The first in a new series featuring DS Ian Peterson, a supporting novel in Leigh Russell's first three DI Geraldine Steel novels
When Henry's wife is stabbed to death, he pays a prostitute to give him an alibi. Her body is discovered, strangled, and the police realize they are dealing with a serial killer who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks. While they are hunting for evidence, another prostitute is brutally murdered. On the track of a vicious killer, DS Ian Peterson doesn't realize he is risking the life of his young colleague, Polly. Already established as a popular character in his own right, Ian appears in a supporting role in the first three Geraldine Steel novels. Cold Sacrifice is the start of his own career as protagonist in a brand new detective series.
About the Author
Leigh Russell is the author of the DI Geraldine Steel series, which includes Cut Short and Road Closed. Cut Short was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Have you ever read a mystery where you didn't believe the killer really did it even after you've finished the book? I was so sure I had this one all figured out and was praising Leigh Russell in my mind for the irony in her diabolical plot twist. When the book ended and the killer's identity was known, I wanted to take an ax to my Kindle for allowing myself to fall into the trap of reading clues into everything and missing the obvious, but I'm getting ahead of myself. . .Leigh Russell has a gift for showing her readers the vulnerability of her police officers making them seem human and sympathetic. Detective Ian Peterson seems a bit lost without his partner DI Geraldine Steel who has abandoned him for the big city of London and left him to fend for himself in his own series. Recently married to a woman he has been with for a long time, we see Ian as juggling his ambition to move up in rank with his new role as husband, and in fact wondering why he ever got married to a woman who expects him to lead an ordinary 9-5 lifestyle. When three women are murdered in close proximity to each other although by different methods, the police suspect the same killer committed all three crimes, but who is it? Was the first murder committed by the most obvious suspect...the woman's abusive husband? When a second murder is committed, it seems related except for the fact that the victim is providing the suspect in the first murder with an alibi. The third victim, a friend of the second victim, turns up dead in short order and the police are baffled as to the motive. As the case heats up, Ian's home life becomes a struggle for him as his wife and her family members don't admire his career choice and find him falling short as a husband and a police officer.I think readers who enjoy Leigh Russell's writing style will certainly find this book of the same caliber as her Geraldine Steel series. DI Steel does make a cameo appearance in Cold Sacrifice, but Ian has a new set of co-workers one of whom is Polly Mortimer, a woman whose character is bright and attractive in comparison to his wife and her family who are portrayed as a bit snooty and cold. As with all Leigh Russell's books, this one is also replete with interesting characters who are introduced into the story line just as pieces are placed in a puzzle. There's Ben, a young man being bullied at home and at school who unknowingly finds a murder weapon and conceals it hoping to use it to gain some respect for himself in his miserable existence. Mark is the son of the first murdered woman and a pitiable character who is weak, impressionable and very attached to his mother. There is a cult leader who has survived a personal hell only to use his followers to maintain a deviant lifestyle. No spoilers, but readers will find the ending both satisfying and a bit of a "did that just happened??" I'm not going to say what I thought was going to happen. I will say after my initial reaction, I realized that there was even more irony in the fact that the author led readers down a circuitous garden path when the solution was right in their back yards! I welcome Ian Peterson to my list of favorite book detectives and look forward to watching his character develop.