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on 30 December 2013
I've enjoyed Leigh Russell's books but it's about time the format was changed, this most recent one is a step too far. All the stories are basically the same - so by now surely even the dozy Ms Steel should realise she is going to end up in danger having failed to see the baddie staring her in the face, not to mention disregarding common sense and police procedures and going to places alone and without back-up. Yet still she is saved in the nick of time. Yawn. Please change the record - I like the characters but a new plot would be a good idea.
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on 4 February 2014
Yet again, another great mystery and murder book from Leigh Russell. Twists and turns at every page. I didn't guess whodunit in this one so I sort of enjoyed it more. Keep 'em coming!
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Fatal Act – Excellent thriller

Fatal Act by Leigh Russell is the sixth outing for Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel but my first time reading of anything by Russell. I can say I really enjoyed reading the story, the plot is strong and the writing just flows with style and panache. One of the advantages of Fatal Act is for a thriller it could be looked at as a short story with just 320 pages so there is no overblown descriptions and the story is kept moving.

DI Geraldine Steel and her Sergeant Sam Haley are called out to a fatal road crash both wondering why traffic are not investigating. A Porsche has been completely totalled when it hit a black transit van on a one way street. The Porsche drive is in the car but there is no sign of the van driver, the driver seems to have disappeared in to thin air.

They find that the person killed is an up and coming actress in a TV series, and that the van that killed her is owned by her boyfriend, director and casting director Piers Trevelyan. Trevelyan becomes the obvious suspect and so that is how the investigation starts and everything points towards his guilt. When another starlet is murdered on a bridge once again associated with Trevelyan he is looking as guilty as hell. With both investigations the CCTV shows a tall woman who just seems to disappear, vanishes in to thin air. It is when Zac, Trevelyan’s son is murdered that the question is asked who actually wants to see Trevelyan punished for something.

As the investigation gets longer the list of suspects does not really expand from one, but not being able to see what is already in front of her will put her sergeant in the way of trouble and could cost them both their lives. The clues are there will you see them before DI Steel? Well you will have to read Fatal Act to find out.
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on 3 June 2014
I was only a couple of minutes into this book when my heart sank; as in the previous book, the DS behaved like a teenager on work experience rather than a police officer and, perhaps worse, the DI fondly indulged her silly tantrums. The niece, Chloe, has become a shadowy figure who should either be included in Geraldine's life, and therefore the stories, or not be mentioned. The relationship with Peterson is not even mysterious and should be finalised one way or another. Introducing a potential relationship with Nick could have worked well but, again, wasn't explored. Last one for me!
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on 31 March 2014
A young actress has died in a car crash but there appears to be no sign of the other driver. Then another actress dies and the police realize they have a murderer to find who leaves no traces.
The story is set around Geraldine Steel and her sergeant Sam Haley. Haley is junior and the reader is told this on lots of occasions, but she has a good relationship with Geraldine.
I have enjoyed all of the Geraldine Steel series, this is the sixth case and this did not disappoint. There were lots of twists and turns – it took me to the end to discover who the killer was.
This kept me gripped until the final page. The series just gets better and better.

Even if the reader has not read any of the other books in the series, they can follow the characters.

Leigh Russell writes well and her short paragraphs keep this story going at a quick pace. This would make a great holiday read to devour in one go on your sunbed.

I am looking forward to the next book in the series already.
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on 6 July 2014
Fatal Act is the sixth book in the Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel series and the third Leigh Russell book I've read ...... and I think this is the best of them.

When a TV soap star is killed in a car crash it seems like an accident at first but it then becomes clear that she was murdered. Her older lover is the main suspect, especially when another young actress who was known to him is also murdered.

For Geraldine work gave her life meaning and purpose and she has to juggle her personal life with her professional life to uncover how the killer managed to disappear from the crime scenes like the invisible man (or woman).

