Dead to Me
  • Dead to Me
  • Dead to Me

Dead to Me

4.0 1
by Cath Staincliffe

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A riveting, sharply observed and thoroughly modern police procedural, Dead to Me features a stellar but unlikely female detective team.

Detective Constable Janet Scott is subtle and reliable, a diplomatic thinker with a wry sense of humor. She's put in the time and seen it all, but has no desire for the boss's job—she loves her own too much. Rachel Bailey

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A riveting, sharply observed and thoroughly modern police procedural, Dead to Me features a stellar but unlikely female detective team.

Detective Constable Janet Scott is subtle and reliable, a diplomatic thinker with a wry sense of humor. She's put in the time and seen it all, but has no desire for the boss's job—she loves her own too much. Rachel Bailey couldn't be more different—she's energetic, impulsive, and ambitious, and has just been transferred to the Manchester murder squad. Their commander thinks Rachel's intuition could make her a great cop, but has reservations about her shoot-first-think-later approach, so she partners her with Janet. At first, the match seems to have been made somewhere considerably lower than heaven, but when a teenage girl is found brutally murdered, stabbed to death in her squalid flat on a North Manchester housing estate, both detectives realize they must work together to stop a vicious killer. But the case quickly becomes more complicated than it seems, fraught with dangers neither woman could see coming. Eager to make her mark, Rachel's reckless pursuit of the truth could threaten her future on the squad. And an unexpected turn in the investigation forces Janet to face personal demons. No matter the cost, both must race to stop a vicious killer before it's too late in this riveting novel from award-winning author Cath Staincliffe.

"It's always exciting to see a writer get better and better, and Cath Staincliffe is doing just that." --Val McDermid

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mystery fans who value female bonding will best appreciate this prequel to the U.K.’s Bailey & Scott TV series (the rough equivalent of the U.S.’s Cagney & Lacey). Manchester Constable Rachel Bailey’s insistence on procedure—she demands that a superior, Det. Chief Insp. Gill Murray, produce ID before entering a crime scene—proves, surprisingly, to be a good career move. Three weeks later, Murray calls to offer Bailey a spot on her homicide squad. The newbie teams with Janet Scott, with whom she has the predictable preliminary personality conflicts. Even those unaware that the pair will partner in the TV series can see where all this is headed. On their first joint case, Bailey and Scott investigate the murder of 17-year-old Lisa Finn, found stabbed to death in her apartment. Amid the standard police work, with time-outs for the principals to deal with various personal issues, Staincliffe breaks no new ground. Agent: Sarah Menguc, Sarah Menguc Literary Agency (U.K.). (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
Two female detectives form an uneasy partnership in the grim back streets of Manchester. DC Rachel Bailey is thrilled when golden girl DCI Gill Murray invites her to join an elite unit for major crimes. However, the street-wise Bailey is less pleased with her partner, middle-class DC Janet Scott, especially since Scott doesn't hesitate to put Bailey in her place when they investigate the murder of Lisa Finn. The more the detectives question the people who knew the young victim--the boyfriend who got her back onto drugs, the alcoholic mother who gave her up to foster care, the social workers who tried to help her, the cab driver who saw her last--the more perplexing the case becomes. Determined to prove herself and unwilling to risk Scott's criticism, Bailey goes maverick and, though she puts the case and herself at serious risk, finds an important clue from Lisa's past. Bailey, Scott and Murray all have their own pasts, which affect their judgments and make them more human--but also put the brakes on the pace. A grudging trust between Bailey and Scott provides a stronger payoff for the tale than the solution of the mystery. Staincliffe (Crying Out Loud, 2011, etc.) devotes nearly as much attention to her three leads' struggles with their personal lives as she does to the procedural itself. Sympathetic though they are, one keeps wanting them to stop agonizing and just get on with the case.
From the Publisher

“This is more than just a murder mystery; these characters are well developed, idiosyncratic, and likeable, and that extends to their families and coworkers as well. Most reminiscient of television's Cagney and Lacy series, the novel... should appeal to readers who enjoy female buddy books like Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli and Isles series and Lisa Scottoline's Rosato & Associates legal thrillers.” —Booklist, starred review

