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Delaney, Luke - 'Cold Killing'
Hardback: 448 pages (Mar. 2013) Publisher: HarperCollins ISBN: 0007486065

This story opens with the murderer making an assignation to meet a gay dancer near a gay night club where he works called Utopia. They discuss terms and for payment of 200 agree to go to the dancer's own home. They have sex and then the murderer brutally kills the victim, in the most horrific manner possible with blood smears marking many flat surfaces but nothing getting onto the killer as he is wearing disposable clothes and he avoids leaving any incriminating details at all.

DI Sean Corrigan is the London Metropolitan police detective heading up the case. Sean has had a difficult past with a paedophile father who assaulted him many times and it has given him an real insight into the type of backgrounds that could lead a sensitive man to start to become a serial killer. In these police procedural types of novels the protagonist is usually a committed idealist who because of the long hours he is expected to give to the job tends to find find solace by consuming as much alcohol as possible but this is a first where the protagonist finds empathy with the killer!

The villain here is a really nasty piece of work who does not confine himself to killing gays but heterosexuals are including as well, but always in the most gruesome manner possible. However, he is a wealthy man and very conscious of avoiding leaving any incriminating evidence at a crime scene and buys fresh clothes to wear which are easily disposed off and leave no incriminating evidence as they as so new. DI Sean Corrigan, a great creation, after checking the gay dancer's contacts, soon has a suspect - a married man with children. He is put under surveillance, which he very quickly spots and loses and then other killings occur and the police team are being pushed by senior officers to complete the investigation. This is putting a big strain on Sean and his detective sergeants which is transmitted to the rest of the team. Anyhow, a very promising new lead takes the officers in a completely different direction and the case reaches a completely unexpected (for me) conclusion.

I read COLD KILLING very quickly, even though it is lengthy, as it's one of the best first books of a British author, that I've read in a very long time. I found the story immensely gripping and fast moving and the pages just shot by. All the characters are very richly drawn and full of life. The plot with its dramatic twists and turns often kept me reading longer than I intended. I was completely transfixed and kept guessing until the final page. At the conclusion of the book is a couple of chapters from the author's next 'Sean Corrigan' book which looks as if it should be very interesting also and I'll most certainly look out for that as well. Extremely well recommended.

Read another review of COLD KILLING.

Terry Halligan, England
April 2013

More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 15/08/2013 09:34