The Dentist (DS George Cross #1) by Tim Sullivan
ABOUT THE BOOK
A homeless man. Violently strangled. No leads. Except his past.
An outsider himself, DS George Cross is drawn to this case. The discovery of the dead man’s connection to an old cold case then pulls Cross in further. Convinced this is where the answer to the murder lies, he sets about solving another that someone has spent the past fifteen years thinking they’ve got away with.
Cross’ relentless obsession with logic, detail and patterns is what makes him so irritatingly brilliant. It doesn’t exactly make him popular with colleagues or his superiors, though. He has numerous enemies in the force wanting to see him fail.
Red flags are soon raised as suspicious inconsistencies and errors in the original detective’s investigation come to light. Now retired, this ex-cop has powerful friends in the force and a long-standing dislike of Cross.
Set in picturesque Bristol in the Southwest of England, it’s not long before the city reveals its dark underbelly, in a case of intriguing twists and turns whose result astonishes even those involved.
Difficult and awkward, maybe. But Cross has the best conviction rate in Avon & Somerset Police. By far. Will this case put an end to that?
I’m thrilled to be a part of the Damppebbles Blog Tour where I was introduced to Detective Sergeant George Cross in The Dentist by Tim Sullivan. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a quirky and unusual detective. It sets the scene for an engaging and unpredictable story. The Dentist and DS Cross definitely did not disappoint.
As the murder of a homeless man becomes more than what it appears, DS Cross carefully discovers a connection to a cold case from the victim’s past that brings a shocking discovery.
It’s fascinating and riveting to watch DS Cross’s ruminations of a crime scene, his impersonal and often humorous interactions and innate observations of others, and especially his brilliant interrogations. He solves 97% of his cases, but most of his colleagues dislike his dismissive and odd behavior as a result of Asperger’s. Enter Cross’s partner DS Ottey who is Cross’s voice of empathy and support. Though fighting to be paired with someone else in the department, Ottey has a profound respect for his unwavering determination to close a case despite resistance from his superiors. Also, the new rookie Alice Mackenzie is quickly learning Cross’s quirks and unexpectedly impressing the apathetic detective with her dogged assistance in the pursuit of finding the killer.
And finally, we meet Cross’s father, Raymond. A retired aeronautical engineer and a thoughtful and patient single parent to his only son. Their comfortable and sometimes silent interplays and outings give the reader an intimate, although ordered, aspect into DS Cross’s life. In fact, one feels compassion for Cross when he believes his mother left him and his father because of Cross’s condition.
Overall, I devoured this gripping murder mystery filled with driven and enigmatic characters, surprising and unpredictable discoveries, and suspenseful and relentless pursuits of suspects. Recommend highly!
Thank you to Mr. Sullivan for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
TIM SULLIVAN made his first short film before graduating from Cambridge University. His ambition to become a screenwriter was formed not so much by this experience but as an attempt to foil his father’s determination to turn him into a lawyer.
Within weeks of leaving university armed with a law degree, he had met the filmmaker Derek Jarman and persuaded him to commission an original screenplay from him entitled BOB UPADOWN and so a career was born.
A few months later he joined Granada Television as a researcher. Here he was commissioned to write the first of many television scripts for the company. Two sitcoms entitled THE TRAIN NOW LEAVING and THE GREASY SPOON followed by the crime dramas MYSTERIOUS WAYS and MAIGRET.
While at Granada he was selected for the prestigious Directors’ Training scheme when only 26. Previous incumbents had included Mike Newell, Roland Joffe, and Michael Apted, more recently Julian Farino. Among other credits, he directed CORONATION STREET, MADE IN HEAVEN, THATCHER THE FINAL DAYS, and THE CASEBOOK OF SHERLOCK HOLMES with Jeremy Brett.
During this time he also co-wrote the screenplays for the movies A HANDFUL OF DUST starring Kristen Scott Thomas, Judi Dench and Alec Guinness, and WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD starring Helen Mirren and Helena Bonham Carter, both with producer the legendary TV producer Derek Granger (BRIDESHEAD REVISITED).
Upon leaving the bosom of Granada and venturing into the wild wide world of the freelance filmmaker he wrote and directed the movie JACK AND SARAH starring Richard E Grant, Samantha Mathis, Ian Mckellen, Judi Dench, and Eileen Atkins. This led to a commission from New Line Pictures to write the screenplay WALKING PAPERS based on the Jay Cronley novel of the same name.
This screenplay came to the attention of execs at Universal and Imagine who then asked Tim to do a page one rewrite of a western for Ron Howard entitled THE PRETENDERS. Tim enjoyed working with Ron for over a year on this.
He then wrote an original screenplay, PERSONAL SHOPPING, which was promptly snapped up by Paramount for producer Scott Rudin.
He spent four months working for and with Jeffrey Katzenberg at Dreamworks animation as a production writer on the movie FLUSHED AWAY. Impressed by his work Katzenberg commissioned him to write a script for SHREK 4 which wasn’t used as a different storyline was decided upon as a director came on board.
During this time he was actively involved in British television directing the last ever ninety-minute episode of the BAFTA award-winning series COLD FEET. As well as a TV movie for ITV called CATWALK DOGS written by Simon Nye.
He was commissioned by the BBC to write a pilot for a TV series he invented called BACKSTORY as well as another pilot for the ITV network entitled OFFSPRING.
He also wrote HIS MASTER’S VOICE for the BBC as a radio play starring Rob Brydon which was broadcast in 2015.
He recently wrote the screenplay for LETTERS TO JULIET starring Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave.
Oscar-winning producers of The King’s Speech, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman then commissioned an original screenplay from him entitled THE WEDDING DRESS.
Tim is writing and co-producing and co-writing an animated feature screenplay for Hasbro and Paramount which is in production and scheduled for release in 2021.
He has now embarked on a series of crime novels featuring the eccentric and socially-awkward, but brilliantly persistent DS George Cross. Set in Bristol in the southwest of England, Cross’ methods often infuriate his colleagues and superiors “not so much a thorn in my side as a pain in my arse,” according to his boss DCI Carson. But his conviction rate, thanks to his dogged persistence and attention to detail, is the best in the force. The DENTIST is in the first of a series.
Tim lives in North London with his wife Rachel, the Emmy award-winning producer of THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA and PIONEER WOMAN.
He is currently the UK chair of the Writers’ Guild of America (West).
Follow Tim on his website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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3 thoughts on “The Dentist (DS George Cross #1) by Tim Sullivan”
Great review! I’ve been staying away from a lot of crime fiction outside of cozies because they just seem to heavy right now, but this one sounds like just the kind of book to pull me back into the genre.
Thanks for your comment, Christopher. I’m happy I could interest you in trying this book. I think you will enjoy it. 🙂
Thanks so much x