Keith Miles is probably best recognised by readers under the pen name of Edward Marston. He writes several well-received historical mysteries spanning the 11th century through to the 19th century. His website is www.edwardmarston.com
An ex-police officer and The Bill scriptwriter, Paul Finch is an old pro at the writing game, and handles all aspects of this crime novel with skill and dexterity; though some of the scenarios and indeed some of the characters might come from the stock nasties drawer – yes, corrupt cops, some decent well-meaning cops, a highly unconventional maverick cop with major family issues – the whole thing is so pacy you suspend your disbelief even when the action might with hindsight seem so over the top as to be ludicrous.
DS Mark Heckenberg, predictably known as Heck, though mercifully Finch spares us the punning references the work invokes, is investigating the disappearance of over thirty women. Unfortunately he’s not making much progress and given the scale of police cuts it’s hardly surprising that he is pulled from the case and his unit closed down. However, sent on leave, Heck goes undercover, supposedly reporting back to his sympathetic boss on a regular basis. He is soon joined in his hunt for what he is sure is a highly organised gang by Lauren, the sister of one of the women who has disappeared – an ex-soldier, with experience of front-line action in Iraq. The unlikely team are forced to seek help from a heavy player in the gangster world whose daughter has also disappeared.
Meanwhile, a rich banker with the money to indulge his perverted sexual tastes gets involved with the ironically named Nice Guys Club; he very soon realises that this was a transgression too far, and is rightly scared for his life. It’s not long before his life and Heck’s are inextricably intertwined.
Swift-moving, cleanly written, well structured, Stalkers will provide you with an excellent evening of pleasantly scary entertainment.