The Killing Choice
Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month ‘Riveting'
by Will Shindler
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 11 Feb 2021 | Archive Date 31 Mar 2021
Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month, one of The Times Best Crime Novels of 2021, The Sunday Times Crime Club Book of the Week and one of the Observers thrillers of the month!
'Riveting . . . Shindler's second novel displays an acute understanding of family dynamics, easily fulfilling the promise of his debut, The Burning Men' SUNDAY TIMES, CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH
THE SECOND NOVEL FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BURNING MEN, FEATURING DI ALEX FINN AND DCI MATTIE PAULSEN
5* RATING ON NETGALLEY
'Don't think I've loved a Detective as much since Idris Elba's John Luther'
'Will Schindler's books have all the hallmarks of future classics of this genre'
'A sharp police procedural with an interesting plot'
'The greatest strengths lies in the terrific police team whose characters are so well fleshed out they feel real'
'I loved the storyline, it kept me on edge till the end'
'A real contender, which is up there with the best'
'Leave your daughter with me, or I will kill you both'
It felt like a normal Friday evening before Karl and his daughter Leah were ambushed by a figure in a blank mask. At knife point, Karl is forced to make an impossible choice. Stay and die, or walk away from Leah and take this thug's word that they both will live.
Should Karl trust a villain and leave his daughter with a knife at her throat? Could he ever live with himself if he did?
It's not long before more seemingly unconnected and innocent people across London are offered a deal in exchange for their life. More blood is spilled, more families shattered, and more people are left to suffer with the consequences of their decisions.
DI Alex Finn and DC Mattie Paulsen must hunt for a killer that appears to have no face, no motive and no conscience before more victims are forced to make their choice.
This is second in Will Shindler's Finn and Paulsen series - a British detective series that ranks with Mark Billingham, M.J. Arlidge and Stuart MacBride.
***Order the third novel in the Finn and Paulsen series, THE HUNTING GROUND, now!***
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 73 members
Thanks to Hodder and Stoughton and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Will Schindler’s books have all the hallmarks of future classics of this genre. With his ingenious plotting, riveting storylines and compelling characters, Schindler’s The Killing Choice‘, is a definite one-sitting read. Then there is the irresistible hook: a killer that gives his prospective victims a choice. Or, in some cases, only the illusion of choice. Leave your daughter to be raped in order that you both survive. Or, be offered the choice of saving either your mother or husband from the deadly machinations of a remorseless killer. What would you choose? For DI Finn and his team the why and whom of both the ‘choice’ and victim selection inevitably leads to the identity of the killer. But who does the killer want to punish? Those who have to live with their choices, or, those who have died as a consequence of theirs. The answers are unexpected and fiendishly clever. Yet this is what we have come to expect of Will Schindler during his short career as a crime writer. I’m certainly salivating in anticipation of what this master of crime will do next. If ‘The Killing Choice’ is anything to go by I won’t be disappointed. A must-read for 2020.
A cleverly written, well-paced psychological thriller. I rarely get surprised by the end of book but this one got me! I haven’t read the previous book in this series but will I immediately buy it now. Great characters, dark humour, tortured souls, believable scenarios (scarily!) Don’t think I’ve loved a Detective as much since Idris Elba’s John Luther! Request it now! Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.
My thoughts about this brilliantly written powerful twisted police procedural sequel, to the brilliant The Burning Men, Author Will Shindler's 2nd DI Alex Finn series The Killing Choice, is a outstanding thriller, that has lots of mystery and suspense,which blow me away. What I liked about the book, was what would you do if you had to choice between someone you love, or your family which was just brilliant.The choice Karl makes, to save his daughter, will change his live and his daughters forever, the events that follows is truly unbelievable. Talented Author Will Shindler, has yet again delivered a fantastic story, that took my breath away. The characters in this powerful crime police thriller, are amazing, be it DI Alex Finn, who is definitely one of my favourite detectives, DCI Mattie Paulsen,who is also a brilliant character.The other characters in this book, are just amazing who have important roles to play, my favourite characters were Hannah, Jade, Hayden,Isiah, who I thought were brilliant characters.Will Shindler's The Killing Choice had me turning the pages, it blow me away when the killer gets revealed. Highly recommended. I'm a hugh fan of this outstanding series, now I've read Will's The Burning Men and The Killing Choice, can not wait for book 3. I would to say that you to author Will Shindler, Publisher's Hodder And Stoughton, and Netgalley for giving me a chance to read and review this outstanding thriller. 💥💥💥💥💥⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Cleverly plotted police procedural with interesting lead characters. Shortly after starting this book I realised that it was the 2nd in a new series featuring Detective Inspector Alex Finn. I hadn’t read the first novel but shall definitely be looking out for it now. Finn and Paulsen are investigating the brutal murder of Leah who was going out for a regular dinner date with her father, Karl. Whilst meeting up in a park in Crystal Palace Karl and Leah encounter a masked man brandishing a knife who says that Karl has a choice- his daughter will be raped but they will both live if Karl leaves or they will both die. Karl has to choose between the Devil and the deep blue sea and what he ultimately decides will haunt him. Finn is mourning the loss of his wife mired in grief he has to put his personal feelings aside and concentrate on the job as the case becomes more and more complicated when another person is targeted in the same way. This is a compelling read that I whizzed through in no time, Will Schindler developed the plot well with several twists which left me unable to guess the perpetrator or indeed the motive for the murder which turned out to be key in solving the crime. I liked Finn and Paulsen, both have family issues to work through as well as solving the crime and this made them all the more human. Overnight I have become a big fan of this author and I shall definitely be looking out for his earlier book and indeed any subsequent books in this series. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for my arc in exchange for an honest review.
