The Road to Hell: An Alice Rice Mystery by Gillian Galbraith

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The Road to Hell: An Alice Rice Mystery by Gillian Galbraith

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Buy The Road to Hell: An Alice Rice Mystery by Gillian Galbraith at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Crime
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A great evocation of Edinburgh and a strong heroine make a compelling read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: May 2012
Publisher: Polygon
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1846972256

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DS Alice Rice is facing a disciplinary hearing which could result in her dismissal from the police force. She knows that she's innocent - that it wasn't her who'd been too free with some sensitive information - but it's all going to come down to whose word is believed and whether a couple of witnesses can remember exactly who said what in a very tense situation. It's a difficult afternoon and when she gets home that evening, Ian - the man with whom she lives - has a visitor and forgets the importance of Alice's afternoon. The resulting argument will stay in Alice's mind for some of the worst reasons.

It's Edinburgh - and even if you're not personally familiar with the city it's likely that you've walked the streets with Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus. I kept expecting that someone would mention him - there's that same gritty atmosphere and it's certainly not the Edinburgh which the tourists know and love. Ian Rankin made it his way to be familiar with the workings of the police force - Gillian Galbraith' background is in the legal profession and brings the same authority to her writing and the same ability to bring the city to life.

So, we have an authentic Edinburgh and a writer with an extensive personal knowledge of her subject. We've also got a very compelling protagonist in DS Alice Rice. She's passed the first flush of youth but hasn't yet reached the stage where she's entirely comfortable in her skin. She can be rattled - but knows that it will do her career no good to show it. She dominates the book - but the character comes off the page well enough to carry the burden.

The plot, which includes the body of a naked woman found in a local beauty spot and then a similarly naked clergyman, whilst Alice is being stalked is entertaining and readable but not the strongest. The explanation for one of the plot lines was obvious to me as soon as it appeared and I couldn't work out why Alice didn't consider it. Admittedly though - she had other things on her mind. This is the fifth Alice Rice novel and works well as a stand alone. I haven't read the earlier books in the series but I'd be more than happy to do so and I'd be interested to see where the series goes next.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you're looking for further reading the obvious choice is Ian Rankin but don't forget Val McDermid either!

Gillian Galbraith's Alice Rice Mysteries in Chronological Order

Buy The Road to Hell: An Alice Rice Mystery by Gillian Galbraith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Road to Hell: An Alice Rice Mystery by Gillian Galbraith at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Road to Hell: An Alice Rice Mystery by Gillian Galbraith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Road to Hell: An Alice Rice Mystery by Gillian Galbraith at Amazon.com.

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