To say I have been looking forward to the release of Perfect Death, is something of an understatement; and so with this in mind I actually bought the Kindle edition as I knew I wasn't going to be able to put it down and so, would have to read in the dark. It's a good job I did.

Perfect Death offered a slightly different tone from Perfect Remains and Perfect Prey, in that it didn't seem quite so gory. Perhaps because luscious Luc (Callanach) and newly promoted DCI Ava Turner were focussing on separate aspects of the hunt for the killer, and so I was taken from the disturbing deaths occurring, to the seedy and equally dangerous world of gangsters. Or perhaps (and probably more likely reason) because of the nature of the killings - this killer's method of dispatch was more subtle than the two previous novels, though they were just as chilling. I should maybe point out here that the lack of gore didn't upset me - I'm not a blood-thirsty crime addict - I mention it merely as noticeable difference!

Anyway....what Helen Fields does offer us is yet another cracking read. I loved the fact that we got to see more of DS Lively, his dry sense of humour lightens the book and accentuates the sometimes complicated relationships that make up the MIT - from grudging respect of some, to the understated and underlying sexual tension between Luc and Ava. And then of course the developing relationship between Luc and journalist Lance - I love, love, love that Luc has a friend - it proper warmed the cockles, and I hope that Lance becomes a more frequent visitor to Helen's future books.

The killings obviously move the action along, but I felt they did play something of a backseat to the characters - though only in a good way. The detectives, the murderer, the victims and their families became more important somehow than the victims' deaths - and the resulting trauma to the victims' families in turn made the deaths all the more poignant and devastating. Yes the story was thrilling, totally gripping and action-packed, but it was also tender and at times, sad, with characters needing to find a friend or an emotional support.

The promotion of DCI Turner changed the dynamics here too, with a distinct cooling of the hereto growing attraction between Luc and herself. I didn't like it - the romantic in me really wants them to get together, though my rational side tells me that I have no real idea how that would work if they succeeded! I therefore had to reluctantly accept the new lady on the scene, Selina Vega, who yes I'm sure is very nice and intelligent, but does interfere with my romantic ideals somewhat! Oh and not to forget the other "newbie" DC Monroe - once she's had her baby and maternity leave (!), I would really like to see her back in the MIT on a more permanent basis bringing her powers of observation and quick-thinking with her.

It goes without saying that Perfect Death is a heartily recommended book and, though not essential, if you haven't read the previous two novels I would start with them to fully appreciate the characters. The next in the series, Perfect Silence, is out in paperback on 23rd August 2018 - I would say not long to wait, but any wait is too long in this instance!