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D.I. Callanach #4

Perfect Silence

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When silence falls, who will hear their cries?

The body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh. When pathologists examine the remains, they make a gruesome discovery: the outline of a doll carved into the victim’s skin.

DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are struggling to find leads in the case, until a doll made of skin is found nestled beside an abandoned baby.

After another young woman is found butchered, Luc and Ava realise the babydoll killer is playing a horrifying game. And it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. Can they stop another victim from being silenced forever – or is it already too late?

432 pages, Paperback

First published August 23, 2018

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About the author

Helen Sarah Fields

18 books1,730 followers
An international and Amazon #1 best-selling author, Helen is a former criminal and family law barrister. Every book in the Callanach series claimed an Amazon #1 bestseller flag. Her next book, the sixth in the series, 'Perfect Kill' is due out on 6 February 2020. Helen also writes as HS Chandler, and last year released legal thriller 'Degrees of Guilt'. Her previous audio book 'Perfect Crime' knocked Michelle Obama off the #1 spot. Translated into 15 languages, and also selling in the USA, Canada & Australasia, Helen's books have won global recognition. Her first historical thriller 'These Lost & Broken Things' comes out in May 2020. A further standalone thriller published by HarperColllins will come soon. She currently commutes between Hampshire, Scotland and California, where she lives with her husband and three children.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 490 reviews
Profile Image for Sandy.
873 reviews220 followers
May 21, 2018
Well, that didn’t take long. You only have to read a few pages of book #4 to get a pretty good idea of what you’re in for. And it’s kinda scary.

When DCI Ava Turner & DI Luc Callanach respond to a call, they aren’t prepared for what they find. But how could they be? A young woman’s body is found on a road but there’s nothing accidental about how she died. And she won’t be the last.

Meanwhile, someone is attacking drug addicts on Edinburgh’s streets. Lost in their own worlds, most are unable to provide the cops with any helpful info but a single clue points Ava’s team in one particular direction & man, does that open a can of worms.

Speaking of the team, the gang’s all back. DCI Av Turner, DS Lively, DC Salter, DC Max Tripp & of course, DI Luc Callanach. Ladies & gents, I give you your MIT. There’s a lot going on here. A twisted killer (and their eerie calling card), obnoxious rich kids, office politics & the MC’s personal lives (or lack thereof).

Ava has been boss for a while now & grown into the role so she & Luc are in a better place. Budgets, a demanding boss & office politics continue to drive her daft but she may be surprised to find out who has her back. Investigations aside, I really enjoyed the secondary characters in this one. DS Lively is at his cheekiest, we get more acquainted with (boss from Hell) Det. Superintendent Overbeck & newcomer DS Pax Graham is introduced. Now there’s a man who knows how to make an entrance.

Both cases have several twists & lead the team to some dark places. Most of the book has an even pace as we follow the investigations until ramping up for the big finale. My only quibble was Ava’s tendency to speechify. The plight of the homeless &/or drug addicted is centre stage & Ava frequently laments their treatment by society in general. She’s always worn her heart on her sleeve but comes across as a bit naive sometimes given her position & length of time on the job. On the other hand, when that passion is directed at her boss, it makes for an entertaining read.

It’s a solid instalment in this popular series & a couple of dangling threads at the end ensure fans will be waiting for #5.
Profile Image for Matt.
3,821 reviews12.9k followers
July 29, 2018
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Helen Sarah Fields, and Avon Books UK for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Helen Sarah Fields has been developing this strong police procedural series over the past few years, which mixes some unique characters against the backdrop of some vicious murders that will keep the reader wondering well into the story. When a young woman is discovered murdered, her body dumped like a pile of rubbish, DI Luc Callenach and DCI Ava Turner are understandably concerned. However, when the body is shown to have a doll-like piece of skin carved from both the abdomen and back, things get a little more concerning. Thus begins a panicked search for a killer that Police Scotland can only hope will be brief. When a second woman goes missing, she is seen to have left her baby in a pram. The baby is eventually located, with a raggedly stitched doll of human skin tucked next to her. Callanach and Turner think that this may be the start to a gruesome killing spree and it is only getting started. Meanwhile, there is a new drug on the streets named Spice, which turns its users into zombies, at least for a time. Those in the homeless population are turning up carved with a ‘Z’ on their cheek while under the influence. Turner and the rest of her team are trying to see who might be targeting this vulnerable population, finding a clue that takes them on a goose chase through the richer families of Edinburgh. DCI Turner must not only wrestle with these two cases, but a superior who will stop at nothing to meddle and cut her down. Edinburgh is rocked by these crimes and the killer may be trying to push a religious extermination of their own to cleanse the streets. Fields continues with her stellar writing that will have series fans begging for more. Recommended to those who have been intrigued by the DI Callanach novels to date, as well as those who like a well-paced police procedural that does not lose stream throughout.

