Crossing The Line (2014) by Kerry Wilkinson

Following the ordeals of Behind Closed Doors, Jessica Daniel’s life and career are back on track – she’s even been promoted to DI, just in time for a dangerous string of attackers in Manchester. At a political event, a local man is blinded when he is sprayed in the face with chemicals. The masked perpetrator soon strikes again. And again.

Trying to find a link – if any – between the victims, Jessica soon finds herself distracted by other events. Doubt has been cast on a twenty-five year old case, the Stretford Slasher, and an old contact of Jessica’s has relapsed for no reason. Jessica has to find a way to balance the three cases – because if she can’t, then there will be some serious repercussions.

I’ve a few reviews to write at the moment, so apologies if this one errs on the brief side. I dove into this one almost immediately after finishing Behind Closed Doors, the previous book in the series that I had neglected for so long.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t as enthused by this one as much as the previous book, but there could be a good reason for this. This is, according to the afterword, written in a sense as the first in a pair of titles with Scarred For Life, and it certainly feels like events are being set up for the future. Kerry does refer to it as the first book in “Season 2” for Jessica on his website.

Wilkinson’s (and Jessica’s) sense of humour is on display here – it was understandably muted in the last book – and there’s no question that I didn’t enjoy reading the book. The issue classic crime fans might have is that the whodunit part of the story – who is the anarchist? – isn’t really the main part of the plot. I would say though, that there is some well constructed deduction directed towards finding the culprit.

I’m going to leave judgement of one action at the end of the tale – another potential trauma for Jessica, both in what happens to her and what she does afterwards didn’t sit well with me but I suppose I should have expected something given the title of this one. However, I’m confident that the author is going somewhere with this in the next book and I’ll definitely be looking at that one soon, so I’ll let you know.

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