Superb. Heart racing pace, good, strong characters and a plot that was original and tight. Loved it. I rarely used to give 5 stars but these days I seem to be reading such great novels and I have to give this too. Absolutely loved the first novel of Mr Shindler and enjoyed this one just as much. A real contender, which is up there with the best.
** spoiler alert ** This reads like a who's who of South East London,and I think I liked it a tiny bit more for that. Always good to know a location they're talking about. Mostly I like it though for the two main characters. Finn with his dead wife's voice still in his head,and Paulsen with her increasing family worries. Excellent story,where someone has to make a choice on who's getting hurt. You or them. Him or her. It's a choice anyone having read the book is now debating. Genuinely didn't see where the book was going,so a complete surprise who the criminal was. I hope this series runs and runs. I think this one is an improvement on first book... So can hopefully only keep getting better.
I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advance copy of The Killing Choice, the second novel to feature DI Alex Finn of The Met. Karl Suleman is offered a choice by a knife wielding attacker, either walk away and his daughter would be unharmed or stay and be killed along with her. The killer lied and Leah Suleman died. Karl won’t be the only one offered the same choice and it is up to DI Alex Finn and DS Mattie Paulsen to understand the motive and find a killer. I thoroughly enjoyed The Killing Choice which is a sharp police procedural with an interesting plot. It is not a long novel so nothing is wasted and at the same time manages to make quite a few points about various issues, mostly the nature of love and grief. The novel is told from various points of view, on the investigative side Finn and Paulsen and on the other, the victims or choosers to be more specific and an unenthusiastic drug dealer, Hayden Sims. How Hayden fits in isn’t clear until the end of the novel but I didn’t think that mattered as I found his story compelling on its own with his dysfunctional relationship with his father (arising from grief over the death of his mother), his ambivalence about Greg dealing and his love for his brother and girlfriend. It seems to encapsulate the life of a young man on a rough estate. I thought the Karl Suleman situation was extremely well done with his reaction and the reactions of the media. He was placed in an impossible situation. Finn is not handling the death of his wife 11 months earlier well and it’s starting to affect his work. This is an evocative picture of a man trying to struggle on but essentially rudderless. For a relatively short novel it packs a punch and offers a surprisingly intimate and nuanced picture of the characters. The plot is good enough with a strong if not highly original premise. I like the wide pool of possibilities always present in stranger killings and the gradual narrowing down of motives and links as the novel progresses. There are the usual disagreements about strategy but the main thread relies on Finn’s intuition. By about half way through I had guessed the killer’s identity, mostly, I think, by the way the character is written rather than by any strong deductive reasoning. The motive escaped me. I found the storytelling compulsive, being readable, spare and to the point. The reveals are spaced evenly, leaving the reader wanting more. The Killing Choice is a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.
A great read love this storyline kept me on edge till the end.Would certainly recommend this author and book to anyone who likes crime thrillers.Would love to read more like this.
Karl Suleman and daughter Leah meet after work at the Crystal Palace Dinosaur Park and intend to go for a meal together. Out of nowhere they are accosted by a person wearing a mirror mask carrying a zombie knife. Karl is given a stark illusion of a choice, a Catch 22 and his split decision led to Leah’s vicious murder in cold blood. DI Alex Finn and his able team investigate. This is the second of this really good series in which one of the greatest strengths lies in the terrific police team whose characters are so well fleshed out they feel real. One of the central themes of this is grief which is exemplified by Finn who is in deep grief for wife Karin, however, other characters suffer grief too. Finn is not the easiest character to like, he’s a control freak, he can be terse and cool and his grief deepens these traits which makes for interesting reading as his actions causes tension in the team. Karin may no longer be alive but you feel her presence and hear her voice through Finn and feel as though she is watching over him. DI Mattie Paulsen is a great character too, she’s very likeable though she has her flaws and she too feels grief as the story unfolds. This case is puzzling as it seems to link to gangs and drugs and the notorious Hope Estate and Karl Suleman becomes a puzzle too as the mystery deepens around him. The case worsens becoming very enthralling and gripping reading. There is a further victim and the team is stretched to find links between them. It’s twisty, dark, there are secrets, lies with buried guilt and shame and bitter revenge. When the killer is apprehended it is breathtaking and very tense. Overall, this is a well written thriller with a good plot which is very well paced. At times it’s emotional and at others it’s shocking. 4-5 stars. With thanks to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for the ARC in return for an honest review.
A really good page turner which I read in one sitting. This is the second book in this series and it is another great story. Finn is a complicated character who is trying to deal with his own grief. He has empathy with the victim’s families. Paulsen has problems in her personal life as well. They are characters that I want to know more about. The plot in this story is really well thought out and put together. It seems totally plausible. This is a memorable read that I would definitely recommend. Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
Killing choice A psychological thriller. Tense and well woven story. Plenty of strands to pull at to try to unravel the plot. I really enjoyed this book as much as the previous novel with DI Finn and co.
