Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday's Special is...Cut Short!

CUT SHORT by Leigh Russell

You have been warned.
Don’t go near the park.

When a frenzied killer begins slaying young women in parkland in the sleepy town of Woolsmarsh, newly promoted Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel knows it is only a matter of time before the gruesome discovery of another naked corpse.

What began as a straightforward murder investigation is now a desperate hunt for a serial attacker whose bloodlust is spiraling out of control.

But Steel is already battling demons of her own. Her relocation to Woolsmarsh isn’t going as planned, her relationship with her boyfriend is in tatters, and now threatening messages suggest an old adversary is back to settle a score.

As the park monster continues to strike, the grisly trail begins to take some unexpected turns and Steel is drawn deeper into a deadly game of cat and mouse and a horrifying realization that she might be the predator’s ultimate kill.

To buy Cut Short from No Exit Press, CLICK HERE

Click to visit, Leigh's blog.

Excerpt from CUT SHORT

That afternoon, the DCI decided to bring John Drew in and ‘have another go,’ as Peterson put it. Pleased to leave her desk, Geraldine led the way up the stale smelling concrete stairs. This time they didn’t find the suspect alone. He peered round the door wearing nothing but a crumpled Tshirt and boxers and protested loudly when they pushed past him to see the dark-haired girl from the flower shop lying sleepy-eyed on the sofa, naked above the waist, her short denim skirt hitched up her thighs. Angela Waters’ boyfriend hadn’t wasted any time finding comfort in his loss.

‘What do you want?’ he growled.

‘Get dressed, Mr Drew,’ Peterson replied. ‘We’re taking a trip to the station. We’d like to ask you a few more questions.’ The girl rose unsteadily to her feet, tugging at her skirt. She yanked a dirty T-shirt over her head.

‘You arresting me?’ Johnny Drew demanded.

‘You arresting him or what?’ the girl repeated sullenly. Her speech was slurred.

‘Shut it, Millie,’ Drew snarled. She hung her head, glaring up at the detectives through her dark fringe.

‘You arresting me then or what?’ He struck a defiant pose, legs apart, hands on hips.

‘We’ll arrest you for wasting our time, if you don’t get dressed now,’ the DS answered.

‘Beat it, Millie,’ Drew shouted over his shoulder as he disappeared into the bedroom, muttering about privacy, Peterson on his heels. The girl slammed the front door so hard the windows shook.

The suspect sulked in the car all the way to the station.

In the interview room, Peterson went in hard. ‘You like beating up girls, don’t you? It gives you a kick. That’s right, isn’t it? Makes you feel powerful.’

Drew wasn’t cowed. ‘What’s it to you?’ he countered, gazing levelly at the DS. ‘None of your fucking business, that’s what. I want a lawyer.’ He leaned back in his chair, folded his arms and stared at Peterson. They left him to kick his heels while they sorted out a brief. Once they reassembled, Peterson resumed. Geraldine felt confident that if Drew was guilty the sergeant would crack him, but she wasn’t convinced they had the right man.


Please answer the following question for a chance to win a free copy of CUT SHORT. Or, pop in and chat with Leigh!!
What kind of interrogation tactics would you use on Johnny Drew?


Sarah Laurenson said...

We're getting an early start so I've thrown the grill from the attic to the jail. No need to get coffee perking, it's always available here.

Leigh will be by soon and then she has to work. Big Bummer. But she'll be back again after that.

McKoala said...

Just had to say that's a really stunning cover; it caught my eye immediately.

Sarah Laurenson said...

If you click on it, I think you can see it bigger. I have yet to read all the words on it, but I plan to.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Hm. Never mind. I don't think it's in English. But the man in her eyeball is amazing. Can you see that? I might have to change it out for a larger copy.

Leigh Russell said...

I'm glad you like the cover, McKoala. I had a discussion about the design on my blog and comments were very positive. Personally, I think it's great, but I had nothing to do with the design. I was consulted when it was too late to change it. My publisher knows the business and consulted bookshops to see if they'd be attracted by the cover. After all, there's no point in the publisher trying to 'sell' the book to me!

I should add that the writing on the cover is not an extract from the book itself!!!

If you check the post on my blog from 22nd April, you'll find details of my Virtual Book Launch to which everyone who comments here is invited.

Leigh Russell said...

Lean closer in to your screen so no one can read over your shoulder, and don't tell anyone!

