Today it is my pleasure to be on the Blog Blitz for Leigh Russell’s new Geraldine Steel crime thriller Deadly Alibi.
I also have a guest blog by Leigh about the writing process so please read this after my review.
Geraldine Steele is back with a new case to solve. A woman is found dead in a bin, murdered after a fatal injury to the head. All the DNA leads to he husband Chris but Geraldine is not sure, it all seems too easy. To complicate matters another woman is found dead, also connected to Chris whose alibi is now in doubt. As well as trying to solve this case, Geraldine is also facing a personal dilemma, after the death of her birth mother she learns she has a twin sister Helena, who’s a drug addict. Geraldine is pulled into Helena’s world as she tries to help her and build a relationship but this is dangerous and could cost her her job. Geraldine puts her reputation on the line to find the killer and to help her sister, can she come out of this unscathed?
This is the first Geraldine Steel novel I have read and really enjoyed it. It gripped me from the beginning, opening with three different plot lines that at first seem to have nothing in common but during the novel they begin to converge until they reach their definite point. I love the character of Geraldine Steel, she is a strong character but has family values and feels a certain responsibility for her sister. There is a sense of vulnerability from her past in a relationship that didnt work, I am looking forward to reading pervious books to learn more about her. Brilliant story line that had me guessing until the end, and I found it easy to read as a stand alone story but it has piqued my interest in the previous books.
10 December: Juliet Butler at Bookliterati @Bookliterati
THE WRITING PROCESS
Until I started my debut novel, Cut Short, I had never harboured any ambitions to write a book. With no intention of looking for a publisher, I simply began writing a story that had occurred to me one day, in a totally random moment of inspiration. Once I started writing, I couldn’t stop. After writing compulsively for about six weeks, I decided the story was finished. Only then did it strike me that I had, in fact, written a book.
Fortunate enough to secure a three book deal on the strength of my first manuscript, I continued writing for my first publisher and recently signed my fifth contract with them. Each contract has been for three books. Deadly Alibi, published this month, is the latest in my Geraldine Steel series.
I have no particular place to write, although I do have a desk in a shared office at home which is my official writing space. But we have quite a busy household, so a lot of my writing is done in bed which tends to be the quietest place in the house during the day.
For a few years I have been doing all my writing on an ipad, with a wirelessly attached keyboard. My ipad is sync’d with an ipad mini which I take with me whenever I go out. Anything I write on my ipad mini automatically appears on my ipad, so I have an instant back up if needed. The advantage of my system is that I can write anywhere – on a train, in an airport, on a beach – and my work is instantly saved on two devices. Writing on an ipad doesn’t suit everyone, but it works for me – as long as I remember to charge my devices!
Research is an important aspect of crime novels. I try to make my narratives as believable as possible, because I think that makes them more frightening. So it’s crucial that my forensics and my police procedures are plausible, if not necessarily a hundred per cent accurate. Real police work involves a lot of tedious paperwork. A detective inspector has to spend time working out budgets and processing expenses claims. None of that makes for very exciting reading. So my detective inspector is more likely to be found donning protective clothing before examining the scene of a crime, or chatting to the pathologist conducting a post mortem on a murder victim.
My research can be painstaking and complex, such as looking into new techniques in forensic detective work. But it can also be wonderful. As well as visiting different cities in England, last year involved travelling to the Seychelles, Paris, Rome, and Greece, conducting research into locations for my books. The travelling was exciting, but it was also very time consuming.
Another unexpected aspect of life as an author is the amount of time spent promoting books. Recently I’ve travelled to New Orleans, Miami, Belfast, France, Turin, and Denmark, as well as all over England, appearing at numerous literary festivals and on book tours. It’s all great fun, but sometimes it seems as though there’s little time left for writing!
I would like to thank Juliet very much for inviting me to write a guest post for Bookliterati.