A best-selling Wigan crime writer is taking readers on another high-octane adventure dragging his detective into a murky moral underworld.
Kiss of Death is the ninth book by Standish writer Paul Finch and the seventh action-packed case for DS Mark Heckenburg, known as Heck, to solve.
The novel takes place against a backdrop of crippling police funding cuts leaving Heck’s Serial Crimes Unit struggling to justify its existence.
They are given a list of the UK’s most wanted men and set off to track down the armed robbers, rapists, murderers and other serious offenders.
However, Heck quickly finds himself drawn into a much larger and deadlier game than he could have imagined, as someone else is tracking the same wanted men intent on delivering a rather more brutal and final kind of justice.
Former Wigan Observer journalist and policeman Paul has enjoyed huge success with his Heck books, topping the Sunday Times sales charts, and hopes Kiss of Death will keep his loyal fans happy.
He said: “What was most interesting to me about this book was the question of how hard and how far the police are prepared to go to protect some of the worst elements of society.
“The people being targeted are the worst of the worst. Normally Heck finds it easy to separate right and wrong but this is different.
“They will all go to prison for the rest of their lives and it will cost the taxpayer a fortune. The police will put them away where they can’t do any harm but what if someone else wants to just sweep them away?
“This book also gets a bit political about leaving the European Union and what people think about issues such as reinstating the death penalty.
“It’s set around the police cuts but it’s definitely not a polemic. This isn’t some cry of anger from an ex-copper about a service denuded of personnel and resources.
“There’s also lots of action as it wouldn’t be a Heck book if there wasn’t. There are some truly horrific things in it. Without giving too much away there’s a video tape in the book of a guy fighting for his life against a bunch of thugs enjoying themselves in a sort of gladiatorial combat.”
Paul has now been chronicling Heck’s violent adventures across the country for half a decade, with Avon Books, part of publishing giant HarperCollins, bringing his work to large audiences.
Prior to discovering his skills in hard-boiled crime fiction Paul wrote episodes of British TV crime drama The Bill, has penned scripts for children’s animation and has also done Doctor Who audio dramas as well as a book about the Timelord.
He is currently hard at work on the third installment of crime books centred on PC Lucy Clayburn.
The first two books featuring her, Strangers and Shadows, have proved a hit with readers as Lucy navigates the tough world of a fictional Manchester borough bedevilled by every social problem imaginable.
Paul says it is also possible that some of Lucy’s cases could be coming to the TV screen in future.
Kiss of Death, by Paul Finch, is published on August 9. For more information about his work visit www.paulfinchauthor.com