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It’s a “Dead End” – DI Geraldine Steel series by @LeighRussell


It’s been awhile since I have done a Partner’s in Crime Tour. Not because of me neglecting my favorite tour company, but because I was trying to get caught up and dip my toes into other genres. Last year I read over 60 mystery/crime novels and PICT was one of the reasons why. What they also allowed me to do was become on the radar of the publisher’s imprints, Witness Impulse, to offer me the titles before hand. When PICT sent out the tour invite, I jumped on it because I also am behind in reviewing my Witness titles. Witness Impulse is re-publishing UK titles in the US.

Originally published in January 1st 2011 by Oldcastle Books, Leigh Russell’s Dead End is #3 in her DI Geraldine Steel series.


Everyone knows how I feel about mysteries, I adore them! No wait, I take them back, they are probably at the top of my pile of must read genre’s that I would hope be on the desert island I get stranded on. Because of this I am pretty apt at figuring out the mystery, the bad guys, etc… so if I am going to rate a mystery book high I am going to expect it to keep me guessing to at least 75% and still surprise me in the end. Before I go into this aspect of the book let me tell you my take on the read.

Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel is a great female sleuth. In book one and two we get to know her and Ian, her sergeant, a bit better, but if you have not read  books 1 & 2 you can pick this up and enjoy the story. It starts off with the body being found (and why there is a kite on the cover..*smiling*). Also as with any good crime novel involving a female protagonist, she has her own issues outside of work shes dealing with, she usually has a relationship budding or she is trying to develop one or recovering from one. She has a family with at least one issue, and believe me Geraldine’s is a doozy. (eh… eh… eh… spoilers).

The bad guy is has his own chapters when he talks to us or himself and gives us hints that the officers are not able to find helping us readers stay intrigued but not giving himself up. Plus there is always something going on as a side story which is our misdirect. Except in this instance it also feeds a bit into Geraldine’s emotional status (not the subject just the power and impact).

Alright now … it has all these things but the problem is how powerful and strong the actual blending and working of them was. First, well my first guess about everything was spot on, everything right at the beginning before it hit 10%. But it was not completely confirmed till 46% of the way through as in 100% confirmed. That was a huge disappointment. Not a little, not just a disappointment, but ginormous one. The fact that I kept getting hints and confirmations till the definitive BINGO at 46% pissed me off. The book and characters, regular ones, are well written. The bad guy is boring, but has the potential to be good. He just was not fleshed out nor was he totally believable compared to his regular actions in public, and his secret ones down in his, well I guess it was a kill room.

The side story. Great idea, but goodness could it possibly be more stereo typical maudlin teenage issues that were made worse with her mum getting murdered. Her predicament is horrific and is a message to everyone, parents and teens, but it is an old one and not new for even a 2011 book. It also was to far away from the events to make it a real misdirect or distraction.

Over all, it was an OK continuance of the series. A standalone but if you are a reader of the series one that at least holds a place-card till she moves forward. I just felt like this was not as full bodied of the story I expected from Leigh Russell and Geraldine. I still will continue reading, as Leigh is an great mystery writer. Her previous books caught me off guard with details I had missed and I was not completely sure till about 65-75% of the way through. I was going to rate this a 3.5 stars but after reviewing all my notes I am going to rate it a 3 because I liked it but it was not outstanding, especially series wise.


It’s a “Dead End” – DI Geraldine Steel series by @LeighRussellDead End
by Leigh Russell
Pages: 385
Published by Witness Impulse
on January 28, 2014
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • • Goodreads •
When headmistress Abigail Kirby’s corpse is discovered in the woods, police are shocked to learn that her tongue was cut out while she lay dying. Then, shortly after a witness comes forward, he is blinded and murdered. With mangled dead bodies appearing at an alarmingly increasing rate, Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel is in a race against time to find the killer before he claims his next victim....


Abigail Kirby lay on the table like a waxwork model, her face cleaned-up to reveal her square chin. Geraldine approached and forced herself to look at the victim’s open mouth: between even teeth the stump of her tongue looked surprisingly neat. Abigail Kirby stared back as though in silent protest at this scrutiny.

The pathologist looked up and Geraldine recognized the tall dark-haired medical examiner who had examined the body in the wood. ‘Hello again Inspector. You’ll forgive me if I don’t shake hands.’

Geraldine glanced down at his bloody gloves.


About Leigh Russell

It's a "Dead End" - DI Geraldine Steel series by @LeighRussell

Leigh Russell studied at the University of Kent gaining a Masters degree in English and American literature. A secondary school teacher, specializing in supporting pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties as well as teaching English, Leigh Russell is married with two daughters and lives in Hertfordshire. Her first novel, Cut Short, was published in 2009, followed by Road Closed in 2010, Dead End in 2011 and Death Bed in 2012. Stop Dead, the fifth novel to feature DI Geraldine Steel is published in May 2013. The series has received glowing reviews and been a hit with readers around the world.




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It's a "Dead End" - DI Geraldine Steel series by @LeighRussell

One Comment

  1. Thanks for such an in-depth review of this third in series mystery.

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