When this book starts out, you are immediately thrown into the action in a way that leaves you just confused enough to want to keep going...for the most part. At first, the distinction between POVs, of which there are multiple, is a little bit blurred and took me a minute to get, so I did have to re-read small sections. The prologue is told from the point of view of a father who's daughter is killed. Chapter one dives in with no first names, and so, without the distinction of multiple POVs, it seemed at first that they were the same person, years apart. And then halfway through chapter one, we switch to the point of view of a colleague of the man of the beginning of chapter one, and then back to the guy who started chapter one. Gosh I'm sounding confusing just writing this. Other than the little bit of confusion at the start which could easily be fixed with a note in the blurb about multiple perspectives, or even just clear dividers and names when POVs switch at first, this book is REALLY good. I have always been an Agatha Christie fan and this greatly reminds me of the first Agatha Christie book I read. How the plot pulled me in, and I was entranced by the story throughout. I wish it had been a bit clearer for me to enjoy the first few chapters more but I will definitely be recommending this book to anyone who likes mysteries and thrillers!
I've been looking forward to this one ever since I finished 'The Burning Men', after reading the extract at the end of the novel -- and it did not disappoint. The story begins with Karl and his daughter, Leah, walking through the park to get dinner. The pair are ambushed by a figure wearing a mirrored mask, with the figure giving Karl a choice: stay and be killed, or leave Leah and trust that they'll both live. Can Karl trust this person, who is holding a knife to Leah's throat? And can he live with the decision he made? More people across London soon find themselves offered a similar choice, with more families broken by the mysterious assailant's actions. DI Finn and DC Paulsen race to find a killer who seemingly has no face, no motive and no conscience before more victims are forced to make their choice. This storyline had me on the edge of my seat, racing through the pages to try and find out what was going to happen next (and who was behind it all). The characters are wonderfully fleshed out; each of them feel incredibly real. I can't wait to see DI Finn and DC Paulsen's next case. I'll definitely never look at mirrors the same way, though.
A violent whodunnit starts in blood soaked fashion and continues throughout. A horrendous murder in a South London park where a father leaves his daughter to face her killer alone and the subsequent search for the killer by a detective with personal issues and the relationship with his team form the basis of the tale. More violent episodes and red herrings keep things ticking along all building to the shock climax. More to come in this series one hopes!
this book is very well written keeping you guessing right to the end. two murders no reason why they have happened can detective finn sort out the reason they have taken place .can it be anything to with drugs ?what conection has a train accident do with it. will the pressure be too much for detective finn who as recently lost is wife.
Let me just start by saying I absolutely loved this book! Karl Suleman meets his daughter in a local park, they decide where to go for dinner, then they are approached by someone wearing a metal mask carrying a zombie knife. Karl is asked to make the biggest decision of his life, the outcome is life or death. Just a great story, interesting characters with great contrasts between them. Finn and Paulsen are a strong team, there is enough about their personal lives without it being overwhelming. Finn is recovering from the death of his wife, and Paulsen with a Alzheimer's diagnosis for her father. Highly recommended and I look forward to more in the series. Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder and Staughton for giving me the chance to read the book in exchange for an honest review.
𝗦𝗣𝗢𝗜𝗟𝗘𝗥-𝗙𝗥𝗘𝗘 𝗥𝗘𝗩𝗜𝗘𝗪 Being a reader, if there's something that I always seek in every book that I read, then that is its characterization. This is something that determines my reading experience, maybe a book can have a crazy plot and a smooth narration, but if I feel like I don't know the characters, and can't put myself in their shoes or even by the end of the book they still seem like the strangers then such books sometimes fail to my expectations. For me, characterization is the soul of a book because it helps me to develop an understanding and kind of a bond with the characters that I read. Will Shindler's 'The Killing Choice' is one such fine work of a perfect crime thriller where not just its characterization but its storyline, plot, and narration stunned me! The premise of 'The Killing Choice' is set in London where a rogue killer is on the move and DI Alex Finn and DC Mattie Paulsen are trying and failing to find the killer who stops people and gives them two choices: either they can run away and save themselves and their beloved dies... OR they can stay and they can die with their beloved ones. The killer is too smart to not to leave any traces behind and creates the havoc and the chaos in the whole city and among the people working on the case. Usually, some thrillers can be very predictive, or at least some deductions always work, but it was different with this book. From the very first chapter, I was staring at the blank possibilities, no theory seemed to work neither I could make any guesses. It was all unclear and uncertain, even I failed to form any suspicions. The constant intense suspense and the smooth process of investigation kept me on the edge till the very last page of the book. At many points, it was disturbing as well, especially in Karl Suleman's part. It was a very harsh experience to read about the tragedy and emotional humiliation that he suffered. The author brilliantly portrayed his helplessness and survival guilt and the blame he received. The way he got treated was a very difficult part to read and I was not surprised when it led him to take the step that he took. . Now my favorite part: Characterization. I will give the author 10/10 for the remarkable work he has done with this book's characterization. No matter if it was the control freak protagonist, Alex Finn, his sidekick Matty Paulson or other side characters; author Will Shindler made them all alive by constructing their own 'little bubble' of their lives where they were independent of the actual ongoing storyline and situations, they had their personal lives and complications to deal with—I call this 'Breathing Space' for characters. . Paulsen had her family matters concerning about her dad's condition, Alex Finn was suffering from the depression he wasn't aware of and living in denial because he was still getting used to of living his life without his belated wife. Then there was Hayden and his complications with his father, Isiah. It was an unusual father-son issue where at many points I found myself relating to the way Hayden was fell out with his relationship with his father. Mikey and Jade were placed brilliantly around Haydon's life and everything they did or the choices they made had significant relevance with the story. The end was completely unpredictable and the reasons for picking victims were unimaginably insane. . I will recommend this book for its characterization and author Will Shindler's excellent work with the plot and the narration. It's a perfect crime thriller with all the thrills and twists that are worth experiencing. This book will be releasing on 4th February 2021; if you are into intense crime-suspense-thrillers, then this can be a perfect pick for you!
