Category: Leigh Russell

Deep Cover by Leigh Russell (Gerladine Steel 16)

Deep Cover Synopsis: When a sex worker dies in suspicious circumstances in York, Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel struggles to remain focused on the murder investigation: she is distracted by her worries about her colleague and life partner, Ian Peterson, who has disappeared. As Geraldine becomes close to her new DS, Matthew, she is unaware that Ian is working undercover in London, trying to identify a criminal gang who have been targeting her.

As a second victim is discovered in York, and Ian’s life is threatened by a psychopath the tension mounts. If he fails in his mission, both he and Geraldine may die…

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I absolutely love this series but for me it has had it’s ups and downs. When Geraldine got demoted I found that she seemed to shrink into herself and I felt like she was struggling. Once again with her working relationship with her colleague Ian went personal it was also a difficult time for her. It felt like she was so up and down and I never knew which version I was going to get. Following the end of the last book I wasn’t sure what would happen to Geraldine and Ian, however the opener of this book makes it perfectly clear. Geraldine is working a murder case however her focus is seriously tested as it seems Ian has upped and disappeared. A new colleague DS Matthew makes an entrance and I worried instantly that this may be where it all went wrong.

On the other side of the fence, Ian is now part of the Drugs squad in London and has chosen to work undercover. Unbeknown to Geraldine he is fighting this case in the hope he can resolve the issues between Geraldine and her sister Helen. I really thought you got to see Ian in a new light with this role and I absolutely loved this book. There is plenty of action and although you probably could read this as a standalone, knowing the back story means you as the reader are way more invested in the outcome. I read this in two days and was sad when it finished, however it made me look forward to the next book even more.

Evil Impulse by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel 15)

41r322r6FWL._SY346_ Synopsis: Living with her colleague and long time love interest, Detective Inspector Ian Peterson, it seems that Geraldine Steel has finally found happiness. But life is never that simple.

As a psychopath starts killing random women on the streets of York, Geraldine is abducted by a drugs syndicate who have been threatening her sister. Geraldine has everything to fight for, and her life is on the line…

My Rating: 3/5

My Review: I am shocked to realise I have been reading this series since its inception in 2009. It has now been going 12 years and in my opinion still has legs to run with. Not every book has been perfect but I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and still love the characters (even though I Geraldine has become somewhat lacking in confidence since her demotion). Gerladine is working the case following a number of murders of women all seemingly unrelated. The case itself I thought was a little slow in pace and although reasonably engaging I just felt lit lacked it’s normal sparkle.

I feel like some of it is Geraldine herself. Her relationship with Ian is up and down all the time, add to that the pressures of her sister Helena her mood is seemingly always down. I think this maybe felt a little too much like Geraldine was slightly chaotic and that’s not really what I associate with her as a character. The one thing I really liked was the ending and I feel like there will be more linked to Helena in the next book. Still a great series but this particular book wasn’t as good as some of the others in this series.

Deadly Revenge by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel #14)

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Synopsis: When a hysterical mother reports her baby’s sudden disappearance, suspicion immediately falls on the absent husband. But Detective Geraldine Steel’s gut instinct tells her this case is not as simple as her colleagues think…

Complications in the mother’s life begin to surface, including her relationship with her controlling father, a controversial political figure. As the police investigate, their urgent attempt to find the missing infant grows ever more perplexing.

Steel is forced to suspect everyone associated with the family and when a body is discovered, matters take a deadly turn.

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: It’s been way too long since I have read about Geraldine and figured it was high time I caught up. Geraldine and the team are working a case of a baby’s disappearance. It’s a strange case as the baby’s father Jason is apparently away for the weekend, except nobody who knows Jason knows anything about this so-called stag weekend he is meant to be on. Jason’s wife Jessica is hysterical, and it seems obvious from the early days that she is very controlled, but the question is by whom?

Before long the standard search procedures are interrupted by another murder linked directly to the case. The story hits the pace perfectly and you feel like you are back with old friends when Geraldine and Ian are working a case. It seems that Geraldine and Ian are still working things out on the personal front, but this makes for such an interesting thread that has run throughout the series and gives you a real glimpse into their personal lives.

This book was the perfect mix for me and was a real ‘who dunnit’ kind of book. I am also additionally pleased as I am binge reading a few series of books now and I know that I have book 15 in this series to read. Another cracking read and a series I would recommend.

Deathly Affair by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel #13)

41FSZ4aRssL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_ Synopsis:

When a homeless man is found strangled to death, Detective Sergeant Geraldine Steel is caught off guard by the cold-blooded nature of the crime. A second murder suggests the existence of a killer whose motive is as elusive as he is dangerous.

