In North London, the bodies of two murdered black girls are found in quick succession. Two teeth have been taken from each victim after their death. One of the girls is a worker in a massage parlour, and an obvious suspect is one of her clients, who has made no secret of his racist tendencies. The police, nervous about the reaction from a highly sensitive black community, are stymied – and when the murderer brings another victim to his home, she finds herself imprisoned and caught in a terrifying situation – and perhaps most terrifying of all is the killer’s collection (shades of Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Berenice’). It’s time for Leigh Russell’s resourceful policewoman Geraldine Steele to work harder than she has ever done before tracking down a killer the press have granted the soubriquet ‘The Dentist’. Earlier books by Russell have marked her out as one of the most able practitioners in the current field (earning praise from the likes of The Times’ Marcel Berlins and fellow crime writer Jeffrey Deaver). This latest entry for her doughty policewoman continues the momentum, and will please Russell admirers.

Death Bed by Leigh Russell is published by No Exit Press

An innovative and refreshing take on the psychological thriller, with a strong female heroine who is struggling – just like everyone else – to balance her work and her personal life and muddle through, knowing all the time that every decision she makes could mean life or death.

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