Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cut Short by Leigh Russell Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Cut Short

by Leigh Russell

on Tour Nov 25 - Dec 31, 2013

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery & Detective; Women Sleuths Published by: HarperCollins Publication Date: Nov 26, 2013 Number of Pages: 300 ISBN: 9780062325594 Purchase Links:


The park - a place where children play, friends sit and gossip and people walk their dogs. But in the shadows, a predator watches, waits - and chooses his first victim. But someone has seen the killer and come forward as a witness - someone who the killer must stop at all costs. For detective Geraldine Steele it is a race against time to find the killer as two more bodies are found. A gripping psychological thriller introducing Geraldine Steel, a woman whose past is threatening to collide with her future.

Read an excerpt:

He scrabbled at brittle leaves with clumsy gloved fingers then, crouching low, wriggled through the bushes. He glanced around to make sure no one was watching before he trudged away along the path. He'd been clever, careful to leave no clues. No one would find her in the park. It was his secret, his and hers, and she wouldn't tell. He had no idea who she was, and that was clever too. It meant she didn't know who he was. He hadn't chosen her because she was pretty. He hadn't chosen her at all. She was just there. But she was pretty and he liked that. No woman had looked at him since school; she had stared into his eyes. She only said one word, 'No!' but she was speaking to him and he knew this was intimacy, just the two of them. It was a pity he wouldn't see her again, but there would be others. It was raining hard. He sang softly, because you never knew who was listening. 'Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven, like the first dew fall, on the first grass, praise for the sweetness of the wet garden...' The rain would wash her clean.

Author Bio:

Leigh Russell studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in English. For many years a secondary school English teacher, she is a creative writing tutor for adults. She is married, has two daughters, and lives in North West London. Her first novel, Cut Short, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award in 2010. This was followed by Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead and Fatal Act, in the Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel series. Cold Sacrifice is the first title in a spin off series featuring Geraldine Steel's sergeant, Ian Peterson.

Guest Post:
The Pursuit of Justice

My first visit to New York took place when a group of us flew there from the UK in October 2001 in a demonstration of solidarity with America after 9/11. The trip had been planned and booked a few months earlier. When someone asked if it might be wise to postpone our visit in the light of the terrorist alert, there was only one answer. It was a poignant trip. New York was uncannily quiet. There were no queues to enter art galleries or museums, but we passed several lines of people waiting patiently to be searched by security guards before they were allowed into work. It was a moving experience. Everyone we met appreciated our presence, many with tears in their eyes. However atrocious the circumstances, we shared a profound understanding that life goes on for those who are left behind in the wake of man made disasters. If we crumble, we allow the forces of evil to triumph.

It seems to me that a passionate commitment to justice is one of the reasons crime fiction has such a huge and enduring appeal. However disturbing the events depicted in a novel, we know that by the end of the book some sort of moral order will be restored. But, as Geraldine Steel's sergeant says, 'The act of murder signified so much more than one terrible death; it triggered worlds of unseen suffering.' In fiction, as in life, it is easy to overlook the other victims in a murder. Because we all know that when someone you love dies, part of your own life is irretrievably lost. A murder affects not only the individual who is killed, but everyone who knew them and cared for them.  And for many of the characters in my books, life has to go on, just as it did for those living in the shadow of 9/11. In my writing I try to consider those characters who are left behind to suffer in the wake of a tragedy.

My detective, Geraldine Steel, is driven by her passion for justice. 'Just because the dead have no voice, doesn't mean they have no rights,' she says. Acting as a kind of advocate for murder victims, she is focused on tracking down their killers. Of course, as in life, the resolution of Geraldine's cases is not always completely straightforward. Not all of the killers she brings to trial are purely evil. They may be crazy, damaged people. In some ways they are also victims, of society, of their upbringing, of mental illness or drugs. But Geraldine is unwavering in her commitment to justice. Having seen the bodies of one killer's victims, 'She didn't want to understand him. She only wanted to know he was securely behind bars so he couldn't destroy more lives.'

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1 comment:

  1. What an interesting backstory to this author's series character. Thanks for sharing!