Tag: Geraldine Steel Series

Stop Dead by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel #5)

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My Rating: 4/5

I couldn’t believe it was yet again time for another Geraldine Steel instalment and I was even more excited than usual thanks to getting an early review copy of it. I must say the first thing I loved about this book was the cover; they are brilliant and most certainly eye catching. Geraldine Steel is a Detective Inspector who has recently relocated to London. In the last book (Death Bed) she was thrown straight into a murder investigation and this book picks up a few weeks later. Geraldine is only just getting over the paperwork involved in her last case when she is thrown straight into a new one.

It all starts with the discovery of a successful businessman being found dead in his car. His death is particularly brutal and Geraldine has a lot of work on her hands. The businessman’s wife was involved in an affair so instantly becomes a suspect, as does her lover. As soon as Geraldine gets stick into the new case, the original murder victim’s business partner winds up dead although the two cases don’t seem to be related. They discover DNA which leads them only to a woman serving life in prison, and another woman who is dead.

In the last book, I felt like I was getting to know a whole new host of characters what with Geraldine’s relocation. This made this current book a little easier, as we see the return of Geraldine’s colleague Sam. Although Sam is featured quite heavily, I still miss Ian Peterson who was a colleague of Geraldine’s before she moved. The last book for me focused more on Geraldine as a person and this one was the polar opposite. At the halfway mark I had decided who was the murderer, and then subsequently changed my mind at least three times! This latest Russell novel was what I would call a real murder mystery. It was all the things a mystery should be, intriguing, enthralling, tense and utterly absorbing!

Although I loved this book it still wasn’t quite as good as book 3 (Dead End). There is one major sticking point for me which is the storyline regarding Geraldine’s birth mother. I’m not one for plot spoilers but I am getting impatient to find out more!!! Other than the fact that I miss Ian Peterson and her old colleagues, this latest Steel instalment was great. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am now eagerly awaiting the next one.

Death Bed by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel #4)

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My Rating: 4/5

I have read each of the books in this series and was looking forward to this one which is book 4 of the series. However, with the relocation of Geraldine to London I found myself feeling like we were back at the beginning in a certain sense.

After finishing book 3 which I loved and rated a full 5 out of 5, I had high expectations and I think the new setting may have thrown me slightly. Geraldine is once again on uncertain ground as she tries to get to grips with her new role and new colleagues. I loved Ian Peterson, an ex-colleague of Geraldine’s but found myself being introduced to a new sergeant that she will be working with (who I am undecided about at the moment).

When Geraldine is assigned to work on a case, she doesn’t realise the potential media impact, as the case could have a racist element to it. The story itself was as usual a good one, and the descriptive gruesomeness of some scenes was brilliant. However, I think that after finishing this book there were some elements missing. I feel like just as I was getting to know characters and Geraldine’s setting, we are thrown in with new settings and characters which made me feel like it was harder work than it should have been.

I also think that because of all of that, the actual crimes that were taking place seemed to take a bit of a back seat for me. Towards the end of the book the pace was picked up, but there was an element of it being wrapped up too neatly at the end for my liking.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and loved re-visiting a character I have grown to look forward to reading about. I just wish that I didn’t feel like we have gone back a few steps with the character, and can only hope that I grow to like Geraldine’s new colleagues as much as the old!

Dead End by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel #3)

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My Rating: 5/5

In Leigh Russell’s third installment of ‘DI Geraldine Steel’ Series we once again see Geralding thrown into a messy and disturbing case. In this particular book, headmistress Abigail Kirby is found dead in a park, but in this instance it seems that her tongue has been cut out. DI Geraldine Steel, along with her colleague Ian Peterson are put on the case, and when a potential witness is blinded and murdered, the case seems to get out of control.

I admit that I am a sucker when it comes to ‘series’ featuring the same people. In particular I liked Leifh Russell as I have read each of her books from her debut novel ‘Road Closed’. This time around the writing is so much better as the story flows so easily. LeighRussell is a writer that is going from strength to strength with every book she writes.

I found that in the first book we didn’t learn enough about Geraldine herself, or the people she worked with. In this book Geraldine’s personal life seems to run alongside her career and we get to see the more emotional side to her which I loved. We also see a lot more of Ian Peterson and this is a true testemant to how much better this book is than her first.

The characters have developed so much more and as reader you feel like you are taking their life journey with them. Geraldine is far from perfect but is a complete workaholic who has some serious personal issues that can sometimes affect her judgement. It is things like this that add the touch of realism to this book.

The crimes in the book are as ususal gruesome and bloody, and extremely well detailed, without being too over the top. We see the workings of real police who make some huge errors along the way (which is always nice).

I only have one criticism about the book and that is that I had a sneaking suspicion of the killer around halfway through. Having said that, I do that with many of the books I read. Apart from being suspicious (and then being correct in my assumption) this book is absolutely, 100% the best book Leigh Russell has written so far. I am now eagerly awaiting the next installment and there were major parts of Geraldine’s life that are unanswered and I realloy need to know more about.

Thoroughly reccommended and I truly think that Leigh Russell has now created a series that can rival other major crime writers out there. I would suggest starting at book one and working your way through as by the time you get to this one you will be itching to read book 4. Can’t wait for the next one!

Road Closed by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel #2)

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My Rating: 4/5

When I read Leigh Russell’s first book Cut Short, I enjoyed it but felt like the reader didn’t get to know enough about the characters. This was my main gripe with an otherwise really enjoyable debut novel. I had high hopes for the second instalment and thankfully I wasn’t disappointed. Having said that I think we have yet to see Leigh Russell’s finest work and next year I think book 3 will show that. It almost feels like with each book you read you are building up to the bigger picture of Geraldine’s life.

Initially I felt like again we weren’t seeing the real Geraldine and I was getting frustrated. However, by the time I finished this book I realised that this is perfect character building. She is a far from perfect person but is dedicated to her job. We see a lot more of her personal life in this book and it has given Leigh Russell a great platform for book three with a shock twist from Geraldine’s past. I realised by the end that this type of writing just made me want to pick up another book and read more about her, perfect tactics Ms Russell!

Cut Short by Leigh Russell (Geraldine Steel #1)

226x346 (3)My Rating: 3/5

I read this book based on its review for a book that I may have normally overlooked. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the book and found that it got a lot better the further into the book I got. The beginning was a little slow but picked up pace. As a reader I wanted to know a lot more about the character. In this debut novel we meet Geraldine Steel who has taken a DI position in Woolmarsh. She is thrown into the deep end with a serial killer on the loose who is preying on young girls walking in the nearby park. The great thing about this book is we see the serial killers actions as well as that of the police. We meet Geraldine’s boss Kathryn Gordon and her colleague Ian Peterson. The only thing I would say is that I am hoping in the follow up we find out more about Kathryn and Ian, as well as finding out a lot more about Geraldine herself. Would definitely recommend.