Second in the new series featuring DI Ian Peterson
'Moments before, he had been enjoying a day out at the races. Now he could be dying…. As he fell a loud wind roared past his ears, indistinguishable from the roar of the crowd. The race was over'.
A man plummets to his death during the York Races. Suicide or murder? Newly-promoted DI Ian Peterson is plunged into a complex and high-profile case, and as the body count increases, the pressure mounts for his team to solve the crimes quickly.
But the killer is following the investigation far more keenly than Ian realises and time is running out as the case suddenly gets a lot closer to home...
Every prolific reader must have an author that has been on their TBR for ages and for me one of those authors is Leigh Russell. I have wanted to read her books for the longest time but have just never got round to it (despite there being some really good deals for them on Kindle). I wasn't therefore going to pass up the opportunity to take part in the blog tour for Race To Death and hopefully join Leigh's legion of fans. Plus if Jeffery Deaver likes her then she must be good, right? Definitely right.
Race To Death is the second book featuring DI Ian Peterson on his own however I believe he was also a part of the Geraldine Steel books. For someone who reads so many books it's impossible for me to always start a series at the beginning yet I didn't feel at a disadvantage here. Authors writing a series have the problem of continuing the story for returning readers but at the same time introducing new readers but not in a way that can bore people that already know the characters and Leigh has introduced Ian well here but continued his story too. Given that he has recently moved to York, there was a new, fresh feel to the book which is perfect for those new to Leigh's work.
Opening with the murder of a seemingly innocent man at York races I got stuck into the book immediately. I like books that don't hang around and get us straight into the action and this book definitely did that. It's definitely an interesting setting for a murder to take place and very easy to picture in your mind. Adrian is at York races with his wife and brother when he is pushed from a balcony, straightaway you wonder why and whether Adrian was picked at random or for some other reason. He certainly seems normal enough in the opening chapter. Given that the crime scene has next to no evidence Peterson and his new team have their work cut out and when more deaths occur involving what appears to be unconnected couples the plot thickens and the story really gets going.
Leigh has written a very readable book which at times can be very addictive so is definitely a read in a couple of sittings book. It's a very plot driven book yet very focused on Peterson as well, and his wife who unwittingly finds herself a part of this mystery but to say more would of course ruin the enjoyment of reading it for yourself. It's definitely a book that keeps you guessing right to the very end with a nice little twist to round things off. A winner from me. The setting of York was fantastic and given that I've never visited or read a book set there, there was a fantastic sense of place. You can tell Leigh is an author that researches what she writes about rather than guessing things, even if it's just the small things it's more enjoyable when a book just feels authentic. Also the storyline itself is very realistic, there's no over the top unbelievable scenarios. For that reason I think the book would work well as a TV show.
Starting a new series is always a risk for any author yet having finished this book I'd say it's definitely paid off for Leigh and I can't wait to read more. Luckily for me I've got Leigh's back catalogue to devour but for those that have read her previous work, pick up this book and enjoy.
Thanks to No Exit Press for the review copy.