I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Deathly Affair by Leigh Russell
Published by Oldacastle Books on December 12, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Police Procedural
Buy on Amazon
Four dead bodies. But who is guilty in this deadly web of secrecy and lies?When two homeless men are strangled to death, Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel is caught off guard by the cold-blooded nature of the crimes. However, her suspicions are raised as two more bodies are found, forcing her to question the motivation behind the murders.Plagued by countless red-herrings, the investigation drags Geraldine into the lives of three people caught in a toxic triangle of love and dishonesty. Is this a crime of passion, or is there more to this case than meets the eye?
Thanks to Anne Cater @Random Things Tours for my spot on the blog tour.
Leigh Russell is a relatively new voice in police procedural/Crime genre. As we all know there are some seriously big boots to fill in order to stand out. Leigh has smashed the expectations, the limitations and has brought herself out to the centre stage. Her voice is being heard loud and clear. Deathly Affair hasn’t shied away from heavy subjects but what it has done is brought the big guns out and these matters are being given the attention that they so desperately need. The outcome is a story with eloquent tact, brutal delivery and a narrative that will kick you in the gut!
We are introduced to DS Geraldine Steel (we learn that see has suffered a demotion – she now is a DI.) She is employed within the Serious Crime Unit and her team is undergoing a lot of change. She is now based in York and although she has worked with her colleague, DI Ian Peterson before, things are now strained and awkward. Things aren’t running smoothly, and they don’t have the easy working relationship now that they both benefited from in the past. Is it the team’s strain and pressure or is it the fact she’s just moved to York? From this early juncture, I could visibly notice cracks in the team’s flow. The author masterfully captured the essence of a new colleague being immersed in a stressful team. You could feel the awkwardness oozing straight off the pages, it was palpitating. Although this situation was a tiny molehill compared the monstrous volcano that erupts and threatens to immerse the whole team in lava. A team needs to work together, they need to make connections, they need to speak up when something doesn’t feel right. A team should be one entity. However, at times they just wanted to get someone not necessarily the right person, not Geraldine…She needed THE one.
Then of course we have the added social complications of a homeless man being found strangled to death. The author nailed the social conversation on how the homeless are viewed and treated. The crime isn’t initially taken very seriously, Geraldine is enraged by this and pulls out all the stops to get justice for this man. He isn’t just homeless, he had a life before all this and a family. Anyone can find themselves in this situation, all it takes is a deck of crap cards being dealt out. Another homeless man is again found murdered a little over a week later and guess what a third body is discovered. Could it be possible all three murders are linked?
We have three different narrators throughout the story. Geraldine and her dogged will to investigate this fully. The killer and their insight whilst planning the next kill and the family of Mark, Ann and David. The narration is complex and compelling. It gives astounding insight into the workings of the human psyche. The ups and downs Geraldine suffers whilst investigating was shocking. She herself is a complex character and one I would love to read more about.
The story is a truly raw and harrowing tale. The author has gone to great lengths and bringing into the light the struggle of the social implications and viewpoints with the homeless. The story would shatter even the strongest will. Spine-chillingly brilliant. It gripped me by the throat and didn’t let go until the very last page.
Leigh Russell writes the internationally bestselling crime series featuring police detectives Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson, which are currently in production for television. She also writes the mystery series featuring investigative reporter Lucy Hall.Here’s what Leigh has to say about her writing experience:
From the moment I learned to read, writers drew me into their imaginary worlds. Never Never Land, Narnia, Wonderland, Treasure Island, Middle Earth, they were all so much more exciting than the world around me. ‘One last chapter, just one more,’ I’d beg every night when my parents told me to go to sleep. ‘I can’t stop now.’
Hooked on reading, I studied literature at university, and spent four years immersed in books. After that, I had a number of different jobs before becoming a teacher, a career that enabled me to share my enthusiasm for books with teenagers. Once again, I was spending most of my working week reading and discussing books.
Despite reading so many books, for many years it never crossed my mind to attempt to write one myself. So you might wonder how I became a published author. F Scott FitzGerald’s words describe my experience very neatly. “You don’t write because you want to say something. You write because you have something to say.” There I was, happily reading other people’s books, with no plans to write my own, when the idea for a story popped into my mind. That moment changed my life.
Intrigued by a fictitious killer who had arrived, unbidden, to lurk in my imagination, I began to write his story. Having started, I could not stop. That story, Cut Short, was shortlisted for a CWA Dagger Award, and went on to become the first in a long running series.
I now have three series to my name. My original detective inspector, Geraldine Steel, features in an ongoing series. Her sergeant, Ian Peterson, has his own spin off series as a detective inspector. My third series is a new departure for me as Lucy Hall does not work for the police, although she also investigates murders.
In the years that have passed since Cut Short was published, I’ve rarely managed to go a day without writing. What surprises me now, is that I didn’t discover my passion for writing sooner. It’s late, so I’m off to type one last chapter before I go to sleep… just one more… I can’t stop now…