I’m pleased to be joining the blog tour for the debut novel, The Dentist by Tim Sullivan, organised by Emma of damppebbles.com today. This book is currently free as a ebook on the Kindle.
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 have to be honest – if I had seen the title of this book in a bookshop or online, I would probably have avoided it – thinking it was about a psychotic dentist. Thankfully, Emma from damppebbles sent out the blurb of the book and this piqued my interest (as did the setting of Bristol – my eldest is off to University there in a couple of weeks time).
I’m pleased to say that Tim Sullivan has created a wonderful set of characters. DS George Cross is a brilliant detective, who has a super power – he has Aspergers, so sees the world in a different way to many of his colleagues. He is a man of routine, who needs everything to be done properly and in a specific way (for example, his food mustn’t touch other food on his plate). His work partner is Ottey, who tries to understand him and to help him negotiate a world full of challenges and social expectations. We also meet George’s dad, Raymond who is a retired engineer and hoarder. Hopefully we will find out more about them as the series about DS Cross progresses.
The dentist, in the title, is the homeless murder victim. Cross and Ottey need to solve a number of puzzles including another murder from 15 years earlier to enable them to solve this murder. The story builds slowly as we meet the characters, then the tension increases as Cross and his small team track down information and potential witnesses. This is a no spoilers review so I’m not going to drop any hints about the plot. This is a book I’m happy to recommend to fans of crime fiction and I’m looking forward to meeting DS Cross again in The Cyclist later this year.
About Tim Sullivan:
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 film maker 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 encumbents 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 film maker 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 south west 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).
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3ginNGt
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3gjS7AB
Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/2QksVPQ
Book Depository: https://bit.ly/2Ewm2IQ
Published in paperback and digital formats on 15th June 2020
The Cyclist (DS George Cross #2) was published on 2nd September 2020 and is available to purchase NOW!