I think I may have found a way to access the blog while still at work in which case I'll be in and out of here all day. If I disappear for a few hours it means my computer's been blocked again... and I've been busted! Keep it to yourself and they may not notice...

laughingwolf said...

welcome, leigh... love that excerpt, sarah :)

since waterboarding is out these days, the only interrogation method left to use on jd is for geraldine to just ask if he did it! :O lol

using good ol 'truth serum', of course ;)

Leigh Russell said...

Interesting idea, laughing wolf, but do you think Johnny Drew would crack under the pressure of a simple, direct question? (By the way and nothing to do with Johnny - how do pathological liars and deluded people function when given 'truth serum'?)

Anyway, back to Johnny Drew - do you think Geraldine would be able to crack him? (Assuming he is the murderer. Of course, he might not be... you'll just have to read the book and find out!)

I'm glad you liked the extract, laughing wolf. It's interesting discussing Johnny with you, and slightly surreal too, for me.

Anonymous said...

Well, he seems like a real tough guy. My interrogations would include repeated viewings of Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony. If that didn't break him, I'd come in with Rainbow Brite.

laughingwolf said...

hi leigh

geraldine, as a senior officer, would know exactly what buttons to push/questions to ask, and watch for reactions, for the answers she needs

more inverse psychology, perhaps?

i doubt jd is the killer, more like a red herring...

she needs an antagonist more along the lines of hannibal lecter to challenge her mind, not an over-the-top woman beater

as for 'truth serum' working on all types, i think not... chemicals are limited in what they can do

it would be a bit surreal for you, since you have intimate knowledge of all your characters, but fun!

laughingwolf said...


Dorlands' Illustrated Medical Dictionary describes truth serum as "ultra-short-acting barbiturate (drug) to produce general anesthesia,…and for narcoanalysis in psychiatric disorders".
The proper name for this drug is thiopental sodium; it is also called Sodium Pentothal, because it is actually a trademark of Abbott Laboratories-the drug's manufacturer.
Sodium Pentothal is a yellow crystal, which can be dissolved in water or alcohol.
It has alliaceous, garlic-like odor.

If you were to drink a glass of water with Sodium Pentothal, it would depress your central nervous system, slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure.
All of the listed above affects are the functions of any sedative. Sodium Pentothal is commonly used as an anesthetic during surgery. The patient is unconscious within 30 to 60 seconds after the drug administration to the veins.
The duration of the anesthesia is very short; it only causes a few minutes of sedation.

Veterinarians also use Sodium Pentothal.
When an animal is injured and needs an examination, a quick dose of the drug by tranquilizer dart gives few minutes to the veterinarian to do the examination.
It can also be used to calm down a large animal that needs to be shipped from one place to another. Sodium Pentothal slows the metabolism and minimizes the stress and excitement.

This drug has another important property.
Sodium Pentothal is a radioprotective agent, which minimizes the effect of radiation. When radiation is present, it attacks the body's tissues on molecular level.
Many of our body cells have a "free radical", a species with an electron that is loosely bound to the molecule.
When a radiation (short wavelengths with high energy) contacts the free radical it removes the electron form the molecule, altering the molecule's original functions.
Sodium Pentothal protects the cells by preventing the radiation electrons to bond with cell's free radicals.
If this radioprotective agent is taken three to four hours before the exposure to the radiation, it prolongs the life of body cells even if the dose of radiation was lethal.

Psychiatrists as a part of narcotherapy also use Sodium Pentothal.
This drug produces the state of full relaxation and makes patients more susceptible to suggestion, allowing the psychiatrists to uncover the repressed feelings or memories.
sorry, the devil made me do it! ;) lol

Chris Eldin said...

I also agree about the cover... Makes you want to pull it off the shelf and flip through the pages.

I LOVE this excerpt!!! Besides children's literature, I love this genre. And this excerpt is entirely gripping!!

bridget3420 said...

I would bring in Fran Drescher sing to him in her Nanny voice.

Pissenlit said...

Ooooh, I like the synopsis! Also, that Johnny Drew sounds like a nasty character.

I would make him watch a Hannah Montana marathon and then while interrogating him, I'd pipe in the Hannah Montana soundtracks(just to make sure he can't forget them) in the background, randomly throwing in some Celine Dion songs to throw him off.

Leigh Russell said...

Where did you train in your sophisticated methods of torture, strugglingwriter? I think you should be promoted to script writer for the TV series 24. Their methods of extorting information are tame compared to yours!

