Book Review

Geraldine – John Mead

It’s time to welcome John Mead back to my blog today, as I join the tour for Geraldine. Many thanks to John, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to join the tour and for providing me with a copy of the book.


Hatred is such a nasty thing – we all deplore it in others but do not necessarily recognise it in ourselves. At what point does resentment, jealousy, betrayal or humiliation turn into anger and then grow to an all consuming hatred? Hatred can be slow, taking years to fester, or can explode in seconds – it can linger for a lifetime or wither in seconds of its conception.

Inspector Matthew Merry and Sergeant Julie Lukula have to deal with the consequences of violence and murder on a daily basis and in the case of Gerry Driver they both see that hatred is the prime motive. But is it, as Julie thinks, one of a series of hate crimes that has led to this killing? Or, is Matthew right in saying, ‘Driver’s death is undoubtedly a hate filled crime but I’m just not convinced that there are sufficient links to suggest it is part of a pattern of hate crimes.’

Only time and their investigation, which takes as many twists and turns as the Thames does along it course through London and past Wapping Old Stairs, will tell.

Geraldine Cover


Amazon UK


Some of you will remember that when I reviewed The Fourth Victim, John’s previous book, there were a couple of little areas that niggled at me, and unfortunately these remain present in Geraldine. For me, I found that references to the characters’ race, appearance, and sexuality were overly used, and there is a lot of head hopping that at times made it a little tricky to follow. I also struggled somewhat to identify who the main protagonist is intended to be, although events at the end of the book lead me to assume that all will become clear if John writes a third book set in this world.

I realise that this may all sound as if I didn’t enjoy Geraldine, but in fact this is not the case. These areas were sufficiently pushed to the background by an intriguing, well thought out story about a group of issues that are sadly all too relevant in our current lives – hate crimes, acid attacks, gang violence. John captures the emotions surrounding the pain suffered by some of the characters so well and I was really drawn into their individual stories. As with The Fourth Victim, it was these supporting characters that I really fell for, more so than the two leads. I was pleased to see the return of many familiar faces, and I found a particular growing affection for both Harry and Kathy as the story unfolded. I would be interested to see what comes next for these characters in particular.


The Fourth -Author PhotoJohn was born in the mid-fifties in East London, on part of the largest council estate ever built, and was the first pupil from his local secondary modern school to attend university. He has now taken early retirement to write, having spent the first part of his life working in education and the public sector. He was the director of a college, a senior school inspector for a local authority, and was head of a unit for young people with physical and mental health needs.

He has travelled extensively, from America to Tibet, and he enjoys visiting the theatre, reading and going to the pub. It is, perhaps, no surprise that he is an avid ‘people watcher’ and loves to find out about people, their lives, culture and history. When he is not travelling, going to the theatre or the pub; he writes.

Many of the occurrences recounted and the characters found in his novels are based on real incidents and people he has come across. Although he has allowed himself a wide degree of poetic licence in writing about the main characters, their motivations and the killings that are depicted.

John is currently working on a series of novels set in modern day London. These police procedurals examine the darker side of modern life in the East End of the city.






Win 3 x Paperback copies of Geraldine by John Mead (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


For more information on this book, check out the other blogs taking part in the tour.

Geraldine Full Tour Banner


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