‘A Killer’s Kiss’ – Firebrand #6 by Helen Harper

A twisted killer is making his mark in London, leaving a trail of blood and devastation in his wake. It’s not only humans who are being targeted. Vampires, werewolves and pixies are in mortal danger too.

I’ve been called in to help with the investigation but I can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to the murders. Someone is playing a very sick game – and it’s up to me to put a stop to it.

I’d expected ‘A Killer’s Kiss’ to be a quick comfort read, carrying on a series that I’d consumed almost in a single gulp last summer when the series gave me a welcome escape from the stress of the COVID restrictions. It surprised me – in a good way – by turning out to be a good Serial Killer mystery.

Helen Harper did a lot of world-building in the first five books, explaining the composition and politics of the supernatural world that lives out in the open, albeit under significant restrictions, in this alternative modern-day London, and establishing DC Emma Bellamy of the MET’s Supernatural Squad as a supernatural with an unusual ability – when she is killed, she returns to life in a burst of flames with her body uninjured, twelve hours later.

In the previous books, the crimes Emma has investigated have been relatively small scale and have served as much to reveal more about the supernatural world and to develop Emma’s powers and personality as to provide a mystery.

My reviews Brimstone Bound, Infernal Enchantment, Midnight Smoke, Scorched Heart, Dark Whispers,

‘A Killer’s Kiss’ is quite different. The emphasis here is on finding a serial killer who is targeting supernaturals.

I thought it was well done. The plot was twisty enough to keep me guessing. The pacing was tense enough to keep me turning the pages and the denouement caught me by surprise without cheating. I liked that it didn’t fall into the common trap of making the killer the centre of the novel. Most of the focus was on the victims and on trying to prevent the next kill.

I enjoyed the book and I hope the series continues in this direction.

I read ‘A Killer’s Kiss’ for the Urban Decay square on this year’s Halloween Bingo.

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