Member Review

Class Murder

Pub Date:

Review by

Elaine T, Reviewer

Last updated on 09 Oct 2017

I Recommend This Book

Yes

I would like to thank Netgalley and Oldcastle Books for an advance copy of Class Murder, the 10th novel in the Geraldine Steel series of police procedurals.

Demoted and forced to relocate by her own actions Geraldine is now a sergeant in York working with her old colleague DI Ian Peterson in a reversal of their previous roles. She has barely arrived when she is plunged into a murder investigation when Stephanie Crawford is found slashed to death on her kitchen floor. Unfortunately Stephanie is not the only victim and with few clues and even less idea of motive the team struggle to make headway.

I thoroughly enjoyed Class Murder which held me so enthralled from start to finish I read it in one sitting, unable to put it down. The plot has plenty of twists and turns, not least a dramatic conclusion, and the ongoing saga of Geraldine's private life. It should be noted that while this is a continuous thread throughout the series there is enough backstory and explanation to allow the novel to stand alone comfortably.

The novel is told from several points of view, including the unidentified killer. Normally I'm not a fan of this approach but it works extremely well here as it fleshes out the situation and adds to the reader's knowledge. I'm not normally interested in the killer's thoughts or motivations but in this case it is well done as he keeps his motivation hidden, preferring to concentrate on his cleverness. Ms Russell captures the mixture of arrogance and hubris neatly and brings a realism to his character which escapes many authors. It's impressive.

After so many novels Geraldine is becoming an old friend. She is a smart, sympathetic character who often ignores herself in favour of helping her family. The move and the events surrounding it have left her unsettled so she is lonely and unsure in her new role. My heart went out to her and I admire her determination not to cause waves and try to adjust to her new place in the hierarchy. She is an excellent creation.

For sheer readability I would have awarded Class Murder 5 stars but I found the ending strange and decidedly OTT. It almost seems to belong to another novel. The majority of the novel is the slow, painstaking accumulation of knowledge and evidence, sifting through the lies and subterfuge of their witnesses and then suddenly there is a flurry of activity from a quiet character. It doesn't ring true.

Class Murder is a great read which I have no hesitation in recommending.

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