Dead Sorry is the 11th book in Helen Durrant‘s Calladine and Bayliss Police Procedural series.
Twenty-five years ago, a school girl was attacked by three bullies (her classmates) in her home where she lived with her grandmother. Now, the mother of one of the bullies is found brutally murdered in Hobsfield. The body is badly decomposed – the killer turned the heating to max to confuse the M.E. Written on the wall nearby in the victim’s blood is a word ‘Sorry’.
Meanwhile, Tom Calladine is threatened by a notorious Bulgarian drug dealer Lazarov. He threatens to harm all those who are close to Calladine, especially Zoe and her newly-born daughter Maisie. Torn between solving the murder case and trying to keep his loved ones safe, Calladine is cracking under pressure.
I have been binge reading this series for the past couple of days and I have to tell you, this is one of the best police procedural series I have ever read. Excellent storytelling and suspense to keep one on the edge of their seat. Gripping, spine-chilling and absolutely mind-blowing series!
A lot of things are going on in Calladine’s life – his daughter and granddaughter’s lives are threatened by a Bulgarian goon, a cold-case has surfaced again and the killer seems to be striking after a gap of two decades, a new woman in Calladine’s life, some ‘progress’ in Marilyn Fallon’s case and much more, gosh! The poor chap definitely has his hands full and paying the brunt of it, one tiny chest pain at a time…
Greco has taken over as the DCI and Tom Calladine is relieved to be back to his original post. The recurring characters of this series include Joyce, Imogen, Julian, Rocco – these form the sleuthing group at the nick. Halfway through the story, Greco pairs up with Ruth and Rocco with Tom; Tom is not comfortable working with anyone except Ruth – something he might have to get used to in the near future.
The mystery behind the murder takes the detectives back to a cold-case. A young girl had gone missing soon after her grandmother suffered a stroke. It was believed the girl was living with a relative. But two years ago, skeletal remains of a school-going girl was found in the house but without any DNA to crosscheck, the case remained unsolved. The girl was bullied by her classmates previously and fast forward to the present, one of the bully’s mother is brutally murdered. Meanwhile, Lazarov is trying to make his presence felt at Hobsfield, much to the annoyance of the local drug dealers.
The suspense and tension are at an all-time high. Calladine is pulled in all directions, what with the cold case and Lazarov; also, halfway through the story, Marilyn (his “cousin’s” wife) makes an appearance. The only thing that seems to hold him right now is a young woman named Kitty Lake. But as the case proceeds further, Tom wonders if Kitty’s ‘accidental meeting’ was a carefully crafted plot with an ulterior motive.
Dead Sorry is a completely engrossing police procedural. Helen Durrant is a master storyteller. Be it the mystery or the character development or keeping the readers hooked on to the story till the end, Helen is the best. One can read this book as a standalone but I highly recommend to start from the beginning. You don’t want to miss out the good stuff, do you?
Many thanks to the lovely Nina Kicul from Joffe Books for the ARC.