Leigh Russell

Death Bed

"Russell’s strength as a writer is her ability to portray believable characters."


When the bodies of two black girls are found within days of each other, the police fear an adverse reaction from the local black community. Each of the girls had the same two teeth removed and suffered other mutilations. One of the girls worked in a massage parlour and police suspicion immediately falls on one of her clients who is a known racist.

Geraldine Steel has relocated to London and is handed the job of tracking down the twisted killer before he kills again. To increase the pressure on Steel a third young woman has gone missing.

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Russell's strength as a writer is her ability to portray believable characters. A clever use of just enough description coupled with a flair for dialogue gives us the fantastic Geraldine Steel and the young Sam Haley. Geraldine has past issues to resolve and these hang heavy on her while acting as a catalyst to drive her forward. The prose is as neat as you would expect from an English teacher with nary a word out of place. Pace is injected with a steady feed of information and a ramping up of tension by also featuring the victim's plight. Sadly the plot is the weakest link in 'Death Bed'. The reveal of the killer's identity left me cold and for that reason I have given it a lower rating than normal for what was otherwise an excellent novel.

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