While there are many police procedural series on the market today, Helen Sarah Fields has found a way to produce unique stories with a handful of strong characters. Using Edinburgh as an interesting backdrop, the stories exemplify the strength of Police Scotland as they face a number of bone-chilling cases. Fields again turns her focus on DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner, developing their characters as well as abilities to solve crime. Callanach continues to impress since his move from INTERPOL, showing that he has a strong dedication to the police work required to solve these complex cases. As with the previous novels, Callanach’s struggles with issues in his personal life bleed into the present through a well-paced narrative that highlights these struggles. The series reader will know precisely what is going on and find much interest in how it is handled herein. Turner is forced to continue her struggle with being catapulted up the ranks, where she is now able to oversee the Major Investigations Team (MIT). However, this has led to a number of other issues, including trying to define her relationship with Callanach, who now answers to her, as well as the issues of being put under the microscope by an equally determined Superintendent. Fields effectively shows how Turner seeks to find a balance in a position that is rife with controversial decisions. The story is strong and Fields is able to weave together a powerful crime thriller with clues and dramatic case development peppers amongst the ever-intensifying chapters. These cases are full of dark criminal elements and will surely keep the reader up well into the night. Another strong effort by Fields will keep me reading as long as she has ideas put to paper.

Kudos, Madam Fields, for another wonderful novel in this series. I cannot wait to see what else you have in store for your fans.

Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
Profile Image for Gary.
2,674 reviews377 followers
June 15, 2018
This is the 4th book in the DI Luc Callanch series by author Helen Fields. I have only previously read one other book in this series and did not feel this detracted from my enjoyment or understanding in anyway.
When the body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh a terrifying discovery is made by the pathologists when they examine the her remains. The outline of a doll carved into the victim’s skin.
The team of DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach struggle to find leads until they discover a doll made of skin beside an abandoned baby. A further young woman is found brutally murdered and the detectives that the killer is playing with them and likely to kill again.
Excellent characters and yet another series for me to read.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Avon Books for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Helga.
965 reviews152 followers
July 2, 2018
“Human beings don’t have any limits when they’re broken. It’s the damage you can’t see on the surface that’s the most dangerous.”

This series keeps getting better and better. Helen Fields is one talented, imaginative and resourceful author and she never disappoints. With well-sketched characters and clever, dark, bone-chilling and compelling story-lines, D.I. Callanach series have easily become one of my top favorites. All of her books are emotionally-charged and I feel at home with all the characters. Even the rude D.S. Overlord, oops sorry Overbeck redeems herself in Perfect Silence.

Two different cases. Each as horrendous and gruesome as the other.

-Young women are being kidnapped, mutilated and left to die on remote roads. Each future victim is sent a doll made of the skin of the previous one. All the women have had troubling pasts. All the women have one thing in common…

-The homeless are under attack. A psychopath slashes the letter Z on their faces. Each attack becomes more violent until the last victim dies from her injuries.

I already miss Luc, Ava and Lively and impatiently wait for the 5th book in the series.

Thanks to Helen Fields, Avon and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy.
Profile Image for Amanda.
899 reviews253 followers
December 15, 2019
This is the fourth book in the D.I Luc Callanch series. Although I have not read any of the others I soon found myself gripped by this book. I will read the others as it seems like there are some great characters with their own backstories that I have missed out on.

This is a great story, young girls are being kidnapped, they are kept tied up and they all have a doll like shape carved from their abdomens, before they are abandoned left to die on a road. Their skin and hair is made into a gruesome doll.

The other case is of a new drug ”‘Spice” which is popular among the homeless and turns the user into a zombie. Whilst they are under the effects of the drug a few have been attacked leaving them with a carved Z on their cheeks.

Luc and DCI Ava Turner are desperately working both cases before there are more victims. Are the 2 cases related?

I am going back to the beginning of this series and will enjoy finding out more about these great characters.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.

1,139 reviews84 followers
August 4, 2020
Oh wow these books keep getting better and better. This one was gripping and as with these books the last 100 pages are so exciting that you don’t want to stop reading until you reach the end. When you do you will close the book with a sigh and a smile on your face, as I did.
I highly recommend these books if you like crime books, you’ll enjoy this one.
Profile Image for Christine.
831 reviews150 followers
June 15, 2018
With Perfect Silence, Helen Fields takes us to the fourth instalment in this dark and disturbing police procedural series. This is exactly the kind of crime that I am completely in love with. Every single book has been intelligent, incredibly dark and disturbing and wonderfully written. As usual, I am in awe of Helen Fields and want to sing her praises to the world. It is quite an achievement to have created such a deliciously strong series.

