CROSS AND BURN

Written by Val McDermid

Review written by Adam Colclough

Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.


CROSS AND BURN
Little Brown
RRP: £16.99
Released: 10th October 2013
Hbk

There is a dangerous man stalking the streets of Bradfield, a twisted lover kidnapping women as he searches for the perfect wife and killing all those who fail to meet his high standards. Bringing him to justice will embroil estranged Carol Jordan and Tony Hill in a fight for their own survival.

Val McDermid’s latest novel in a series that began with The Mermaids Singing back in the mid nineties is arguably one of her best.

She pulls no punches as she takes her established characters into uncharted territory, exploring their complicated relationships, troubled back stories and deep emotional scars. It is one of the strengths of the series that doing so deepens rather than damages her readers understanding of familiar characters.

McDermid is equally uncompromising when it comes to the details of the crimes committed in the novel. As ever with her books the violence is realistically brutal, but never gratuitous. Her killer is a dysfunctional loser; not a twisted genius, adding another level of reality to the narrative.

All too often series of novels, particularly ones that have been adapted for television tend to reach a certain point where they start to coast. Readers tend to start seeing the actors who play the characters on the box rather than the ones the author originally created.

Thankfully, Val McDermid neatly sidesteps this failing by finding new and ever more complicated situations to place them in. As a result although the world she has created may be familiar, it is never comfortably so; long may she continue to unsettle her readers.

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