Following on from his first novel The Burning Men comes another great read from this author . DI Finn is called into a murder with a difference , the killer has given the father of a girl the choice of defending his daughter or leaving and he will have his way with her but they will live , the father goes for help but hears a scream and his daughter has been killed . People judge him for leaving her alone but don't know the full story . Next a young nurse is asked to make a choice between her mother or boyfriend being killed or they all will be . How have these victims been selected or is it random . It all ties back to one incident which I will not reveal but just say this is a. Great story .
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for this ARC. Having read and really enjoyed the authors first book I was pleased to be given the opportunity to read this. I loved this book. Just loved it. The two main characters are likeable, believable, flawed and have good background histories. They work well together and a friendship is growing. Finn and Paulson investigate similar murders and try to find a connecting link. The book held my attention from beginning to end, I thought it was very well written, had a great plot line and was a thrilling read. I could picture the characters and scenes in my mind as I was reading. This book can be read on it’s own, although I would recommend you read the previous book first. A great police procedural that raced to a surprise ending and one I’d highly recommend if you like crime books. Looking forward to the next book 😀 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I would like to thank the author, the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of this book, I really enjoyed it. It had a great storyline that was fast paced and had lots of different threads all needing to be tied up at the end, well written would definitely recommend.
This is the second in the series featuring DI Alex Finn and sidekick DC Mattie Paulson so you could do well reading The Burning Man first for background and character development reasons. It's a cracker too so, why not!? When we reconnect with Finn he is still in a bi of a mess. Still grieving his wife, still in denial about that and still refusing all help. His team do their best to nudge him towards help but their pleas fall on deaf ears. Something will have to give eventually but in the mean time, they are there for him. Even his late wife's best friend's endeavours prove futile. Meanwhile he still has a job to do and the crime he is set to investigate turns out to be a doozy. A man meets his daughter at a park. They are approached by someone wearing a mask and wielding a knife. He is told to choose. Leave and he will rape his daughter but they will both live, or stay and they will both die. Urged on by his daughter, the man leaves to find help only to hear his daughter scream as she is stabbed to death. And so begins a rather interesting case that has our duo pitting their wits against some very strange goings on as this incident proves only to be the tip of the iceberg and goes on to have some very nasty repercussions. Meanwhile Mattie is tested in her new role as FLO and can't help but feel she is being judged but this could be connected with some personal troubles regarding her father's health. Oh my... this book hit the ground running, held me captive throughout, spitting me out at the end completely satisfied - and exhausted. It was extremely well plotted and executed and contained all the twists and turns you'd expect from a book of this genre. Pacing is perfect and follows the narrative every step of the way. It's fast paced and the story gets on with itself very well, aided by the fact that there are no wasted words, no superfluous padding or waffle. A refreshing change! All in all, a cracking follow up to a brilliant series opener, can't wait to see what the author has in store for book three. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
Book Title: The Killing Choice Author: Will Shindler Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton Release Date: 04/02/2021 The Killing Choice by Will Shindler is the 2nd book in the DI Alex Finn Series, and a cracking follow up to the fantastic ‘The Burning Men’. As the title suggests this story follows a killer who gives their victims a choice, choose which loved one to kill, if not you die. We all know what we think we would do in such a situation but until placed under that indescribable pressure who knows and that’s what Will Shindler absolutely nails in tightly plotted and suspense filled thriller. With an intriguing protagonist in DI Finn, and an equally important side kick in DC Mattie Paulsen, Shindler has created a compelling duo, who’s back stories are being filled out and becoming an integral and interesting part of this burgeoning new series. This story is paced perfectly as Will Shindler ratchets up the tension in this taut and brilliantly written tale. Destined to be huge in 2021, this is up there with any of the best thrillers I’ve read this year, and Will Shindler is an author soon to be sitting at the top table of crime thriller writers. 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 Thanks to Hodder and Stoughton and Net Galley for my Review ARC
One evening, in a park near Chrystal Palace in London, Karl Suleman and his daughter Leah are on their way for an Indian when they’re stopped by a masked figure. He gives them the choice: they die both or he rapes the daughter. Lea begs her dad to run but things go awry and Leah is killed. The press jumps onto this story and Karl is not only eaten by guilt and haunted by the press, but he receives taunting and threatening messages from the killer as well. On the surface, this looks like a random killing, but DI Alex Finn feels that something doesn’t quite fit. Was it the father who was targeted, or was it his daughter? Then, a second killing where the victim has to choose between her mother and her partner happens. At first sight, there’s no connection between the people involved. Parallel with those cases runs a third story about a reluctant drug-dealer who has a broken relationship with his dad. Although this book is part of a series it works well as a standalone. It did pique my interest to read more though. It’s a police procedural of high quality but counts as a psychological thriller as well. I requested it because so many of my GR friends were really positive about it and I’m very glad that I did. So, thank you all. There’s one main theme in this book and that’s grief and bereavement. How it affects people and how everybody mourns their own way. The amount of love you have for a person cannot be measured by the length or the intensity of your mourning, regardless of what some people think. Alex still grieves for his wife, the two victims/survivors are riddled by guilt from their choice as well as survivors guilt and in the end, even the killer’s motive lies in that corner. Finn has a hard time since his wife died nearly a year ago and spends more time in his office than is physically advisable and hardly any sleeping in his bed. He has good people around him that try to pull him back into the real world, but that’s not always appreciated by him. The Alzheimer of DC Mattie Paulsen’s father also features prominently. I don’t know if this is a trend but over the last year, I’ve come repeatedly across this difficult issue. The premise of a killer giving his victims a choice is very original and interesting. Nobody can say what they would do in such a situation until it presents itself. Everybody can be a bigmouth and claim such and such but truth is that you can’t know what you’ll do. Flight or fight? And what if that fight turns out to lead to an even worse fate? As happens in reality, the police investigation leads in several directions that later turn out to be false and they make costly mistakes in the assessment of situations. They’re not portrayed as flawless superheroes but as human beings with their strong and weak points alike. There was a whole fishmarket of red herrings but I figured out the end game not long before the cops and was really taken by the twist. What a little b*** the killer turned out to be. I thank Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the free ARC they provided and this is my honest, unbiased review of it.
