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Michael Russell Books In Order

Publication Order of Stefan Gillespie Books

The City of Shadows (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The City of Strangers (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The City in Darkness (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The City of Lies (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

With a history of writing for television, as well as working full-time as a novelist, the British writer Michael Russell is a well-regarded one within his field. Working on long-running shows such as ‘Emmerdale Farm’ he has created a strong name for himself within the media industry. It has also given him an insight into the writing process of his own novels, as it has allowed him to apply a more visual style to his characters and stories.

Early and Personal Life

Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Michael Russell always held a strong interest in both reading and writing. Intensely interested in the origins of English and how it came to be, he would focus on this as a specific interest throughout his life. This would also provide him with much of the basis required for building his writing career up from, as well as giving him the tools necessary.

Attending Oxford University he would take this forwards as an interest, learning more on the subject of English. Studying Middle Welsh along with Old Irish and Old English, he’d learn a lot about modern language and its origins. This was a practice that was then transferred into his writing, as he became a much more proficient and effective author.

Working on a farm for some time he work work as a laborer for a number of years in North Devon prior to turning to writing. This then lead to him becoming a script editor on the television show ‘Emmerdale Farm’, which paved the way to a career in writing for television. All of this would give him the insight required for writing his own novels in the many years that were to follow, creating his own stories and ideas.

Still working in television and writing to this current day, he continues to put out novels and stories at a highly consistent pace. Currently living in Ireland with his family, he writes novels full-time, something which has always been his main ambition. Not showing signs of stopping any time soon either, he will continue to do so for many years to come, on into the foreseeable future.

Writing Career

Bringing out his debut book back in 2012, Michael Russell brought out the first title in his soon to be popular ‘Stefan Gillespie’ series of novels. Called ‘The City of Shadows’ it helped establish him as a serious author and writer, as it drew attention to him from the general public at large. Giving a clear idea of what was to come, it managed to also provide a good quality period set mystery piece as well.

Writing the ‘Stefan Gillespie’ series, this is perhaps the franchise for which he is best known as an author. Set in the city of Dublin, Ireland, during the 1930s, they follow the eponymous lead character as he works as a detective solving cases. Paying close attention to period detail, Russell manages to create a sense of tension within the action, building it throughout the course of the books.

Gaining acclaim both nationally as well as internationally, Russell has now built himself a worldwide audience with his work. Despite his novels being very localized to Ireland and set within certain time-periods, they manage to be both timeless and universal in their approach. Not only that, but his television shows also topped the ratings as well, especially that of the last ever ‘A Touch of Frost’ episode which he scripted.

His work in television has largely been in drama, giving him an interesting insight into character and behavior. Sharpening his voice as a writer, he’s managed to write not only about what he knows, but to also move the genre forwards overall. Using his experience he’s made it distinctively his own, showing another side of life that has previously gone unseen on television.

With a lot more to come as an author, Michael Russell has proven himself very adept at writing visually. This has come from his experience writing for television, something which he also continues to do as well. Focusing on his own work, though, he will carry on releasing novels for some time yet, as his writing career grows from strength-to-strength.

The City of Shadows

First released on the day of the 7th of November in 2012, this was initially published through the ‘Avon’ publishing label. Setting up the ‘Stefan Gillespie’ series of novels, it manages to establish much of the action, whilst also providing a first case to solve. Introducing the character for the first time as well, it works at bringing the reader into his world really seeing it through his eyes.

Taking place in 1934, it starts out in Dublin, Ireland, it sees Stefan Gillespie arresting a German doctor, whilst also helping Hannah Rosen. Hoping to find her friend, Rosen is searching for the Jewish woman Susan who has inexplicably disappeared after getting involved with a local priest. With the evidence leading them all the way to Danzig, they find themselves in a city where the Nazis are rising to power. Will they find their friend Susan? Can they get out in time? What will become of them both in the city of shadows?

The City of Strangers

Brought out using the ‘HarperCollins UK’ subsidiary of the ‘Avon’ publishing house this time, this book is the second in the ongoing ‘Stefan Gillespie’ series. Titled ‘The City of Strangers’ it works at capturing the essence of the first book, taking the characters and narrative forwards in the process. It also manages to build upon the many elements, developing them all with a strong arc running constantly throughout.

Set in New York this time, this takes place in 1939 as Stefan Gillespie is sent there to retrieve a criminal wanted for murder back home. Under suspicion for the brutal murder of woman, a man has fled deep into Manhattan leaving Gillespie to try and pick-up the trail. With the World Fair taking place as well, a whole range of stark contradictions are exposed, as Gillespie finds he must dig through them to discover the truth. Will he be manage to find the suspect? Did they will commit the murder? Where will Gillespie find his suspect in the city of strangers?

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