x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Bradfield’s finest returns

Val McDermid wheels out DCI Carol Jordan for her eighth murder investigation in Cross and Burn.

Scottish crime detective writer Val McDermid’s eighth novel to feature Detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan and forensic psychologist Dr Tony Hill begins on a more interesting premise than most.

The dysfunctional romantic subplot has been replaced by an altogether more passionate relationship of guilt and loathing. Cross and Burn picks up where The Retribution ended; with Jordan blaming Hill for the murder of her brother and his wife, Hill blaming himself and Jordan out of the Bradfield Metropolitan Police. But it isn’t too long before the obligatory murderous psychopath brings Jordan out of retirement. Hill is in the frame for killing blonde women who bear a passing resemblance to his former sleuthing partner and Jordan begrudgingly starts work to clear his name. Neither Jordan nor McDermid let Hill off the hook too easily though: “I’m on the side of justice being done. That’s all ... I’m done with Tony,” Jordan swears.

As usual, McDermid’s prose rips along with no time wasted on literary flounces and, as usual, either you’ll love this book or find its resolutions too easy.