This is the second book in the brilliant DI Alex Finn series and although I really loved he first book I think this one is even better. The story is mainly about choices we make and I have to say the victims in this thriller are only part of the story in my option it’s the ones who have to make the choice that are the real victims and to say more would spoil the book so i’m not even going to try just take the leap and throw yourselves right in !! It’s such an excellently thought out story it had me guessing right to the big reveal and I think that’s what sets Will Shindler apart from other writers his ability to keep you guessing knows no bounds. The other thing I loved about the book is the characterisation of Alex Finn and the rest of the team my favourite after Alex being Mattie Paulsen she is a wonderful character but then in all fairness so are others and it will be great to find out more about them as this series progresses as I feel there is much more to come. So a superb five star police procedural with a whip sharp plot and a book that draws you in right from the start and never lets up ... what more could you ask for, well for me just the next book in the series please !! Many thanks to Will Shindler , NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
When a rapist makes the girls father choose, either walk away and you'll both live or resist and you'll both die, what should he do? Before long there are more victims being forced to make terrible choices that mean they will have to live with the consequences. This is a brilliantly menacing police procedural featuring DI Alex Finn and a believable team of detectives, none of whom are without their own problems. This is the second novel in the series but you don't need to have read the earlier book, I haven't, although I will definitely now be seeking it out.
WOW, this is one of those books you cannot put down until you finish it. With fantastic characterisation, whether that be the police officers, or characters that become big parts of the unravelling story. This is a novel that really keeps you guessing, the killer leaves no clues, no trace of who it is. The detectives on the case are struggling to find out if the victims are linked or whether the killings are just totally random. It takes some hard work and deep investigating to get to the bottom of what is going on. This is the second novel with DI Alex Finn and his team, it can be read as a stand-alone novel, but personally I like to see the characters grow and this series is a perfect example of seeing how the characters come to life. Finn is still struggling to come to terms with the loss of his wife Karin, this is clear as he hears her voice at times as if she is watching over him, asking him what he is doing, clearly not happy he isn’t moving on. But not only is Finn struggling in this one but D.C. Mattie Paulson is also struggling as she learns some devastating news about her father. The plot line is a brilliant premise, as Karl Suleman and his daughter Leah meet after work at Crystal Palace where they are going for a meal but as they are walking along they are accosted by a zombie mask wearing, knife wielding person, Karl is given a choice which he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t, the choice is to leave his daughter with this person and they both get to live or stay and they both die. But his decision leads to the death of his daughter. Karl is devastated, but he doesn’t just have to deal with his own feelings of guilt, it’s the judgement of everyone else he has to deal with as well, the media dubb him a coward for leaving his daughter, his wife can’t bear to look at him. His survivors guilt is difficult to live with. It’s up to Finn and the team to try and catch this killer but it’s a tough case with very little to go on. Until it happens a second time, slightly different circumstances but a choice is given to another person, leading to another death. But how do these cases link together? Or do they?. The team look into every aspectof these people’s lives to see if their paths have crossed at any stage. Both crimes happen very close to the Hope estate, a place known for gang culture and drug dealing, it hasn’t been long before these murders that a big drug bust had stopped some of the activity but now a couple of rival gangs are vying to take over the dealing. This is where we meet reluctant drug dealer Hayden Sims, he becomes a central character and the story is told through him as well as the police investigation. Hayden has a bad relationship with his father in that they don’t speak and haven’t since the death of Hayden’s mum who had kept the family together again grief is a big part of the falling out. But Hayden wants to protect his little brother Mikey and his girlfriend, His dealing stems from his longtime friend who wants them to take over where the last lot left, but Hayden’s heart really isn’t in it. It’s not what he wants for his long term future but it means he can make money, so he is torn. The way the author deals with the repercussions from Karl Suleman’s decision is very well written with sensitivity and emotion, how do you make that choice he had to make? How do you deal with the guilt afterwards? He feels if he gives the media an interview to put his side forward it will make them see him differently, but he is judged despite having been put in a difficult situation with seconds to decide. Ending in tragic consequences in more ways than one. There are a lot of possibilities as to who is doing this but it is not an easy one to guess, I had no clue at any stage whatsoever who the killer was, the plot is so tight. Despite Finn struggling with his grief, his lack of sleep and constantly working, basically running himself into the ground it still comes down to his instincts in the end. This is a great character driven novel, and those characters are all relatable, believable and three dimensional. I really cannot wait for book three in this series. A brilliant police procedural/thriller. I would like to thank #netgalley and #Hodder&Stoughton for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest fair and unbiased review.
