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About Val McDermid
Val McDermid is a number one bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over sixteen million copies. She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009, was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger in 2010 and received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award in 2011. In 2016, Val received the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival and in 2017 received the DIVA Literary Prize for Crime, and was elected a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Val has served as a judge for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize, and was Chair of the Wellcome Book Prize in 2017. She is the recipient of six honorary doctorates and is an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She writes full-time and divides her time between Edinburgh and East Neuk of Fife.
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This "cunningly plotted" (New York Times) thriller is coming to Britbox this October!
Bestselling, award-winning author Val McDermid delivers her most stunning story yet in The Distant Echo--an intricate, thought-provoking tale of murder and revenge.
Four in the morning, mid-December, and snow blankets St. Andrews School. Student Alex Gilbery and his three best friends are staggering home from a party when they stumble upon the body of a young woman. Rosie Duff has been raped, stabbed and left for dead in the ancient Pictish cemetery. The only suspects are the four young students stained with her blood.
Twenty-five years later, police mount a cold case review. Among the unsolved murders they're examining is that of Rosie Duff. But someone else has his own idea of justice. One of the original quartet dies in a suspicious house fire and soon after, a second is killed. Alex fears the worst. Someone is taking revenge for Rosie Duff. And it might just save his life if he can uncover who really killed Rosie all those years ago.
“[A Darker Domain] combines a thrilling story with heartbreaking questions of social justice and history.”
The New York Times calls Val McDermid, “As smooth a practitioner of crime fiction as anyone out there…the best we’ve got.” Time spent with her extraordinary thriller, A Darker Domain, will prove that it’s true. Set in Scotland, the milieu of Ian Rankin’s John Rebus, McDermid’s brilliant exploration of loyalty and greed intertwines the past and present. It was chosen as a New York Times Notable Crime Book of the Year and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
In the center of historic Edinburgh, Scotland, builders are preparing to demolish a disused Victorian Gothic building. They are understandably surprised to find skeletal remains hidden in a high pinnacle that hasn’t been touched by maintenance for years. Who do the bones belong to, and how did they get there? Could the eccentric British pastime of free climbing the outside of buildings play a role? Enter cold case detective Karen Pirie, who gets to work trying to establish the corpse’s identity. And when it turns out the bones may be from as far away as former Yugoslavia, Karen will need to dig deeper than she ever imagined into the tragic history of the Balkans: to war crimes and their consequences, and ultimately to the notion of what justice is and who serves it.
“McDermid melds the political thriller with the police procedural for an intense novel.”—Associated Press
A Scottish police inspector deals with forgeries and false identities in a new murder mystery in the “superior series” (The New York Times).
When a lobster fisherman discovers a dead body in Scotland’s Firth of Forth, DCI Karen Pirie is called into investigate. She quickly discovers that the case will require untangling a complicated web—involving a long-ago disappearance, art forgery, and secret identities—that seems to surround a painter who can mimic anyone from Holbein to Hockney. Meanwhile, a traffic accident leads to the discovery of a skeleton in a suburban garage. Karen has a full plate, and it only gets more stressful as the man responsible for the death of the love of her life is scheduled for release from prison, reopening old wounds just as she was getting back on her feet.
From a Diamond Dagger Award winner and multiple Edgar Award finalist, Still Life is a tightly plotted mystery featuring an investigator “whose unwavering confidence is tempered by a strong dose of kindness and sense of justice” (Booklist).
“There are few other crime writers in the same league.”—Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post
A woman digs up a buried treasure—and a buried body—in the Scottish Highlands: “There are few other crime writers in the same league.”—Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post
Six feet under in a Highland peat bog lies Alice Somerville’s inheritance, buried by her grandfather at the end of World War II. But when Alice finally uncovers it, she finds an unwanted surprise—a body with a bullet hole between the eyes. Meanwhile, DCI Karen Pirie is dealing not only with this cold case but with a domestic violence case, and as as she gets closer to the truth, it becomes clear that not everyone shares her desire for justice. Or even the idea of what justice is.
An engrossing, twisty thriller, Broken Ground is an outstanding entry in this Diamond Dagger-winning author’s “superior series” (The New York Times Book Review).
“As always, McDermid’s story lines are as richly layered as her protagonist.”—Publishers Weekly
“One of the best things about this series is the details of Karen's working life, the obstacles as well as the satisfactions, and the small pleasures of her off hours.”—Kirkus Reviews
When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to an unsolved murder from twenty-two years before. Finding the answer to the cold case should be straightforward. But it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself.
Meanwhile, Inspector Karen Pirie finds herself irresistibly drawn to another mystery that she has no business investigating, a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems.
From a Diamond Dagger Award-winning author, Out of Bounds is a riveting cold case novel starring detective Karen Pirie, who’s been described by the Associated Press as “a formidable character worthy of her own series.”
“I would like to see a great deal more of DCI Pirie.” —Irish Times
A Scottish journalist is drawn into a world of corruption, terror, and murder in the new novel by “one of crime fiction’s most eminent writers” (Entertainment Weekly).
The year started badly and only got worse—blizzards, strikes, power cuts, and political unrest were the norm. For investigative journalist Allie Burns, however, someone else’s bad news was the unmistakable sound of opportunity knocking, and 1979 is ripe with possibilities.
