Last Victim is the fifth book in Helen Durrant’s Detective Rachel King series.
James Agnew, the two-month-old son of Scott Agnew, a notorious gangster and member of the ‘Trio’ has gone missing and so has his babysitter. DCI Rachel King is back to work from maternity leave and is asked to handle the missing baby case.
Rachel’s partner Jed had ties with the Trio in the past but has now turned into a legitimate property developer. Soon after James’ kidnapping, Hutton – another member of the Trio reports his mother missing from a nursing home. This is followed by Brendan Blackmore’s wife Grace reporting her husband missing.
Jed is suspected to be behind the kidnappings. Things take a turn for worse when evidence linking to Jed is found. But Rachel believes the father of her son is reformed. But is Rachel wrong? Only time will tell…
If I have to sum this review up in a few words, I would say “Helen Durrant” and “Joffe Books.” Helen Durrant is a master storyteller. Earlier this year, I binge read Helen Durrant’s Calladine and Bayliss series and almost all the books received a 5-star rating from me. Secondly, Joffe Books – the BEST publishers when it comes to gripping mysteries. Joffe Books is my go-to publishers when I am in the mood to read riveting mysteries.
I haven’t read DCI Rachel King series. But there is a crossover with Calladine and Bayliss series – Rachel appears in one of the books. So, I knew a little bit of Rachel’s backstory.
Rachel is dating an ex-gangster-turned-legitimate-property-developer Jed. They have a son named Len. Rachel was on maternity leave so far and the missing baby case is her first since returning to the police force. Jed is not happy that Rachel is going to back just months after the birth of their son. He wants her to be a stay-at-home mum.
When the coppers learn of the missing baby and the relation to Trio, they doubt Jed. There are times when Rachel cannot verify Jed’s whereabouts- he says he’s away on work but is he going back to his old ways? When she tells him about the missing baby and the consequences the kidnapper would face, the missing baby mysteriously appears at a local hospital. All clues point to Jed but Rachel is quite sure he’s innocent.
Then comes a twist in the story – an incriminating evidence that makes Rachel doubt her partner. The hunt is on for the kidnapper. Rachel and her children are threatened – the bad guys want Jed to be caught for the ‘crime’ and they would go to any extent to make sure he suffers…
I have already mentioned in the beginning of this review that Helen Durrant is a master storyteller. I only have praises and more of it about this book. The mystery behind the Trio and the kidnappings kept me guessing till the end. I did not see the twist coming. Speaking of twists, gosh the ending!! I was completely shocked! I did not expect it – things are going to get really tough for Rachel and I am eager to see how she’s going to cope with the changes.
Last Victim is a gripping, riveting and completely mind-blowing mystery by Helen H. Durrant. If you love police procedural, you might want to give this book a try. (Can be read as a standalone.)
Many thanks to the lovely Hanna from Joffe Books for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.