Leigh Russell

Cold Sacrifice

"Russell has a knack for the unusual..."


When three dead bodies turn up in quick succession, DS Ian Peterson becomes so wrapped up in the complex case he pays little heed to his marriage or forthcoming promotion.

The first victim is a middle class housewife, stabbed in a park. Her husband is in the clear until the alibi providing prostitute is murdered. While the police are busy collecting evidence, a second prostitute joins her friend on the coroner's slab.

Peterson, accompanied by young a DC struggles to make sense of the case and identify the elusive killer before he strikes again.

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Russell has a knack for the unusual, and this tale of a twisted killer striking down victims in a variety of methods, allows her to indulge herself as she has created an intriguing tale of deception and subjugation. The prose and dialogue is as faultless as you would expect from an English teacher, but in 'Cold Sacrifice' the biggest feature is the plotting. Russell has woven an intricate tale from a simple situation which invites the reader to play detective. The characters are all well constructed but I wasn't as endeared to Peterson as I am to Russell's other creation (Geraldine Steel). Polly was a fine support character, as was Della. All in all, 'Cold Sacrifice' is a fine novel which would take only a few minor fixes to elevate it to very good or excellent.

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