DI Alex Finn and DC Mattie Paulsen join forces to hunt for a killer in this second in series. Fantastic nail biting story, an outstanding thriller will lots of intrigue and suspense. Looking forward to the next book by Will Shindler.
The Killing Choice I’d like to thank Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley for my copy of the ARC. I typically do book reviews where I have 3 sections, covering Summary, What I Loved and What could have been better. For this book however, I am skipping the last section altogether as this genuinely was one of those books where it is hard work to actually find a fault. Summary The book opens in London with Karl Suleman walking with his daughter at dusk through a park, on a mostly empty lane, when they encounter a deathly figure in a faceless mask. Presented with a life or death choice, Karl struggles with the repercussions of what he has to do and very soon, we find many other innocent people across London offered with a similar ‘Live or Die’ choice. DI Alex Finn, along with this trusted crew, must race against time to link together all these seemingly unconnected events and find the killer before the unthinkable happens. This time however, smart as he is, Alex might be playing with fire himself. Review Will Shindler weaves a gripping story with his fast-paced narrative that keeps you on the edge. Set mainly in south east London, the book is very authentic in creating the London vibe and it is obvious that the author has done his research. The plot is neat, does not waffle and the attention to detail is beyond excellent. I especially like how Will Shindler did not lay all the cards on the table and kept me on the edge of my seat right until the very end. I’d also like to take a moment to highlight that the characters – all of them – were very well etched out. The author goes into just enough depth into each of their background without wandering away from the plot. Final Words With ‘The Killing Choice’ Will Shindler has presented us with gripping, fast paced thriller, that will have you hooked from the first page, right until the very end. I’d definitely be looking to read more of Alex Finn!
This is the first time I have read Will Shindler and although this book is the second in the series, you can easily read it as a standalone. Gripping, complicated and totally engrossing, you keep turning the pages to try to unravel this twisted plot. Highly recommended. My thanks to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for giving me an advanced digital copy to read and review honestly.
This is an exciting, complicated and enjoyable crime thriller. Leah and her father meet at Crystal Palace park to go for dinner and are accosted by a masked person with a knife who offers them a terrible choice, hence the title of the book but which one does her father take and can he trust him. Following Leah’s murder DI Alex Finn and his team are tasked with apprehending the vicious murderer before there are more victims. I particularly like the way the characters are written, their back stories and their interactions. Skilfully written police thriller. Highly recommended. 5 Stars ⭐️. Thanks to Netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton for allowing me to read this book in return for a fair review.
This is my first book by Will Shindler and even thought this is the second instalment of this series I was able to read it as a stand-alone without struggling. The book does have everything: it’s gripping, puzzling, mysterious, dark! It is well written and the plot is really interesting and the only reason why it doesn’t have a roaring 10/10 is only because it focus on some of the characters grief and it personally made me a bit overwhelmed due to personal circumstances. The characters are all really well developed and I loved DI Paulsen in particular. Their history is really compelling and they are amazon find characterised. Perfectly paced and mostly unpredictable, the whole plot was really gripping and I tried to keep guessing what was going to happen next. There is so much unpredictability and I really enjoyed this book. Although some of the themes made me a bit uncomfortable this book was overall really fantastic and I will highly recommend it to fans of thriller and crime /suspense books. I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review
I read, reviewed and loved Will’s debut novel, featuring Detective Inspector Alex Finn, called ‘The Burning Men’ and I literally couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of his second book. Well ladies and gents the wait is over, because ‘The Killing Choice’ was released on 11th February 2021. I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘The Killing Choice’ but more about that in a bit. I fell under this book’s spell the moment I picked it up and read the synopsis. It seemed lie the book had developed a hold over me and it was a hold that I wasn’t willing to break. I picked up my copy of the book only intending to read a couple of chapters to make a start on the story. That was fatal because I ended up becoming so wrapped up in the story that I read more like a dozen chapters in one go. I found ‘The Killing Choice’ to be an addictive read and my copy was certainly well travelled as I took it everywhere with me. I couldn’t bear to miss a single second of the story in case I missed out on a vital clue or piece of evidence. It got to the stage where I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough in my desperation to find out how the story concluded, whether Finn made it to the end of the book in one piece and if the perpetrator was apprehended. I found this to be a superb read, which kept me guessing and which kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. ‘The Killing Choice’ is superbly written. Will certainly knows how to instantly grab your attention and draw you into a complex story and investigation. For me, the story started with a bang and in such a way that will stick fresh in my memory for a long time to come. The story hit the ground running and maintained a fast pace throughout. There were several twists and turns to this story- none of which I saw coming. Reading ‘The Killing Choice’ was much like being on a scary and unpredictable rollercoaster ride with moments that left me speechless (a rare occurrence). In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘The Killing Choice’ and I would have no hesitation in recommending the book to other readers. I can’t wait to read more of Will’s work in the future. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.