Helen Fields’ imagination takes us to a very chilling place. The story features our duo of Callanach and Turner seeking a psychopathic serial killer in Edinburgh. This is one unique monster. Shades of Ed Gein. With a touch of Hannibal. This killer kidnaps woman and removes portions of skin. The skin is used to craft a doll, as a likeness to the victim. This is stomach churning. It is the stuff of nightmares. It is grotesque. It is horror. The press label him ‘The Baby Doll Killer’. Field’s skill as a writer gives us the human stories of the victims, as we follow Callanach and Turner through this compelling investigation. At the same time, we see homeless users of the new drug Spice targeted and assaulted in the city.

Field’s strength as a writer is the way she writes her key players. Her characterisation is superb and subtle. Her dialogue is clever. We hear from Callanach and Turner, plus others in the team. The balance is just right. We know about their private lives. Field does not turn them into stereotypes, with irritating issues. They have intelligent discussions on drugs, homelessness and on religion. These are all very credible characters, with faults. We still have the potential for Callanagh and Turner to develop their relationship, into something more romantic. Callanagh has begun to move on from the false allegations made against him. Our pair have stopped socialising, which is a shame.

Perfect Silence continues, with the same high quality plotting and chilling drama that we have come to expect from Fields. PERFECTION in a book. DARK. DISTURBING. NIGHTMARISH. COMPELLING. This is one of the best series out there, by a truly talented author. Long may it continue. I need more.

Highly recommended
Profile Image for Pat.
2,310 reviews430 followers
September 18, 2019
4.5 stars. An almost perfect book. And please don't ask - I can't remember why it was not quite perfect. All I do remember is that I'm loving this series and will almost certainly read it all again one day. But, joy, I still have book 5 to go.
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,168 reviews137 followers
March 12, 2021
For my full review, visit me at https://mrsbrownsbooks.wordpress.com/...

I cannot believe that I only have one more of these books left to read. Still, Fields continues to create imaginative, twisted, thrilling stories that just build in intensity as the pages turn. Once again, Fields has created a new case that leaves your toes curdling, your goose-bumps prickling and a need to snuggle down.
March 21, 2022
PERFECT SILENCE is the fourth book in the DI Luc Callanach series. I gave it five stars even though it was a bit lower than a five-star read for me (but not low enough to be a four-star read). Also, I gave it five stars to make up for giving the first book in the series (“Perfect Remains”) only four stars when, for me, that first one was really a 4.5-star read.

You might notice that it took me a while to read PERFECT SILENCE. This was because it was a library book and it takes me longer to read print books than it does to read ebooks (old eyes). Because I could only read a few chapters at a time, I was able to reflect better on how I interacted with both the story and the writing.

My overall impression was that the author pulled out all the stops for this one. The chills and thrills kept coming without letting up. This time the psycho killer is hidden from the reader. We only know that this killer is very perverted — twisted, insane, almost beyond belief. We get fleeting glances of the killer’s victims before they die — brief, heart-wrenching background histories. In addition to the narrative regarding the search for the psycho killer, the investigation includes crimes committed by obnoxious rich kids as well as office/community politics. And the author keeps the drama evolving by inserting scenes from the sex lives of a number of the series main characters.

With all this going on, the reader hardly has time to stop and think. And the few times I did muse about it, I came to the conclusion that the author is a master plotter — interspersing different types of scenes at just the right time. No boredom.

Because while I was reading, I still had a niggling feeling in the back of my head that something wasn’t quite perfect. And I came to the conclusion was what wasn’t great was the writing. The author uses short, non-literary sentences. Normally, this is the type of writing I like best — no similes, metaphors, or poetic rhymes. But, it has to be unsettled a bit; it cannot be plain sentence followed by more plain sentences, or the narrative becomes boring. Words have to be reordered and phrases interspersed at different places to stir the composition pot; the thesaurus has to be consulted a thousand times to find the perfect word. This involves rewriting, and rewriting, and more rewriting. I’m not certain that Helen Fields does this. Or if she does, she doesn’t do it well. Her dialogue is unrealistic and Ava, in particular, tends to pontify. These writing “errors” could probably be corrected if the author took more time — rewriting and getting her work critiqued by more people.
Profile Image for Ann Girdharry.
Author 15 books476 followers
September 28, 2018
This is the fourth book in the series starring DC Luc Cavanagh and DCI Ava Turner and their police colleagues.

A young woman is found dead at the roadside with a gruesome cut-out of a doll shape taken from her skin. Soon, the doll itself appears at the sight where a second victim has been taken. And so starts a chain of killings and torture. Can Luc and Ava find the perpetrator against all the odds? How many young women will be lost before they catch up with the killers?

For me, there were two particular strengths to the story-telling, I’d even call them outstanding.

The first is we get to know the victims.
Yes, this is pretty gruesome but it’s also very human. The girls that are taken will tell us their own story. Warning - some of this is dark because we are with them when they are captured and killed. But for me, it was one of the strengths of the book because the victims are real. You’ll see this in the very first chapter which is brilliant yet horrible – terrific thriller content.

