Crossing Over by John Carson

Crossing Over by John Carson
Publisher: Vellum
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 star
Reviewed by Fern

A woman is found dead, brutally murdered, her death made to look like an accident. DCI Sean Bracken is called in and discovers that the young woman has a very powerful father. Was somebody trying to get back at him or has the woman’s secrets finally caught up with her? Bracken also has to deal with the mysterious arson attack on his boss’s house. And a name from the past resurfaces, a name that Bracken thought was dead and buried. He is walking a tightrope with these cases and not everybody wants him to succeed. But he’s never backed down from a challenge in his life, and this is no different. With his hands full, Bracken is getting pulled in different directions. But he’s more than capable of dealing with a problem head on. As somebody is about to find out…

At first the death of a young woman looks like an accident, but DCI Bracken and his team quickly discover that she was brutally murdered. With a powerful father determined to find answers and the recent arson of Bracken’s boss’ house all putting pressure on the team they each have plenty on their plate. Can they all find the answers they seek?

This is the third novel revolving around DCI Bracken and I am really enjoying this slightly harder, edgier series. All three books have occurred in a very short timeframe (approximately a month of time for Bracken) and so while I wouldn’t classify this as a serial novel, it definitely has a bit of that feel, with events from the previous book somewhat overlapping this story. I feel the author did an excellent job explaining everything without massive pages of info-dumping – I do feel readers who pick this story up by itself won’t feel lost and will be easily able to follow along, but at the same time I can’t help but feel that reading the series in order will give fans a far deeper and better enjoyment of the story, characters and the situation they’ve found themselves in.

The plot is really well handled to my mind. There are a number of moving parts – both with the murder investigation and also the arson and a few tendrils of other sub-plots dangling from the previous two books – and so I found this gives the storyline a good pace without being too crazy. While there is still a bit of banter and lightheartedness between the character interactions, I thought that unlike this author’s Harry McNeil series there is a bit of a grittier, harder feel to the world and story as a whole. Personally, I really enjoyed this – but fans who are expecting a lighthearted, even slightly comedic feel might find this doesn’t meet their expectations.

With some good plots and twisting for them to intertwine I thought this was a well written and solidly paced story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I’ll absolutely be reading more in this series. Recommended.

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