Dead Wrong is the first book in Helen Durrant‘s Calladine and Bayliss Police Procedural series.
A bag of severed fingers is found in the playground close to the housing estate. D.I. Thomas Calladine and D.S. Ruth Bayliss race against time to catch the killer before a turf war begins on the housing estate. Calladine’s boss Jones believes the notorious Ray Fallon is behind the crimes but Calladine thinks otherwise. The killer is on a spree. First the severed fingers, then a head packed in a plastic and left outside a charity shop. This is followed by chopped up pieces of two dead bodies strewn nearby. Can the detectives catch the killer before the media gets a hold of the gruesome murders and publicize it? Only time will tell…
Dead Wrong is a gripping and mind-blowing police procedural. The publishers (Joffe Books) sent me an ARC of the latest installment of this series and I thought of catching up with all the previous books before devouring into the latest release. Well, this means I still have nine more books to read before catching up with the latest release. Fingers crossed on my binge reading spree!
Though a first in the series, equal importance is given to character introduction and mystery. Calladine is a workaholic and so is his police partner Ruth. They get along well while the other coppers at the station make fun of Calladine’s ‘gut instincts’. When the severed fingers are found and the DNA test results are out, Calladine wonders if this is the beginning of a gang war. But when he visits the infamous housing estate where the victim lived, he realizes nobody in the estate is aware of the murder. When the victim’s friend is killed, things get a little murkier.
From torturing his victims when they are alive to chopping them to pieces – when they are alive (!!), the killer is evil and sinister to the core. Ruth has seen a lot of dead bodies in her career but when she’s called to the scene of crime where two dead bodies are chopped and strewn all over, she retches and doesn’t want to see anything of this sort ever again.
We also have a little background on Calladine. He’s dating Monika (on and off) – she was married to Ruth’s brother long ago and now works in the care home where Calladine’s mother currently resides. Ray Fallon, a notorious gang leader is currently behind bars but the coppers are sure he will be released once his goons threaten the witnesses. Ray and Tom Calladine have a history; they are cousins. This doesn’t work well for Calladine on the work front but there’s nothing he can do about it.
Halfway through the story, Calladine meets a pretty news reporter named Lydia. Lydia features in the story till the end and Tom cannot keep his eyes off her – this might create further problems between him and Monika… Lydia has a secret – something related to the killer. The story inclines a tad towards gore and violence (not recommended for the faint hearted) but the mystery is definitely worth it!
The identity of the killer was a huge shocker. It’s not until the end and time’s running out when Calladine and Bayliss find out his identity; they certainly hope it is not too late as someone close to Calladine is on the verge of becoming the killer’s latest victim. We also have a surprise related to Calladine’s past as the story ends. I am eagerly waiting to see how this twist in the series is going to affect Calladine in the next book.
Helen Durrant is a master storyteller. I absolutely love her writing. Excellent character development and a mystery to keep one guessing till the end. I was hooked on to the story and could not put it down till the end. As this is going to be a part of my binge reading spree, as of writing this review, I am halfway through book #2. If you love gripping and suspense-filled police procedurals, you might want to give Dead Wrong by Helen H Durrant a read.