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Monday 3 January 2022

‘Last Victim’ by Helen H Durrant.

Published by Joffe Books,
2 December 20212.
ISBN:  978-1-78931-978-1(PB)

On her last evening of maternity leave DCI Rachel King receives a phone call from her colleague, Elwyn.  A two-month old baby has been kidnapped and Rachel’s boss, Superintendent, Mark Kenton, wants her to be involved.  Obviously, her experience as a new mother might help in dealing with the distraught parents, but she is concerned to find that the baby’s father is Scott Agnew, allegedly a key member of the major Manchester drug-dealing ring, the Trio.  This will inevitably call attention to Jed, Rachel’s partner (and father of her baby, Len), who is a reformed local gangland boss.

Very quickly two more people with connections to the Trio disappear, and Rachel finds herself involved in a complex case of kidnap and murder, with some surprising twists and uncomfortable personal elements.  Her life with Jed, Len and her daughters (from a former relationship) comes under threat and adds to the level of apprehension and tension.

This is the fifth in the Rachel King series but works as a stand-alone novel.  An interesting range of characters and complicated relationships drives the plot on at a good pace.  The action continues to the end, as does the echo of wasted lives.
Reviewer: Jo Hesslewood
Other books by this author:  Detective Rachel King Series:  Next Victim, Two Victims, Wrong Victim, Forgotten Victim.  In addition, the author has written:  the DCI Greco books, the Calladine and Bayliss Mystery series, as well as the Detective Matt Brindle, and Detectives Lennox and Wilde series.

Helen H. Durrant writes gritty police procedurals and is published by Joffe Books. Until six years ago she hadn’t written a word, now she has sixteen titles out there and counting. Her novels are set in the Pennine villages outside Manchester. Writing was a dormant ambition. It was retirement that gave her the opportunity to have a go. The success of her books came as a huge surprise, now she can’t stop!

Jo Hesslewood.  Crime fiction has been my favourite reading material since as a teenager I first spotted Agatha Christie on the library bookshelves.  For twenty-five years the commute to and from London provided plenty of reading time.  I am fortunate to live in Cambridge, where my local crime fiction book club, Crimecrackers, meets at Heffers Bookshop .  I enjoy attending crime fiction events and currently organise events for the Margery Allingham Society.


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