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?
Thank you to Jenny Platt for inviting me to be involved in the blog tour celebrating publication of The Hunting Ground and sending me a finished hardback copy of the book. I have been a fan of this series from the start and while I enjoyed The Burning Men (review here) and The Killing Choice (review here), it is also fair to say this series is going from strength to strength.
The familiarity of key characters is always welcome in a crime fiction series and this is no exception for DI Alex Finn and DC Mattie Paulsen. Racing against the clock to find the missing boy and apprehend the killer the team feel the pressure. For DI Finn this feels tough as he continues to struggle with the grief after the death of his wife. The murdered mother and missing child serving to remind him of what he doesn’t have. An aspect of crime series that I particularly enjoy is the chance for the characters to develop and this is something that is very well done here.
With a number of investigative strands to pursue the team were busy exploring all possible leads. The historical murder added depth and shone a light on the community in which both horrific events had occurred. With some shady characters, I had a number of suspects and a male only charity event offered some depressingly familiar misogynistic behaviour which added another layer of suspicion.
The plot was strong and authentic, the storyline leading to a conclusion that worked but didn’t give up too many clues on the way! I didn’t solve it anyway. Gritty, detailed and compelling this was a strong crime novel that had me turning pages! I was left wondering what the future holds for DI Finn and his team. Definitely a book I would recommend, but do please start at the beginning and read the books in order for the best possible reading experience.
The Hunting Ground is published today, congratulations to the author and team at Hodder on publication day. This is a blog tour so do please help make a noise about this book by sharing widely on social media!
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 reported 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.