The second thing I liked were the strong main characters and supporting cast.
Of the supporting characters, Chief Superintendent Daisy Overbeck was my favourite. She’s so nasty and authoritarian and she and Ava will almost come to blows. I liked the way this shows DCI Ava’s spirit. As Overbeck says, it also shows Ava’s naivety when it comes to dealing with the higher echelons of the police hierarchy.

DI Luc was less of a strong character but he was still likeable. I’ve not read the other books in this series so I don’t know his backstory. Maybe this made me less sympathetic to him. Still, Luc and Ava have a real feel to them and they each have their own failings and strengths. (The only part of this that started to annoy me a tad was Ava’s plight as a single woman which is heavy emphasised in contrast to Luc’s new relationship with the glamorous Sabrina.)

In all, this was a great story.
There's a thread left dangling at the end, which I suppose will lead to a follow-up book. I thought it was a shame it wasn't all tied up. that said, it’s still a great story and it merits 5 stars. One of the best (and possibly THE best) police procedural I’ve read this year.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book. This is my honest review.
Profile Image for Janet Newport.
471 reviews88 followers
May 3, 2018
Thank you Netgalley and Avon Books UK for this arc.

I loved this book!. And the good news.... Helen Fields has written 3 previous books in this series! Which have been downloaded to my kindle from Amazon. The housework can wait a while longer while I enjoy some serious binge reading.

This is a fast paced story, police procedural placed in Scotland. It's nicely twisted and pretty gory, but I also adore Angela Marsons' and Stuart MacBride's stories so gory doesn't bother me a bit. I loved the characters!
They were fantastic and very nicely balanced, especially Overstreet. I found the "bad guys" to be very plausible - their motivations and actions (please remember that I live in the USA, where crazy and gross are considered an art form).

One question, where do I send the licquorice?
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,471 reviews1,010 followers
June 8, 2018
I love this series. It is dark as you like, highly compelling with truly scary mystery elements and an excellent core cast who engage you further with every new novel.

In Perfect Silence our team are once more on the hunt for a killer. What I really enjoy about these are the emotional levels that the author gets in there – you really feel for the victims you pray for a good ending for them and you are with the investigative team every step of the way.

Luc is definitely a clever and complex character, his relationships with those around him form the heart of these. Overall a genuine page turner once again and honestly very very creepy! Sleep with the lights on….

Highly Recommended.
Profile Image for Skyler Autumn.
229 reviews1,403 followers
November 2, 2018

I am so bummed I have to wait till Spring for the next installment.

Profile Image for Kat (Katlovesbooks) Dietrich.
1,205 reviews147 followers
April 15, 2019

Perfect Silence by Helen Fields is the fourth in the Luc Callanach series.

Series Background: (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)
DI Luc Callanach is half French and half Scottish, living most of his life in France, and working for Interpol. Due to a false rape allegation made by co-worker Astrid Borde, he leaves France, his job, his friends, his mother. Very few are sad to see him go. With some assistance from his bosses, he heads to Edinburgh to take command of a homicide team. His welcome is not particularly warm. He and DS Lively will never be close, but they tolerate each other - barely. Luc does make friends with a colleague, newly appointed DCI Ava Taylor, and finds an unlikely friend in a journalist.

My Synopsis: (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
Women are being kidnapped, the skin of their stomach and back carved out to produce the shape of a doll, and they are then dumped on the side of the road, to finally die from their torture. The excised skin is then sewn together, and the “doll” is left at a location which is relevant to the next kidnapped victim.

Meanwhile, the homeless are being targeted as well. A new drug called Spice, which turns the users into a Zombie-like state, is making these poor souls into even easier targets to whoever is slashing a “Z” deep into their face.

The team is trying to handle both of these cases, and not making much progress. Due to the knife work, they wonder if they are looking for one perpetrator. When Ava gets a lead about the homeless slashings, she is ordered to stand down. She will risk her career to solve both cases, but alas neither may have clear solutions.

The current cases are bringing the idea of having children to the fore-front. Salter has just returned to work after losing her child in a past case. Ava is wondering if her biological clock has run out. Luc is wondering if his PTSD will ever allow him to have children.

My Opinions:
This is a great crime/mystery/police procedural series. Because the author continues to add depth to her characters, it is important to read the previous three books to get the maximum effect of this series. All of her characters continue to grow, and in this book, we learn that even the ones we have learned to dislike, have a different side to their story. That is one of the things that makes this series so good. What makes it even better, is that we get to know the victims.

Helen Fields is not afraid to write rather detailed crime scenes. Be warned, some of these are not for the squeamish. In this book, Fields has tackled both the homeless and those recovering from past behaviours, and neither is an easy read. We see the poor side of society, the entitled rich, the off-shoot religions, the crazed perpetrators, and the police who are trying to balance things out.

