09th Apr2013

Book Review – Bleed Like Me

by Lloyd Paige

Bleed Like Me by Cath Staincliffe


The Journey’s Inn, Lark’s Estate, Manchester. Three bodies have been found, stabbed to death in their

beds. The husband and father 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 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…



Cath Staincliffe is a radio playwright and a novelist. She created the hit ITV series Blue Murder and has now given us another Scott & Bailey installment.

Those who enjoyed Cath Staincliffe’s last offering won’t be disappointed with Bleed Like Me. In fact they’re in for a treat as she cranks up the tension with the latest Scott & Bailey story. Let’s set the scene, multiple murders and the suspect has gone missing – with his children.

Scott & Bailey, overseen by Gill Murray, begin the task of tracking down husband and father Owen Cottam. Cath Staincliffe has gained a reputation for offering us a distinct level of realism in her stories which helps the reader to relate to the work and in Bleed Like Me, she successfully combines that with solid bits of prose, also the story doesn’t feel rushed. Anyone familiar with Scott & Bailey will know that dealing with crime is only part of the problem because these characters have a lot going on in their lives and it reflects well that underneath their police exterior they’re everyday people, albeit in a crime ridden world.

Rachel is a tough cookie but she doesn’t try to be tough, she just is. We know she loves her job and if we debate whether or not it’s time for her to act more wisley and stop being reprimanded then where would the fun be in that? We find that people from Rachel’s past begin to resurface, her brother and her father, giving her more to worry about because she’d rather ignore their existence and not deal with her feelings towards them.

As for Janet, as well as managing her love triangle she tries to break free of the memory of Geoff Hastings and becomes consumed with health fears. And if you think it stops there, think again because their boss Gill has the type of family issues most people can empathise with, a separation, a moody teen. It’s hard at the top and she can’t find the work-life balance she’d like but tries the best she can.

Even with all this going on we don’t lose track of the case and along the way attention is paid to the relatives, Margaret Milne – the mother of Cottam’s dead wife, Dennis – his dad, Barry – his brother.

While the net tightens around the deadly Cottam and the search for the children intensifies, Rachel, Janet, and Gill’s problems begin to resolve themselves. But time isn’t on their side and in Bleed Like Me, Cath Staincliffe has once again delivered another exquisite slice of Scott & Bailey for us all to enjoy.

Bleed Like Me by Cath Staincliffe is published by Bantam Press, 12.99.


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