In an investigation plagued by police scepticism, only Geraldine is relentless in her pursuit of the truth. As she is forced down unexpected avenues into the lives of three people caught in a toxic triangle of love and deceit, she discovers there is more to this case than any of them could have imagined.

My Rating: 3/5 Continue reading “Deathly Affair by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel #13)”

Rogue Killer by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel 12)

41kMl3UvyYL Synopsis:

A man is killed in apparently random attack, and suspicion falls on a gang of muggers. Only Detective Sergeant Geraldine Steel thinks this is the work of a more deliberate murderer.

Two more victims are discovered, after further seemingly indiscriminate attacks. The muggers are tracked down, with tragic consequences. And all the while the killer remains at large. When Geraldine finally manages to track down a witness, she finds her own life is in danger…

My Rating: 3/5

My Review: I have been reading this series since the beginning and am definitely a fan, however this latest instalment I wasn’t that keen on, and I will tell you why. The main story features Gerladine in her position as DS following a demotion in York where her previous colleague Ian works. I feel like Geraldine has lost her mojo a little bit and for me it left me feeling like this book just didn’t fit with the Geraldine I have come to know and love.

When a man is killed the suspicion falls firmly at the feet of a gang of muggers. The main storyline was okay, but I felt like all of Geraldine’s colleagues are pretty simple and none of them cared all that much and had no oomph to get things done. This constantly distracted me from the usual feel of these books which is where everybody rolls their sleeves up and gets stuck in.

Don’t get me wrong, it certainly wasn’t a bad book, but for me at this point in the series I felt like Geraldine is at a bit of a crossroads and as such she has lost the sparkle of her personality. I am really hoping that things change for her as this left me scratching my head wondering where the real Geraldine was.

Death Rope by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel #11)

51KT1+YDdJL._SY346_ Synopsis: Mark Abbott is dead. His sister refuses to believe it was suicide, but only Detective Sergeant Geraldine Steel will listen.

When other members of Mark’s family disappear, Geraldine’s suspicions are confirmed.

Taking a risk, Geraldine finds herself confronted by an adversary deadlier than any she has faced before… Her boss Ian is close, but will he arrive in time to save her, or is this the end for Geraldine Steel?

My Rating: 4/5 Continue reading “Death Rope by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel #11)”

Class Murder by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel #10)

Synopsis: Geraldine Steel is back for her tenth case. Reunited in York with her former sergeant, Ian Peterson, she discovers that her tendency to bend the rules has consequences. The tables have turned, and now he’s the boss.

When two people are murdered, their only connection lies buried in the past. As police search for the elusive killer, another body is discovered. Pursuing her first investigation in York, Geraldine Steel struggles to solve the confusing case. How can she expose the killer, and rescue her shattered reputation, when all the witnesses are being murdered?

Kat’s Rating: 5/5 Continue reading “Class Murder by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel #10)”

Deadly Alibi by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel #9)

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Synopsis: Two murder victims and a suspect whose alibi appears open to doubt…. Geraldine Steel is plunged into a double murder investigation which threatens not only her career, but her life. And then her previously unknown twin Helena turns up, with problems which are about to make Geraldine’s life turn toxic in more ways than one!

*If you plan on reading the series in order please do not continue to read my review as it will inevitably contain spoilers*

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: Finally! I have been reading this series since its release and would definitely consider myself a fan. However Geraldine has been through the wringer and back and this book seems to answer a lot of questions. Geraldine was adopted and has a good relationship with her adopted sister Celia. However, upon discovering her real birth mother and then losing her the addition of finding out she has a twin sister leaves her reeling. In addition her twin sister is the polar opposite of Geraldine, being a drug user and addict and somebody that is determined to get what she can out of Geraldine. People may question why this is the first thing I mention about the book, but followers of the series will understand. I have enjoyed the last few books but have had a nagging feeling that certain things were left unresolved. That feeling has now gone and been replaced with excitement and what could happen in future books.

As for the cases Geraldine is working on, this time around there are two murder victims and it seems like a simple cut and dried case where the prime suspect is in custody however Geraldine knows that something doesn’t sit right with her. As usual her colleague Sam is by her side and together they work the case both methodically and thoroughly. To be honest the murder cases felt more like the secondary thread for me and Geraldine’s personal life was something that needed dealing with and Leigh Russell certainly did that in this latest instalment,

Because Geraldine’s sister has appeared it means her work on the murder case is hampered somewhat and towards the last quarter of the book the reader gets to see just how far this hampers her work. As a Detective that is so conscientious it makes for compelling reading as Geraldine is faced with situations she has never had to deal with before such as supporting the only family she has, the question is how far she is prepared to go. The book was a great addition to the series but I can say with quiet confidence that I am super excited to see what book 10 brings as I am crossing my fingers and hoping it brings Geraldine back to where she should have been all along. I am going to be waiting rather impatiently for the next one in the series.

