Friday, 12 May 2023

The Monk - Tim Sullivan


To find a murderer, you need a motive . . .

DS George Cross has always wondered why his mother left him when he was a child. Now she is back in his life, he suddenly has answers. But this unexpected reunion is not anything he's used to dealing with. When a disturbing case lands on his desk, he is almost thankful for the return to normality.

The body of a monk is found savagely beaten to death in a woodland near Bristol. Nothing is known about Brother Dominic's past, which makes investigating difficult. How can Cross unpick a crime when they don't know anything about the victim? And why would someone want to harm a monk?

Discovering who Brother Dominic once was only makes the picture more puzzling. He was a much-loved and respected friend, brother, son – he had no enemies. Or, at least, none that are obvious. But looking into his past reveals that he was a very wealthy man, that he sacrificed it all for his faith. For a man who has nothing, it seems strange that greed could be the motive for his murder. But greed is a sin after all...

This was my first interaction with DS George Cross and his team and, to be honest, as a character he took a bit of getting used to. It cannot be easy writing someone like this, a person obviously on the spectrum and in a leadership role but Sullivan manages to pull it off. Cross comes across as rude at times and quite abrupt but it's clear from early on that his team work well around him and between them all they get the job done.

The case this time is the brutal beating and murder of a monk, Brother Dominic, who's body is found in woodland near Bristol. It is a case that needs Cross and team to unravel the previous life of the victim before he took Holy Orders and that is a job in itself.

With a good bit of the story taking place in and around the Monastery this was a different kind of scene than I am used to but it certainly came across well. Seeing Cross looking on the monastic lifestyle as something that would appeal to him also rang true (I work with people on the spectrum and know how much the world can be invasive to them at times). So, yes, Mr Sullivan, a job well done here.

The mystery itself is a twisty one with a few moments that wrong-footed me and I enjoyed it a lot - enough so that I am in the process of looking up the four previous books in the series (mid series is never the best place to start but this book did work ok on its own).


Thanks to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for inviting me onto the tour and providing the review copy (all views are my own). Please have a look at the posts by the other bloggers (below)

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