AWARD NOMINATIONS FOR GERALDINE STEEL
Longlisted for the CWA 2014 Dagger in the Library
Cut Short was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger Award 2010
Stop Dead was a Finalist for The People's Book Prize 2014
Cut Short - CWA Dagger shortlist, #1 iTunes, #1 Women Sleuths
Road Closed - #1 Women Sleuths, Top 20 Kindle, Top Read Eurocrime, Top 50 iTunes
Dead End - #1 Women Sleuths, Top 20 Kindle, Top 20 WH Smith's, Top 10 Miami Examiner
Death Bed - #1 Women Sleuths, Top 20 WH Smith's
Stop Dead - #1 on Amazon Kindle
D.I Geraldine Steel is a Lovereading Great Female Sleuth
CRITICAL ACCLAIM for Blood Axe
To celebrate the release of Blood Axe, I am very pleased to have Leigh Russell as a guest on my blog today. Leigh is sharing her thoughts on what it means to be an author.'
- Helen Walters, Fiction is Stranger than Fact [read the full review]
'Russell's best book yet (and there have been a lot of good ones)'
- Our Book Reviews Online [read the full review]
'A great story with some interesting and unexpected twists and turns. It ends with some scenes of high drama and a clever and surprising outcome'
- Fiction is Stranger than Fact [read the full review]
CRITICAL ACCLAIM for Fatal Act
'Captivating, riveting, intense.'
- Bookscream, Bookscream.com
'If you like crime writing, you’ll enjoy Fatal Act'
- Charlie Britten [read the full review]
- Jennifer S. Palmer [read the full review]
CRITICAL ACCLAIM for Race To Death
'4 out of 5 stars'
- Morgen Bailey [read the full review]
'Fast-paced and unrelenting, and with more than enough twists to keep the most demanding reader entertained, Race to Death certainly doesn't disappoint! 4.5/5*'
- Claire H, clairelovestoread [read the full review]
'Leigh Russell weaves a fascinating tale that had me completely foxed. Whilst the mystery is tantalising the characters also fascinate, so clearly are they drawn.'
- Mystery People [read the full review]
CRITICAL ACCLAIM for Stop Dead
'Leigh Russell is one to watch'
- Lee Child
'Russell's books just keep on getting better and this one is by far her best. Well written and a really good read; just the thing for a cosy night in! Highly Recommended.'
- Euro Crime [read the full review]
'taut and compelling'
- Peter James [read the full review]
'Stop Dead is taut and compelling, stylishly written with a deeply human voice'
CRITICAL ACCLAIM for Cold Sacrifice
'"...it had me hooked from the opening page and is an easy read where the pages fly by."'
- Cleckfest [read the full review]
'Another great investigation... If you like crime novels and you haven't tried Leigh Russell's books yet then give them a go - you just might become addicted'
- our book reviews online [read the full review]
CRITICAL ACCLAIM for Death Bed
'Earlier books by Russell have marked her out as one of the most able practitioners in the current field and this latest entry for her doughty policewoman continues the momentum'
- Barry Forshaw, Crime Time [read the full review]
CRITICAL ACCLAIM for Dead End
'Leigh is a great mystery writer'
- [read the full review]
'Geraldine Steel is one of Lovereading's Great Crime Sleuths - 'a classic British cop... Geraldine proves great fun and a character who grows on the reader with every successive title in the series''
- Maxim Jakubowski, lovereading.co.uk [read the full review]
'All the ingredients combine to make a tense, clever police whodunnit'
- Marcel Berlins, The Times [read the full review]
In Dead End, Leigh Russell's third and best novel, an unpopular headmistress is found dead with her tongue cut out. Her husband, in the midst of an affair, is the obvious suspect, but DI Geraldine Steel has doubts. The daughter of the victim's unhappy marriage goes missing, apparently to join a friend she'd met on the internet, and a man who may be an important witness in the case is blinded and killed. Steel tries to ascertain information about her own birth and takes a few tentative steps towards acquiring a lover. All the ingredients combine to make a tense, clever police whodunnit.
'Well written and chock full of surprises, this hard-hitting, edge- of-the seat instalment is yet another treat... Geraldine Steel looks set to become a household name. Highly recommended.'
