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Friday, January 13, 2012

Dead End - A review

Detective Inspector Geraldine Steele again graces the pages of Russell's latest British police procedural. Well plotted with a back story that is relevant for today's day and age, "Dead End" is another grim and gory murder that crosses her path to help Steele gain the eventual promotion to London's Metro force.
Although the story line was well paced, enthralling and the characters feel very real, both cops and victims, I feel like Russell actually missed out on a bigger picture here. True, DI Steele was investigating a murder--or two as it turns out--but I really liked the authenticity and the feel for the bereaved family and the kidnapping of the daughter by her Internet chat partner. This is just another murder mystery until you introduce the kidnapping. It almost makes me want to see the book written about the creepy developments of the abandoned teen and her running away, making the murder the back story. Although the book is fine and stands on its own merit, I was disappointed in the direction Russell took.
Hopefully with the next novel in the series, the London Metro adventure, Steele can have seen a psychiatrist and be over her depression and neurosis, because, although reflecting reality, we need our super-heroine to be back "on her game" and ready to enthrall us with powers of detection. It's okay to have a flawed antagonist, actually more entertaining when they are that way, but not when it gets in the way of the investigation. Save that for the side-kick.
Russell has a nicely developed character in the prime of her career. I'd like to see both of them continue to be successful.

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