Friday, 7 December 2012
Book Review: Steps in the Shadows by Stewart Spaull
by Stewart Spaull
MANCHESTER. MURDER. MANHUNT.
January 2012. A city centre choked with fear of the Shudehill Stalker.
The body of a young woman is discovered on a building site close to Victoria Station.
Newly-promoted Detective Inspector Malcolm Molyneux takes the case and must fight assumptions, prejudice and his own Chief Inspector in his quest to uncover what happened that winter night.
Putting himself in danger as he investigates the killing, he discovers that the suspect is closer than he appears…
For months now, someone has been preying on young women in Manchester, raping and murdering. The press has dubbed him the Shudehill Stalker and when another body of a young woman turns up on a building site, at first it seems it might be the same attacker. But this woman was murdered without any evidence of sexual assault. Are there two killers with similar M.O. or is Emily's murder something more personal?
It's Chief Inspector Molyneux's first day on the job and that's what he has to figure out. It was such a breath of fresh air to read a detective novel where the detective wasn't haunted by some deep, dark secret in his past. Molyneux is real, a bit of a health-freak (or as much as he can be considering the odd hours and how he doesn't get to cook much) and seems very down-to-earth.
It's well written and fast-paced, you just want to keep reading to see what happens next.
The secondary characters are also well-drawn, I loved Cardus and his obsessions with computers. I was a little disappointed when we found out who the killer was, as there were no hints to them at all throughout the book. I would have liked there to have been some mention of the killer earlier, but it's still a good book. A great read if you like detective fiction.
Reviewed by Annette Gisby