Today it is my absolute pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for Rachel Amphlett’s Hell To Pay, the fourth book in the DS Kay Hunter series. I love this series and couldn’t wait to see what Kay had been up to, so a big thanks to Rachel and Emma Mitchell for asking me to be a part of the tour. I’ll be telling you my thoughts on the book in just a moment, once we have seen what it is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
When a road traffic accident on a dark autumn night uncovers a disturbing conspiracy, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter’s investigation exposes a ruthless serial killer exploiting vulnerable young women.
With her enemies unmasked and her career spiralling out of control, Kay’s determination to seek vengeance for the victims brings her dangerously close to those who want to silence her.
Undeterred, she uncovers the real reason behind a plot to destroy her career and sets in motion a terrifying chain of events.
Could Kay’s need for revenge be her undoing, or will she survive to see justice served?
Ever since book one there has been a gradually building back story in this series involving our protagonist, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter. A situation from her past which effectively stalled her career and put her on an antagonistic path with her superiors. We knew the what, what we didn’t know was the why or who. Until now. Hell To Pay, the fourth book in the Kay Hunter series, effectively brings Kay’s search for the people who set her up and caused her unimaginable and unforgivable heartache to a dramatic and heart pounding close. When I tweeted about finishing this book I called it top banana. The truth is, that doesn’t even come close to telling you how brilliant this book really is.
If you have read any of the other books in this series then you will know what a fabulous series it is. This book is no exception. In fact I’d go so far as to say it is probably the best so far and one of the most dramatic. Brought in by her boss, DI Devon Sharp, to investigate when a young woman’s body is found in the boot of a recently crashed car, Kay has no idea how close this case will bring her to the people who set her up and the man who was set free as a result of key evidence going missing – Jozef Demiri. Now I don’t really want to go any further into the plot than that as this book really needs to be read by itself, and much of the action and investigation circles back to Demiri and the case which nearly cost Kay her career. I would say though, that this book should be read after you have read the first three in the series for key plot points, animosity and rivalries to make sense. It can be read as a stand alone, but you’ll enjoy it so much more if you understand what has happened before.
What I absolutely love about this series is the way in which Rachel Amphlett has created both character and setting. Set in Kent, she has made the most of not only the region’s proximity to London in terms of the kinds of characters you might expect to find in the area and the types of cases they could be investigating, but also of its expansive coastline, which in this case in particular plays a key role in the plotting. But it is the characters who really make these books come alive, from the dark and evil Demiri, through to Kay’s colleagues, such as the ever supportive DI Sharp or young and determined DC Barnes. Then there is DCI Larch, a man who seems to have it in for Kay and who she falls foul of once too often and a raft of other wonderful characters, new and old, some of whom you don’t quite trust while others you know that Kay would trust with her life. And then there is Kay herself and her partner, Adam. They all add their own kind of colour, light and shade even, to the story and make you invested in what happens, for both the good and the bad.
Perhaps the most important thing of all is that Kay Hunter is a person that a reader can really root for. Dealt a really unkind hand in her past, where others would crumble, she has merely grown and used the situation she finds herself in to fuel her quest for answers. She is not a walking cliché of character, even though she could easily have been written that way. And her relationship with Adam is absolutely brilliant, the pair perfectly suited to one another. It’s really good to see and you want Kay to find her answers if only so they can move on from such a torturous past. I absolutely love this pairing and I absolutely love Kay as a character. Long may the series continue.
As for this instalment, it is every bit as high energy, adrenalin pumping as its predecessors. There are moments of great peril, especially for Kay, and you wonder if it will even be possible for her to overcome all the forces which are acting against her. I could feel my skin crawling at times throughout, not always sure why, just having that niggling doubt about certain people, certain situations, which kept me on edge. Even then, I didn’t see the ending coming, certainly not expecting quite how it played out. This was a book which kept my attention from the off, and one short break to feed the animals aside, I didn’t put it down until I had finished.
Did the conclusion satisfy? Was it a fitting end to all of Kay’s struggles to find out why she was being targeted in such a way? You know what – it absolutely did and it absolutely was. There are some very minor questions to be answered, but I would love to know what the ending now means for Kay, and where Rachel Amphlett takes the series from here. This was such a large part of Kay’s story that it has to have an impact on all involved moving forward and I for one can’t wait to find out how.
An absolutely cracking, way-more-than-top-banana-it-was-actually-the-whole-fluffing-icecream-laden-split, super-stonker of a book. If you haven’t read any of the books yet, what are you waiting for? Get gone and buy them. You won’t regret it.
My thanks to the author for the advance copy of the book for review. You can purchase your own copy of Hell To Pay from the following retailers:
About the Author
Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers.
Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel’s novels appeal to a worldwide audience, and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Lee Child and Michael Crichton.
She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag in 2017.