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Blog Tour: The Dentist (DS George Cross #1) by Tim Sullivan

#TheDentist #DSGeorgeCross @TimJRSullivan @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

A big thank you to Emma @damppebbles for hosting her #damppebblesbogtours and to author @TimJRSullivan for providing a copy of his book, The Dentist.


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?


The Dentist by author Tim Sullivan is an excellent first foray into the world of crime fiction, and a good, all-round police procedural that both captivates and entertains.

Sullivan’s descriptive writing is rich and visceral, and living in Bristol myself it was surreal to be able to picture exactly in my mind all the places featured in the novel. Sullivan portrays the character and atmosphere of the city perfectly, and I couldn’t help but smile at DS Cross’ penchant for neon-lycra and buzzing across Bristol on his bicycle (I know a few of these characters myself!)

DS Cross is a compelling character and being a high-functioning autistic he is, of course, perfectly attuned to detective work and the sifting through of information in search of logic and meaning.

(With his lack of empathy and emotional understanding, Cross could be considered sociopathic, and I love the fact his condition has driven him into police work. DS Cross faced with a sociopath of a different kind – you know, the psychopathic murdering kind – would be fantastic reading).

Cross was also a source of conflict for me as a character: I love his mind and his need for logic, but often found his interactions with others drawn out and painful to read. There are long and overly descriptive passages outlining Cross’ condition which seem clunky and sometimes surplus to the narrative, impacting the pace and flow of reading. I would have preferred Cross’ condition to be inferred in his behaviour and interactions, rather than purely by author description. The dynamic between Cross and his father starts to accomplish this, and I look forward to their relationship developing in subsequent novels. It is clear Sullivan has a fantastic understanding of Asperger’s and portrays it in his character well. I particularly love the café scene where Cross has his breakfast most mornings; there is a touch of the Poirot to Cross’ compulsive need to measure his breakfast and ensure his bacon is aligned just so.

There are many threads to The Dentist, one of my favourite being Cross’ investigation into his (now retired) boss’ previous handling of a murder case. I love the dynamic between Cross and his old boss, the power play between them as their roles are reversed, with the “outsider” Cross now having the upper hand on his older and bullying, incompetent ex-boss. (Having the efficacy of your entire police career questioned by the weird, loner Cross who used to be your office skivvy would make a fantastic, if somewhat tortuous knowing Cross, scene for the TV).

Before reading The Dentist, I wasn’t too enamoured by the thought of a cold case, but author Sullivan’s intricate plotting, numerous red herrings, character development, and visceral description of the landscape is engaging, and the various strands of narrative are brought together in a fabulous finale that both surprises and makes you go “damn! I missed that!”

I look forward to reading more from the DS George Cross series.

Buy your copy of The Dentist, by Tim Sullivan from Amazon UK here. There are more purchase options at the end of this blog.

Publishing Information:

Published in paperback and digital formats on 15th June 2020

Additional Information:

The Cyclist (DS George Cross #2) was published on 2nd September 2020 and is available to purchase NOW!

About the Author

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).

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TimJRSullivan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/timjrsullivan/

Website: https://timsullivan.uk/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/timsullivannovelist/

Buying Information

Buy your copy of The Dentist, by Tim Sullivan from Amazon UK here.

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3gjS7AB

Waterstones: https://bit.ly/3hnLO0b

Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/2QksVPQ

Book Depository: https://bit.ly/2Ewm2IQ

Publishing Information:

Published in paperback and digital formats on 15th June 2020

Additional Information:

The Cyclist (DS George Cross #2) was published on 2nd September 2020 and is available to purchase NOW!

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