Kieron Ramsey is on his way home from the pub when he falls and hurts himself. Someone helps him to stand up and Kieron asks them to drop him till his apartment complex. But the ‘helper’ takes Kieron to a secluded place and kills him.
Calladine receives a call about a dead body. When he arrives at the scene of crime, he learns the victim’s tongue was cut and stuffed down his throat. The victim is none other than Kieron. Meanwhile, a local businesswoman falls into the ransomware trap. When she refuses to pay, she’s kidnapped from her house. That’s not all. A young boy falls sick after drinking juice from a supermarket. Looks like, some of the juice cartons were poisoned…
If these weren’t enough cases to solve, Ruth Bayliss receives a shock of her life when her partner and her child’s father, Jake Ireson, comes home one evening, packs his bags and leaves her forever. He’s fallen in love with another woman! Things are not going smoothly for Calladine either. His daughter Zoe and her partner Jo have decided to have a child via IVF. The father of the child is Julian Batho, a forensics expert at Duggan. Amy, Calladine’s ex and Julian’s aunt has come over to Leesdon – and Calladine thought it is okay to be ‘just friends’ with his ex… Hmm!
Dead Wicked is the tenth book in Helen Durrant’s Calladine and Bayliss series. It goes without saying, this is yet another fantastic addition to the series.
I saw a couple of low ratings for this book on Goodreads so let me make something clear. Things might seem a little cliffhanger-ish in this book but having read book #11 a few months ago, I would say the new characters and suspense from this this book forms the foundation for what’s to come next.
As I had read book #11 – Dead Sorry – I knew about Zoe’s pregnancy and Ruth’s breakup with Jake. But that didn’t spoil the read for me. We also have a blast from the past – something to do with Ray Fallon, Calladine’s notorious gangster relative; then there’s Amy – the same Amy who left Calladine and now wants to spend time with him… Speaking of affairs of the heart, Calladine meets Lydia’s (Calladine’s ex) sister while working on Kieron’s murder case.
There are two mysteries for the detectives to solve – 1) the gruesome murders that have the same M.O. as of a previous case – the Machin Killings 2) ransomware attacks and the victims going missing for refusing to pay. Things take a turn for worse when someone close to Calladine goes missing for refusing to pay the hackers.
The story ends with a shocker – Calladine has messed with a notorious Bulgarian criminal – and things are going to get murkier in the next book.
Dead Wicked by Helen Durrant is a gripping police procedural with a shocking twist. I have read all the books of this series and this is one of the highly rated series on my blog. If you are a fan of gripping and suspenseful police procedural, you might want to give Calladine and Bayliss series a try.