Posts Tagged ‘Leigh Russell’

Ian Rankin’s Doors Open — Big Disappointment!

October 20, 2010

I don't rank this highly. Sorry Ian!

Now, first of all let me say that we have read a number of books by Ian Rankin. I can’t say we love every page in all of those stories but on the whole we consider him a good writer — like millions of other. So, we ask ourselves, how on earth did Ian Rankin’s Doors Open, get into print? Ian Ranking may be a number one best seller, but, for me, Doors Open comes nowhere near Leigh Russell’s Cut Short. I contrast Doors Open with Cut Short deliberately, because Russell is a comparatively new writer who still has to make it to the halls of fame. I can only think that Doors Open is really an early work of Rankin’s although the publishing date is two years ago.

So what makes me be so ‘down thumbs’ about this book? Partly the way it is written and the implausibility of the plot, but mostly because the central theme is flawed. Famous paintings, by different artists, are stolen and replaced by copies worked by an art student. The mind boggles at any painter being able to produce eight perfect copies of famous artists, all of whom have totally different method and subjects, in a matter of a couple of weeks (or less?), but this a mere student. Right, okay so he is a clever guy, but we are talking about oil paintings mostly by old masters. Now any dabbler of paint will know it takes oil a while to dry. A new painting actually smells quite strong and can be tacky for ages. And I would question as to whether the paint could be anywhere near the original that was likely mixed from scratch. Okay, we say that our forger is pretty good there. But what about varnish, fine crack lines and natural changes due to the life of the painting? Am I being picky? I sure am. For me a good crime story has to be credible. This one is not. True, we still have a third of the book to go, but my interest is fast waning. The so-called expert who is part of the crime certifies the copies as the genuine paintings, but to me, anyone working at the gallery would have sniffed them as fakes as soon as he, or she, got a look at them.

Sorry, Ian. But I look forward to your next novel.

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Leigh Russell — crime writer

August 20, 2010

Leigh Russell's eye-catching covers

Leigh Russell — crime writer

Cut Short and Road Closed are Ms Russell’s first books and I expect more to come — annually?
I came across Leigh on the Internet. It was the cover of her first book that was to be released some time in the future that fascinated me. A single eye with a bloody tear. I was considering a cover for one of my own books at the time and wished I had the imagination for eye-catching covers.
I have to admit that after a while I became too busy to follow many blogs and the careers of other writers, but fortunately I came back to find Leigh Russell had two books on Amazon — Short Cut and Road Closed. I bought them both.
There are a number of psychological thrillers, crime and mystery books on the market and we have read quite a few of them. I say ‘we’ because my husband reads to me each day (my eyesight not good enough for sustained reading). So any book has to suit both of us. This is a good test for any book.
I can’t say that the novels are particularly ‘different’ from the run of detective stories on the market. DI Geraldine Steel is a memorable believable character that we are happy to follow through her career of arresting the baddies. Both books are well worth reading, neither is taxing and each one holds your attention and grips the imagination until the final page.
As a detective writer I would put Leigh Russell on a par with Dick Francis for easy-read books but we have yet to see if they are as predictive as the latter’s books (with Dick Francis you always know that the hero is going to get a beating to within an inch of his life before he finally triumphs). Yes indeed, we look forward to more novels from Leigh Russell’s imagination.
Both books are available on Amazon.

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