Bottom line, her writing flows smoothly, her plots are compelling, and the dialog and characters are “real”. There is always a lot going on, both on the crime level, and in the lives of her characters.

Definitely recommend the series.

3,016 reviews58 followers
April 28, 2018
I would like to thank Netgalley and Avon Books for an advance copy of Perfect Silence the fourth novel to feature Edinburgh based DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callenach.

When Zoey's body is found on a remote country lane nothing can prepare Ava and Luc for the horror they are about to see. Zoey was left alive but the horrific excision of a doll shape from both her front and back mean that she would never survive. When a doll made of Zoey's skin is found in the pram with the baby Lorna abandoned when she disappeared they realise they are looking for a madman. In the meantime someone is attacking homeless drug users, leaving a Z cut into their faces. Never has the team felt so busy.

I thoroughly enjoyed Perfect Silence which is a good mix of investigation, office politics and a little home life, not much obviously as they are so overworked. The Babydoll Killer, as dubbed by the press, investigation is horrible in what is done to the victims so I would want Ms Fields' imagination and the motive a bit hard to swallow in anything but fiction but the novel is well done and is a gripping read. I like that the team start with virtually no clues and gradually build a working hypothesis until they are in a position to develop a suspect. It might sound boring but Ms Fields injects a sense of urgency and positivity at each small development that had me hooked from start to finish. The Zorro case as they call the slashings is a different beast with the hierarchy, in the form of Superintendent Overbeck, showing much less interest. This leads to clashes which provide some of the best moments in the novel as Ava doesn't mince her words.

The characterisation is strong with DS Lively again providing the humour and Superintendent Overbeck the bite and a few surprises. Ava and Luc haven't changed much over the series and the will they/won't they scenario continues apace. Ava is hotheaded, compassionate and determined on justice whereas Luc is just there in this novel without offering much apart from support and strong investigative skills.

Perfect Silence is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending.
Profile Image for Siobhan.
4,564 reviews475 followers
September 14, 2018
When I won Perfect Remains in a Goodreads giveaway I had not expected to find myself a new addiction. Sure, I enjoyed the first book, but I wasn’t obsessed in the way I am with some series starters. Then came Perfect Prey, and I was a goner. Perfect Prey blew my mind, and I knew I would be diving into each new DI Callanach book the moment I could. Thus, I devoured Perfect Death to cement my addiction to the series before starting the wait for Perfect Silence.

Although Perfect Silence is the fourth book in the DI Callanach series, like any good crime series it works perfectly fine as a standalone novel. You understand certain elements a lot more if you have read the prior books – you especially appreciate the character driven plots a lot more with prior knowledge of the series, whereas the mystery element works fine alone – but you do not need to have read the prior books to see how wonderful this book is. Still, I would recommend reading the series in order, as I’m sure upon finishing this one you’ll be desperate to go back for more.

If I’m being completely truthful, Perfect Silence is not my favourite book in the series. That award goes to the second book, Perfect Prey, as it was insanely good. Perfect Silence is a good book, a solid four-star read, but it is not my favourite. However, any DI Callanch book is a good book, so do not be put off by the fact this one was not my favourite.

Like the prior books in the series, Perfect Silence offers plenty of goodness. We have a dark and gory crime, one that sucks you in deep and leaves you questioning how everything comes together. We have another criminal element that looks at more social aspects of life. We have great character development, in regards to personal life, relationships, and their working lives. In fact, this one offers up plenty of interesting elements for the future books in the series. I’ll admit to having worked out some of the elements that came into play regarding the personal lives of characters and the way relationships developed, yet it did not lessen my enjoyment any – and I’m certainly interested in seeing how things progress in the future.

I’m also super intrigued by the way this one ended. I cannot help but cross my fingers in the hope the way events ended in this book means they’ll be more in the future from certain characters. I will not say much for fear of offering spoilers, but I love it when crime series return to elements from earlier books, and I’m hoping such will be the case later in the DI Callanch series.

There is no doubt in my mind that the DI Callanch series is one of my favourite crime series. There are plenty of wonderful British crime thrillers out there, but this is certainly within my top five series. I’m obsessed, there is no other way to say it.

I need book five, and I need it pronto.
Profile Image for Janet .
342 reviews107 followers
September 9, 2018
I have really enjoyed the previous books in the series so was really excited to get to book four.

It starts with the body of a young girl being found on a roadside on the edges of Edinburgh. At the postmortem it is discovered that a doll like figure has been carved into the flesh. Baffled DI Callanach and DCI Ava Turner are then horrified to learn that a ragdoll made from human skin has been discovered. Connections are now being made and steps are taken to try and stop this gruesome killer from striking again.

Across town drug addicts are being attacked and the letter 'Z' is being carved into the flesh. Are there connections between the two cases?