- Amanda C M Gillies, Euro Crime [read the full review]
- LT, Take A Break's Fiction Feast [read the full review]
When teacher Abigail Kirbyis murdered, dI Geraldine Steel is asked to investigate. Abigail wasn't popular - her colleagues disliked her, her husband was having an affair and her children barely saw her - but who cuould hate her enough to cut out her tongue before killing her? Things take a sinister turn when a witness isblinded and murdered. But Geraldine is distracted by personal issues - and blindly walks into terrible danger herself. This is Leigh Russell's third DI Steel novel. And although some readers will guess whodunit, the premise for the serial killer's movives is an intriguing one.
'Good, old-fashioned, heart-hammering police thriller...a no-frills delivery of pure excitement.'
- SAGA Magazine [read the full review]
Sometimes nothing else will do but a good, old-fashioned, heart-hammering police thriller. This is it - a no-frills delivery of pure excitement. Abigail Kirby's husband and kids assume she's at work, but then her corpse is found, with the tongue cut out. It’s another case for DI Geraldine Steel, and before the twists and turns (involving Abigail’s teenage daughter and a dodgy online friend) are done with, Geraldine will be fighting for her own life. A classic teckie that grips from the start.
'cleverly thought out, gripping and convincing... I couldn't put this book down... can't wait for the next Geraldine Steel story to come out'
- Helen M Hunt, bookersatz.blogspot.com [read the full review]
CRITICAL ACCLAIM for Road Closed
'you will really enjoy this book!'
- twinopinions [read the full review]
'This Geraldine Steel is just as three-dimensional; someone that you are equally pull for as well as want to sit down and give a lecture to, especially as she works herself ragged and drinks entirely too much.'
- James Garcia Jr., Dance on Fire [read the full review]
'Ms Russell uses short chapters to keep the pace steady while ramping up the suspense. The subplot twists with multiple points-of-view creates a complex story that reels the reader in'
- Barbara Martin, Barbara Martin Blog [read the full review]
'Leigh Russell does a good job of keeping her readers guessing. She also uses a deft hand developing her characters, especially the low-lifes... a good read'
- Marj Stuart, San Francisco Book Review [read the full review]
'a gritty page turner from the start'
- Louise Purser, Star Magazine [read the full review]
DI Geraldine Steel has a tough case on her hands after a series of nasty incidents. On top of the deadly events, Geraldine has a complicated love life to sort out. Leigh Russell's crime thriller is a gritty page turner from the start and features a host of unappealing characters
'Road Closed is a gripping, fast-paced read, pulling you in from the very first tense page and keeping you captivated right to the end with its refreshingly compelling and original narrative.'
- Sam Millar, New York Journal of Books [read the full review]
'A well-written, soundly plotted, psychologically acute story'
- Marcel Berlins, The Times [read the full review]
Leigh Russell’s second book, Road Closed, confirms her promise as a writer of tight, tense police procedurals. Her troubled heroine, Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel, too wedded to her job to form lasting relationships, inquires into a gas explosion that kills a man in his own house. Could it be murder? His wife is a suspect and Steel follows a link to a local household of dysfunctional criminals. This is a well-written, soundly plotted, psycho- logically acute story with nothing and no one too flamboyant or excessive, and none the worse for that. My only gripe is that Steel needs a touch of oomph to become a truly interesting character.
'New star of crime fiction, Leigh Russell's chilling psychological thriller is terrific & terrifying!'
- Clem Chambers
'A natural ability to build a solid plot and people in it with intriguing characters.'
- David Pitt, Booklist - review journal of the American Library Association. [read the full review]
Russell is relatively new to the mystery game, but she seems to have a natural ability to build a solid plot and people in it with intriguing characters. Fans of British mystery fiction would do well to check her out.
CRITICAL ACCLAIM for Cut Short
'A powerful ability to sweep you up into the story'
- CGD Libraries [read the full review]
'I found Cut Short to be a fantastic read, taking me only days to finish. I thought it to be well-written and well-paced, with a fresh batch of intriguing characters to go along with a fresh tight plot.'
- James Garcia Jr., Dance on Fire [read the full review]
'gritty and totally addictive debut novel'
- Sam Millar, New York Journal of Books
'Cut Short is a stylish, top-of-the-line crime tale, a seamless blending of psychological sophistication and gritty police procedure. And you're just plain going to love DI Geraldine Steel.'
- Jeffery Deaver
'Cut Short is not a comfortable read, but it is a compelling and important one. Highly recommended.'