Leigh Russell said...

OMG, what devil drives you, laughingwolf!? Seriously, I find all this kind of detail fascinating. Watch out for a reference to it in a future thriller...

Leigh Russell said...

Thanks, Chris. It's very difficult to select an extract that makes sense on its own and also gives an idea of what the book is about. I'm so relieved that you enjoyed reading it.

Leigh Russell said...

Great idea, bridget. Those whining tones would reduce Johnny to a quivering compliance in no time. Either that, or he'd leap up and give her a resounding slap. What a pity Geraldine Steel only has a Detective Sergeant to throw at the suspect.

Leigh Russell said...

Hannah Montana and Celine Dion - this just gets better and better. I'm glad you all agree that Johnny Drew's a nasty piece of work. But is he a killer? ! ?

laughingwolf said...

leigh, if i told you which devil, it'd have to do you in! :O lol j/k

by all means, use whatever you want in future tales :)

Leigh Russell said...

I have to disappear for a short while - don't worry, the devils haven't got me (yet) - it's the end of the working day here in the UK and I'm going to drive home.

Thank you for the comments so far. I'll be back soon!

Anonymous said...

"Where did you train in your sophisticated methods of torture, strugglingwriter?"

I'm a very troubled individual Leigh. Why else would I be pursuing a writing career? :)

laughingwolf said...

upon reading that title, i gulped... MANY times :O lol

Dave F. said...

Intriguing. A police mystery from across the sea.

I don't have any interrogation practices except dancing naked and singing karaoke. It's not a pretty sight or sound. But then, I've been banned in several countries.

Helen Ginger said...

I would sing. People have been known to crack when I start up. Wouldn't probably work for Geraldine. It's an interrogation method that takes a warped youth to develop.


Mary Witzl said...

Others have beat me to the crap music method, but I'll mention it anyway. 'Bread's Greatest Hits' is a strong possibility, but for my great guns I'd bring out Donny Osmond's 'Puppy Love'. If my kids were being interrogated, those would work a treat.

I noticed the cover right away too: graphically arresting and very effective.

Leigh Russell said...

I'm sure the sight and sound of you dancing naked and singing karaoke would make Johnny Drew blench, Dave.

You can find details of my Virtual Book Launch on my blog if you're interested. You're welcome to join in - but please keep your clothes on and for goodness' sake, NO KARAOKE!

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Helen - I'm still working on Geraldine's youth. My editor and a few friends felt my first idea for her backstory was too warped... so I'm still playing with ideas for her.

Funny how the idea of singing keeps coming up here as an interrogation technique. Are the police missing something?

Leigh Russell said...

I'm so pleased about the comments on the cover, which (I'm told) is very very important. Thank you, Mary.

As for the singing - I think we should all get together and form a choir. We could hire ourselves out to the police, and national defence forces, as a powerful weapon! We'd have the world at our feet!

Pissenlit said...

Leigh - I'm glad you all agree that Johnny Drew's a nasty piece of work. But is he a killer? ! ?

I don't know. You tell me. ;) Heh heh heh.

Chris Eldin said...

Hi Everyone,

Some very funny answers here!! My kids would've said farting, but there you go....

Thanks for dropping in and chatting!!! It's a bit after 9pm, so we're going to go ahead and close the contest. Leigh will be by at any time to announce the winner.

Many many thanks to Leigh for spending time with us! This looks like a terrific book!!!!

Leigh Russell said...

Thanks to every one of you who took the time to comment here. I hope you visit my blog and join in the Virtual Book Launch - details on the post dated 22nd April.

It's difficult to select a winner as all the ideas were... interesting... but the winner today is... (drum roll)... LAUGHING WOLF. A book will be on its way to you at the end of June. How does that work - can someone please let me know how and where to send it?

THANK YOU AGAIN EVERYONE and let's keep in touch. You know where I am.

Chris Eldin said...

Thanks Leigh! And congratulations LW!!!

LW, please contact Leigh and the two of you can coordinate from there...


Leigh Russell said...

Thank you again to all at Book Roast. It's a great idea and your hard work is really appreciated.

A final reminder -
Virtual Book Launch on my blog next month. Everyone is invited!

laughingwolf said...

wowsers! thx so much, leigh! :)

will send you the info asap...

laughingwolf said...

ooops! too excited, missed your email

will send info right away :)

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm sorry I missed it yesterday. I was having trouble with accessing the site. I think it was something on my end.