It all sounds like an addictive read ..... but here's the thing ..... for me, it really wasn't. And I can't really explain why. Before in previous books I had been totally captivated by Callanach, Turner and the rest of the team and their cases but here it just didn't quite connect for me. It took me a while to read which was disappointing in itself and perhaps in places it dragged out a bit. That said, I know not every book in a series is ever going to be top notch. Impossible to achieve and I wouldn't expect that, so I'm going to put this one down to a 'the storyline didn't hit the spot for me' but I would definitely continue with this series. I love the characters of Callanach and Turner and have plans for them in my head!! Hah!! I don't think Fields is going to listen.

I would recommend for lovers of this series ..... and this only MY opinion. I'm sure many would love it.
Profile Image for Nancy.
271 reviews48 followers
December 3, 2019
Thank you Goodread's Friends for helping me select this one to read! Loved it, and you were correct you don't need to read 1-3 to enjoy it.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,265 reviews195 followers
March 15, 2021
This book was an instant hit with me. I felt as if I had been with Ava and DI since the beginning. Yet, this is my first introduction to them both. I enjoyed this book so much that I can't wait to pick up copies of the prior novels to read.

Ava and DI work well together. Both are strong characters and intelligent. When one would get an idea the other one would get inspired as well. Additionally, they are in relationships. I kind of got to know DI's relationship a little better. These relationships did not distract from the main story.

The idea of a killer craving dolls out of human skin is enough to give you goose bumps. The killer commits heinous crimes but again Ava and DI are up to the task of hunting the killer. Perfect Silence will have you missing sleep staying up to read this book.
Profile Image for RachelW (BamaGal).
746 reviews68 followers
May 20, 2018
Another nice entry in a UK police procedural series I have really come to enjoy. If I had one complaint, it would be that the bad guys are somewhat stereotypical. But given how much I enjoy the plot lines and regular characters, it’s a small complaint.
Profile Image for Meggy Chocolate'n'Waffles.
524 reviews99 followers
August 28, 2018

I would like to thank Avon Book UK and darling Sabah for inviting me to be part of this exceptional blog tour and for providing me with a copy of this book. This review is unbiased and reflects my sole opinion.

All is silence in my head. A deafening silence and a never-ending scream.

Perfect Silence was my first meeting with the DI Callanach series and my first try at Helen Fields’ work.

Oh My God, why on earth did I wait this long??!

Before starting this novel, I could feel the nasty pulse of a reading slump run through my blood. We all have remedies to help with this issue. I shut it up with one of the most exceptional and skillfully plotted police procedural books I have ever read.

Now that I have finished it, I am all happy and eager to put my hands on the rest of the series but don’t be fooled, this is not an easy read! Maybe I am faint-hearted. It is okay. I do read lots of crime fiction, though, so I am used to decomposing bodies and nightmarish visions. But Helen Fields gave my stomach a hard time and my brain some indelible images.

The opening gave me the chills. Claustrophobic, oozing fear and pain, it had a huge impact on me. So huge I just couldn’t stop reading. Even when things got bad. Really bad. Really bloody. Completely and insanely awful. ‘Wow what is happening?????’ awful.

So why did I keep on reading?

Because Helen Fields has the power to create unescapable atmospheres in which she puts perfectly-crafted and human protagonists through heaven and hell (more of the latter than the former!) and all you want to do is let your eyes run through the stunning narrative. Stronger than tobacco or cake, Helen Fields turns her series into an addiction: her writing style flows like teardrops on the pane on a quiet Sunday night.

I won’t rehash what the blurb says. Bodies are mutilated then discovered minus a few skin parts. If, in the hands of a less capable writer, this scenario would have made me put down the book and never touch it again, Helen Fields superbly balances facts and sensitivity, cleverness and respect, through the characters handling this case. I cringed and chuckled, I was appalled and shocked. I could feel the empathy sliding from the tip of my fingers into the book. Usually, you get everything you need from a novel. In this case, the reader’s feelings are bound to penetrate the pages. A shared experience. I can’t explain it any other way.

What a joy to meet Ava Turner and Luc Callanach! As a fellow French, I was quite happy to see how Luc was portrayed, with layers and a complicated background, without any big clichés, but the right jokes about Scotland and France! A real pleasure and a needed respite from the heavier subjects within the novel. Ava won my heart quite fast! I was not aware there was room for another favorite female main characters, but I fell in love with this hard-boiled, not-taking-crap-from-anyone cop with a big heart, a conscience, and cracks in the walls of her life. No, the combination isn’t new, but there is a freshness to Ava, a little X-factor that makes it so fascinating to follow her step and watch her live and struggle.

On top of those two brilliant characters, you can count on a real team full of surprises, to say the least! My favorite thing in crime fiction! I love first impressions proved wrong, weird situations, and above it all, real authenticity coming from every person making this series alive. Chapeau bas, Mrs Fields!

