Wednesday 27 September 2017

Review | Race to the Kill by Helen Cadbury

Published by Allison & Busby on September 21, 2017

Race to the Kill is the third, and now sadly final, book in Helen Cadbury’s Sean Denton series. I’ve got copies of both the earlier books, To Catch a Rabbit and Bones in the Nest, but haven’t got around to reading them yet. However, after reading Race to the Kill, I now really want to read them as soon as I can. I’ve really struggled reading over the past year, finding that I struggle keeping an interest in a book after the first couple of chapters which is very unlike me. With Race to the Kill, I was absolutely hooked from chapter one and I barely put my Kindle down afterwards as I raced to the end.

At the beginning of the book we meet a mysterious woman in a petrol station. She’s desperate for the help of Sean Denton and Gavin Wentworth but nobody is quite sure why. With a bit of persuasion, they follow her to a boarded-up school – the local squat – and find the place uncomfortable and dangerous. In amongst the place, they also find a dead body, and so the murder investigation begins.

This is just one strand of a hugely intriguing, dark and multi-layered, full of depth novel. There’s so much content packed into this novel and there wasn’t a single bit that didn’t have me engrossed. The writing is sharp and emotive, with intrigue layered in every chapter and the tension built on what may be discovered next was very engrossing and I finished each chapter more hooked than I did the last. One thing I loved about Race to the Kill was the pacing, as it never let up, and this allowed the suspense to build beautifully as well as stopping me from having the time to work out what may have happened. Therefore, the shock factor in Race to the Kill was also brilliant as this absorbing novel surrounding drugs, immigration and sexual abuse unfolds.

I loved the Yorkshire setting to this book as it felt familiar and this gave the plotlines more strength to me as I could better imagine where they were taking place. I’ve not read many crime novels set in Yorkshire so this could have been another reason why I enjoyed Race to the Kill so much. I loved the greyhound racing stadium setting as we take a look at the people around the place and what has been taking place. There was not a theme to the book I could say I preferred as each part had me gripped and this was definitely a book that I felt was over too soon as I barely stopped for breath when reading it.

I found Sean to be a really interesting and likeable character. As the third book in the series I am never sure how I will take to the main character on the force as there could be a lot of missing backstory, but here really early on we get an insightful look at what drives Sean, his family, his dyslexia and his ambitions. I really liked Sean straight away and if this series was not so sadly cut short by the passing of Helen Cadbury then I know I would be really eager to read more about him and more of his investigations as Race to the Kill had me enthralled. There is evidently a lot to be missed about Helen Cadbury’s writing but her storytelling ability will forever remain within the three novels in Sean Denton’s series, and if the first two are anywhere near as good as Race to the Kill then she has left behind three cracking books to be read and enjoyed.

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