Fair warning: this is book 8 of a series, and even though you can technically read it as a standalone, I would highly recommend reading the previous novels in order to truly understand the relationships of the characters.
There’s nothing quite like returning back to that series you love – the comfort food in the book world. For me, this is one of those books. Part of the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series, Val McDermid has written yet another brilliant installment. If you’ve never heard of McDermid, she is a Scottish crime writer who has written many successful books, both standalone and part of this series. I highly recommend you check out her standalone novels, if you’re not interested in picking up another series.
Cross and Burn begins not long after the events of the previous novel. The killer of the day is one that is seemingly hunting victims that have a strong resemblance to DCI Carol Jordan. Is this killer obsessed with Carol, or is there another motivation driving him/her?
As per usual, McDermid pulls no punches when getting into the psyche of the killer and the actions the killer takes. Gruesome, yet scarily realistic, McDermid’s ability to shock the reader whilst never going too over the top, is on top form. The relationship between the titular characters is also very well written. Even after 8 books, McDermid still manages to find new nuances to explore and always keep the reader on their feet.
If you’re looking for a fun new series than I highly recommend this one. You can start with The Mermaids Singing (Tony Hill / Carol Jordan Book 1) if you want to start afresh (which I recommend), but don’t come complaining to me when you get hooked and that TBR pile gets a little bigger!
Until next time,