Learn more Download now Shop now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Amazon Music Unlimited for Family Shop now Shop now Learn more

on 24 February 2013
I was going to give this a three star rating as it did plod along quite a bit, with some far fetched violence thrown in for good measure! But when I got to the last page I found it wasn't worth any stars, but as there are no 'zero' star ratings, one will have to suffice.
If you like stories without an ending this will be okay for you. Otherwise give it a miss.
55 Comments| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 3 October 2013
I thought the premise of this sounded intriguing and I really enjoyed the start and build-up of the book. I smothered my misgivings that yet again the hero was a maverick, loner, world-weary cop teetering on the edge of alcoholism who had a hunch that nobody else believed that would inevitably turn out to be correct.

However, from the moment Heck was put on enforced leave the book rapidly deteriorated in quality and plausibility. Amongst the issues I had with it were the following:

- The author clearly saw the movie scenes dancing in front of his eyes as he wrote. Action scenes were frenetic and nearly always consisted of the hero being almost out of options and oh look! here comes another character at the last second to assist.
- The dialogue was cheesy, unconvincing and jarring. I give you this moment just after Heck has knocked out a baddie: ' "witty one liner" said Heck, to no one in particular.' This has a certain charm coming from Bond or Arnie (a la "Let off some steam, Bennett!") but to read it is preposterous.
- All four main women were all gorgeous, and we were told this frequently. Please.
- Some scenes were just ridiculous and I actually found myself shaking my head on the train at how daft they were. For example, a hardened and decorated ex-soldier has a pair of legs wrapped around his neck, choking him. He is holding two knives. Does he slash at the legs? No, he drops the knives and grasps ineffectually at the legs. Just absurd.

Disappointingly I bought Sacrifice at the same time as Stalkers because they were both cheap and both highly rated. I suspect Sacrifice will be sitting on my shelf for quite a while and I certainly won't be purchasing any other books by Paul Finch.
22 Comments| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 30 March 2013
I began to read this book with an open mind but became increasingly concerned about the portrayal of women. The fate of the victim recounted in the opening pages of the book seemed to be described with an unhealthy measure of not exactly relish but certainly an unseemly sense of voyeurism. We were told that she dressed provocatively at work and felt it was OK to use it to advance her career. Then she is stalked and abducted. Presumably we are meant to draw some conclusions from her fate. The other women characters are very one dimensional. The ex-army girl who should be able to take care of herself has to be saved at times by the super hero main (male) character. There's another 'strong' female character who plays a part in moving the plot forward but is very much on the sidelines. I think it's a well written book with some interesting features but the way that the women are portrayed, particularly the stalkers' victims, gives real pause for thought.
22 Comments| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 17 January 2013
I was sent a copy of STALKERS for review by the publisher and loved it from page one. Paul Finch is a master of suspense, and he had me on the edge of my seat from the very first chapter.

Following a gang who kidnap women on demand for their clients, this is a tense cat and mouse chase between a gang so dangerous that no one dare mention their name, and a rough around the edges cop, Detective Mark 'Heck' Heckenberg. This is Heck's show, but he's joined by a great cast of supporting characters - including, refreshingly, a host of strong and very ballsy women - and some seriously distasteful baddies.

As I understand it, Paul Finch used to be a scriptwriter by trade and this shines through. The action is endlessly compelling, mixing up hard-nosed sleuthing and intelligent detective work with fast-paced fight scenes that are so vivid they may as well be happening right in front of your face. I don't want to give away anything here, but the fight with Deke is a scene I will never be able to forget. Paul is also a horror writer of some renown, and he certainly knows how to kill his victims. But there's nothing gratuitous in his violence, and whilst occasionally bloody, his murder scenes weren't too hard to stomach, and will satisfy both hardened crime fans and newbies to the genre.

Overall, this is a thrilling, unforgettable read from a fantastic new writer on the crime and thriller scene. I will be recommending Paul Finch wherever I go and I can't wait to get my hands on the next in the series in just a few months' time. I could easily see this book taking to the small screen, so if there are any TV producers out there, I hope they're watching Paul Finch closely, as I am in no doubt that he's a star of the future.

If I have any advice to you it's READ THIS BOOK!

(With thanks to the publisher Avon for providing a review copy.)
review imagereview image
0Comment| 43 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 April 2014
Stalkers – Who is watching you?

Typical of me to discover Paul Finch by reading his third book Stalkers in his ‘Heck’ series and I would like to thank him as I am now going to have to find his first two books and his latest! Stalkers is a great read with the Detective Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenberg a detective sergeant in the National Crime Squad who has to go off the reservation to solve the case and could so easily be handed his own backside in a sling!

Heck has been investigating a number of missing persons cases, not something you would expect the National Crime Group (UK version of the FBI) to be investigating as they are generally routine and handled by the local police force. What makes this Heck’s case are that these missing people are all women, who are highly educated, plenty to live for, high achievers who just disappear off the face of the earth. Cars abandoned, shopping left in the open boot of the car, just gone.

Heck finds similarities but his bosses believe the case is going nowhere and a lot of money and resources close his investigation down. Heck is sent on leave and decides the only thing he can do is carry on his investigation, which means he will have to go on a road trip. During his initial road trip he ends up with the help and support of one of missing person’s sister Lauren Wraxford an ex-squaddie who he does not want but ends up needing. It is while he is on this road trip that he realises what he is actually up against when he is set up for the murder of a local thief.

On the run he becomes the target for a well trained contract killer and through this he find that a so-called ‘Nice Guys Club’ are the people who are running the killer and are highly skilled ex-military men who provide an expensive ‘rape club’ for the rich elite. It becomes a race against time and his own colleagues to discover the whole story and at the same time discover if there is a mole in the National Crime Group.