The Killing Choice is the second instalment in the Detective Inspector Alex Finn and Detective Constable Mattie Paulsen series, set in London. It felt like any other evening before Karl Suleman and his daughter, Leah, who were out on a father/daughter date night at a London restaurant were ambushed by a figure in a blank mask armed with a zombie knife. It isn't really as unexpected as knife crime should be given London is the capital of such crime, but this is no ordinary stabbing. A knife is put to Leah’s throat, and Karl is forced to make an impossible decision. Stay and they both die, or walk away and take this thug’s word that they will both live once he's had his wicked way with Leah and raped her. Should he trust a villain and leave his daughter with a knife at her throat? Could he ever live with himself if he did? His daughter urges him to leave and so he runs despite the overwhelming confliction and desperately searches for help before the faceless figure can maul her. Karl has trouble accepting what he did that day, as does his wife, but this is exactly what the emotional terrorist wants; for his victims to feel endless guilt, to tear themselves apart from the inside out and for it to rip their families to shreds, too - relentlessly asking the question - what if? Ruminating on the choice he was offered and the decision he made, the inner turmoil repeats over and over destroying a little part of him each time. And that's before considering the killer had been lying. It’s not long before more seemingly unconnected and innocent people across London are offered a deal in exchange for their life. More blood is spilled, more families shattered, and more people are left to suffer with the consequences of their decisions. DI Finn, DC Paulsen and DS Jackie Ojo investigate and wonder if these strange and brutal crimes are somehow related to a turf war with rival drugs gangs but there's no concrete evidence. Can they discover what links the chosen victims before the violence rages out of control? This is a riveting, terrifying and refreshingly original thriller and one that has you asking yourself what you would do if you were given an almost impossible choice like this. This is no ordinary killing spree as the serial killer seems to get off on people's terror, indecision and knowing that the victim will play the question and answer they made that day over and over until it quite possibly destroys them. It's sick, unsettling and deeply disturbing and one of the most scintillating crime reads of the past few years. This is a fast-moving, twisty read but it also considers deeper topics such as love, grief and mental health. Protagonist Finn’s work is now being impacted by the death of his wife, Karin, 11 months earlier and his struggle to cope is all too real. This is a complex, captivating and compulsive multilayered thriller offering so much more than your average crime novel. Highly recommended.
A series of very strange murders has DI Finn and his team stumped. They know the same killer is involved but what do the victims have in common. It will take a lot of man hours before the slightest link can be found. This is an original if slightly convoluted plot which kept me rapt for several hours and delivered a conclusion that left me stunned. Looking forward to the next book in the series.
My thanks to NetGalley and publisher Hodder & Stoughton for the ARC. This is the second book in the DI Alex Finn series and such a fabulous twisty read. A real page-turner with an unusual storyline, and surprises, as Will Shindler weaves a complex web of red-herrings up to the very end. As Karl Suleman and daughter Leah stroll through Crystal Palace Park on their way to a restaurant Leah is seized at knifepoint by a masked attacker and Karl is given a devastating choice - walk away or they both die. Desperate to get help Karl does just that, leaving Leah to her fate. A decision which haunts him, and his wife - how could he do that? Well, Karl has some secrets he needs to protect, especially when he receives taunting messages from the killer. Thinking this could be some kind of initiation rite connected to a notorious drug-swamped estate, DI Finn and DCI Mattie Paulsen take an interest in the County Lines gangs operating there. Then Jo Corcoran is confronted and given the impossible choice - your mother or your boyfriend and the team need to start looking at any connections between the victims - are the victims the targets or are the people having to choose, and live with that choice, the real targets? This is so well-written with really good characters you can relate to and good dialogue. Finn's back-story continues as he struggles to come to terms with his wife's death less than a year previously - intermittently hearing the departed Karin giving him advice. Looking forward to the next one!
Another brilliant read by Will Shindler! I can see this is going to become one of my favourite series! I like the style of writing and the story keeps you engaged from the go. The characters are well developed and the ending is a big surprise! This is the second book in the DI Alex Finn series but you don't have to read the first one to enjoy this book. "Some moments carve themselves into the memory, the decisions you make shaping the scars they leave behind." This sums up the book in one sentence. Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion
DI Alex Finn is haunted - his wife died and he is having difficulty moving on. He is sure its all under control, but her voice echoes in his head and he is beginning to feel the strain. His wife arranged for her friend Cally to get in touch with him to try to steer him back to normality, to get professional help, but he doesn't really like Cally. Meanwhile a man and his daughter meet every Friday to go for a curry, but this time they are met by a masked stranger who forces the man to choose between dying, or leaving his daughter to be raped. Unfortunately she dies, and Finn catches the case to find her killer. The press, his wife and all the keyboard warriors crucify the man for leaving his daughter - but what choice did he really have? Then a similar case occurs, along with a drug related murder in the same area of town. Suddenly Finn's team are incredibly busy, trying to follow the leads and find the culprits, while keeping their own sanity. An exciting psychological thriller, touching on guilt and retribution. The book is pacy, well written and the reader engages immediately and throughout. A great read. Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for allowing me access to the ARC in exchange for an honest review..
Oh wow. What a book. The first one was brilliant and this is even better! I was hooked from the start and read it in two sittings. I just did not want to put it down. The characters are flawed and intriguing. The plot was dark with plenty of twists and turns to keep the pages turning. I cannot wait to read more from this brilliant author.