- Radmila May, Mystery Women [read the full review]
Poor, sad lonely Jim – learning difficulties, speech impediment. Delusional paranoid schizophrenic, all right so long as he keeps taking his pills. But when he stops taking them, his only friend – a voice in his head called Miss Elsie – talks to him, urges him to keep clean, not to be dirty. But when he sees girls with long blonde hair he thinks dirty thoughts so he has to kill them to keep himself clean. First one girl, then another, then a third, their bodies placed in the local park.
The whole town of Woolsmarsh is paralysed while the local Murder Investigation Team searches for the killer. Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel, newly arrived in Woolsmarsh after the break up of a long relationship, is part of the team. She finds it difficult to settle in with new colleagues, particularly her acid-tongued boss Chief Detective Inspector Kathryn Grayson, who criticises Geraldine’s tendency to trust her own instincts which lead her to feel that vital clues are being overlooked and the investigation is on the wrong track. Meanwhile, Geraldine herself is the target of a stalker who points malicious graffiti around her flat. Eventually Geraldine’s instincts result in the identification of the killer before – but only just before – he kills again.
Much of this story is a detailed and meticulous procedural account of the police search for the killer, interspersed with Jim’s thoughts as he wanders the streets lost in the dreadful world of his own mind. It is this last which lifts Cut Short above the usual run of serial killer stories. Leigh Russell, whose first story this is, is a teacher working with pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties, and her own obvious knowledge of this area leads us to be aware not only of the tragedy of the murdered girls, their lives so dreadfully cut short, but of the tragedy of Jim himself with his child’s mind in the body of a strong young man, subject to urges he can neither understand nor control.
Cut Short is not a comfortable read, but it is a compelling and important one. Highly recommended.
'It's an easy read with the strength of the story at its core.......If you want to be swept along with the story above all else, Cut Short is certainly a novel for you''
- crimeficreader, itsacrime.typepad.com [read the full review]
'Russell paints a careful and intriguing portrait of a small British community while developing a compassionate and complex heroine who's sure to win fans.'
- Publisher's Weekly [read the full review]
CRITICAL ACCLAIM for Killer Plan
'The plot was excellent with plenty of twists and red herrings'
- Fiona Atley, newbooks [read the full review]
This is the seventh in a series, but perfectly readable on its own. Set in London it starts with the murder of Dave Robinson. We know who did it but not exactly why until later in the story. The detective assigned to the case is Geraldine Steel, a feisty yet sensitive officer who stops at nothing to solve the case. The plot was excellent with plenty of twists and red herrings. The last third of the story, involving the kidnap of a young boy was genuinely scary and made me hold my breath more than once.
There were a couple of sub plots which it might have been easier to follow if the whole series had been read, but it didn’t distract from the main plot. Geraldine’s past is referred to and we learn she hasn’t always had an easy time at the Met.
It’s always pleasing for me to find good British crime novels, it seems easier to follow when we can understand the acronyms and relate to the place names. This was definitely one of the better ones and I will be looking out for more from this author.
'a fast-paced Police Procedural and a compelling read'
- Carol Westron, Mystery People [read the full review]
‘Killer Plan’ by Leigh Russell
Published by No Exit Press, May 2015.ISBN: 978-1-84344-539-5
A chance meeting with an old classmate from her junior school days has terrible consequences for Caroline Robinson and her family: her husband is murdered and one of her twin sons is kidnapped. Caroline is plunged into a waking nightmare, unable to tell the police the truth about her husband's murder or that her child is missing, because she knows that to do so will implicate her in her husband's death.
Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel is certain that Caroline is lying about something, alt-hough she knows that Caroline and her twin sons have an alibi for the time of the murder. Geraldine is still struggling to establish herself in her new position in Serious Crime Com-mand in London and feels lonely and isolated because her usual sergeant is absent on sick leave. As she works on solving the death of Dave Robinson a new murder is committed, one which involves Geraldine's personal life, and she has to make the decision of whether to tell the whole truth about what she knows, even though it will destroy her career.
Russell handles with great skill the intricate emotional strands of the two women who both have knowledge that may solve a crime but are afraid to reveal it. The sections in the viewpoint of Caroline as she struggles to conceal the abduction of her child are particularly powerful and the chapters told in the viewpoint of Ed, the kidnapped ten-year-old boy are very moving.
Killer Plan is the seventh book in the Geraldine Steel series but it also works perfectly as a stand-alone book, with previous events and characters deftly explained without taking attention from the current investigation. Geraldine Steel is skilfully portrayed as a tough, ambitious and dedicated professional, who cares about the people she deals with, and is determined to keep her vulnerabilities well concealed. Killer Plan is a fast-paced Police Procedural and a compelling read.