The storyline was well paced without being too exciting, it had a steady feel to it, a page turner nearing the end, strong characters and a good mystery all add up to an above average thriller.
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on 28 February 2015
I've been reading these books as in order and this one didn't disappoint. Geraldine is still working in london and seeing less of her family but she is making more friends in the force. It's a good plot and kept me guessing right to the end again. Great read. I hope there is a book seven.
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on 17 March 2014
Having followed Geraldine Steel from Leigh Russell's first book, 'Cut Short,' I really feel I am getting a clear picture of Geraldine Steel's character, just as in life, it can take a while before you get to know somebody. The storyline this time enters the world of acting and provides a good platform for a story of what appears to be a series of murders that should have been impossible for the killer to get away.
I particularly like the added interest of her link with her old sergeant, who now has his own series of books.
If you haven't yet read any Leigh Russell, with spring and summer coming, I recommend you buy them all to read in the garden and on holidays.
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VINE VOICEon 7 May 2014
I had a dilemma when I received Fatal Act for review from Real Readers. This is the sixth book in the series and I had previously purchased the earlier five books for my Kindle but hadn't yet got round to reading them. Rather than delay the review of this until I had read the other 5, I decided to just jump in, knowing that I would no doubt be missing a back story. Actually, it didn't really matter at all that I hadn't read the previous stories - this can be read as a standalone.

This story begins when Anna Porter, a young actress, is found dead in her Porsche after an apparent collision with a van, however there is no sign of the other driver who has simply vanished. What is initially thought to be a routine traffic accident turns into a suspected murder after further investigations reveal some disturbing facts. When another young actress is later found dead, also in suspicious circumstances, DI Geraldine Steel and her team find themselves looking for a killer who doesn't leave any clues behind and leaves them struggling to find a suspect.

This is a competently written police procedural mystery. The short chapters make it an easy read and certainly for the first and the final parts of the story, the tension and pace is there. Geraldine seems to be a complicated character; she is good at her job and often acts on instinct even if it means going against her superiors but she is difficult to get to know; she appears to be a loner who prefers to keep her distance. This may well be explained in her history which I have yet to discover.

Although I enjoyed the book, I wasn't wholly convinced by the professional relationship between Geraldine and her female sergeant Sam Haley. Sam's attitude seemed a little unrealistic - would a sergeant really behave in such an offhand and sometimes disrespectful manner with their DI?

The plot was cleverly constructed although I did correctly guess the identity of the killer part way through. The book kept my interest even when the story did start to flag a little in the middle but it picked up pace again towards the end. I will get round to reading the previous books in the series and hopefully all will become clear concerning Geraldine's history and character.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 March 2014
I have read all of the books in the Geraldine Steel series and this is the 6th book in the series. The series has changed somewhat with her colleague Ian Peterson leaving Geraldine (and now having his own series of books), and Geraldine relocating to London. This latest book starts off with a particularly exciting scene involving a glamorous young TV star who dies in a fatal road accident. When Geraldine is called in it appears to be a standard collision, except for the fact that the driver of the other vehicle appears to have vanished into thin air.

At first I was completely caught up in the story and it all felt like we were back in the middle of an exciting case. Sadly, a few more chapters in, and it kind of felt like it came to a bit of a standstill. I am most definitely a fan of this series but felt like this book was a little bit safe and it seemed we were veering into familiar territory. There was quite a bit of detail while the officers involved followed the case and we certainly see Geraldine interact with her new colleagues including Nick and Sam. We also see a brief appearance if Ian Peterson, and if I’m honest it felt like Geraldine and him just ‘worked’ and as soon as we went back to present day I found myself feeling uncomfortable again.

I think this latest story (although not a bad read) was a little too predictable and certainly laying too much on the safe side. The series having now split Geraldine and Ian Peterson leaves me still undecided about how well it works. I really enjoyed the last Geraldine Steel book (which didn’t include Ian Peterson, but this one just didn’t sit well with me. I feel like the characters are still finding their feet and I’m hoping that the next instalment feels more right than this one. I am most definitely a fan of these books and think that Leigh Russell is a talented writer. Whether or not the split in the series was a good move or not? I’m still undecided. I can only hope that the next books in the respective series put me right.
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