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Russell, Leigh - 'Death Bed'
Paperback: 352 pages (May 2012) Publisher: No Exit Press ISBN: 1842435949

DEATH BED is the latest book by the talented Leigh Russell. It is her fourth book to date, and also the fourth in the series featuring DI Geraldine Steel. All of Russell's books have been first rate. This, however, is her best yet and touches upon somewhat controversial subjects that make the reader wonder where Geraldine is headed next.

In short, Geraldine has moved to the The Met and finds it isn't everything she had hoped it would be. People don't seem to be very comfortable with her mode of working and she feels that they consider her to be a 'country bumpkin'; coming from the backwaters of the Home Counties, as she does. She loves her new flat and has a gruesome new murder enquiry to get her teeth into, but something is missing. Still trying to come to terms with the unexpected news of her adoption, she makes another attempt to see her biological mother, only to be rebuffed once more.

Meanwhile, the case is proving to be problematic for Geraldine and her colleagues, as it looks as if it may be a racially-motivated serial killer and The Press are hot on their heels, demanding answers and results. Progress is slow. Geraldine's new boss thinks she is aggressive and not a team player. While she is working all hours to find clues, he is pre-occupied with the thought that she isn't the bright young star that he hoped she would be. Things don't look good at all. And, to cap it all off, her sister is keeping up the usual whine about never seeing her and her niece being neglected.

Geraldine is an extremely likeable character. She is strong and resourceful at work, commanding respect from her colleagues and, usually, approval from her superiors. She is clearly cut out to go a long way in the police force. At the same time, there is a very real, emotional and vulnerable person behind the professional mask that she wears most of the time. Looking for love but finding it impossible to combine work and romance, her difficulties must strike a chord with most working women today. She longs for acceptance and a sense of belonging. Maybe finding her biological mother will give her the peace she is seeking? Whatever happens, I am sure that she has a large number of real-life followers - as well as her friends in the novels - who have their fingers crossed for her.

Very Highly Recommended.

Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland
October 2012

Amanda blogs at
Old Dogs and New Tricks.

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 28/10/2012 10:43