Book Review

Hell to Pay by Rachel Amphlett

hell to pay

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first three titles in Rachel Amphlett’s Kay Hunter series, and this fourth title does not disappoint!

Hell to Pay opens with a car accident.  Not the usual sort of case that DS Kay Hunter would be involved in, except for the body of a young woman found in the boot of the car.

Tracing the vehicle to its owner, Hunter finds herself having to face some old demons as she once again crosses paths with Jozef Dimiri – a well-known criminal masked by legitimate business interests, and the man whose case she was working when evidence went missing, stalling Kay’s career, and affecting her personally as well as professionally.  Is this Kay’s chance to get even?

If you’ve enjoyed the first three novels in this series, you are in for a treat with Hell to Pay.  In this title, the reader gets some answers to what happened on a previous case of Hunter’s where crucial evidence went missing, resulting in Dimiri escaping justice, and which had such disastrous consequences for Kay.  For me, this came at exactly the right time in the series – Amphlett has had three books in which to build up the background and for Kay to do a little investigation on her own – with varying degrees of success – and I’m pleased that the reader now understands who was behind this, and why.  I did perhaps feel that the big reveal was a little rushed, although that may be because I was racing through to find out what happened!

Throughout the series, Amphleet has proved that she can do character brilliantly, and whether it’s the good or the bad guys, they come across as realistic and relatable.  Dimiri was everything he needed to be – an extremely chilling individual who you can imagine coming across as a smooth business man when he needs to, but with few scruples and only his own well-being and bank balance of any concern to him.  A known importer and distributor of drugs, Kay and her team find that they underestimated the extent of Dimiri’s business empire, and some of what goes on is horrifying.  As always, Amphlett handles these darker themes brilliantly, revealing enough to avoid doubt but without being gratuitous.

In my opinion, Hell to Pay is the best book in the series to date.  I felt that Amphlett really upped the tension in this novel, particularly as it’s clear that Dimiri wants to get his hands on Hunter as much as she wants to see him brought to justice.  I also felt that this novel was a little darker in tone, given some of the subject matter, and I really enjoyed it.  I understand that there is a fifth book on the way, and I can’t wait to see the aftermath of this case, and what it means for Kay.

Hell to Pay was published in November, and is available in paperback and digital formats.  Many thanks to Rachel for providing a copy for review.

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Hell to Pay is the fourth title in Rachel Amphlett’s Detective Kay Hunter series, and you can see my reviews of the first three titles in the series at the following links:

  1. Scared to Death
  2. Will to Live
  3. One to Watch


  1. I went through and checked out your reviews for the earlier books. It’s really neat to see how your experience with the series has improved through the installments. Hopefully the fifth one will keep up this momentum!

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