Top critical review
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a trips down imagination road review
on 11 October 2016
Title: Cross and Burn
Series: Tony Hill & Carol Jordan (#8)
Author: Val McDermid
Release Date: 22nd January 2013
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Cross and Burn , picks up where The Retribution left off: following the best crime-fighting team in the UK-- clinical psychologist Tony Hill and police detective Carol Jordan-- who when we last saw them were barely speaking, and whose relationship will now be challenged even further. Guilt and grief have driven a wedge between long time crime-fighting partners psychologist Tony Hill and ex-DCI Carol Jordan. But just because they're not talking doesn't mean the killing stops. Someone is killing women. Women who bear an unsettling resemblance to Carol Jordan. And when the evidence begins to point in a disturbing direction, thinking the unthinkable seems the only possible answer. Cornered by events, Tony and Carol are forced to fight for themselves and each other as never before. An edge-of-your-seat page-turner from one of the best crime writers we have, Cross and Burn is a chilling, unforgettable read.
While Cross and Burn could be read as a standalone and it is a new crime that is introduced and solved within the book. However I do believe that something is missed in this book if you haven't read the previous books as the characters have all been heavily influenced by the events of the previous book, The Retribution. This review should be spoiler free.
Cross and Burn was a bit of a departure from the previous books. After the events in The Retribution, Tony and Carol are on bad terms, Carol is no longer a serving police officer and the Major Incidents Team has been disbanded (though Paula, Stacey and Chris all make appearances, but we'll get to Paula in a minute!) This did feel more about the characters than the crime, but by this point I'm invested in them anyway!
I liked seeing more of Paula in this book, I've liked her since she was introduced and having survived (definintely an appropriate term!) 4 books already, I've definitely seen her grow as a character. This not only continued her growth as an officer but I think showed how she'd changed from working with Tony and Carol for so long.
Both Tony and Carol were still greiving after the events of The Retribution, which to be honest I'm still reeling from slightly, but this did show signs of them getting a bit better and starting the road to recovery. However due to their estrangement there was much less of the great dynamic between them, though hopefully that should start to change in the next one.
I've read a few reviews for Cross and Burn that complain about the fact that no one ever doubts that Tony didn't commit the crime he was arrested for. While in some thrillers/crime books I would accept that it could be annoying if that was the case, as a reader who has known Tony for 7 books already, I wouldn't have doubted his innocence anyway so think it is a bit of a moot point.
This was good, maybe not quite as great as some of the earlier books but I can feel things starting to shift again after the previous books.