Intertwined with the dead bodies coming from nowhere and scaring the hell out of me lies another case, and with it, the critical question of society and how cases can be treated differently depending on who is involved. I simply adored the fact that the author took the time to approach such a matter on top of everything else happening! Two clocks running, an unnerving pattern, a game of death for the greater good. I still shiver at the motives behind every action, every woman’s fate, and every wrong turns life can take.

Perfect Silence deals with dark souls but brings shining lights to get rid of the shadows. A pure and phenomenal crime fiction. Definitely my Book of the Month!

Profile Image for Marloes.
728 reviews80 followers
September 19, 2021
Wanneer aan de rand van Edinburgh een lijk wordt aangetroffen, wordt al snel duidelijk dat dit één van de gruwelijkste zaken is die Luc Callanagh en Ava Turner hebben meegemaakt. Een jonge vrouw is hevig verminkt, haar witte jurk is doordrenkt met bloed en zowel uit haar buik als uit haar rug is een grote lap huid gesneden. Wanneer de patholoog-anatoom ontdekt dat de weggesneden lappen huid de vorm van een pop hebben, tast het team Zware Misdrijven in het duister, totdat opnieuw een vrouw verdwijnt. In de achtergelaten kinderwagen wordt een pop gevonden. Een van mensenhuid gemaakte pop.

Alle alarmbellen gaan af en het wordt een race tegen de klok om de vrouw te vinden, maar deze moordenaar gaat geraffineerd te werk en laat geen enkel spoor achter. Wanneer opnieuw een lichaam wordt gevonden, wordt duidelijk dat Edinburgh geterroriseerd wordt door een genadeloze moordenaar, iemand die op jonge vrouwen jaagt om ze te straffen. Maar waarom? De vrouwen worden, hevig bloedend en met intense, ondraaglijke pijn, achtergelaten in een uithoek, een afgelegen gebied waardoor de kans miniem is dat ze gevonden kunnen worden voordat het te laat is. Weggerukt uit hun normale leven, achteloos gedumpt om te sterven.

"De dood was een monster in het duister dat haar met knerpende voetstappen van achteren besloop. Zo dadelijk zouden zijn ijskoude vingers haar bij de schouder grijpen. Dan zou ze stoppen, maar ze zou pas opgeven als ze geen druppel bloed meer in haar lichaam had.”

Aangezien de moordenaar telkens dezelfde werkwijze gebruikt en deze zaken de nodige ophef veroorzaken in de stad, weten de latere slachtoffers al snel wat er met hen zal gaan gebeuren. In de hoofdstukken die zijn geschreven vanuit het perspectief van deze vrouwen voel je dan ook de vechtlust, de drang om te overleven, de paniek en het verdriet. Het zijn aangrijpende stukken, maar dit zijn ook de passages waarin je langzamerhand steeds meer informatie krijgt over de moordenaar. Hierdoor krijg je als lezer een voorsprong op het opsporingsteam en hoop je dat ze snel aanknopingspunten vinden om deze terreur te stoppen.

De verhoudingen binnen het team zijn sinds de gebeurtenissen in het vorige boek weer wat tot rust gekomen, waardoor er goed samengewerkt wordt, maar het blijft nog altijd een strijd met commissaris Overbeck om genoeg mankracht, middelen en geld vrij te maken, wat leuke dialogen oplevert. Ava gaat af en toe wat verder dan geoorloofd is, maar dat zorgt ook voor doorbraken en enkele teamleden leer je van een andere kant kennen. Het verhaal zit vol vaart en spanning, wie de gruwelijke details in het vorige deel miste komt in dit boek niets tekort, het is beeldend en intens geschreven waardoor je op het puntje van je stoel gaat zitten en de plot zit uitermate goed in elkaar. Houd jij van thrillers maar heb je nog niks van Helen Fields gelezen? Wacht dan niet langer en begin gauw aan deze fantastische serie!

Profile Image for Eva.
838 reviews428 followers
September 13, 2018
Three words : read this NOW! You can thank me later.

If you’re a crime fiction fan, then the DI Luc Callanach series is undoubtedly one you should be reading. I’ve loved and enjoyed this series from the start and anxiously await a new addition every time because I just know I’ll be in for a treat.

That said though, if you’re of the faint-hearted variety, this may not quite be for you as you’ll need a bit of a strong stomach for this one. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’ve read any of the previous books.

The body of a young woman is found. Her death seems to have been a particularly gruesome one and the silhouette of a doll is carved into her skin. Detectives are having a hard time finding any clues or leads and then the doll made of skin is found near to where another young woman has gone missing. There’s no doubt there’s a serial killer roaming the streets. They’re playing a horrific game and are obviously on a mission. Can DI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach find the culprit before another young woman goes missing?

