Luke Delaney- Cold Killing

Product DetailsDI Sean Corrigan is not like other detectives. The terrible abuse he suffered in childhood hasn’t stopped him enjoying family life with his wife and two daughters, or pursuing an impressive career with South London’s Murder Investigation Unit. But it has left him with an uncanny ability to identify the darkness in others – a darkness he recognises still exists deep within his own psyche and battles to keep buried there. Now Sean’s on the trail of the most dangerous killer he’s ever encountered. The perpetrator has no recognisable MO, leaves no forensic evidence and his victims have nothing in common. But Sean knows they were all murdered by the same man. Now all he has to do is find the evidence, convince his bosses and stop the killing before his adversary gets too close to home…

 As an enthusiastic crime fiction reader I always relish the opportunity of reading a crime novel written by someone who has actually walked the walk and talked the talk in law enforcement , drawing on their personal experience to construct an authentic story- as long as they have the propensity to spin a good yarn as well! As an ex-London Met detective with many years service under his belt, Luke Delaney not only exhibits this complete authenticity in terms of the police procedural, but more than demonstrates his finesse as an author in this gripping and well-constructed novel. Delaney has personal experience of policing in tough inner city areas, and as a CID detective he encountered everything from fledgling serial killers to violent gang crime and gangland assasinations, and all this is brought to bear in this impressive debut thriller.

Sean Corrigan is an exemplary creation in terms of a detective with just the right balance of good cop/disturbed cop having overcome the traumas of his childhood experiences, the experience of which give him a unique perspective on the motivations and psyche of a killer. In Corrigan we observe a man who could easily teeter over the precipice emotionally due to the horrendous events in his own life, but who fights every day to use these experiences to become a perceptive and astute detective, with an inate ability to tap into the mind of the killer at large in this investigation. He is a terrier of a man, unrelenting in his pursuance of the man he believes is guilty of these brutal killings, and like all good detectives more than willing to challenge the dictates of his largely inept paper-pushing superiors to catch a killer. I found him an entirely empathetic character and  wholly believable in his characterisation, which is absolutely essential if this is to be the first of a projected series. Likewise, his nemesis in the shape of slimy financier James Hellier, the object of Corrigan’s investigation, is a perfectly realised character combining charm with an undercurrent of wolfishness in his interactions with Corrigan, but has Corrigan got the right man in his sights?

The plot is perfectly paced as the police team grapple with a forensically aware, and ultimately psychopathic killer, capturing the tenseness and frustrations of a multiple murder investigation. This is where Delaney’s experience as a police officer kicks in, with a true depiction of the nitty gritty procedures that the police are bound by, and a continual feeling of them racing against the clock. There are a couple of nicely placed barbs directed towards crime fiction writers and film-makers at the liberties they take in their own depiction of police work, which again added to the sense of realism in Delaney’s own presentation of a police investigation. There is a nice balance in the plot between Corrigan’s professional and personal life, and I thought this added an extra dimension to our perception of Corrigan as a husband, father and cop, with an effective drawing back from the violence of the main plot.

I have no qualms at all in comparing this with some of the best exponents of the psychological police procedual- I’m thinking Mark Billingham, Stuart MacBride, Adam Creed et al- so would definitely rate Delaney as an author to discover for yourselves. You will not be disappointed.

Discover more about Cold Killing at

(With thanks to Hannah and Kate {@killerreads] HarperCollins for the ARC)


  1. hmmmmm…this sounds rather good but two of the authors you’ve compared him with are no longer on my watch list…I find Billingham and MacBride too violent and serial-killer focussed for my tastes (not bad writers, just not my cup of tea)…so not sure whether or not I will like this or not.

  2. I understand your reservations in relation to Billingham and MacBride and the violence factor although they are both favourites of mine. In my opinion Delaney adds another level to his book with his insightful exploration of the psychological motivations of the killer and pursuer so not just a bog standard serial killer thriller- more meat on its bones!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.