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Book Review, Detective Fiction, Mystery, Police Procedural, Series

The Cyclist (DS George Cross #2) by Tim Sullivan


A demolition site. A body, wrapped in plastic sheeting, is unearthed in the bucket of a mechanical digger. Could Cross’ sudden, abrupt U-turn in the middle of this investigation be the biggest mistake of his career? Odd tanning lines on his body and scars on his forearms enable DS George Cross to narrow down his search for the man’s identity. Has the victim’s illicit side business led to his death or is it a simple case of jealousy and ambition? Cross’ relentless pursuit of the truth leads to some awkward choices.


The unconventional and fascinating DS George Cross is back in book 2 of the DS Cross Crime Thriller series and I couldn’t wait to see how he worked his way through a new murder case while learning social conventions from his partner DS Josie Ottey.

DS Cross’ dogged and singular determination to track down the murder of an amateur cyclist/chef leads to questions for the cyclist’s family, his business colleagues, and his pregnant girlfriend.

George Cross is an enigma. He is a detective sergeant with Aspergers Syndrome and an incredible conviction rate. He plays the church organ on the same night every week for himself and not for services. He has dinner with his father, Raymond, one night a week. He also prefers to work on his own, but his partner Josie is teaching George how to behave “normally” and politely with victims, suspects, and even his colleagues.  The results are endearing as George catches himself albeit a bit after the fact sometimes. Not to mention his literal interpretations of jokes or sarcasm is amusing as people look on confused. Watching George’s mental process of formulating a case and his interrogations of suspects are genius and what I love about Sullivan’s books.

Mr. Sullivan does an incredible job developing his characters. Not only does he capture George’s skill as a detective, but he also reveals George’s vulnerable side. The supporting characters including his partner Ottey, his new team member, Mackenzie along with George’s father Raymond are a great addition to the story as they acknowledge and support George’s eccentricities. 

I recommend this crime thriller with one of my favorite detectives of all time who is guaranteed to flush out the killer in his own meticulous and stoic way. This book can be read as a standalone, but reading The Dentist may give one more insight into DS Cross.


The Cyclist

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Tim SullivanTIM 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 websiteTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

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