Girl In Danger by Leigh Russell (Lucy Hall #2)

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Synopsis: Chasing a story, reporter Lucy Hall plunges into a desperate fight to save her own life.

Lucy Hall’s first summer in Paris promises to be idyllic. She’s fallen in love with the city and enjoys her new job as an investigative reporter. When her friend Nina comes to stay, the girls look forward to a wonderful summer. But Paris is a city of contrasts and Lucy is about to experience its dangerous side.

When an anonymous source promises her a scoop, Lucy can’t resist the chance to make her name. The deeply unsettling meeting with her informant indicates that there may be more at stake than she’d suspected. Returning home with questions instead of answers, Lucy finds her apartment ransacked and Nina gone.

Lucy knows her friend is in danger, but the police are unwilling to help. When her informant is found dead, she realises she may be next. Lucy has something the killer wants and he’ll do anything to get it back…

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

Kat’s Review: I read the first in the Lucy Hall series and enjoyed it, however they are certainly not the same as Leigh Russell’s series of books featuring Geraldine Steel. These are more mystery type of books and seem to be somewhat a slower pace. The first book in the Series Journey to Death I enjoyed and I thought it was a good introduction to Lucy. However, when we meet her in the second book she has moved to Paris to start a career as an Investigative Journalist. It becomes apparent pretty quickly that she is very new to it all and she takes every tip seriously in her quest to break into reporting. Her friend Nina visits her, however following an anonymous tip, when she returns home she finds her flat ransacked and her friend missing. 

The story moves along and she meets a man who seems willing to help her but Lucy can’t help but be wary as she isn’t sure who she can trust. We also see the story from Nina’s point of view, along with the main man who runs the criminal world in Paris. The reason I felt so indifferent with book 2 is that there were times it all felt a little repetitive. Although Lucy is a newbie, things fitted a little too neatly for her to ‘bag the story of her career’ and the subsequent chain of events lay just the wrong side of believable for me. 

Although I liked Lucy as a character I didn’t feel as connected to her in this book as much as I did the last one. Things seemed too well planned and this made me feel more indifferently about her than I did previously. The story was enjoyable enough and I think is probably a good alternative to those who don’t want hard hitting, gory or violent crime novels. For me I just couldn’t connect and as such didn’t feel it was one of Leigh’s stronger books.

Murder Ring by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel #8)

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Synopsis: ‘Hearing footsteps pounding along the street behind him he glanced back, fleetingly worried, then laughed because the street was deserted. All the same, he felt uneasy. Everything looked different in the dark. 

Then he heard more footsteps approaching, and a hoarse voice called out. Turning his head, he made out a figure hovering in the shadows and as it raised one arm, the barrel of a gun glinted in the moonlight…’ 

The dead body of unassuming David Lester is discovered in a dark side-street, and DI Geraldine Steel is plunged into another murder investigation. The clues mount up along with the suspects, but with the death of another man in inexplicable circumstances, the case becomes increasingly complex. As Geraldine investigates the seemingly unrelated crimes, she makes a shocking discovery about her birth mother.

KAT’S RATING: 4/5

KAT’S REVIEW: First off, although this is book 8 in a series featuring Geraldine Steel, this book could certainly be read as a stand alone. I love this series and Leigh Russell has written a believable and likeable character with Geraldine. However, I have some niggles with the last and current book in that I feel like I am waiting for something to happen on her personal life front. A lot has happened with Geraldine over the last few books and currently it feels like she is in a little bit of a rut. Hopefully the next book will see a change in that. One of the reasons is that Geraldine has been searching for her Birth Mother for some time. This issue is addressed in this latest installment, however by the end of the book there are also additional threads opening up so hopefully this will show us a whole new element to Geraldine in the next installment.

That aside, Geraldine is thrown into a new murder case following the discovery of David Lester’s body. When he is found in a side alley it initially seems that it was a mugging gone wrong, however soon becomes apparent that it was no simple robbery. Geraldine’s colleague Sam returns as does a new DCI who is looking to solve this case quickly to prove he is the right man for the job. The plot is well paced and as the story progresses we see multiple suspects emerge from the woodwork.

The book is certainly an easy read and the series is still one I thoroughly enjoy. I hope that in future books we get to see a balance between work and personal life as at the moment this is the only element of this book that doesn’t feel right. I would also love to see additional characters help add to the team that Geraldine works with. I would definitely recommend this series as I think Gerladine is an interesting and very readable character. I always look forward to what comes next in the series and the same applies now.