The Killing Club - Paul Finch

This is part of the DS Mark Heckenburg series & a follow up to "Stalkers". In that book, Heck & Co. cracked a case involving the "Nice Guys", a misnomer if there ever was one. A group of trained mercenaries ran a rape-for-hire business catering to men with more money than morals. For a whack of cash, the NG's would snatch the woman of your choice & provide a secure space for you to have your depraved way with them. They also handled clean-up. 

When the smoke cleared, only ringleader Peter Rochester ended up in prison. Since then, Heck's boss (and former lover) Det. Spt. Gemma Piper has been trying to wring information from him. They know he ran the UK franchise of the organization & there are more bodies out there somewhere. 

Gemma is running the investigation with Commander Frank Tasker of Scotland Yard's serious crime unit. Because of Heck's personal connection with the previous case, he's been shut out & relegated to garden variety crimes. He's not taking it well.

And when Rochester breaks out of prison with the help of some of his foreign colleagues, no one at the Yard is taking it well either.

A huge task force is created, bodies start to pile up & the media goes crazy. It's a nightmare for police on all levels but still Heck is sidelined. Worse, because of his acrimonious relationship with Tasker (he of the fake tan), he's actually suspected of murder.

What's a guy to do but take matters into his own hands? Especially if that guy is a smart & motivated, if a tad impulsive, detective prone to going it alone. Game on.

As the NG's crisscross the country killing off loose ends, Heck uses all his experience & skills to close in. Due to certain events, he's not sure who he can trust at the Yard which is unfortunate when he hits the NG's radar. 

This is a full on thriller full of car chases, shootouts, murders & double crosses. The large cast includes cops, bad guys & innocent bystanders. The manhunt makes up the majority of the plot but lurking in the background is the history between Heck & Gemma. Their affair was years ago but they've remained close despite her impressive rise through the ranks. No spoilers here but that relationship will be altered once again by the end.

This is a fast paced, entertaining read with a likeable, sympathetic hero. Yes, there are moments where you will have to suspend your disbelief. The fact that Heck is still standing  after multiple death defying run-ins makes you want to frisk him for horse shoes & rabbits' feet. Trust me, John McClane has nothing on this guy. 

So it's not the most realistic or believable police procedural you'll read. Instead, it's an action packed & well plotted thriller with interesting characters & a few nice twists along the way that will keep you turning the  pages.