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!
The story itself is paced well and we get to see the people committing the burglaries from the very beginning. Although we know who is committing certain crimes, as the story progresses there are other threads that begin to intertwine and as a reader you end up coming to different conclusions with each thread brought in. It is cleverly written and I liked the fact that although we see the criminals, you also get to see what I consider `real' police work being done. We don't see the lead character break all the rules and go it alone, only to solve the case miraculously with no help whatsoever...refreshing!
We again see her colleague Ian Peterson from the first book as they work together on the case in hand. We do get to see a bit more of him which I liked, but I can't help but feel there is so much more to him than meets the eye and I would love to see him a lot more in book 3.
In addition to Geraldine, Ian and the criminals we also get to see some of the victims of the crime brought into the story. This added another element to the story and enabled the plots to cross over ending in a very good story overall.
I read this book in no time at all and although maybe not the perfect 10, I really do feel that Leigh Russell is well on her way to creating a very successful series of books featuring DI Steel. I can't wait for the next one and would recommend that you read both books in succession.