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Cold Killing: A Novel

Cold Killing: A Novel

4.5 11
by Luke Delaney

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Luke Delaney takes the thriller genre to new heights with his debut crime novel, Cold Killing—an unforgettable and haunting duel between a seasoned detective and a brilliant serial killer.

Detective Inspector Sean Corrigan finds the body of a brutally murdered young man in his own South London flat. Corrigan takes the case and soon finds


Luke Delaney takes the thriller genre to new heights with his debut crime novel, Cold Killing—an unforgettable and haunting duel between a seasoned detective and a brilliant serial killer.

Detective Inspector Sean Corrigan finds the body of a brutally murdered young man in his own South London flat. Corrigan takes the case and soon finds himself embroiled in a deadly cat-and-mouse game with a ruthless and clever serial killer who changes his modus operandi each time he kills, leaving no useable forensic evidence behind...

Former London murder squad detective Luke Delaney has created a cast of memorable and complex characters in this dark and psychological page-turner.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
British author Delaney’s debut offers enough variation on the familiar detective-tormented-by-a-horrific-childhood theme to leave readers eager for the next in the series. Det. Insp. Sean Corrigan, in charge of a South London Murder Investigation Team, pulled his life together after being sexually abused as a child. That trauma has given him an advantage when confronting violent crimes, as his experience with human darkness enables him to “make leaps in investigation others struggled to understand, filling in the blanks with his unique imagination.” And Corrigan needs any advantage he can get in dealing with a brilliant killer who knows exactly how to strike without leaving clues for forensic scientists. The savage stabbing of a gay man is the first crime that brings the murderer to Corrigan’s attention, but it’s by no means the last. A contrivance toward the end will annoy those expecting a more intelligent resolution, but the permutations in the cat-and-mouse plot line work well. Agent: Simon Trewin, WME. (June)
Daily Mail (London)
“A striking debut from a former Murder Squad detective. Delaney is not his real name, but there is no doubt about his inside knowledge and ability to convey it.”
The Times (London)
“A confident, aggressive and very promising debut by a former Met detective.”
Iron Mountain Daily News
“In this gritty and hard-hitting crime novel, Delaney manages to keep the reader’s attention from the first page, with gripping flashbacks from the perspective of the killer, to the very end.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch
“An addictive story . . . Delaney’s accomplished debut captivates and chills.”
Kirkus Reviews
A serial killer stalks London. One might think that whoever stabbed rent boy Daniel Graydon 77 times would have left DI Sean Corrigan of the Serious Crime Group South a wealth of clues to work with. But except for two measly traces--a sole fingerprint on a doorknob and a shoe imprint on the victim's body--the crime scene was unhelpfully tidy. Still, Corrigan, whose experience with rape and brutality is not limited to his job--his father taught him firsthand about depravity--senses that this killer's rampage has barely started. Supervising old-timer DS Dave Donnelly, DS Sally Jones and anyone else he can corral, Corrigan locates James Hellier, a married financier who met up with Graydon at the Utopia nightclub, and intuitively recognizes him as a monster in posh clothing. The battle is on: Will Hellier or Corrigan triumph? Hellier's boss, Sebastian Gibran, is eager to keep the firm of Butler and Mason International Finance out of the tabloids. But that hardly seems possible when police records link Hellier's methods to those of Stefan Korsakov, a perp whose mug shot and prints have mysteriously vanished from the prison system. Hellier outwits numerous surveillance teams and withstands Corrigan's interrogations, and it's possible a bent copper is helping him. Even so, Corrigan links him to more gruesome murders. An almost fatal attack on DS Jones finally lands Hellier in custody, but a major, albeit unlikely, plot twist unveils another possible killer, setting Hellier free to do his worst in far-off climes. A plodding debut with lip-smacking, bloody reminiscences from the perp and dreary foul-ups from the cops.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author

Luke Delaney joined the Metropolitan Police Service in the late 1980s, and his first posting was to an inner city area of South East London notorious for high levels of crime and extreme violence. He later joined CID, where he investigated murders ranging from those committed by fledgling serial killers to gangland assassinations.

