Monday 25 September 2017

Book review : Crossing The Line - Kerry Wilkinson

Crossing The Line by Kerry Wilkinson was a book that I spotted at The Works for £1 - you can't go wrong at that price, it's even cheaper than charity shop bargains !

It's labelled as a Jessica Daniels novel, but it works fine as a standalone novel too, although the frequent references to police officer Jessica being freaked out by big houses made me wonder what had gone on in previous episodes. Apparently, this is the eighth Jessica Daniels book, but it is also the first in series two, so it's probably a good place to start if you haven't read any of the others and don't want to go right back to the beginning.

Jessica has her work cut out as she investigates a series of seemingly random attacks across Manchester. The victims are all fairly sleazy and have more than their fair share of enemies, but there doesn't seem to be anything tying them together. Luckily, the media are pretty wrapped up with celebrating the 25th anniversary of the arrest of the Stretford Slasher, who terrorised the neighbourhood before being hauled in by Jessica's police buddy, Niall Hambleton. He has now retired but still helps out at the police station on a voluntary basis. He soon finds himself dragged into the new investigation, which opens up a whole can of worms that casts a new light on the previous case that he had a starring role in. Meanwhile, Jessica gets closer to the truth on the new investigation. So far so good, but for me, things went slightly downhill from here on.

From the outset, Jessica is a feisty, fearless investigator and her straight-talking frequently made me smile. To balance things out, she also has a vulnerability from the fact that she is coming to terms with not being able to have children. She has a believable, multi-faceted personality and a great depth of character, even without having read the previous novels in the series. However, she seemed to go into self-destruct mode towards the end, trying to take down a dangerous suspect single-handedly, which was never going to end well. Maybe she got too bolshy and blasé or maybe she was reeling from the new discoveries about her well-liked and trusted friend and colleague, but it just seemed too maverick and unprofessional. Watching the major sleazebag get his comeuppance was unashamedly satisfying, but it didn't ring true - I'm sure no cop would really go down this route. I was also highly dubious about the identity and plausability of the attacker when it finally came to light.

Putting these gripes from the final chapters aside, it was still an enjoyable read, albeit slower-paced and less grisly than much of the crime fiction that I usually read. I enjoyed watching Jessica's character unfold, along with the witty banter with her colleagues, which seemed authentic and gives a broader understanding of the characters. I'd be interested to see how Jessica's character develops in the other novels in the series, so I'll definitely look out for more - especially at that price !

star rating : 4/5

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (September 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447247876
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447247876


  1. Great price. The works is great for that

  2. That's my bedbug about the detective books too - their main protagonists seem to be losing their thinking abilities and trying to tackle the baddies on their own. I recently bought a book for 50p in WHSmith called The Crossing Places.

    1. That's an even better bargain ! I do like fiction to be believable - it's always going to be a foregone conclusion that the good guy will come out on top, but he/she isn't going to manage single-handedly !


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