Tuesday, October 12, 2010

One to read

After two boring books, here is one to read. Val McDermid is not part of the Edinburgh reading set which includes Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith, JK Rowling and Iain Banks, all of whom I delight in but she writes about the same locus. She calls it "Tartan noir".

Val writes thrillers and "The Distant Echo" is from 2003. This is a stand alone book, unconnected with Kate Brannigan and Tony Hill, who feature in her thriller series. What I liked about it was its use of the 'cold case' formula which allowed her to contrast police methods from the seventies and the noughties. I also was pleased not to guess the identity of the killer until about a hundred pages from the end and even there, there was a sting in the tail.

It is usually the case that the killer in real-life murders is a family member or the one who found the body. Val explores how such an assumption can ruin lives. She also gives a surprisingly sympathetic portrayal of an evangelical preacher, for one who comes from her (lesbian) background.

I recommend the book which can be obtained from Amazon for a penny or from all good charity shops for a pound.

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