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Friday, 20 July 2012

Death Bed

Followers of this blog will know that I’m a big fan of Leigh Russell and have been following the Geraldine Steel series with great interest. Geraldine is turning into a fantastic series character. Her personal life, with its secrets and frustrations, forms a sub-plot that flows through the four books so far and leaves unanswered questions for the future.

In ‘Death Bed’ Geraldine has moved from her local force in Kent up to London to work with the Met. The challenges of her relocation add a further layer of interest to the plot, and her new colleagues are an interesting bunch, especially DS Sam Haley.

Leigh Russell’s writing is always full of intrigue and danger, but in ‘Death Bed’ we’re taken to some very dark places indeed as the latest criminal to cross Geraldine’s path does his worst. When the bodies of two black girls are discovered in quick succession in North London, Geraldine is dragged into her most disturbing case yet as she has to track down the killer dubbed ‘The Dentist’ by the press.

This book isn’t for the faint-hearted, but I was gripped and it kept me awake at night as I was driven to read one more chapter. As ever, Leigh Russell makes her victims and their families seem astonishingly real and it is this that makes some aspects of this story so heartbreaking.

As ever, this is a well written, well plotted crime novel with fantastic pace and lots of intrigue. My favourite kind of read.

I highly recommend this book and would also encourage you to read the others in the series, ‘Cut Short’, ‘Road Closed’ and ‘Dead End’.

You can find out more about Leigh Russell here.

Reviewed by Helen M Hunt

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Shadow Of Night

I started reading Shadow of Night and honestly if it were not for my full-time job and my adjunct faculty position I would have finished it days ago. It seems like everything and everyone conspired to keep me from reading my book so I took to reading a few words or sentences when I could, like just before starting work in the morning, during lunch, during commercials, in the parking lot while waiting for dinner to be ready for pickup. I was so wrapped up in what was happening next that I just realized as I closed the book that so much happened in this installment. I don’t want to write spoilers but suffice it to say there were not any threads left unattended, or, at least if there were I did not notice them. The historical aspects of this story continue and really are expanded upon which I guess is one of the great things about having a vampire who has been around for hundreds of years and has enough status that he has met some truly interesting figures from history. 

One of the great things about this book though is not just those historical figures but how Diana interacts with and affects the people she meets. Part of me wants to write a review that shows how overwhelmingly special I think this book is so that anyone who reads it will want to tell all their friends, family and even strangers about it and the other part of me keeps thinking read it over again right now and they’ll find out about it on their own.  Something else that I found to be really good was the poetry, some of which belongs to others but some of which belongs to Deborah Harkness.  “It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear.  It begins with a discovery of witches.” This is obviously a huge catalyst for much of the story, but, some of the beauty of this story lies in how the threads of the poem are weaved into different parts of the book. There is that tiny part of me that is also a scholar who loves reading this genre of book that wishes I had written it or could write something just as great that not only other scholars would love but those that love romance, fantasy, historical and travel would also love it. I’ve come full circle now and don’t suppose the last installment is ready for me to read since this one is just days from being released. I guess I’ll spend another year trying to ignore the fact that I’m waiting to see how it all ends. But, I will be eagerly awaiting the final book!

Review can also be seen at LadyTechiesBookMusings