Crossing The Line by Isabella Muir

Book Description:

Tragic accident or cold-blooded murder?

Retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi, travels to England to escape one tragic death, when he comes face-to-face with another. When the body of a teenager is found on a Sussex beach, Giuseppe is drawn to the case – a case with no witnesses, and a case about which no one is prepared to talk.

National news reports of a missing twelve-year-old in Manchester spark fear across the nation. The phrase ‘stranger-danger’ filters into public consciousness. Local reporter, Christina Rossi, already has concerns about her local community. Families are not as close-knit as they first appear.

As the sea mist drifts in and darkness descends, can Giuseppe and Christina discover the truth and prevent another tragedy?

Crossing the Line is the perfect summer read for everyone who loves Agatha Christie style twists and turns, with a Mediterranean flavour. Imagine the charismatic Italian police series, Montalbano, combined with those TV favourites set in the 1960s – Endeavour, George Gently and Call the Midwife.

‘A dashing Italian detective. A very English mystery. What more could you want?’ – Christoffer Petersen – bestselling Greenland crime and thriller author.

My thoughts:

This is a genre, an era, and a setting that appeal to me so there was a lot to like about this book.

The main character of Guiseppe, a retired Italian police detective visiting his cousin in a small seaside community in England, is very likeable. As his train is arriving it stops due to an accident. A teenage boy is dead. Guiseppe can’t help himself. He has to know whether it was an accident or something more sinister.

In addition to Guiseppe there is Christina, his cousin’s daughter who is an aspiring journalist at a time when women who worked were more likely to be typists and telephonists. She and Guiseppe form a mutually beneficial partnership to investigate the boy’s death.

There are other threads running through the book too, which I expect will be picked up and developed in future books – Marco’s past; Christina’s complicated relationship with Tony; and I hope we haven’t seen the last of Sean or Pearce.

The twists were a little too well signposted and I guessed them all, but everything that needed to be wrapped up did so nicely, and the things that weren’t leave a nice sense of anticipation for the next book.

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