Dead Nasty is the sixth book in Helen Durrant‘s Calladine and Bayliss series.
A notorious stalker and killer, Craig Donnelly, is released from prison on the account of good behavior but Calladine is not convinced the man has changed. When a mutilated body of a school girl is found in a bin – Craig’s M.O – Calladine knows Donnelly’s striking once again.
Ruth Bayliss, Calladine’s partner and a Detective Sergeant, is not convinced of Craig’s crimes. She and the whole team, including the ACC, believe Craig is being set up. When another school girl goes missing, it is up to the detectives to find her before it is too late…
I am out of words when it comes to praising Helen Durrant. This is the seventh book (of the series) I have read this month and boy, am I addicted! Consistent writing, mind-boggling plots and excellent character development throughout. Also, with each story, we have Calladine and Bayliss solve not one but two mysteries.
I mentioned in my previous review (Dead and Buried) the gore and violence have mellowed a bit. (No, it was not a complaint.) In Dead Nasty, the gore is up a notch. I read the first half before my afternoon siesta and dreamt of solving the case alongside Calladine and Bayliss – the killer is on the bridge. God knows what bridge because nowhere in this story is a bridge mentioned. See, I told you – addictive series! So addictive that I have been ‘reading’ it in my dreams too. 😀
We have a lot of developments this time. The story ends on a sad and shocking note – never saw it coming and I wonder how the team is going to cope up with it. DCI Birch is acting weird – Calladine knows something is bothering her but they are not on friendly terms so he doesn’t know if it appropriate to ask her about it. Ruth is still adjusting to motherhood – Harry is still a cranky baby and Ruth wonders if he’s catching some kind of tummy bug at the nursery.
One of the victims was Jake’s (Ruth’s partner and Harry’s dad) student. We have the angle of bullying – the victim and her friends bullied one of their classmates. This girl happens to be Craig’s daughter so the detectives wonder if Craig is targeting them for bullying his daughter.
Calladine’s new love interest, Shez, asks Calladine to help her out. Shez runs an escort agency and one of her girls has gone missing. The missing girl is none other than daughter of an ex-copper – the same one who was responsible for Craig’s arrest.
Lots of red herrings and too many coincidences. I was so sure this particular character was the perp- you know, the shy personality was just a sham and all that – hmm, turns out I was wrong. Lesson learned: don’t try to play detective when Calladine’s around.
It goes without saying Dead Nasty is another smashing addition to my favorite series. A little birdie (Twitter in this case) told me Faith Martin’s Hillary Greene series is signed up for a TV adaptation. Fingers crossed Calladine and Bayliss is next in the list. With excellent storytelling, mind-blowing twists and a gripping mystery, I can certainly see Calladine and Bayliss chosen for a TV adaptation.
If you love gripping police procedural with mind-blowing twists, you HAVE to give Dead Nasty by Helen H. Durrant a read. In fact, I recommend the whole series if you haven’t read it yet.