Friday, June 11, 2010

Cut Short

Leigh Russell

When D.I. Geraldine Steel relocates to a quiet village near Woolsmarsh, she expects to find her new home to be a place where nothing mcuh happens; a space where she can battle her demons in private.  When she finds herself pitted against a twisted killer preying on local young women she quickly discovers how wrong she was.  

By day, the park in Woolsmarsh is a place for children's games, for people walking their dogs or taking a short cut to avoid the streets.  But in the shadows a predator prowls, hunting for fresh victims.  When an unwitting bystander comes forward as a witness to an attack she quickly becomes the next object of his murderous obsessions - and someone whom the killer must stop at all costs.

Steel is locked into a race against time, determined to find the killer before they discover yet another corpse.  Can she save the lives of the town's young women - or will Geraldine become the killer's ultimate trophy?

My Take: 

To me, Cut Short did not get off on the greatest foot, I found the beginning to be a bit drab as we followed the detectives investigating slightly dull, dead end leads.  But the book picked right up a ways in and it absolutely made up for the initial dullness one hundred fold.  Before I get in to how much I loved this book, I'll tell you about the one other thing I didn't care for, then it will be on to the gushing portion of the review.  I am from America, this book is set in England, there are bound to be little differences in the speech, commonly used words, etc.  Ordinarily, not only do I not mind, but I LOVE reading stuff like this, in fact, as an avid Harry Potter fan, I have adopted using words like "snog" (not a word you here very often in Las Vegas).  However, I am at a loss and I don't love it in the crime world, let me explain:  I watch a lot of police procedural shows like Law and Order.  In America, we use initials and acronyms like A.D.A (assistant district attorney) and CSU (Crime Scene Unit) to name a few, and I know what these mean off the top of my head.  Now, in Cut Short, I was introduced to DI, DS, MIT, DCI, SOCO, DC, PM and CID, which would not have been a big deal except for some of these acronyms were not always or immediately expounded upon.  I literally had to write out a list and fill in the blanks as I went, and it was a bit frustrating.   So if you are unfamiliar with English crime acronyms, get some post-its and make yourself a list!  Thank you for momentarily indulging my little tangent :)  Now for the gushing:  I loved Cut Short.  I loved getting inside the killer's twisted mind  The main character, Geraldine was a solid, complex and relatable character, and I look very forward to seeing her again in the next books.  Leigh Russell did a great job of making the ending satisfying, while leaving some teasers here or there to further explore later in the series.   Finding that fine line between satisfaction and teasing can be tough, but she pulled it off magnificently!  I am giving Cut Short a rating of a good solid 2, Borders with a Coupon, as it was a very excellent book!

Do you agree with my review?  Do you think I'm totally off base?  Either way I'd love to hear from you, be sure to leave a comment and tell me how you feel!

If this book were a movie it would likely be rated R for strong language throughout, violence, and depictions of death and violence

A few words with the author, Leigh Russell:

The Book Buff: When did you begin writing?

Leigh Russell: In my fifties I’ve reinvented myself as a successful author of crime fiction, but there was no Grand Plan. I wrote somewhere that I fell into this like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole.

TBB: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

LR: When I received my first royalty statement!

TBB: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in Cut Short?

LR: Someone asked me how I know when my books are finished. I replied: When the production manager says “The manuscript is going to the printers tomorrow.” I’m sure many authors complete their books and feel every word is perfect, but I can tinker and tweak indefinitely.

TBB: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

LR: In some ways my killer is as much a victim as the people he kills, so the book raises a serious concern about how we manage certain people in our society.

TBB: If you had to choose one book to read the rest of your life, and nothing else, what book would it be and why?

LR: Hamlet.  I would never get bored of reading and interpreting it.

TBB: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

LR: The answer to that question changes constantly. I’ve met so many authors since I was published, it would be invidious to single one out, so I’ll say Shakespeare. That can’t offend anyone, can it?

TBB: What is the interview question you always dread being asked? Can you give us the answer?

LR: This is definitely one of the most difficult questions I’ve been asked, and I don’t know the answer…

TBB: What is your favorite interview question, and what is the answer?

LR: Question: How do you account for the runaway success of CUT SHORT, reprinted three times in under a year?
Answer: I think this is due to great reviews and word of mouth recommendation. Interviews like this one also help to tell readers about my writing, so THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

If you are interested in learning more about Leigh Russell, Cut Short, or any of her upcoming projects, visit or her blog

***FTC Disclosure: This book was provided in exchange for an honest review, no other compensation was given, all opinions are my own***

If you are interested in purchasing Cut Short, please consider supporting The Book Buff by purchasing from the following Amazon link, thank you!


Leigh Russell said...

Hi Book Buff - Thank you very much for the review and please feel free to gush about my books as much as you like! I'm glad you enjoyed Cut Short.
In the interests of being authentic, when writing from the perspective of my detective I use acronyms which a police officer would use. I thought I'd explained all my abbreviations in Cut
Short and apologise if some weren't clear. To save on the post it notes here's a crib:
DCI = Detective Chief Inspector
DI = Detective Inspector (below DCI)
DS = Detective Sergeant (below DI)
DC = Detective Constable (below DS)
MIT = Murder Investigation Team
SOCO = scene of crime officer
PM = post mortem or autopsy
I didn't realise there were so many! I don't think it's necessary to understand any of them to follow the story, and I don't use them very often... but at least you'll know what they are if they crop up in ROAD CLOSED and DEAD END.

The Book Buff said...

Lol, thanks :) Great book!

JP - The Mistress of Corgi Manor said...

Ah, those quiet villages are never what they seem. This sounds like a book I'm quite likely to enjoy. And Leigh, thank you so much for the list of acronyms. As long as my husband and I have been watching Midsommer Murders I still haven't gotten them all!
PS - I'd love to interview you on my blog, Madame Perry's Salon

parisian_love1 said...

Oh the book sounds interesting to me, I will definitely check it out!
You can view my Blog, where I have links to some excellent reads:

Anonymous said...

Hi -
Great blog! I found it through your comment on my page in 20SB and so glad I did! I'm starting to make my summer book list, and now I know just where to turn :)

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

I am SO excited to have found your blog! Definitely going to give this book a go!

Mrs. Mother said...

Sounds like my kind of book. I am also an avid Harry Potter fan and love the world snog. I think I'll pick this book up and see if I like it as much as you did.

Thanks for stopping by my profile at MBC. I am going to follow your blog because I love, love, love to read.


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