This is a fast paced gritty crime thriller with plenty of twists and turns that leaves you breathless and excited as you read. Paul Finch has used his skills as a screen writer to draw the reader in and hold them enthralled in the story feeling central to it and feeling the tension that racks through Heck. Yes Heck is a defective detective but a damn good one at that not afraid to go against his bosses in the search for the truth. The truth in this book is that you will not be able to put it down and to use the cliché of clichés this really is a page turner well worth investing your time in.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 27 May 2014
The story is ok - some truly nasty villains and a stop at nothing Duracell bunny of a hero, but I wish authors would get their stories proofed for the UK market, especially if they've set their novels over here. Full of 'sidewalks' and 'cologne' and worst of all, 'burglarising' when he means 'burgling'. Also, a bit of research about the London Underground wouldn't go amiss - it'd be a good hour and forty minutes' walk from Kingston to Richmond station! I've given up.
22 Comments|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 April 2014
I’ve never read a Paul Finch book before but when I Googled him I realised he is by no means a ‘newbie’ to the book scene. Paul has been writing all sorts and to date has had nearly 300 stories published. He’s done scriptwriting, journalism and (surprise, surprise) was once a copper. He is however, relatively new to the Crime genre. His debut novel in this genre is the book I have just read Stalkers featuring Detective Sergeant Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenberg

Heck is investigating the disappearance of more than 30 different women. The difference with this case is that these women were happy and successful and had absolutely no reason to disappear. Heck gets himself into a situation where if he really wants to find out what happened, he has to operate outside of the law. Heck is an easy character to read and has the ‘likeability’ factor, but in the beginning nothing more than that.

In addition to Heck, Lauren Wrexford is trying to find out about one of the missing girls, her sister, and tries to enlist Heck’s help. More by design they end up paired together and within the first half of the book find themselves not just operating outside of the law, but bending the rules until they are nearly at breaking point. I absolutely loved the feisty character of Lauren and think she added a great element to the story.

Interweaved with the actual investigation Heck is on, we actually get to follow the story of one particular missing woman. I must say that Paul Finch’s history in writing is glaringly obvious as his writing is outstanding. As for being new to the crime Genre, I wouldn’t have had a clue and had I not known, would have made the assumption he was a seasoned Crime writer. The story has that mixed element of making me want to hide behind my husband with fear, and sit up straighter because I feel like something bad is literally just around the corner.

I have to be honest and say that I couldn’t put this one down and at the halfway stage had already ordered the second book featuring Heck.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 25 July 2014
WOW. What a book. I really loved it. The title wasn't very catchy for me but the story, well - Great. Lots of interesting characters, with so much happening to all of them. The main character, Heck, was a bit of a loose cannon whose superior officers proved to be a hindrance rather than a help to him but his stubbornness brought him through.

At first, I wondered why Heck hadn't heard about Louise but as I progressed through the plot I read that only three days had passed. Amazing as so much had happened. The story went at breakneck speed and I was in there with him and Lauren. I did wonder why the author had brought in such a stand out character as Lauren but, as I read rapidly on, I understood.

I did think that good Samaritan Deke was too good to be true and couldn't work out how he knew, in less than half an hour, where to find Ron. It was either a mystery or amazing, but turned out to be neither. The throw-away remark as he left the pub confirmed my suspicions - that there were others involved who we didn't know about.

Not sure why Lauren decided to take Silver on rather than knee-capping him as I thought an ex soldier might have done but it took the story to the next level - and, hopefully, to the next book.

Yes, I thought the book was full of tension, mystery, lust and brutality in all the right measures. Heck a hero with issues, a sort of darker version of James Bond, and lovely Lauren an excellent example of a true soldier, courageously rising to every battle with expertise, loyalty and grit. The whole story made me think that this could explain the disappearance of people in real life!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 20 February 2013
Any copper working in London or indeed your average tourist knows that the Cutty Sark is not afloat and would not have the waters of the Thames lapping against it. Also there are no boats for hire in Blackpool. Such inaccuracies (and others) detract from what is otherwise a readable book - even if the characters are a little far-fetched and the tension build-up lacking at times.
22 Comments| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 30 June 2013
Paul Finch writes scripts for TV shows and this reads very much like a padded out film script.
Stalkers is quiet entertaining but not brilliantly written and is full of cartoon characters.My heart sank not far into the book when a character's escape from prison was being related when he "killed two guard dogs",here we go.Throughout the tale similar small bits are added to turn an unbelievable character into a ludicrous one.
Heck is not a particularly likable,or believable,main character and seems prone to sulking as well as sometimes bizarre behaviour that is at odds with his supposed status as a super sleuth come Ninja warrior.
The writing is laboured,things that could be narated in a few lines drag on for a couple of pages. Heck's relationship with his Sister is a good example.Dark hints and suggestions while nothing is really said and our hero sulks while said Sister seems like a very pleasant person confused by her idiot of a brother and baffled by his behaviour and tantrums.As in most books of this type Heck has a past which is heavily alluded to and no doubt this aspect is,as usual,going to become clearer as the series progresses.....for those who can be bothered to read any more.
At one point Heck's long -suffering sidekick says,"Heck,this is getting ridiculous",I must say I agreed with her if not in the sense she meant.
As lightweight entertainment it was fine but as an avid reader of James Lee Burke,Indridason,Ellory and a whole loads of others it didn't work for me.
It was "OK",could have easily been 100 pages shorter and would work as a film if Tarantino did it.I paid £1.95 for it and to be fair it was worth that,I'd have felt severely ripped off if I'd paid any more.
Plenty of good reviews here so a lot of people obviously enjoyed it,just didn't work for me,felt like somebody just going through the motions.
A proper ending would have been good as well.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse