Thursday 25 May 2023

The One That Got Away - J.D. Kirk - DI Heather Filson Book 1

The One That Got Away
DI Heather Filson Book 1
ISBN 9781912767731

Wow! This story was so much more than I was expecting. Once I started I could hardly put the book down. I stayed up way to late on a work night and just kept saying, 1 more page to myself, through a few chapters. This is the first book in a new series by J.D. Kirk, the DCI Jack Logan books have been coming out steadily for a few years now, and the off shoot quadrilogy of Bob Hoon books was epic in the levels of violence and use of language. And along come the first story about Di Heather Filson. We have encountered her a few times in the Logan books, and there are some cross over characters. But What an incredible story. I was waiting months for this volume to drop and see what it was all about. It was more than worth the wait.

Over the last year I read about a book a week By Kirk under one of his three pen names. And this marks the 22nd under the Kirk name and coming up to 15 under the names Barry Hutchison and Barry J, Hutchison. So this is the 37th volume from this author in about a year that I have read. I have now read the first 16 in the DCI Logan series and all 4 in the Robert Hoon series, as well as stand alone VIP exclusive short story. I picked the first for a few reasons, but mainly because authors Alex Smith and JE Mayhew have both recommended the author and series. I am a big fan of Smith’s DCI Kett novels and Mayhew’s DCI Will Blake Series. I have been hooked since that first read. I had no idea how addictive Kirk’s books would be or that like Mayhew and Smith, Kirk publishes under three different names. Kirk publishes children’s books as Barry Hutchison, and other adult fiction as Barry J. Hutchison. He has over 200 books across the three pen names. If I had known that or I might not have picked up this first one. Friends call me a ‘completionist’ in that when I find an author I like, I try to read everything they have published. Being caught up now on his works as J.D. Kirk I will have to wait for each new one to come out. But back to this volume.

The description of this novel is:

“What if your worst enemy was your only hope?

When a fifteen-year-old girl fails to make it home after school, DI Heather Filson believes she’s dealing with just another teenage runaway.

The girl’s grandfather, a notorious Glasgow gangster, disagrees. Convinced one of his underworld enemies has grabbed her, he’s prepared to bathe the city in blood in order to bring his princess home.

But, as the days pass and the evidence mounts, Heather starts to fear that they’re both wrong, and that a brutal killer from the past has returned.

A killer who once stalked the streets of her hometown, preying on vulnerable young victims.

A killer that DI Heather Filson is uniquely familiar with.”

This story is very different than anything else I have read by Kirk, and yet we have the cross over characters, the elements of Scottish police procedurals, and the nature of the crimes. From the very beginning we get to see deeper into the history and psyche of DI Filson than we have with either Hoon or Logan. This story is set in present day, and yet much relates to cases from many years ago. And a case in particular that played a key role in shaping Filson herself. 

When the first girl goes missing, they are racing against the clock. When Future events happen even much more is at risk. 

The story has several intense passages of memories of abuse and of witnessing abuse on another. It deals with repressed memories. And it deals with coming to terms with our own personal demons and our past. Or at least Heathers. She has already been busted down from DCI to DI, and even risk that to break the rules because of her conviction of what is happening in this case. 

Be warned this story is not for the feint of heart, or readers with sensitive stomachs. It is crime lit written dark and dirty. But it also provides a little hope, especially at the end. I can only hope this is the first of many stories focused on DI Filson and even that ‘Nancy Drew’ makes future appearances. Amazing characters, great pace, and man oh man what a plot. Kirk has knocked it out of the cricket field with this one. 

This is another great read in what looks to be another great series. I love the books written under the pen name J.D. Kirk, they are definitely Scottish Mysteries, and I can see the comparisons with Smith’s and Mayhew’s works, as well as several other more mainstream names. I love that the stories are set in Scotland! And I believe my gramps born in Fife would have loved them, and have recommended them to my own dad. This book would be great read for fans of Jack Reacher, Jack Ryan, or Temperance Brennan. I state it again this is a great read and beginning to what should be an amazing series!      

Books by J.D. Kirk:

DCI Logan Series:

Robert Hoon Thrillers:

DI Heather Filson Series:

Contributed to:
Everyday Kindness: A Collection of Uplifting Tales to Brighten Your Day

Books as Barry J. Hutchison:
Dan Deadman Space Detective Series:

Space Team Series:
The Search for Splurt 
Song of the Space Siren 
The Guns of Nana Joan 
Return of the Dead Guy 
Planet of the Japes 
The Time Titan of Tomorrow 
The King of Space Must Die 
Sting of the Mustard Mines 
Sentienced to Death
The Hunt for Reduk Topa
A Lot of Weird Space Shizz: Collected Short Stories

Sidekicks Initiative Series:

The Bug Books Series:
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Complete Season One

Other Books:

Children’s books as Barry Hutchison:
Invisible Fiends Series:
The Crowmaster 
Doc Mortis 
The Beast 
The Darkest Corners 

The Missing Remote of the Apocalypse
The Book of Doom 

Benjamin Blank Series:

Beaky Malone Series:

Generator Rex Series:

Living Ted Series:
Revenge of the Living Ted
Invasion of the Living Ted

Spectre Collectors Series:
Too Ghoul for School
A New York Nightmare!

Other works:

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