THE KILLING CHOICE By Will Schindler #Netgalley #Hodder&Stoughton #Bookblogger

Available 4th February 2021 Hardcover|ebook| audiobook

SYNOPSIS

‘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 D.C. Mattie Paulson 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.

MY REVIEW

This is the second book in the DI Alex Finn series, I loved book one The Burning Men where readers were first introduced to Finn and his team, I always enjoy getting to know how the characters in a series think and work, getting to know them for me is part of the reading experience in a series, watching the development, the relationships between the team members in a book like this a police procedural. This book certainly doesn’t disappoint. Finn is still struggling with the death of his wife, working all the hours he can, first in the office and last to leave and some of his colleagues are starting to notice a few cracks. But Finn is the last person who will take advice from anyone.

This case is a tough one, a killer has hit Finn’s patch and it’s proving difficult for Finn and D.C. Mattie Paulson to find a link with the victims, is it just random attacks or does the killer have a vendetta against the ones he is killing. This killer gives his victims a choice, when he stops a father and daughter , he tells one they can run and save them self and leave the other behind or they both die, when the father runs his thoughts are to get help to save his daughter, but when the press and his wife know this he is branded a coward, but no one knows exactly how they will react in this situation. Was the father being selfish? Or did he genuinely believe the masked killer wouldn’t hurt his daughter? The next victim is given the choice to leave her home and the killer would either kill her husband or her mother, she has to choose and then leave the house.

Finn is convinced that somewhere along the line these victims are linked, but how? There is a lot of pressure to solve this case and Finns boss is watching him, everyone is watching him, wondering if he is up to the job. Mattie is also having family problems of her own, as she asks for time off Finn grants it, but that one afternoon away has its own consequences, which Mattie blames herself for. Despite Finn saying there was nothing she could have done, it takes Mattie a while to actually accept that.

The killer is clever, leaving no trace behind, no one knows what the killer looks like, all they have is a rough height and build nothing much to go on. This is causing chaos for the team, each avenue they go down comes to a dead end. This is a brilliantly crafted, twisted read, nothing is given away at any stage, nothing you can put your finger on to identify the killer. The reader is literally kept in suspense from the start until the end.

Some of the story is quite disturbing, as the father has to deal with the fact he left his daughter to be killed, to then be judged by the media, his wife and even some of the police officers handling the case. Everyone seems adamant that in that situation they would have stayed. The judgement of everyone leads to tragedy, for which he is judged even more. The author managed to write this so sensitively describing the emotions the father went through, the guilt of surviving his beautiful daughter, that he left her to die at the hands of a killer and the way he was looked at and treated afterwards.

Not only did Will Schindler tell this brilliant complex story, but he brought every character to life, whether it was Finn accepting he was struggling with depression after the loss of his wife, he just wasn’t adjusting well to her no longer being there. But also the relationships between other characters within the storyline, Hayden and his broken down relationship with his father Isiah, a relationship that had broken down but was tearing both characters apart, Hayden still saw his younger brother Mikey, he wanted to protect him, but some of his actions were going to lead to trouble if he wasn’t careful, his choices weren’t always the best. His long term friend was encouraging him down the wrong path and Hayden knew it was wrong, he didn’t want to be in a gang or even be a gang leader, but his friend was pushing this way of life. Hayden’s story is compelling as you see his dilemma, he wants to protect both his brother and his girlfriend but also reluctantly do what his best friend wants him to do.

Throughout the story is told from several points of view, the people investigating Finn and Paulson, but also the victims or should I say choosers, as well as Hayden the reluctant drug dealer.

A gripping read, keeping you engrossed from start to finish, a brilliantly original premise, with a great deal of possibilities as to who the killer could or couldn’t be. Finn’s gut instincts seem to win as you start to reach the conclusion, despite his struggling with his personal life he still gets the job done. Overall clever plot that will keep you guessing.

I am now looking forward to book 3 in this series, it’s more than a police procedural, it’s a thriller, with some deep emotions, and shocks along the way. I highly recommend this book.

A definite 5⭐️ out of 5⭐️ I would like to thank #netgalley and #Hodder&Stoughton for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.


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