Race to Death

Written by Leigh Russell

Review written by Ron Ellis

Ron Ellis is a journalist and author of the Johnny Ace books

Race to Death
No Exit Press
RRP: £7.99
Released: September 25, 2014

This is the second of the DI Ian Peterson mysteries, these being a spin-off from an earlier series featuring Ian’s ex-boss Geraldine Steel.


I had read none of either series before but I found Leigh Russell’s writing style very compelling. You are drawn quickly into the story and, helped by the short chapters, she holds your attention throughout ensuring you keep the pages turning. Enough to make me want to read her Geraldine Steel books.


The story is set in York where Ian Peterson has moved after being promoted to Inspector. The descriptions of the city, the Races, the Minster and the historical features, make for an interesting background and are doubtless included with a possible film or TV series in mind.


The book starts with a couple at the big York Race Meeting. Adrian and his wife Vivien. They are there with his brother, Charles. Adrian goes up to the fifth floor of the stands and falls to his death from the balcony. Suicide?  An accident?


Action moves to another couple, Richard and Emma. Richard has been a womaniser but is now happy with Emma and on the verge of proposing. Then a man phones and tells Richard he is going to kill him.


DI Peterson gets involved in two cases that look to have a common link and there is much more to come. His wife, Bev, is not happy as she has no friends in the city and she is left alone too often so she takes a job in a recruitment agency.


The tension is built up cleverly until the final, shocking, denouement and until then everything is fine. But, to me, the coincidence of who the killer has carried out the killings is so unlikely it ruins the credibility of the plot.

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