Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cut Short - Leigh Russell

I don't usually read crime fiction, but I was delighted to receive a review copy of Leigh Russell's deput novel, Cut Short.

When D.I. Geraldine Steel relocates to the quiet rural town of Woolsmarsh, she expects to find her new home to be somewhere where nothing much ever happens; a space where she can battle her demons in private. But when she finds herself pitted against a twisted killer preying on local young women she quickly discovers how wrong she is...

By day, the park is a place for children's games, for people walking their dogs or taking a short cut to avoid the streets. But in the shadows a predator prowls, hunting for a fresh victim. When an unwitting bystander comes forward as a witness she quickly becomes the next object of his murderous obsessions - someone whom the killer must stop at all costs.

D.I. Geraldine Steel is locked into a race against time, determined to find the killer before they discover yet another naked corpse . But can she save the lives of the town's young women - or will Geraldine herself become the killer's ultimate trophy?

As I said, I'm not a reader of crime fiction but I have to say I found Cut Short a quick read. The novel has a 'law and order' feel to it, as we see the steps, dead ends and eventually success of the detectives in their pursuit of a serial killer. I really enjoyed being able to see things from different perspectives and really enjoyed some of Leigh's characters, namely D.S. Peterson and can't wait to see how their stories develop further as the series progresses.

In regards to the crime side of the story (which obviously is the main part), Leigh doesn't hold back and gives us a very gritty view of the characters' (both victims and minor characters) lives. That being said, I enjoyed the fact that through the bantering relationship of Geraldine and Peterson, and the focus on Geraldine and her sister Celia, or Craig, there was a lightening of the plot.

Overall, I think crime readers will really enjoy this book, and I look forward to reading more about Geraldine Steel and the other characters in Cut Short


Leigh Russell on May 9, 2010 at 12:57 AM said...

Hi Emily - thanks for the review. Mid-June would be perfect for an interview as ROAD CLOSED will be published in June and in July CUT SHORT is scheduled for its 3rd reprint in a year. This time it will be printed in the larger B format, to match ROAD CLOSED which is coming out as a larger paperback. Yesterday a reader sent me a photo of CUT SHORT displayed as number 3 on my local Waterstones bestsellers chart, and I'm off to CrimeFest in May, appearing on 2 panels and giving one individual talk, so I've got lots to tell you!

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