The Institution by Helen Fields @Helen_Fields @AvonBooksUK #TheInstitution #BookReview

The Institution by Helen Fields

Originally published: 2 March 2023

Author: Helen Fields

Published by: Avon

Genre: Crime thriller

Page count: 432

Reading dates: 26 February-1 March 2023

They’re locked up for your safety.

Now, you’re locked in with them.

Dr Connie Woolwine has five days to catch a killer.

On a locked ward in the world’s highest-security prison hospital, a scream shatters the night. The next morning, a nurse’s body is found and her daughter has been taken. 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 girl – before it’s too late.

But as the walls close in around her, can Connie get the killer before The Institution gets her?

Nurse Tara Cameron is found dead in the basement of high security prison, know as The Institution. She was heavily pregnant and her baby is missing. Dr Connie Woolwine is tasked with trying to find the baby alive and to do this, she poses as a military psychological profiler, tasked with looking after Patient B (her colleague Baarda) who is posing as a military prisoner. Patient B and Connie are placed on the Heaven ward, so called because of its position in the prison, along with 5 male serial killers, the worst of the worst.

Connie’s job is to try and find out who killed Tara (whether it be staff or a prisoner) and try and find her baby alive. She interviews each prisoner (and we hear about the shocking crimes they committed). She gets to know the staff who have very different attitudes to the prisoners and their treatment. She also has to deal with PTSD, from her own stay in a psychiatric unit when she was a teenager for an undiagnosed brain injury.

I love Helen Fields – she is the author I have reviewed most on this blog. I love the DI Callanach and Ava Turner series and enjoyed standalone The Last Girl to Die last year. The Institution features Connie who previously appeared in The Shadow Man and had a small appearance in One for Sorrow.

The Institution is an exciting read but I also enjoyed reading about the methods Connie used in trying to find out about the prisoners to see if she can figure out who was involved in Tara’s death. The Institution is a great book and a fast read. Fields doesn’t shy away from the grisly details of the murders committed by the prisoners and of course I had no idea who had killed Tara and taken the baby or why. Another brilliant read from Fields – she’s done it again!

Many thanks to Avon Books for sending me both a proof and a finished copy. Take a look at the hardback – this special striking yellow collector’s edition is available by stocks last!

About the author:

Helen Fields

Helen Fields’ first love was drama and music. From a very young age she spent all her free time acting and singing until law captured her attention as a career path. She studied law at the University of East Anglia, then went on to the Inns of Court School of Law in London.
After completing her pupillage, she joined chambers in Middle Temple where she practised criminal and family law for thirteen years. Undertaking cases that ranged from Children Act proceedings and domestic violence injunctions, to large scale drug importation and murder, Helen spent years working with the police, CPS, Social Services, expert witnesses and in Courts Martials.
After her second child was born, Helen left the Bar. Together with her husband David, she went on to run Wailing Banshee Ltd, a film production company, acting as script writer and producer.
Helen self-published two fantasy books as a way of testing herself and her writing abilities. She enjoyed the creative process so much that she began writing in a much more disciplined way, and decided to move into the traditional publishing arena through an agent.
Perfect Remains is set in Scotland, where Helen feels most at one with the world. Edinburgh and San Francisco are her two favourite cities, and she travels whenever she can.
Beyond writing, she has a passion for theatre and cinema, often boring friends and family with lengthy reviews and critiques. Taking her cue from her children, she has recently taken up karate and indoor sky diving. Helen and her husband now live in Hampshire with their three children and two dogs.

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