Dead Man Walking – Paul Finch

I was sent a copy of Dead Man walking for review via Netgalley. Reading the prologue, it felt like it might be a bit of a gruesome read. A serial killer, nick-named ‘The Stranger’ was injured, and thought to be killed by an undercover policewoman, Gemma, some ten years ago. Coming up to date as the story ‘proper’ starts, sees the policewoman promoted to a very senior position, and her colleague/now ex-partner, Heck, transfered toa much quieter way of life in the Lake District. When two young inexperienced walkers go missing, and are brutally attacked, the crime shows similarities to those perpetrated bt The Stranger. This sets off the tone for the remainder of the book, as Heck tries to discover who is committing the crimes, and to keep the community and himself safe from further attacks. It would be a real spoiler to tell more of the story, but I have to say that I found this book rivetting – it seems to lurch from one tense situation to the next with scarcely a breath between. The identity of The Stranger was a complete surprise to me, and the story brilliantly written. It is the first book that I’e read in ages that I didn’t want to put down, but at the same time didn’t want to finish because it was so good. Not often I give 5 stars – but this definitely merits them. I will definitely be looking out for Paul Finch’s next book – Hunted, which is due for publication in May 2015.

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