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Russell, Leigh - 'Race to Death'
Paperback: 320 pages (Sep. 2014) Publisher: No Exit Press ISBN: 1843442930

This is another first-rate story by the talented Leigh Russell, who is now writing two series at the same time: one being her long-running, and highly acclaimed, series featuring the feisty female detective Geraldine Steele and the other, of which RACE TO DEATH is the second instalment, featuring DI Ian Peterson. Ian used to work for Geraldine and now has his own spin-off series as the two have gone their separate ways. One of my favourite aspects of both series is the way Geraldine and Ian still meet up with each other from time to time, to chat over cases, and even appear in each other's books! Russell is a former high school English teacher and is now a creative writing tutor and author. Her own story is as awe-inspiring as the characters in her books.

RACE TO DEATH opens with a particularly nasty murder. Adrian is enjoying himself at York races, with his glamorous wife and brother. One minute he is buying drinks at the bar, the next he is being invited to take a look at the view from the balcony upstairs and then he finds himself sailing over the railings into the horrified crowd below. At first glance the police think this might be suicide but, when another body is found, they start to change their minds. DI Ian Peterson is new in post and really keen to prove himself to his superiors. Much to his utter frustration, a quick result is not forthcoming and the chances of having one get slimmer as the case gets more and more complicated and the body count grows. Matters are not made any easier for Ian by his very demanding and unreasonable wife, who doesn't much like being at home on her own in the evenings and at the weekend. She puts pressure on Ian as well but everything changes when she gets herself a job and starts to enjoy the attentions of her very friendly boss.

This book is a quick read and full of interesting, well-developed characters that really grow on you. I feel as if I have known DI Peterson for years and am unbelievably frustrated by his selfish wife! I love Leigh Russell's books and am always excited at the prospect of reviewing her latest one. Geraldine is still my favourite of her characters but Ian Peterson is pretty special too!

Highly recommended.

Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland
January 2015

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 22/01/2015 14:31