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Book reviews ... Author interviews ... and anything else I think might be of interest to writers and readers.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Race To Death by Leigh Russell

To celebrate the paperback release of Race To Death, and Leigh's current book tour and blog tour, here's my review!

Race To Death

I really enjoyed this second outing for DI Ian Peterson – part of the spin off series from Leigh Russell’s original Geraldine Steel books.

A man plummets to his death during the York Races. Suicide or murder?  Newly-promoted DI Ian Peterson is plunged into a complex and high-profile case, and as the body count increases, the pressure mounts for his team to solve the crimes quickly.

From this intriguing beginning set against the vivid backdrop of a racecourse on race day, the story unfolds at a great pace and grips until the end.

Like Geraldine Steel before him, Ian has moved since his last investigation so this book sees him getting used to a new set of colleagues and living in a new place. The relocation throws up challenges for Ian. In particular a new boss who expects results and doesn’t let up on the pressure when she doesn’t get them, and a wife who feels uprooted and discontent in her new environment.

In this case, DI Peterson is up against a criminal with a very complex and unusual MO indeed. Peterson and his colleagues have to solve a series of murders that seem to make no sense and have no link and, as the days tick by with no progress, pressure mounts.

As with all Leigh Russell’s books this one has a great mix of just the right amount of police procedure and a chance for the characters to shine. I was also pleased to see another guest appearance for Geraldine in Ian’s story.

In this book we get some deeper insights into Ian’s personal life, and towards the end things get very personal indeed as the investigation threatens to endanger everything he holds dear.

Overall, I found this a great read. Ian Peterson is a likeable main character and his new sergeant, Ted Birling, provides a great foil and York a great setting.

I recommend this book to crime and thriller lovers, and look forward to more in the series.

Thanks very much to the publishers for a review copy of this book.

You can find out more here.

You can find my reviews of Leigh Russell’s other books here and here.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Leigh Russell - Race To Death

Leigh Russell Interview

Today I'm very pleased to have the wonderful Leigh Russell here to talk about her latest book 'Race To Death'.

In 'Race To Death' Leigh has her main character, Ian Peterson, moving to York for his next adventure. Here she tells us why.

            In my first series, my detective Geraldine Steel began her career in the Kent constabulary, working with her sergeant, Ian Peterson. In the fourth book in the series, Geraldine moved to London, leaving Ian behind in Kent.
            By the time Geraldine relocated to the Met in Death Bed, Ian Peterson had become a popular character in his own right, so the two of them kept in touch. Following the success of the Geraldine Steel series, my publisher raised the possibility of my writing a second series, and a spin off series for Ian Peterson was the obvious answer. I was very excited by the idea and so it was agreed. All that remained was to decide on a location for Ian's investigations.
            My interest in York came about as the result of a personal connection. My husband attended York University and we had spent some time there, revisiting his old haunts. It's a fascinating place, where the history is almost palpable, from the Roman ruins and Viking museum, to the medieval Shambles shopping area and Victorian railway station. Walking along narrow lanes or snickelways from a medieval church to a modern street, is almost like walking through time. Having toyed with several places, it occurred to me that moving Ian to York would mean I could visit the city more often to research the area. And of course, every time we visit York we have afternoon tea at Bettys. If you haven't been there, you should go!
            The first in the spin off series sees Ian in Kent, after Geraldine's departure. At the end of the book, Ian learns that he has been promoted and is moving to York. He is excited, although his wife is not pleased about the move. The paperback for Race to Death came out in September, the first book set in York. It starts with a death at York racecourse which the police quickly realise was no accident. As Ian struggles to make sense of the mysterious murder, the body of a young woman is discovered beside the river. As Ian begins to piece together what has happened, he sets off a course of events that threatens to lead to more tragedy... and if you want to know what happens, you will have to read the book! 
            I'm returning to York in October to carry out research for the next book in the series, and to launch Race to Death with a number of book signings and talks in and around York.

Details of events can be found on my website http://leighrussell.co.uk

Thanks to Leigh for that fascinating insight into her decision to move the action in her spin off series to York. It certainly makes a dynamic setting for a crime story!

You can find out more about Race To Death here.

You can find my reviews of all of Leigh Russell’s books here and here.