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Russell, Leigh - 'Road Closed'
Paperback: 352 pages (June 2010) Publisher: No Exit Press ISBN: 184243344X

ROAD CLOSED is the second book by Leigh Russell, and the second featuring Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel. If you enjoyed CUT SHORT, Russell's first book, you will find this one even more tense and gripping.

Well-written and absorbing right from the get-go, with just the right amount of guess-work for the reader. My only criticism is that it is too interesting and I read it far too quickly!

Work continues to go well for Geraldine. She is good at what she does and is a dedicated member of the murder team. ROAD CLOSED sees her initially involved in a suspicious death that seems to be part of a suspected arson attack but soon turns out to be one of a series that may be connected to a frustratingly long-running spate of thefts in the area. As seems to be increasingly the norm for busy career women these days, Geraldine's personal life leaves a lot to be desired, and there are a few nasty shocks waiting for her fans in this regard. Geraldine takes solace in the fact she has a nice flat, a good job, and the odd bottle of wine to enjoy in the evening. She immerses herself in her work and puts a brave face on it, when a simple day off would surely do her so much good.

Unlike CUT SHORT, the killer is not as immediately obvious to the reader this time round. When the murder team finally start to make progress, they are thwarted by the, strangely coincidental, violent deaths of several of their key witnesses. Tension slowly builds and you start to get an idea of who might be behind the grisly mess as the pace picks up and more people get hurt. The last thirty pages or so tie everything up beautifully, with an exhilarating climax that you don't see coming until it is too late and there is nothing you can do to help but continue to read…

I am an avid fan of this new author and her work. Geraldine is a gifted, strong and likeable character, although her personal life and ability to select rubbish men just makes me sad. I am hoping she will find her soul mate in the next book – but have to wait for ages to find out!

Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland
July 2010

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 16/07/2010 19:11