Review: BLEED LIKE ME by Cath Staincliffe

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cover image

What the blurb says: “The Journey’s Inn, Lark’s Estate, Manchester. Three bodies have been found, stabbed to death in their beds. A man – apparently the father and husband of two of the victims – has fled. The police are in a race against time to find him – especially when they discover his two young sons are also missing …

Manchester Metropolitan police station. Having survived a near-fatal attack, DC Janet Scott is quietly falling apart. And her best friend and colleague DC Rachel Bailey is reeling from a love affair gone bad. DCI Gill Murray is trying to keep the team on track, but her own family problems are threatening to tip her over the edge.

Finding the desperate man is their top priority. But none of them knows where he is going or what he intends to do next. Or what will they have to do to stop him …”

BLEED LIKE ME is based on the characters from the hit ITV series SCOTT & BAILEY.

It’s a police procedural, but as well as a race-against-time premise to find the missing children and their father, it delves deeper into the stormy personal lives of the three female protagonists.

And their lives are certainly complex. Covering challenges that many will relate to – from juggling work and home life, bringing up teenagers, and the illness of a parent – to the more extreme – recovering from an attempt on your life – the three women are up against it from the outset. Artfully written, this exploration of the characters lives doesn’t slow the pace, instead it adds layers of tension onto an already tense situation.

The setting is highly atmospheric, with Manchester and the surrounding area painted with a gritty realism. From getting the call, the three women work tirelessly, often a great personal cost, to try to find the killer and his two young children before it’s too late. The story twists and turns towards a nail-biting conclusion, defying you to put the book down until you’ve read the very last page.

With a great pace, deeply drawn characters, and high action, I think BLEED LIKE ME will appeal to fans of the series and those new to Scott & Bailey.

Highly Recommended.

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