I’m delighted to share my book review of brilliant police procedural thriller The Hunting Ground (DI Alex Finn 3) by Will Shindler. Thank you as always to Jenny Platt and Hodder & Stoughton for giving me the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book.
About the book:
THE THIRD NOVEL FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BURNING MEN AND THE KILLING CHOICE, FEATURING DI ALEX FIN AND DCI MATTIE PAULSEN
A thrilling and addictive British detective series that ranks with Mark Billingham, M.J. Arlidge and Stuart MacBride.
Sadie Nicholls has been found dead, brutally and strangely murdered, in her South East London flat. Her little boy is missing.
DI Alex Finn and DC Mattie Paulsen know that, in the case of a missing child, it’s the first 24 hours that count. They don’t have many left to find out where Sadie’s son might be and the identity of her killer. Why would anyone want a struggling single mother, loved by many, dead?
But when they realise a similar crime was committed at the same house nearly 20 years ago, a question is on everyone’s lips: is this more than just a coincidence?
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 for HTV, 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, The Killing Choice and The Hunting Ground.
The Hunting Ground is the third book in Will Shindler’s excellent DI Alex Finn series that began with The Burning Men. This time DI Alex Finn and DC Mattie Paulsen are investigating the murder of a young woman who has been bludgeoned to death in her own home. And to complicate matters even further, her young son is missing. DI Alex Finn and his team find themselves in a race against time as they search for the missing boy and hunt for a killer with seemingly no motive.
The Hunting Ground is a brilliantly written, complex and well plotted read that kept me guessing throughout. It begins with the violent death of Sadie Nicholls in her South East London flat and the alarming disappearance of her young son, Liam. But as the investigation gets under way, it comes to light that a similar crime was committed in the same house almost twenty years ago. Which leads to the same question on everyone’s lips: Is there a connection between the murder of Sadie Nicholls and the one that happened in the same room all those years ago?
As with the previous two novels in this series, I loved everything about this book! Alex is still struggling to cope with the death of his wife two years earlier, his grief palpable as he continues to bury himself in his work rather than try to deal with the huge emotional void Karin’s death has left in his life. His work colleague Mattie Paulson, a DC with a hard exterior and somewhat difficult past, is also going through a hard time in her personal life as she tries to come to terms with her father’s recent Alzheimer’s diagnosis. With the investigation at times hitting closer to home than is comfortable, emotions begin to run high, leading to decisions being made and actions taken that have the potential to change things forever…
What follows is a thriller that is as character driven as it is exciting, which makes for a mesmerising read. Will Shindler’s writing is top notch, his previous life as a scriptwriter shining through with every word. In fact, I could easily imagine DI Alex Finn in his own Sunday night detective drama, taking his place alongside legendary TV detectives such as Vera Stanhope and Endeavour Morse. How wonderful would that be?
The Hunting Ground is an impressive thriller that once started I did not want to put down. With twists, turns and surprises throughout, it is a book that kept me guessing right up until the final, thrilling denouement. With a strong plot and a cast of memorable characters, this third outing for DI Alex Finn is every bit as good as its predecessors and has left me eagerly awaiting more.
The Hunting Ground could easily be read as a standalone but, to be perfectly honest, reading the series from the beginning offers a much richer reading experience, especially in regards to the personal lives and character progression of DI Alex Finn and his team.
A gripping police procedural thriller that I would highly recommend, I can’t wait to see what Will Shindler has in store for these wonderful characters in the future.
The Hunting Ground (DI Alex Finn 3) by Will Shindler is available to purchase now:
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