When a popular university student is found murdered in her room, DI Fenchurch and his team investigate. They soon discover that she was working as a camgirl – stripping online for webcam sites for those who don’t know – the particular site in question owned by an organised crime boss. The list of suspects is long and includes an alt-right figure, a far-right extremist, a student who works as a gigolo, the crime boss himself and more.
This is the first work by the author I’ve read and the fourth instalment in his DI Fenchurch series. I’m generally wary about stepping into a series when I’ve not read preceding novels as it can be hard to follow the continuing threads that span through the books. In for The Kill can be read as a standalone and the author valiantly tried to explain the backstory without overdoing it, I did feel however that I was missing out somewhat and that my appreciation would be greater had I read the earlier novels.
The shelves of bookshops groan under the weight of police procedurals and there’s a reason for that: crime fiction readers have an insatiable desire for them. That said, I have to admit to groaning somewhat when I see a novel with the tagline: “A detective so and so mystery”. In for The Kill is sub-headed “A DI Fenchurch novel”, so I began this with some trepidation. I was pleasantly surprised however; the story is very current and moves at great pace, the characters well-drawn and believable. There were a few too many characters, particularly on the police side, to the extent that I began to get confused as to who was who, but Fenchurch himself is a great creation and one who drew me in.
I finished In for The Kill in two minds. Competently written as it undoubtedly is, in some ways it is indistinguishable from other equally well-written procedurals, complete with protagonist cop who has various issues and is invariably in trouble with politically correct superiors. On the other hand, the storyline is fresh and keeps the reader guessing until the very end.
3 out of 5 stars