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Cold Killing 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
coziecorner More than 1 year ago
Luke pens "Cold Killing in a well written plot that reads in a smooth pace as he weaves in his experiences as a police officer. His characters were true to life and believable in this crime thriller that I really had a hard time putting down. A fantastic read and I look forward to more from this author. Highly recommended for all crime thriller and murder mystery fans. This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author which was provided for an honest review.
BuriedUnderBooks More than 1 year ago
Those of us who read and love mysteries, no matter what the subgenre, are something of a strange breed because we’re so picky. We’re a close-knit bunch, recognizing kindred spirits wherever we go, but we’re also rather unforgiving at times, particularly when it comes to details. We want “our” authors to get it right so, for instance, we’ll jump all over the six-shooter that is fired 10 times without reloading or the medical examiner who can pinpoint time of death within 15 minutes upon first glancing at the body’s lividity. Mistakes like these are most noticeable in a police procedural so finding one that seems to get it right is a real pleasure. Cold Killing is such a book and that’s not surprising considering Luke Delaney’s background. This author clearly knows what he’s doing and he has crafted a tale that’s a real nailbiter. Serial killer stories have become something of a trend but I really appreciated this one, especially in the way we’re allowed into the minds of both the killer and the detective. The switching back and forth from one POV to the other as well as the occasional change of tense is done so smoothly that I barely noticed and I was really pulled into the psychology behind their behavior. I’ve often thought there is a very fine line between hardcore criminals and *some* (certainly not all) of the people who make a living by pursuing them. Mr. Delaney expounds on that notion beautifully. DI Corrigan is a man I’d like to have on my side and his use of his own past history to catch the bad guys makes him not only good at his job but also intensely interesting as a person. His pursuit of this particular killer is full of twists and a few red herrings and I was truly surprised by the outcome. If I have any fault to find, it’s in the unquestioning acceptance of a tactic used to help make the case. I’m not surprised that this happens, only that no one on the force seemed to lift an eyebrow. Perhaps it occurs in real life more often than I think and, while it’s wrong, it’s easy to understand why it might happen. To say that Cold Killing is, at times, gutwrenching is putting it mildly and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. If you are put off by cruelty, a lot of blood, an unremitting coldness of heart, the long-term consequences of abuse, the complete lack of empathy, this book is not for you. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a police procedural that pulls no punches and tells the story in all its gritty truth, I highly recommend Cold Killing and I’ll be looking forward to Sean Corrigan’s next case. In the meantime, this will be going on my list of favorite books read in 2013.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Scott Albert for Readers' Favorite Cold Killing: A Novel is the title of the debut novel by author Luke Delaney, a veteran of the South East London Metro Police and CID. His writing reflects his experiences investigating murderers, serial killers, and gangland assassins. He creates this unforgettable clash between a brutal but brilliant serial killer, who leaves little behind except bodies, and the seasoned cop, whose insight into the criminal mind is as dark as his past. Detective Inspector Sean Corrigan understands killers and rapists, he knows evil, but this time is different. Fans of realistic crime fiction will enjoy this eerily authentic story set in London’s dark underworld.   Delaney has a unique voice and realistic tone that add depth and a psychological edginess to this thriller. His background adds detail that makes this story believable. However, Corrigan “makes leaps where others struggle to understand,” which is fine, but goes unexplained for the most part. This all-too-common plot device tends to disengage readers as Corrigan demonstrates almost supernatural ‘Holmes-ian’ ability. A character with flaws and a troubled past is believable, but when Delaney writes that anyone else, scarred as much as the Inspector, would be eaten up by their dark, haunted past, I prefer a convincing rationale.   Yet, this debut crime novel blurs the line between right and wrong, fiction and fact, giving readers a thrilling look at what really goes on. This is an enjoyable read; a killer who changes his MO without leaving any forensics as it gets harder to tell the difference between criminal and cop. Delaney has created a memorable cast and a sensational story.
Deal_Sharing_Aunt More than 1 year ago
The author draws on his experience to weave realistic elements into the story line. With so many bodies piled up, it is no wonder that a smart detective starts to piece the pieces together. I am not surprised that there is no forensic evidence, due to so many forensic shows on television to learn from. There are so many twists and turns in the book, and different points of view that I did not know who the killer was, only his point of view. It was interesting to read what went through his mind, if he is a he.... There seems to be no link between the bodies, however the author gives you tiny hints, and just when you think you figured it out, BAM, you are thrown into a different direction. I had a hard time putting this book down, and even though I am done reading it now, I am still second guessing some of the clues. The pace was perfect, and Corrigan made a realistic Detective, albeit one disturbed by his past, and I found myself hoping more detectives fought the system like he did. I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy to review, however all opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Edge of your seat read!
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MasonCanyon More than 1 year ago
Author Luke Delaney uses his law enforcement expertise to craft an authentic psychological thriller in his debut novel, COLD KILLING. With the opening, Delaney reels you in causing you to speculate about the first character introduced. Then he leads you directly into a crime scene where you’re hooked wanting all the pieces of the puzzle at once. With an unthinkable childhood driving him, Sean Corrigan turned his demons toward good becoming a detective inspector. With a fierce determination to protect the innocent, Corrigan is also able to identify the darkness in others. He understands it because it’s something that lies deep within himself. Corrigan, responsible for South London’s Murder Investigation Team, catches an unusual case when a young man is found brutally murdered in his flat. At first glance it appears to be a domestic murder, but Corrigan soon finds other victims and a ruthless serial killer unlike any he has ever faced. The cunning killer changes his MO with each crime and never leaves the slightest trace of forensic evidence. But Corrigan has no doubt it’s the same killer and he quickly finds himself in a lethal game of cat and mouse. COLD KILLING is an edge-of-your-seat read with the narrative switching between Corrigan and the killer. Readers are given glimpses of their personal lives to balance out this thriller. Delaney has created well-developed, realistic characters that stay with you long after the last paragraph. He’s given them strength and weaknesses that readers can relate to. He shows police work at its best, along with the flaws and transgressions officers sometimes make. Delaney explores the forensic aspects of a crime and how the elements help and hinder an investigation. Delaney’s years of experience as a police officer shine through in his eye for details for procedures, settings and characters interaction. His vivid descriptions of South London and the area, gives readers the feel they are there. The story moves at a steady and smooth pace drawing the reader deeper into the minds of the killer and cop. The twists along the way will keep you guessing. The story is captivating, the characters mesmerizing. The ending was not what I was expecting, but fit perfectly. Delaney provides a touch of closure, but leaves readers anticipating what lies ahead for Corrigan and others. Get ready to lose track of time when you turn the first page of COLD KILLING. It’s a gripping thriller and a great start for a fascinating new series. FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book as part of the author’s virtual book tour. A copy of the book was sent to me by the tour promoter in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.