“Staincliffe writes with energy and a flair for dialog, propelling what is essentially a police procedural into a rumination on social issues, the inherent pressures of a murder investigation, and the place of women in modern police work, traditionally dominated by men… This author not only captures the momentum of an active murder investigation, including the detours of misinformation and lying suspects, but also the complex social issues that accompany such crimes, the delicacy of working with survivors, suspects and the public, the intricate balance required until a case is solved. By including the private lives of the female detectives in a male-dominant career, she separates myth from fact. Beyond this, Staincliffe is just fun to read: fresh, intuitive and real, each of her detectives interesting in her own right. While focusing primarily on Finn's murder with a peripheral case that becomes poignantly relevant, the murder receives due diligence and the reader gets to know three unusual characters--detectives I am looking forward to meeting again and again.” —Curled up with a Good Book

“A solid ingenious plotter with a sharp eye for domestic detail… Real people, real problems, sometimes with solutions still to come. Staincliffe writes brilliantly and compassionately about things that matter.” —Literary Review

“It's always exciting to see a writer get better and better, and Cath Staincliffe is doing just that.” —Val McDermid

“A superb book, well crafted, well written.” —Books Monthly (UK), Editor's Choice

“An excellent read.” —The Book Jotter

“One of the best crime books I have read this year.” —Mystery People

“No frills or gimmicks, just solid characters, well thought out plot and intelligent writing.” —CrimeSquad

“Part of the appeal of these characters is their empathy with the victim and their determination, almost desperation, to catch the perpetrator.” —Eurocime

“This is a well-written book with characters that draw you in, and a murder plot that keeps you reading.” —Shots magazine

“The characters are incredibly well crafted and robust, the difficulties balancing a functional home life with the emotional demands of the job are very well portrayed.” —Bookgeeks (UK)

Library Journal
The Manchester Murder Investigation Team (MIT) is baffled by the stabbing death of Lisa Finn, a troubled teen who spent most of her youth in group homes. Young and ambitious DC Rachel Bailey is partnered with Janet Scott, a more seasoned detective (much to their consternation), and their leader is gorgeous and brilliant DCI Gill Murray. There you have it, women detectives leading the charge and looking into a painful story that occasionally hits too close to home. Combining their expertise with their intuition, Bailey and Scott chase down suspects (boyfriend, social worker, and beyond) while Murray guides their way. VERDICT Prolific British TV screenwriter and CWA Award winner Staincliffe makes it look easy. Folks will lap up this very readable police procedural that is a prequel to a British TV series, Scott & Bailey. With its ensemble cast, assorted subdramas, and engaging procedural plot, it's sure to be a hit. Think Cagney & Lacey done British style, for the 21st century. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/13.]

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Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.50(d)

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Meet the Author

CATH STAINCLIFFE is an established novelist and creator of the hit UK TV series Blue Murder. Cath has been short-listed for the Crime Writers' Association's John Creasey Best First Novel Award for her acclaimed Sal Kilkenny series (which began with Looking for Trouble), as well as for the Dagger in the Library Award. Most recently, she was a joint winner of the CWA Short Story Dagger Award. She is a founding member of Murder Squad, a group who promote crime fiction. Cath lives in Manchester, England with her partner and family.

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Dead to Me 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
The Manchester Murder Squad put in charge of the investigation into the killing of Lisa Finn is headed up by DC Janet Scott. Among her team is newly assigned DC Rachel Bailey, just transferred there after five years in uniform, nearly all of them in Sex Crmes. Their boss, DCI Gill Murray, feels Rachel can benefit from training under Scott, who Murray (nicknamed, at least by Rachel, “Godzilla”) has known for years, even before she became a cop, dating from the time Gill was called to the scene of a death, from SIDS, of Janet’s infant son. The dead girl’s background is a bit unsavory: She had been picked up by the police in the past for shoplifting and “messing with drugs,” after a youth spent “in care” when her mother found the burden of child-rearing too great. After the arrest and subsequent release of two men against whom no real evidence can be found, the team is up against a blank wall, but the two female cops are determined to find the killer. A horrific suicide, and an old case which seems to involve some of the people involved, even if somewhat tangentially, in the current one, swiftly come into play. Solid police work, to which is added Rachel’s excellent instincts added to (or perhaps despite) the somewhat rash routes she takes to track down the person or persons responsible, over a period of a little over a week’s time, add up to a very fine police procedural. Where this book differs somewhat from the ‘usual’ procedural is with the author’s excellent delineations of the three strong women at the heart of this book. They have very different backgrounds, but many similarities as well, primarily in their dysfunctional relationships and challenging childhoods. None of the three is a stranger to violence and its aftermath, which has brought each to this point in their lives. The writing is excellent, and the novel is recommended.