A thrilling fourth installment for DS Mark Heckenburg.
Having left the SCU for a more sedate life in the Lake District, Heck is now the local detective in a quiet village where the most excitement he gets is tracking down thieves preying on local tourists. However, when a young girl is found shot on the hills, her harrowing account leaves Heck chilled. The story brings back memories from a decade ago that are too close to home for comfort. As more and more horrific murders are caused by the elusive “Stranger”, Heck is determined to ensure this monster does not get away again.
This is a very different setting for Heck and a much needed respite, although it is clearly not where he belongs. It’s not that Heck goes out looking for trouble but he is definitely a man of action and much happier when he is out on the streets bringing down the bad guys. The deaths are without doubt gruesome and graphic in their description but that is one thing I like about the way Paul Finch writes. He does not hold anything back and approaches each scene in a very specific way by giving the reader a full character description, even if the character is not around for long, a lot of thought and detail goes into each and every one of the characters in these stories and everyone has vital role to play. The build up and ‘getting to know’ the victim is what makes each murder even more horrifying as the reader can associate more with them and sympathise at their plight, it is almost as if you (the reader) are waiting for the hero to swoop in at the last minute and rescue the damsel, but this rarely happens.
Broken lives and broken hearts are left in the wake of the ‘Stranger’ and Heck is once again left to pick up the pieces and reassess his life. What is next for DS Mark Heckenburg?
Previously read in 2015. Listened to via Audible 2018 – Narrated by Paul Thornley
Beware the stranger in the night…
Consigned to a remote valley in the Lake District, DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg is getting used to a quieter life—a far cry from the bloodbath of his former division, the Serial Crimes Unit. But wherever Heck goes, trouble is never far behind.
Unknown to Heck, ‘The Stranger’ has returned. Last seen on Dartmoor ten years earlier, this prolific serial killer has found a new home. As a dense, frozen mist descends on the Lakes, The Stranger returns to his old ways, starting with two young women lost high on the hills. Only one girl is ever found—barely alive—but able to confirm Heck’s worst fears.
As The Stranger lays siege to the remote community, Heck helplessly watches as the killer plays his cruel game, letting off his trademark call before viciously picking off his victims.
And with no way to get word out of the valley, Heck has no choice but to play ball…