The Institution – Helen Fields

To beat them, she’ll have to join them…

On a locked ward in the world’s highest-security prison hospital for the criminally insane, a nurse has been murdered and her newborn baby kidnapped. A ransom must be paid, and the clock is ticking.

Forensic profiler Dr Connie Woolwine is renowned for her ability to get inside the mind of a murderer. Now she must go deep undercover among the most deranged and dangerous men on earth, and use her unique skills to find the baby – before it’s too late.

She has five days to catch the killer.

But with the walls of The Institution closing in on her, will her sanity last that long?

Book Info: Print length: 422 pages. Publisher: Avon. Publication date: 2 March 2023

A Sunday Times and million copy best-selling author, Helen is a former criminal and family law barrister. Every book in the Callanach series has claimed an Amazon #1 bestseller flag. ‘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 has released legal thriller ‘Degrees of Guilt’. In 2020 Perfect Remains was shortlisted for the Bronze Bat, Dutch debut crime novel of the year. In 2022, Helen was nominated for Best Crime Novel and Best Author in the Netherlands. Now translated into more than 20 languages, and also selling in the USA, Canada & Australasia, Helen’s books have won global recognition. She has written standalone novels, The Institution, The Last Girl To Die, These Lost & Broken Things and The Shadow Man. She regularly commutes between West Sussex, USA and Scotland. Helen can be found on X @Helen_Fields

My Review:

I read and adored Degrees of Guilt written by Helen Fields under HS Chandler so when I saw her at Harrogate’s Theakston Crime Festival discussing The Institution I immediately downloaded it (currently 99p on Kindle).

I read this book with my fellow buddy readers over the course of a week and we all loved it. Fast paced, gripping, atmospheric and very disturbing… exactly what I love in a crime thriller.

The story is set in a high security prison hospital for the criminally insane which is located in the middle of nowhere with limited access and extreme weather conditions. A pregnant nurse has been found murdered and her unborn baby has been removed and abducted for ransom.

Forensic profiler Dr Connie Woolwine (who appears in Helen’s previous book The Shadow Man) is sent undercover as a nurse to try to find out who the murderer is and find the baby before it’s too late.

I will warn you now, this is really gory in places, highly disturbing in others and really not for the faint-hearted. It’s creepy and shocking, dark and chilling and kept me glued to my kindle throughout.

If you follow my reviews you will know that I never, ever, ever, read a book out of order if it is part of a series and I didn’t realise this was Dr Connie’s second book.. however I can promise you that this book can absolutely 100% be read as a standalone. I did however, download The Shadow Man and fully intend to read it soon to get more of Connie’s backstory which is fascinating.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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