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Sacrifice by Paul Finch (DS Heckenburg #2)

I got myself Sacrifice by Paul Finch (the second novel in the DS Heckenburg series) right after Stalkers since it was already published and the Kindle version only cost a few dollars so it was a steal. I was curious to see about the new grizzly and horrific cases that Heck would have to tackle in this new book. And I was not disappointed, not one bit.

In fact I can easily say that I loved this book even more than the first one (hence the 5 start rating). Now I might be biased because I really love reading about hardcore criminals who mastermind their crimes with truly evil brains and about hardcore cops who truly believe in what they’re doing and don’t do it for the money only (some are doing their job despite the money, like Heck, who doesn’t want to get promoted, all he wants is to apprehend criminals and be left alone to do it his own way).

Reading about serial killers is a guilty pleasure of mine. This genre might not be for everyone – and let me tell you, the crimes depicted here were something that even I had my mouth open at when reading. Some were pretty inconceivable even to visualize.

I was literally at the edge of my seat while reading and the suspense would not let go. Now I have to say that I haven’t read any of the horror novels the author wrote before starting the police procedural featuring “Heck” DS Mark Heckenburg, but after reading the first two books in the series, I can very well imagine how scary those books must be!

The plot for this book is typical of these kinds of serial killer novels I guess – people disappear out of nowhere only to be found dead and positioned/propped in ways that speaks volumes. Some staked (and if you read the details of this staking, I’m tell you, the image will remain with you for a long time), others literally thrown to a crocodile in a zoo to be played with over the night and torn to pieces (here I loved the comment by one of the policeman who said that these animals are well fed, so they only played with their “food”, imagine if they were hungry!). Yet others are propped like Santa Claus…

So now Heck and his team, led by Gemma (his ex lover whom he still has strong feelings for by the looks of it) have to solve the murders, have to find the real motive behind the crimes and solve it before Claire (I’ll leave you to read the book to find out who Claire is) meets the same fate like the other ones before her – especially since Claire has personal ties to the entire team…

Oh and who the killer was – I totally did not see this coming and I was almost shocked that something like this can actually go on in our world.

While the story was electric and gripping, full of action, I had a light chuckle now and then when it came to the interaction between Heck and Gemma (who only calls him Mark on special occasions). They clearly still have feelings for each other, but both are afraid to get hurt. And of course, Gemma is his boss, so she has to act accordingly. Yet even she will show a few signs of weakness in the wake of these very strange, weird and bordering on absurd killings.

By the end I was feeling slightly exhausted (but in a good way), like when exiting a roller coaster and not quite sure where to go next. Yet I felt oddly satisfied as the book left me with a feeling of the hours reading the book not wasted, but well spent, indeed very well spent.

Overall a superb follow up on the Heck series, and the only problem I found with the second book: the fact that now I’ll have to wait until next year for the third one to be published – I really love reading the books in order and read them one after the other one, so this long wait is killing me (sorry for the pun).


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  1. I haven’t read a good gripping serial killer novel in a long while. You may have just whetted my appetite for a bit of light bedtime reading. This is a genre I adore. Thank you

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