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Sunday 6 September 2009

Cut Short

By Leigh Russell

This is my kind of book; intelligently written, gripping crime fiction.

The crime, and its detection, are at the heart of the story, but rather than just being plot-driven, the novel is also notable for its large cast of well-drawn characters.

The intricacy of the plot relies on a delicate placing of events and characters. Nothing is wasted and nothing feels out of place.

There is an extra something – almost undefinable – that lifts Cut Short above the run of the mill. In particular, it has a clever and unexpected extra plot strand which leads to a genuine surprise at the end when it is eventually revealed. This lifts it above the ordinary and makes the story both poignant and haunting, providing a truly memorable read.

This novel also has great atmosphere and sense of place. The reader really gets to know the place where it is set and that knowledge adds depth to the plot. It really matters to the protagonists where certain events happen – and so it matters to the reader as well.

The characters do not exist just to further the plot, but are vividly painted and memorable. The young girls who become victims are not just victims – they are real people with reasons to be grieved. DI Geraldine Steel is a gripping main character who increases the reader’s empathy and interest in the plot. I also really enjoyed the skilfully created character of DCI Kathryn Gordon and the realistic interaction between Geraldine and other members of the investigating team.

I’m sure that, like me, you will enjoy Cut Short and look forward to Leigh Russell’s forthcoming books Road Closed and Dead End.

Reviewed by Helen M Hunt


Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Great review.

I loved this book and also bought copies for my mother and aunt.

Unknown said...

Great review. You've moved the book up in my TBR pile :-)

DJ Kirkby said...

I am looking forward to reading this even though I know it wont be any time in the near future.

Suzanne Ross Jones said...

Great review. Another for the tbr pile.

Anonymous said...

This has duly been added to my TbR pile.

I've noticed that the "latest titles reviewed" list at the top of the blog is getting out of date. You might want to add a task item to your publication process list, if you have one. Alternatively, perhaps there's a way to automate this?

Mike said...

"Cut Short" is, indeed, well worth the read, and for any would-be writers, Leigh's success story is a real inspiration to get back to the wordmine and dig out some more nuggets for your own novel.

Fiona Mackenzie. Writer said...

I've been meaning to read this for a while so you've just made me go and get a copy.

Leigh Russell said...

This is all very exciting! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

It was a gripping story and I like the short chapters technique which allows for multiple viewpoints without too much confusion. I was disappointed to only get a gist of Geraldine's background though. I guess I'll have to read the sequels.

I'm sorry to say I had to groan out loud when Miss Elsie's identity was revealed. Otherwise an enjoyable read.

Rachel Green said...

what a super review! Added the first of the series to my wish list.