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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 30 January 2013
A pacy, edgy crime novel from a writer who really sounds as if he knows what he's talking about. A police detective hunting for a number of missing women uncovers a terrifying conspiracy and finds himself confronting one of the most dangerous gangs in Britain. Apparently Paul Finch used to write for The Bill and has also written a number of horror books, and both of these backgrounds show, as this cracking thriller moves with electric pace through some of the scariest parts of Britain's inner cities, featuring some ultra-violent scenes and a few horrific moments which are definitely not for the squeamish. A refreshing book in various ways, too. The female characters are among the best I've encountered in ages - real tough cookies, while the main hero, Heck, though a good guy with a conscience, has a pair of fists and he isn't afraid to use them. Highly recommended for crime and mystery fans.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 31 January 2013
Ex-policeman and scriptwriter Paul Finch has turned his hand to writing books and has produced a high-octane belter of a thriller that sweeps the reader from one confrontation to another at a captivating pace. Detective Sergeant Mark 'Heck' Heckenburg works for the National Serial Crime Squad investigating the disappearance of 38 women aged 18-49, snatched from view while doing ordinary everyday things and not a trace of evidence left behind, all starting in 2010. No ransom notes are received and no bodies found. No motives are apparent. Heck has built up a strong hunch that this is no coincidence but whiffs of meticulous planning and intelligence work by a proficient criminal organisation.

The problem Heck has is no hard evidence to give to his higher-ranking officers. They have pared his old team down, effectively turning Heck into a one-man band who is stretched to the limit and considered not cost-effective. Heck describes himself: 'I'm a copper, I catch criminals - and that's it'. He's not interested in promotion or politics and is not averse to openly criticising his superiors, not the tactful way to win favours although he does have some allies. Relentlessly chasing leads to find the villainous explanation behind the missing women, Heck careers from one life-threatening situation to another, often gory and brutal involving violent clashes and fights (with even more gruesome acts), all graphically depicted by the author and not for the faint-hearted.

The characters are expertly portrayed and their strengths amply displayed with a particularly assertive female presence, especially the hard as nails, combative Lauren who is in the thick of the action with Heck (and plenty of it there is). An invigorating novel full of thrills and spills with suspense throughout. The ending is tense with a few surprises turning up. Tremendous read, well-written with more in the series to come. Can't wait.
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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.)
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on 24 January 2013
Just finished reading this exciting book. It is full of suspense. Some just short of horror, but expertly handled.

Women going missing, but no link can be proven between them until a last minute piece of evidence turns up before the case is closed, It's up to 'Heck' to chase it up in his own time.

The first in a series it seems, so get it at the 99p bargain price if you can.
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VINE VOICEon 7 February 2013
I did enjoy this book I must say, I basically chose it because it is set in the UK and I much prefer a storyline set in England (just a personal choice). I thought that the book was well written, you were kept in suspense and the characters were (very nearly) belivable.

All in all a very good book and to download to your kindle for 99p is quite a bargain.

Go on treat yourself
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on 20 September 2014
I almost couldn’t get past the first chapter because it was so disturbing, it made me want to look over my shoulder more than once and I just knew something terrible was going to happen.

This is the first Paul Finch book I’ve read and I bought it along with a couple of others as part of a special deal – I’m so glad I did.

Basically there’s a renegade cop called Heck (DS Mark Heckenburg to give him his full name), he likes to do things his own way, he doesn’t take too kindly to senior police officers who are only doing the job for political motivation.

He’s been investigating the disappearances of women from quite ordinary backgrounds and is starting to put together a pattern of sorts when he is inexplicably pulled off and told the cases of the missing women cases are to be farmed out to local stations.

He’s obviously very annoyed (to say the least) and his boss Gemma Piper tells him he must take some leave. Heck uses this forced break to continue his own investigation into the missing women following up on a lead that ends up taking him all over the country and nearly killing him more than once.

The Nice Guys are not nice guys and show no mercy to anyone who crosses their path, even those innocent people who inadvertently cross their path.

If you like crime novels as I do, this is a must. It’s well written, pacy and has great descriptions of locations and Paul obviously has an in-depth knowledge of police procedure which shines through and makes the story all the more believable.
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on 27 September 2013
Downloaded Paul' first two books Stalkers and Sacrifice based on reviews. Just finished Stalkers and I was very impressed, its an excellent thriller, a real page turner.
I normally tend to stick with David Baldacci/James Patterson and Dan Brown for my Thrillers but I was pleased I tried this. Now looking forward to reading Sacrifice...
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on 9 August 2014
i like buying first time novels as they are usually the best, this book started out ok & got my attention, it then got to be very tedious & wasn't hard to put down, i was glad when i had finished it . its your usual run of the mill thriller, if you can call it that. if you want a really good, scary book try chris carter , you won't be disappointed, its not for the squeamish though.
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on 25 March 2013
A great read from a fairly new author. Disturbing in some aspects considering the number of people that go missing in the UK each week and the increasing evidence that organised crime is involved in some of these. The main character is well drawn, presumably because Finch himself was a copper. The Salford background in parts of the story are curiously accurate, particularly in the descriptions of the pub where a violent attack takes place and the empty flats which house appalling secrets.The politicking, back-biting and generally dismissive attitude of the executive leaders of the force are nicely outlined, but so too are the far from ineffective use of policing methods in crime investigation. The story loses a bit of tightness later but it sustains tension pretty well. One or two bad guys escape...presumably to be re-contacted in future stories, one of which is due out in July. It should be worth reading.
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on 26 March 2013
Mark `Heck' Henderson is investigating the disappearance of nearly 40 women and discovers the connection is they are being abducted to order by a very powerful gang. Heck is supported by a Lauren ex-services personnel and his boss Gemma Piper has another powerful role.

The action is powerful edge of your seat stuff, with lots of unexpected twists and with fast-paced fight scenes. Very filmic writing, this could easily transfer to the screen. Thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I would highly recommend. If I had any criticism it would be that the ending seemed to be a little premature. Still well worth 5 stars.
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