For my review of the first book in the DI Alex Finn series ‘The Burning Man’ I looked at the pitfalls of the crime genre and how the book managed to steer clear of them (see https://www.kindig.co.uk/post/the-burning-men ). For the sequel ‘The Killing Choice’ I will continue this trend and see how the next book in the series compares! My first criteria was to have an intriguing and interesting crime. The Killing Choice certainly holds up in this regard, with victims being made to choose which of them will die. This leads to an interesting dilemma and ‘survivor’s guilt’ for the victims and also a wider discussion as to the hypothetical solution with the press and other characters. The crimes also escalated really well and I liked a few red herrings which were introduced along the way. There was a moment when I (correctly) guessed the perpetrator about halfway through but the actual motive still alluded me until right towards the reveal. My second criteria was to have realistic and well-rounded main characters. This series does fall into the ‘DI OldSchool GrizzleMan and his partner DC Woman WithIssues’ trope but I still think it’s handled well. In particular we learn a lot more about the personal life of Mattie Paulson which was something I felt was lacking in the last book. Conversely, we didn’t get too much from DI Finn in this book – we get a bit of him struggling and also trying to rebuild his life after his wife left him but Shindler is taking his progression nice and slowly which I appreciate and takes me on nicely to my next category. My last criteria was leaving the series space to progress. This story in particular was a standalone and is nicely wrapped up in this book. However as we have learnt more about the characters I am interested to see where they will go in future books, particularly as Finn is trying to turn his life around. We are also introduced to an estate and the gangs that inhabit it which may crop up in future books. Overall, The Killing Choice, just like it’s predecessor is a well-constructed crime thriller and I’m excited to read the next one in the series. Thank you to NetGalley & Hodder & Stoughton for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
The Killing Choice is the second book in the DI Alex Finn series by Will Shindler and it builds on the promise of the first one by delivering what is an excellent and enthralling police crime novel. Finn and the other main characters are excellently drawn and help move the story along at a good pace without deflecting or diverting from the main storyline which is very interesting and strong. Without giving away any spoilers the various strands are pulled together well but leave the door very much open for book number three. Definitely recommended
OMG what an opening! “ Leave your daughter with me or I will kill you both”. A man and his grown up daughter meet to go for dinner as they often do. They take a walk through a park and are confronted by a man in a mask who then says the line above. Karl is torn between protecting his daughter and saving his own skin and possibly hers too. Leah then tells him to go as that way they could both be saved. What transpires next is everyone's worst nightmare and DI Alex Finn and DC Mattie Paulson have little to go on- it was dark in a park with lots of ways out and little evidence. The skill and experience of a scriptwriter stands out immediately and there is something more about this than “just another crime novel”. The torment of a father feeling he has let down both his daughter and his wife who is struggling to come to terms with what he did, let alone what happened. When there are other similar murders the team think they have a link- albeit a very tenuous one. This is the second in the series but happily stands alone (I hadn’t read the first one and didn't feel as if I was missing anything). A tense,gripping read with very vivid characterisations and suspense to put you at the heart of the scene. A brilliantly written, page turning thriller of a read (rest of links as part of blog tour)
Having thoroughly enjoyed The Burning Men, which began this series, I was interested to see whether Will Shindler could maintain the standard; I needn't have worried as this is even better. The premise of the novel is brilliant; a killer presents his targets with a choice of whom he should kill. DI Alex Finn, a deeply troubled cop following the death of his wife, must work out what links all the targets while trying to deal with his own demons. Clever, riveting and a wonderful read!
A complex and compulsive second installment in the DI Alex Finn police procedural series. A worthy follow-up to 'The Burning Men', with a "what would you do?" in that situation scenario. A father and daughter are confronted in an empty park by a masked assailant holding a zombie knife. The father is given the impossible choice, stay and they both die or go and they both live but his daughter will be raped. An intriguing and captivating tale.
Stop everything - this book is the epitome of a page-turner. From page 1 to the end you just want to find out who, why, what. A truly excellent, and horrific, book. The crimes are unbelievable, but also believable!! What would you do given that choice, which is no choice. Very realistic, not gratuitous. Very well written, and keeps one engaged to very end. With thanks to Hodder & Stoughton, and NetGalley for an ARC.
This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I really enjoyed it as, for me, it has everything I look for in a police procedural crime thriller. Set in London, the ‘Killing Choice’ is when seemingly unconnected people are approached by a masked knifeman who forces them to make an agonizing choice regarding their loved ones and this compulsive story develops around that. This is an intelligently written, well-paced, terrific story which grips from the start and kept this reader riveted until the end. The very well drawn characters of DI Alex Finn and DC Mattie Paulsen, the relationships within the police team and the realistic dialogue, are one of the many strengths of this book. The personal lives of the officers feel real, add interest to the story and enhance your understanding of the characters. As this is the second book featuring Finn and Paulsen, I now need to read the first, The Burning Men. I’ve added Will Shindler to my ‘must read’ list of crime writers. I also think this would make a brilliant TV series and definitely look forward to reading more from this author. I would like to thank the publisher Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for an ARC of this book, this is my honest review.
This is a wonderful addition to this thrilling series! Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start. Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believable. Great suspense and action with wonderful world building that adds so much to the story. Such a thrilling read that I couldn't put it down. Can't wait to read more of these. Recommend reading. I was provided an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher. This is my own honest voluntary review.
A great story and a gripping thriller that kept me on the edge. It's fast paced, full of twists and turns and the character are well developed and interesting. The author is an excellent storyteller and this is an excellent story. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine