave, he feels himself that his state of mind is affecting the way he does his job and although his team have his back, his struggles haven’t gone unnoticed. However he won’t accept that he needs help and it takes another tragedy to make him realise that he needs to practice what he preaches. Finn still comes over as a troubled soul. His grief aside, he is not naturally a people person and is getting too comfortable with his solitary existence.
DC Mattie Paulsen makes a return appearance, this time with more focus on her personal life which is causing a distraction from her professional duties. She is still trying to fit in with the rest of the team and is difficult to get to know but she works well with Finn and the two of them appear to have reached an understanding.
The plot is a multi layered one that leads into other aspects of criminal activity involving drugs and violent crime that Finn also has to investigate. His instinct tells him that to solve this spate of vicious knife crime he must follow a certain tract but with little in the way of hard evidence he has a hard time trying to persuade his superiors to trust his judgement.
This is the second in the series and is another excellent read. Moral dilemmas, media intrusion, grief and guilt as well as having to deal with the consequences of actions – all are bound up in a fast paced and cleverly plotted story that is both tense and exciting with the various strands being pulled together to reach a dramatic conclusion. I loved it and couldn’t read it quickly enough. There are so many crime series but this one, whilst fairly new to the crime scene, deserves its place amongst the best. There is a book 3, ‘The Hunting Ground’, coming next year. I can’t wait!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Will Shindler has been a broadcast journalist for the BBC for over twenty-five years, spending a decade working in television drama as a scriptwriter on Born and Bred, The Bill and Doctors. His time on these leading prime time dramas has given him a rich grounding in authentic police procedure, powerful character development and gripping narratives. He currently combines reading the news on BBC Radio London with writing crime novels and has previously worked as a television presenter, a sports reporter for BBC Radio Five Live, and one of the stadium presenters at the London Olympics. He is the writer of The Burning Men and The Killing Choice.