Member Review

Death Rope

Pub Date:

Review by

Kath B, Reviewer

Last updated on 12 Jul 2018

My Recommendation

Geraldine's story up to this point has been, shall we just say, interesting. To say that she carries a lot of baggage both personally and professionally is a bit of an understatement! With that in mind, although there is enough catch-up in this book to get the general gist of things, my personal recommendation is that, if you are new to the series, it would be beneficial to go back and start from book one and read in order. If you are planning on doing this, it's also best to stop reading this review as it may contain spoilers from what has gone before.
So, after her demotion and connected move to York to serve as Sergeant under her previous subordinate Ian Peterson, Geraldine is still trying to find her feet. She is mostly struggling with her lack of freedom to investigate things that she feels key but that others dismiss. She seems to be getting there but there is still this hole that she needs to fill. Her interest is piqued when, one day, Amanda Abbott comes into the station, determined for someone to listen to her. She finds an ear in Geraldine and proceeds to regale her with the story that she believes that her brother Mark did not take his own life despite appearances and subsequent ruling. Geraldine literally jumps at the chance to re-open the investigation but resistance comes from the powers that be. Resistance that swiftly falls away when Amanda herself goes missing, forcing them to take another look. 
This is, on the face of things, your bulk standard Police Procedural. But this book, along with the rest of the series, is a notch above the best of the rest in the way that it is written and executed. The author manages to write the genre with some really great investigative work, including enough twists and turns but without having to resort to the tricks and gimmicks that other authors tend to find necessary. She also keeps a good balance between Geraldine's professional and personal life (another thing that can sway off course in series books). Yes, she has a bit of an interesting background with one sister who isn't really her sister and another who is actually the twin she never knew she had. The latter being mostly responsible for Geraldine's fall from grace. Both of which placing different demands and expectations on what Geraldine means to them. But all of this speaks both for character definition of Geraldine herself as well as providing some pivotal series plot points so, in this case, their ongoing inclusion is wholly necessary. 
Geraldine's struggles at the position she is now find herself in at work is also very cleverly handled and executed. Her connection with Peterson throughout the series has waxed and waned as the ongoing story has developed and they remain tight in this book. There has been a shift in this lately, for obvious reasons, and they do sped a fair bit dancing round each other but nothing that feels contrived or out of pace. There's a new balance of power and it needs to find its level.
The plot itself is very intriguing and follows the usual path you would expect from the genre. We have secrets, lies, duplicitous behaviour and the obligatory twists, turns and misdirection that kept me on my toes throughout. All culminating in an ending that I only saw coming just before it was actually revealed. Very refreshing!
All in all, another great addition to an already favourite series, roll on the next one! My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.

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