Today it is my absolute pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for Rogue Killer by Leigh Russell, the latest book in the Geraldine Steel series. I’m a late comer to the series but really enjoying it and watching Geraldine as she tries to settle in her new home of York. My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the tour and to publishers No Exit Press who provided an advance copy for review. Here is what the book is all about.
The Bookish Bits
The new novel in the million-copy selling Detective Geraldine Steel series
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…
For fans of Martina Cole, Mel Sherratt and LJ Ross
Look out for more DI Geraldine Steel investigations in Cut Short, Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead, Fatal Act, Killer Plan, Murder Ring, Deadly Alibi, Class Murder and Death Rope, plus the special Christmas short story, Killer Christmas
Don’t miss the DI Ian Peterson series: Cold Sacrifice, Race to Death and Blood Axe
There is a killer on the streets of York, someone so brazen and vicious that they stalk and attack their victims without fear, confident that the police will never be able to catch them. And it appears they could be right. In spite of having clear DNA evidence, the police are unable to trace the killer, and with the powers that be convinced that the deaths are simply a case of a mugging gone wrong, Geraldine appears to be the only officer convinced that something more sinister is in play.
What I love about this series is the way in which Leigh Russell always manages to create a scene and a story full of tension and mystery from the very beginning. In this case we are privy to the immediate aftermath of the first murder, a case which is soon to haunt Geraldine and her fellow officers. The death is bloody and violent, but driven by the killers inner thoughts and our imaginations only. The actual deed is kept largely off the page. That is the beauty of the books in the series. they deal in very serious subjects, and quite disturbing murders in some cases, but the reader is at the heart of the action without being at the centre of the terror to. A perfect balance.
The other key to this series success, something which shines through once more in this book, is the way in which characters are created and developed with each story. While long term readers will know Geraldine Steel and her DI, Ian Peterson, we are still getting to know the team around them and yet after just a few books they already feel familiar to me. And it’s not just the Detectives who feel familiar. Leigh Russell is so adept at bringing her characters to life that in just a few paragraphs you have a real feel for them all, be they murderer or potential victim. In this case, it was the dynamic between the three muggers, Daryl, Carver and Nelson, which struck me the most. that kind of sense of entitlement from the older boys and the need to belong mixed with the fear of being caught that emanates from Daryl. It beings that level of authenticity to the story and plays with the readers emotions as I found myself torn between a desire for justice and a kind of feeling of the inevitability of what was going to transpire.
And then there is the killer. A dark and very dangerous individual. You can feel the tension creep in whenever they appear on the page, and the level of pleasure they take from their kills is quite disturbing but also compelling. You want to read on to see how far they will go and if they will be caught. They seem pretty confident that’s not going to happen and as a reader I could believe it. We are given some insight into their background through their memories, but no clue as to who they might actually be. There are red herrings littered in amongst what you know by the end of the book to be some very clearly dropped clues. You have to be quite canny to pick up on them at first pass though.
Thankfully for the reader, and the innocent folk of York, canny is the one thing that Geraldine excels at. She is the only dissenting voice in a team determined to find the muggers guilty of murder. I love Geraldine’s determination, but also that sense of vulnerability that comes from her from time to time. One minute she is dogged and certain, the next she is doubting herself and struggling with the dynamic of her enforced demotion and transfer. I also loved seeing her internal battle as she struggles with her growing feelings for Ian. They are close friends but is it conceivable that it can ever be anything more? Maybe, maybe not. I guess we’re all going to have to keep reading to find that one out.
This book is a brilliant example of a police thriller with a series of dark and twisted murders at its heart. Full of tension, misdirection and blend of drama and humour, it will play with your emotions too. There are heart stopping moments where characters, especially Geraldine, are pushed right to the edge that make you question if you would react in the same way. Equally there are those moments of inevitability which made me pause for a moment and think about the senseless loss of life, so sadly representative of modern society. And above all of this, it’s just a bloody good story.
About the Author
Leigh Russell is the author of the internationally bestselling Geraldine Steel series: Cut Short, Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead, Fatal Act, Killer Plan, Murder Ring, Deadly Alibi, Class Murder and Death Rope. The series has sold over a million copies worldwide. Cut Short was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association (CWA) John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award, and Leigh has been longlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award. Her books have been #1 on Amazon Kindle and iTunes with Stop Dead and Murder Ring selected as finalists for The People’s Book Prize. Leigh is chair of the CWA’s Debut Dagger Award judging panel and is a Royal Literary Fellow. Leigh studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in English and American Literature. She is married with two daughters and a granddaughter, and lives in London.
Author Links: Twitter | Website
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