The day after I’d finished reading Interpreters, I was meeting a friend at the O2 centre on Finchley Road. I was a few minutes early so I thought I’d browse in Waterstones. ‘I’m not going to buy anything,’ I told myself. Sure. Even I didn’t believe that. Ooh, there’s a new Jo Nesbo book out! Walk away, I told myself. Just walk away.
So there I was, walking away, when this woman came up to me and quietly asked, ‘Excuse me? Can I interest you in some of my books?’ I said she could and followed her to a stand where her books were displayed. I love finding new authors to read, especially when I haven’t decided what to read next…
Leigh Russell is a crime writer – her main character in Cut Short is DI Geraldine Steel. The blurb on the back cover likens her writing to Ruth Rendell, Lynda La Plante, Frances Fyfield and Barbara Vine, but that didn’t really help me as I’ve never read any of their work. ‘I told myself I wasn’t going to buy anything today,’ I told her. ‘Yes, but it’s important to keep bookshops in business.’ Yes, that’s true. Although I’m not entirely sure Waterstones needed my £6.99. ‘And ‘I’ll sign your copy for you,’ she added. Sold! To the sucker in the leather jacket!
I started reading the book that night – and was hooked.
DI Geraldine Steel moves to a new home after the break-up of her six-year relationship – she expects her new town to be quiet. But of course it’s not, because what a dull book that would be. Instead, two women are killed in the park and DI Steel and her new team have to find the killer before he strikes again. The reader knows early on who the killer is, and what he’s thinking – which I found interesting (and a little creepy). There are some interesting peripheral characters who seem irrelevant to the main plot – but this becomes clearer towards the end of the novel.
The chapters are short, which make for easy reading. It’s not the best crime novel I’ve ever read but I would read the next one to see how Geraldine Steel’s character evolves.
And that’s 17 of my 20 books in 2011!