Tag Archives: val mcdermid

the retribution

The Retribution (Carol Jordan and Tony Hill #7) by Val McDermid.

From Goodreads:

There is one serial killer who has shaped and defined police profiler Tony Hill’s life. One serial killer whose evil surpasses all others. One serial killer who has the power to chill him to the bone: Jacko Vance. And now Jacko is back in Tony’s life – even more twisted and cunning than ever before.

My Rating: ๐ŸŒŸ ๐ŸŒŸ ๐ŸŒŸ

This book had a lot of potential. Carol and Tony are moving their lives to a new chapter and moving closer to a proper relationship, Jacko Vance breaks out of prison and there is another sicko serial killer on the loose. Somehow, however, the author manages none of the story lines particularly well.

Everything about this book is grand but it’s far from great. The twin stories of the new killer and Jacko’s revenge spree were very underdeveloped and really should have been two separate books while the ending was shockingly sudden and verging on ridiculous with Jacko. Both stories felt like the author ran out of time, especially with the new killer. This story just finished very abruptly. Add in the complete overreaction by Carol towards Tony and the overall story left a bad taste.

The saving grace of this book is the development of the secondary characters, especially Paula and Stacey. The second story line allowed for this but I really would have preferred to see this happen in a separate book.

It’s a step in the series and worth reading but the next instalment needs to be much better to rescue the series.

fever of the bone

Carol Jordan and Tony Hill #6 by Val McDermid.

From Goodreads:

Meet Tony Hill’s most twisted adversary – a killer with a shopping list of victims, a killer unmoved by youth and innocence, a killer driven by the most perverted desires …

When teenager Jennifer Maidment’s murdered and mutilated body is discovered, it is clear that there is a dangerous psychopath on the loose. But it’s not long before Tony and DCI Carol Jordan realise it’s just the start of a brutal and ruthless campaign targeting an apparently unconnected group of young people. Their chameleon-like killer is chatting with them online, pretending to share their interests and beliefs – and then luring them to their deaths.

But just when Tony should be at the heart of the hunt, he’s pushed to the margins by Carol’s cost-cutting boss and replaced by a dangerously inexperienced profiler. Struggling with the newly awakened ghosts of his own past and desperate for distraction in his work, Tony battles to find the answers that will give him personal and professional satisfaction in his most nerve-shattering investigation yet.

My Rating: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Really enjoyed this. Previous books have focused heavily on Carol, her private and professional struggles and her relationship with Tony. This book is written much more from Tony’s point of view, taking his character in a different direction and hopefully setting up the next book to be a really different relationship for the two of them.

I also really enjoyed the development of the other characters, especially the other members of Carol’s MIT. Paula in particular got a nice focus throughout this book and I think Ambrose will feature in the rest of the series.

On top of all that it’s a cracking bad guy story with a bit of a twist from the norm.