Cross and Burn

This is only the second book of McDermid’s that I’ve read, though this is number 8 in the Hill/Jordan series. In fact, I quickly picked up on the fact that this story follows on the heels of The Retribution. This is the reason I have taken to reading books in order.  But we had a week of travel and I read what was on my r-reader.

That’s not to say I read trash. McDermid is one of the best crime writers working today.

This story is loaded with interpersonal conflicts of the main characters, plot twists, false leads, and a blast of an ending. The story centers around former DCI Carol Jordan and her longtime friend and lover, psychologist Tony Hill. Their problem is that they had a meltdown at the end of Retribution–don’t ask me what happened, I haven’t read it–and Jordan quit the force and refuses to talk to Hill or anyone else.

Meanwhile, women are being murdered and Jordan’s former bag man, DS Paula McIntyre, has to sort out the evidence with no help from her former boss and little from Dr. Hill. She is now bag man for a DCI determined to solve the case and set herself up as the greatest Metropolitan detective of her time.

Perhaps needless to say, Devine finds herself in conflict with the driven DCI who is the opposite of Jordan. Both Hill and Jordan are drawn into the case, but not out of love.

This is a 4.5-star book only because there seemed to be too many repeated thoughts, and doubts, as well as a few slow spots. A couple of the opening chapters took most of the book to fit them into the storyline.

Read The Retribution first.

Mike Lawrence

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