But Allie is a woman in what is still a man’s world. Desperate to get away from the “women's stories” the Glasgow desk keeps assigning her, she strikes up an alliance with wannabe investigative journalist Danny Sullivan. From the start, their stories create enemies. First an international tax fraud, then a potential Scottish terrorist group aiming to cause mayhem ahead of an impending referendum. And then Danny is found murdered in his flat. For Allie, investigative journalism just got personal.
The debut of an intense new series, 1979 is an atmospheric journey into the past with intriguing insight into the present, from a Diamond Dagger winner and multiple Edgar Award finalist.
“The queen of psychological thrillers.” —Irish Independent
“There are few other crime writers in the same league.” —The Washington Post
This was the summer he discovered what he wanted--at a gruesome museum of criminology far off the beaten track of more timid tourists. Visions of torture inspired his fantasies like a muse. It would prove so terribly fulfilling.
The bodies of four men have been discovered in the town of Bradfield. Enlisted to investigate is criminal psychologist Tony Hill. Even for a seasoned professional, the series of mutilation sex murders is unlike anything he's encountered before. But profiling the psychopath is not beyond him. Hill's own past has made him the perfect man to comprehend the killer's motives. It's also made him the perfect victim.
A game has begun for the hunter and the hunted. But as Hill confronts his own hidden demons, he must also come face-to-face with an evil so profound he may not have the courage--or the power--to stop it...
The Mermaids Singing is a chilling and taut psychological mystery from Val McDermid.
Unmarked graves are found on the grounds of an old orphanage in this “riveting” British crime thriller by an Edgar Award finalist (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
With profiler Tony Hill behind bars and Carol Jordan no longer with the police, he’s finding unexpected outlets for his talents in jail and she’s joined forces with a group of lawyers and forensics experts looking into suspected miscarriages of justice. But they’re doing it without each other; being in the same room at visiting hour is too painful to contemplate.
Meanwhile, construction is suddenly halted on the redevelopment of an orphanage after dozens of skeletons are found buried at the site. Forensic examination reveals they date from between twenty and forty years ago, when the nuns were running their repressive regime. But then a different set of skeletons is discovered in a far corner—young men from as recent as ten years ago.
When newly promoted DI Paula McIntyre discovers that one of the male skeletons is that of a killer who is supposedly alive and behind bars—and the subject of one of Carol’s miscarriage investigations—it brings Tony and Carol irresistibly into each other’s orbit once again in this masterfully plotted novel by “the queen of psychological thrillers” (Irish Independent).
Val McDermid's The Wire in the Blood is "a superb psychological thriller" (Cosmopolitan), the basis for ITV's series of the same name.
Across the country, dozens of teenage girls have vanished. Authorities are convinced they're runaways with just the bad luck of the draw to connect them. It's the job of criminal profilers Dr. Tony Hill and Carol Jordan to look for a pattern. They've spent years exploring the psyches of madmen. But sane men kill, too. And when they hide in plain sight, they can be difficult to find...
He's handsome and talented, rich and famous--a notorious charmer with the power to seduce...and the will to destroy. No one can believe what he's capable of. No one can imagine what he's already done. And no one can fathom what he's about to do next. Until one of Hill's students is murdered--the first move in a sick and violent game for three players. Now, of all the killers Hill and Jordan have hunted, none has been so ruthless, so terrifyingly clever, and so brilliantly elusive as the killer who's hunting them...
From the Edgar Award-nominated author of the DCI Karen Pirie series, this two-in-one volume includes:
Report for Murder
Self-proclaimed cynical socialist-lesbian-feminist and freelance journalist Lindsay Gordon is strapped for cash. Why else would she agree to cover a fund-raising gala at a girls’ public school? But when the star attraction is found garroted with her own cello string moments before she is due on stage, Lindsay finds herself investigating a vicious murder.
“A timeless mystery, well-plotted with crisp dialogue and solid characterization.”―Orlando Sun-Sentinel
When her former lover is accused of murder—at a women’s peace protest, no less—Lindsay must bring all of her expertise as an investigative reporter into play—and uncovers a truth even she can scarcely believe.
“McDermid’s snappy, often comic prose keeps the story humming.”―Publishers Weekly
Winter 1963: two children have disappeared off the streets of Manchester; the murderous careers of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady have begun. On a freezing day in December, another child goes missing: thirteen-year-old Alison Carter vanishes from her town, an insular community that distrusts the outside world. For the young George Bennett, a newly promoted inspector, it is the beginning of his most difficult and harrowing case: a murder with no body, an investigation with more dead ends and closed faces than he'd have found in the anonymity of the inner city, and an outcome which reverberates through the years.
Decades later he finally tells his story to journalist Catherine Heathcote, but just when the book is poised for publication, Bennett unaccountably tries to pull the plug. He has new information which he refuses to divulge, new information that threatens the very foundations of his existence. Catherine is forced to re-investigate the past, with results that turn the world upside down.
A Greek tragedy in modern England, Val McDermid's A Place of Execution is a taut psychological thriller that explores, exposes and explodes the border between reality and illusion in a multi-layered narrative that turns expectations on their head and reminds us that what we know is what we do not know.
A Place of Execution is winner of the 2000 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a 2001 Edgar Award Nominee for Best Novel.