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on 9 April 2011
Cut Short by Leigh Russell is the first in the series of books about DI Gerladine Steel.I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and found it hard to put down.I can relate to Geraldine and her character is an enthralling heroine of real substance.I love crime thrillers and this was pacey,real and exciting.I am looking forward to Road Closed and Dead End.I love the style of Leigh Russell and had not come across her books before.I shall certainly be buying more of her crime thrillers!Thankyou Leigh for highly enjoyable read.
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on 5 December 2010
I found Cut Short to be a delight from start to finish with the most perfectly comprehensive final three sentences ever. I finished this novel and was disappointed that I couldn't immediately pick up Leigh Russell's next novel. Make sure you buy both at the same time so you don't have to wait to start the next one.
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on 12 June 2011
Cut Short is the debut novel by Leigh Russell, featuring DI Geraldine Steel. I am an avid reader of a wide range of novels, and this book has put Leigh Russell straight on to my list of favourite authors.

Cut Short is an extremely well-written pyschological crime thriller, which introduces us to DI Geraldine Steel. There is a good balance of the crime/thriller elements of the story with the personal life of Geraldine. As an ex-WPC I found the police procedures very realistic, and feel the book gave a good insight into the life of a modern day female Detective Inspector, as well as being an exciting and intruiging "who-dunnit".

I would throughly recommend Cut Short and it's follow-ups) to anyone who enjoys a good crime/thriller, and am sure that more readers will be adding Leigh Russell to their "favourites" list!
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on 6 July 2013
A believable main character, who is fleshed out more as time goes on in the series.
Good plot with plenty of clues and red herrings to keep us guessing.
I'd like more of a sense of place, I don't know anything about this area of Britain and would like some more descriptive narrantive.
Worth getting
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A woman's body is discovered in a park and Geraldine Steel is part of the team investigating the murder. But Geraldine has her own problems when she thinks she recognises one of the men delivering her new washing machine. There are tensions within the investigation team and Geraldine wonders if she has a stalker herself when graffiti starts to appear around the block of flats where she lives and her car is damaged. A second body with no apparent connection to the first makes the team think they have a serial killer on their hands and the pace hots up in an attempt to catch the killer before her strikes again.

This book is very well written and the plot never flags. I liked Geraldine - partly because she is a fallible human being who makes some bad judgements in the course of the investigation and in connection with her own life. I thought all the characters were well drawn, particularly the killer himself. I especially liked that there was very little violence in the story which in my opinion actually made it even more frightening than if each murder had been described in graphic detail.

If you like your crime novels with an intriguing plot and realistic characters who you can relate to then this author is one to try and I shall definitely be reading the next one in the series.
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on 20 February 2015
This a well written book with a great storyline.
All the characters are "real" and fully developed, you really get to know them as the book progresses.
Knowing from quite early on who the killer is does not spoil the enjoy of this book. In fact it adds to the interest as the police investigation continues with false hopes and trails.
I can recommend this book and hope that other books in the series maintain the standard of first.
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on 5 May 2013
I really enjoyed this book it had you thinking from the start. What a brilliant book.
I recommend you read this book.
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on 8 July 2015
My journey to this author was courtesy of author Simon Duringer ("The Word" and "Stray Bullet") and an excellent interview he did with her for Chorley FM a few months ago.My first book in this genre by a female author who's style puts you in the heart and mind of the characters.The psychological story of "Jim" is subtly woven into this murder thriller page turner that gripped me to final (352) page.With at least four more installments,Geraldine Steel replaces DJ Harrison's "Jenny Parker" on my "must read" next list!
John Winstanley.
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on 23 April 2016
What's it about?

When DI 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...

My thoughts

I met Leigh last month at the Blogger / Author meet up in London where she asked if I'd be interested in reading and reviewing one of her books. Published in 2009 I chose the first in her DI Geraldine Steel mysteries Cut Short.

From the cover I assumed it would be a lot darker than my usual type of crime read, and I'm pleased to report that it was right up my street and wasn't overly graphic in the details of the killings. I don't really like to read anything more horrific than say if I'm watching an episode of CSI or Silent Witness.

I read the book in under 48 hours which is pretty fast for me. With short chapters that move at a good pace it makes for a relatively quick read.

I initially liked Geraldine's character but I didn't like her constant drinking in the evenings in replacement of a decent meal. I would like to see a female taking the lead in a perceived male orientated career, succeed and not be a total mess behind the scenes. I was asking why she couldn't be successful in her worklife as well as home....anyway maybe that'll come later in the series...I hope so!

I also liked that we have chapters from the points of view of prospective and intended victims, as a reader you're aware of what could happen and you're praying for them that they just don't take that turn......

I had a small issue with knowing who the killer was from the start; meaning the book is the reader following the detective through the investigation. I do think I'm one of those readers that likes to try and have a go at picking out clues, figuring it out and at least have a stab at who the killer may be.

Overall, I enjoyed this and would like to read more of this series to a) see how Leigh has developed as an author and b) to see how Geraldine progresses and find out if she ever puts her DCI in her place!

This book reminded me of Normal by Graeme Cameron and The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza so if you liked these, maybe try Cut Short as your next read.
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on 27 April 2014
D.I. Geraldine Steel has just been dumped by her boyfriend and feeling miserable, she changes home and goes to live in another town, to start a new life. In the process she is assigned to another police station where she meets D.S. Ian Peterson, her new colleague.

The small town of Woolsmarsh is relatively quiet and Geraldine wasn't surely expecting to be immediately involved in the investigation of a murder case of unimaginable horror. A strangler is on the loose. A young woman is found murdered in the local park.

When another victim is found, the whole town is terrorised and everyone is afraid to wander out after dark. Under the strict supervision of DCI Kathryn Gordon, Geraldine and her team are under great pressure to apprehend the strangler as soon as possible before he claims even more victims. Pressure is also imposed by the town's women who are furious at the police's inability to catch the killer.

A witness comes forward but with just a vague description of the killer, the investigation is very slow going. Desperate for a lead, Geraldine focuses all her attention on the case without realising that she herself is the target of somebody else's vengeful mind.

I found the story a bit slow going and some characters lack depth, however for a debut novel it is extremely good. It contains some very suspenseful, Hitchcock style chapters, especially towards the end. I liked the author's use of very short sentences and her ability of bringing together characters who at the beginning seem to have no connection with each other. I enjoyed reading this book and will surely read the rest of the series.
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