Monday, June 9, 2014
COLD SACRIFICE by LEIGH RUSSELL
Readers of Leigh Russell's Geraldine Steele series will enjoy this new one featuring Detective Ian Peterson. They had worked well together but she's gone to London now and Ian is married and going for promotion to Detective Inspector.
Poor Ian is finding marriage a rough go. His wife for some reason expected that after they were married he would spend less time at work, that she could expect him home every evening and could make plans for them to go out without him canceling due to his job. Of course that hasn't happened, and with his home life getting more unpleasant by the day, his job has become even more important to him. His long-for promotion seems to be taking forever; he feels stuck in a bad situation.
Meanwhile, his new case involves the murder of a middle-aged woman in a park. She was stabbed, yet has no defensive wounds. Her husband is the prime suspect because he inherits quite a bit of money. The marriage, they learn, was terrible and they had only stayed married because as a devout Catholic the victim refused to consider divorce. There is a teenage son who everyone says was close to his mother.
The husband, knowing he's the most likely suspect, pays a stripper to give him an alibi. As Ian investigates this link, he spends a lot of time at the strip club and with the girl and her roommate and little boy. All of the people involved give Ian life situations differing from his and giving him perspective on his own life.
I found the plot somewhat far-fetched but the characters for the most part sympathetic. There is a boy being abused by his mother's boyfriend, disaffected teens caught up in a cult, and the strippers trying to live day to day with little hope of a better life, and Ian wanting only a happy home for him and his wife.
Source: Witness/Impulse Imprint, HarperCollins