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Wednesday 10 February 2021

‘Evil Impulse’ by Leigh Russell

Published by No Exit Press,
26 January 2021.
ISBN: 978-0-85730422-3 (PB)

Leigh Russell needs no introduction. Her novels have sold over a million copies. Evil Impulse is the fifteenth book in her DS Geraldine Steel series although at the start of this novel she has been promoted to the rank of Detective Inspector and is now living with DI Ian Peterson. However, their relationship is severely strained when her twin sister Helena is threatened by a drugs ring. Adopted at birth into a loving middle-class family, Geraldine has only recently learnt of the existence of her twin. Growing up, Geraldine had every advantage compared with Helena who was brought up in poor conditions by their drug addict mother. Obsessed with guilt about her sister’s fate which she so easily might have shared had it not been for her mother giving her away at birth, Geraldine tries to help her sister escape her heroine addiction to the detriment of her own career.

The novel opens with a graphic account of the murder of a woman in her bed from the viewpoint of the killer. The story then switches to the discovery of a body floating in the river. The victim has been strangled. Not long after, another body is found lying in rubbish next to a nightclub. A psychopath appears to be at large in the city of York. Geraldine and her team swing into action but midway through their investigation, Geraldine is abducted by the drugs gang threatening her sister.

Geraldine’s private life takes a far more prominent part of the novel compared with previous books in this series. There is a tense race to the book’s climax when all is revealed.

This latest addition to the series will delight Russell’s many fans as is attested by over a hundred five-star reviews already on Amazon and Goodreads.

Reviewer: Judith Cranswick   

Leigh Russell studied at the University of Kent gaining a Masters degree in English and American literature. Formerly a secondary school English teacher, with the success of her Geraldine Steel series, Leigh now writes full-time. Her debut novel, Cut Short, was published in 2009 by No Exit Press in the UK, featuring detective Geraldine Steel. There are now 15 books in the series. Leigh also writes a spinoff series for Geraldine's sergeant, Ian Peterson. Of which there are three in the series. Her latest series published by Thomas and Mercer feature Lucy Hall. Leigh Russell is married with two daughters and lives in Middlesex.

Judith Cranswick was born and brought up in Norwich. Apart from writing, Judith’s great passions are travel and history. Both have influenced her two series of mystery novels. Tour Manager, Fiona Mason takes coach parties throughout Europe, and historian Aunt Jessica is the guest lecturer accompanying tour groups visiting more exotic destinations aided by her nephew Harry. Her published novels also include several award-winning standalone psychological thrillers. She wrote her first novel (now languishing in the back of a drawer somewhere) when her two children were toddlers, but there was little time for writing when she returned to her teaching career. Now retired, she is able to indulge her love of writing and has begun a life of crime! ‘Writers are told to write what they know about, but I can assure you, I've never committed a murder. I'm an ex-convent school headmistress for goodness sake!’

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