The Patient by Tim Sullivan

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The Patient (A DS Cross thriller) by Tim Sullivan

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Buy The Patient by Tim Sullivan at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Crime
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: It's the third book in the series but reads well as a standalone. It's an absolute cracker and highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: March 2022
Publisher: Head of Zeus
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1801107747

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DS George Cross has an autistic spectrum disorder, quite probably Asperger's Syndrome. He can be rude, difficult and awkward with people, although it's never intentional. It's just that he thinks differently and social niceties simply don't occur to him. There's a reason why he's in Bristol's Major Crime Unit and it's that he has the best conviction rate with cases, ever. His partner is DS Josie Ottey: she regards Cross with affection (not an emotion he would recognise, or welcome being attached to himself) and even attempts to instil some of those missing social niceties into Cross's behaviour.

Neurotypical people recognise to a greater or lesser extent that said social niceties oil the wheels of life. Cross doesn't recognise this or even realise how it affects his life. Ottey might persuade him to learn a few 'tricks' but they will never come naturally:

Did he just pay you a compliment? [the mortuary assistant] asked.
If he did, he definitely wasn't aware of it, she replied.

Cross puts people's backs up and right now DI Johnny Campbell has reached the stage of making a formal complaint to DCI Carson. The latest problem is that Campbell has told Sandra Wilson that there's no reason to think that her daughter, Felicity, was murdered. Flick (as she was known) committed suicide. He's told Sandra to leave the station but Cross has found her, soaking wet, in the bike store - and brought her back into the station. It's not long before he agrees that it was murder. Campbell is infuriated.

Sometimes, you start a book and you know that you're reading something really special and so it was with The Patient. It could well be my book of the year and I struggle to think of a recent crime novel which comes anywhere near close. Why? Well, it's the character of George Cross: this is the perfect characterisation of someone with ASD. If you've had much contact with someone on the spectrum, you'll recognise the traits. I'd go as far as to say that the book will help you to understand Aspberger's and other spectrum disorders.

The story isn't about autism, though. It's an exceptionally well-written whodunnit. The plot covers some difficult subjects, such as the sexual abuse of vulnerable people and assisted dying. They're dealt with in some depth but with sensitivity. You'll feel informed but not as though you've been educated.

You get characters (and it's not just Cross) who stay in your mind long after you've turned the final page. The story is an absolute cracker but the best thing of all is that Sullivan has a back catalogue which I'm going to love exploring.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you want to know more about autism we can recommend Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter about People Who Think Differently by Steve Silberman. For more crime from Bristol, try Poppet by Mo Hayder. Right to Die by Hazel McHaffie will tell you more about the cases for and against assisted dying.

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Buy The Patient by Tim Sullivan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Patient by Tim Sullivan at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.

Buy The Patient by Tim Sullivan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Patient by Tim Sullivan at Amazon.com.

The Patient by Tim Sullivan Check prices, read reviews or buy from Foyles. Foyles currently charges £2.99 (first class £3.99) for orders under £25, over which delivery is free. You may also click and collect from a Foyles bookshop at no charge.

The Patient by Tim Sullivan Check prices, read reviews or buy from Waterstones. Waterstones currently charges from £2.75 for orders under £20, over which delivery is free. You may also click and collect from a Waterstones bookshop at no charge.

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