Elaine T, Reviewer
Last updated on 22 Jun 2018
I would like to thank Netgalley and Oldcastle Books for an advance copy of Death Rope, the eleventh novel in the Geraldine Steele series of police procedurals.
Geraldine is slowly settling in at York but chafes at the lack of freedom to act that her demotion from inspector to sergeant entails. So when Amanda Abbott comes to the station and insists that, despite appearances to the contrary, her brother, Mark, did not commit suicide but was murdered Geraldine jumps at the opportunity to work on her own initiative. She doesn't get far but Amanda's disappearance makes the team look again.
I thoroughly enjoyed Death Rope which is a straightforward police procedural with some great twists. It is told mostly from Geraldine's point of view with other points of view inserted on a regular basis. I must admit that I frequently find this approach distracting and annoying but while I was puzzled initially by their relevance I was so caught up in Geraldine's story that it wasn't so much of a problem. I like the fact that there is no subplot to distract the detectives so both they and the reader can concentrate wholly on the case in hand. It is cleverly done with a gradual buildup of clues and the usual misdirection and held my attention throughout.
The novel revolves around Geraldine. She is a solitary figure with not much in her life but her work. She has a couple of sisters who present their own problems but as they live down south she doesn't see them so often. It's a shame that she is so alone, but some of that is of her own making as she is very reserved and doesn't mix well, as she is warm hearted and has much to offer. More annoyingly she is extremely smart and can see to the heart of an investigation instinctively but now that's she's been demoted her thoughts are often not taken seriously. She struggles with this and her growing feelings for her old friend DI Ian Peterson, growing into what neither she nor I are sure of.
Death Rope is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending.