05/18/2024

Some Crim

Track the Untold Stories

Profile K by Helen S. Fields @Helen_Fields @AvonBooksUK

Profile K by Helen S. Fields @Helen_Fields @AvonBooksUK

Source: Review copy
Publication: 25 April 2024 from Avon Books
PP: 384
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0008533526

He’s going to kill you. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Midnight Jones is an analyst trained to understand the human mind. But everything changes when, in the course of her work, she discovers Profile K’s file – because K stands for killer, and she knows that someone more dangerous than she could have ever imagined walks among them.

Midnight knows what Profile K is capable of before he even commits his first crime. But as the news rolls with the brutal murder of a local woman, no one believes what she tells them: that he is capable of so much worse.

Profile K will kill again – and, terrifyingly, Midnight realises that the moment she found his file was the moment she became his next target. Because Profile K is coming for Midnight – and the only way to escape with her life is to find him before he finds her…

Well, Helen Fields has once again knocked it out the park. From the outset she sets the pace and the tone as a woman, a careful and usually alert woman, falls prey to a cruel and unflinching killer. As an opening it is chilling and you know straight away you are dealing with a cruel and disturbed mind.

Midnight Jones works for Necto, the kind of annoying American style corporation where they monitor your attitude as well as your capability at work. This wouldn’t be a problem for Midnight, except that she is the sole carer for her sister and has to bring in an expensive service to look after her when Midnight goes to work. And if they are late, Midnight is late and that means not only will she get a long lecture from her boss, but she is required to apologise to all her team for not pulling her weight alongside them. But Necto is also the best payer in the field of data analysis, which is where Midnight’s skills excel, and so she puts up with it.

Necto are a company specialising in the brain, and how it responds to different sets of data. From this it can profile someone to see what their responses mean about their suitability for certain kinds of work. Midnight is currently working on a University client’s list of applicants and she is analysing whether their data responses make them suitable for admission by seeing if their psychological profile makes the grade.

That’s all fine until she comes across a profile that falls outside any of her known parameters. After checking that it’s not a mistake in the data, she reviews the raw data and what she sees is enough to cause her to go straight to management raising the highest alarms she can. What Midnight has found is an office joke. A Profile ‘K’. No-one has ever had one before, Midnight doesn’t even think one exists, it’s just something they’ve always laughed about, a profile that would be a perfect K for ‘Killer’.

But Midnight struggles to have her concerns recognised and as she feels she’s being given the brush off, she becomes more determined than ever to find out just who is the person with the ‘K’ profile.

Helen Fields knows exactly how to achieve the tension and adrenalin fuelled wild ride that is at the centre of most of her books and this one is certainly no exception. She creates great characters, imbues them with traits designed to make us love or loathe them and then makes us suspect everyone!

With severe restrictions on Midnight due to her confidentiality agreement with Necto, she can’t go to the police, so she has to resort to her own initiative. Fields keeps her readers on edge; constantly guessing where the plot is going and mis-directing with the skill and precision of a great magician.

And as Midnight tries to hone in on the killer, she realises that he already knows who Midnight is … and she becomes trapped in a web that threatens her friends, her family and everyone she cares about.

As we hear what’s going through the killer’s mind, we understand what a high stakes game Midnight is engaged in, but how she navigates this spider’s web of razor sharp threads is a waking nightmare.

There is one character whom readers of Helen Field’s work will recognise and she provides a strong resource and clarity of thinking to help Midnight find the right path.

Verdict: Profile K is a cracker of a thriller with a really fascinating premise and a great character in Midnight Jones. It had me racing through the pages, wanting to know what happened next and I was completely drawn into to Necto and Midnight’s world.
This is another must read nerve-shredding thriller from a woman whose books are now simply unmissable.

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 Helen Fields is a former criminal and family law barrister.  An Amazon #1 best-selling author, the last book in her Scottish set crime series, Perfect Kill, was longlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger in 2020, and others have been longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize, Scottish crime novel of the year. Helen also writes as HS Chandler, and wrote legal thriller Degrees of Guilt.  In 2020, Perfect Remains was shortlisted for the Bronze Bat, Dutch debut crime novel of the year. Now translated into 20 languages, and also selling in the USA, Canada & Australasia, Helen’s books have won global recognition. Her historical thriller These Lost & Broken Things came out in May 2020. Her first standalone thriller – The Shadow Man – was published in 2021. Helen joined the Society of Authors Management Committee in November 2023 for a 3 year term.

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