Perfect Silence is dark, chilling and disturbing, as I’ve come to expect from this series. Some chapters are written from the victims’ point of view, which were heartbreaking to read and made me choke up. It felt all too easy to imagine what it would be like to find yourself stuck in such a horrendous situation.

As for the serial killer, Helen Fields kept me guessing until the end. I couldn’t at all figure out their identity, their motivations or how they were selecting their victims in the first place. The race to find this murderer is incredibly tense and the ultimate reveal and somehow rather fascinating reasoning behind it all, left me a little open-mouthed.

I feel it’s also worth mentioning that I’ve been Team Luc from the start but I must say, in this instalment it was Ava who stole the show for me. She’s always been a bit of a character I couldn’t quite put my finger on but this time around she completely won me over. I loved seeing a different side to her, sympathised with her, rooted for her and often got the wrong end of the stick, just like she did. But there is so much to admire about her.

This series has been blowing my mind since the very beginning and I feel it’s only been getting better with each book. Intensely gripping and massively engrossing, this is another belter from Helen Fields and I absolutely can’t wait for book five and more from Luc and Ava. You should all add this series to your TBR’s or shopping baskets right now, as it is indeed quite “perfect”.
Profile Image for Caitlyn Lynch.
Author 45 books1,826 followers
August 26, 2018
Perfect Silence is the fourth book in the DI Callanach series, and full disclaimer; I haven’t read the other three. Luc Callanach is the hero of the title, a French former Interpol officer now working as a detective inspector on the Major Incident Team (MIT) in Edinburgh, Scotland. There are quite a few references to events happening to Luc, his boss Ava and other members of the MIT, but I didn’t find it was necessary to have read previous books to understand what was going on here. This stands very well standalone.

Now, I read this book without knowing the series name, and went to look it up so I could say where it fit in the series, and I have to say I’m completely confused, because Luc Callanach was at best a secondary character. The primary protagonist was Ava Turner, the DCI, and I fully expected this to be the DCI Ava Turner series. If you’re a big fan of Luc Callanach and you read this series because of how much you love Luc, I think you’re likely to be pretty disappointed here.

With that bemusing fact out of the way, I really enjoyed this book. It’s horrifying and macabre, with a serial killer kidnapping young women and cutting ‘dolls’ from their flesh, and a secondary case involving thrill-seeker attacks on homeless people. It’s a juicy read at a little over 430 pages and full of accurate (so far as I can tell) police procedural and investigative work, complete with the delays, red tape and bureaucracy that goes along with that. If you enjoy a good crime thriller or good British police drama in the vein of the TV series Line of Duty, you’ll really enjoy this.

However, for the weird fact that the series protagonist isn’t actually the main character in this book, and in fact the whole arc and character growth is about Ava, I’m going to knock it down to four stars.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.
488 reviews51 followers
May 30, 2018
When I started reading the book, my first thought was, did I stumble upon a horror movie? Because the story begins with a young woman held as a prisoner who desperately tries to escape her kidnapper. Then her body has been found dumped with the silhouette of a doll carved in the victim’s skin. Very creepy! And when another woman, former drug addict, disappears leaving her baby behind, Ava and Luc are horrified to discover a doll made of human skin in the baby’s bed. The investigations shows that the skin belongs to the previous victim and they know that the mother of the baby is not just an escaped drug addict, but she is held prisoner of a serial killer!

In the same time a new drug is on the street market and many of the homeless drug users end up with slashed Z on their faces. They don’t know nothing about who attacked them or when. The new drug acts something like Rohypnol and someone is taking advantage of the poor homeless people on the street whom nobody believes anything, no one cares about them. But Ava and Luc do care. Every life matters! The investigation takes them to a private school where elite kids think that they are untouchable, where showing force and bullying the weaker means glory and prestige.

Ava, Luc, Lively, Salter, the whole team is here again. D.C.I. Ava Turner is the boss, but she is everything but bossy. She acts little bit more mature than in the previous books and she is not afraid to fight for what she thinks is right, even if that means losing her job. D.I. Luc Callanach is having a relationship now, there is a lovely woman with Spanish origin, and maybe this time he can put the false rape allegation behind and finally be the person he used to be. The two investigations seem not connected, but maybe they are. The police team is working hard on both. I liked the plot, loved the story. Helen Fields is an excellent storyteller and plot twister! She combined the two criminal cases to create a perfect balance in the story that I wasn’t able to put down till the last page! There were moments when the hair on my neck literally stood up. Like in the horror movie! I absolutely love Luc Callanach Series and can’t wait for the next one! Totally recommended!
96 reviews
August 16, 2018
Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC.

My first book by this author. I enjoyed this book and plan to go back and read the previous ones .

The details of the harm done to women was bit gory for me and hence reduced a star. Otherwise a good plot.
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