Winner of the Gold Dagger Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Val McDermid pens mysteries heralded on both sides of the Atlantic. In Beneath the Bleeding, Dr. Tony Hill must make sense of the perplexing death of a soccer star—but the footballer’s demise is only a prelude to greater violence.
©2009 Val McDermid (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
“McDermid is as smooth a practitioner of crime fiction as anyone out there.” (New York Times Book Review)
I'm a fan of the TV series and found the audio books to be even better in that they were allowed to go into more detail. The characters were many faceted and not always predictable. Beneath the Bleeding in particular struck a chord with me and I listened to it several times.
Another wonderful entry in McDermid's series about psychological profiler Tony Hill, who is hospitalized throughout much of the book after being hit with an ax by a patient, and detective chief inspector Carol Jordan, who is faced with the case of a star soccer player being poisoned and evidence suggesting there might be a terrorism angle. This one isn't as gruesome as some of the other books because it's not about a sexual sociopath. But if the plot sounds boring — and it does to me — it's interesting in its look at terrorism security, poisonous plants and soccer fandom. It does discuss the endings of the first and fourth books but not so explicitly that it would ruin reading them after this, but the characters will resonate more if you start earlier. Bechdel test: A+.
I like to follow series. This is probably the most consistent in quality story to story. Thus far not a dud in the lot. I gave this one a 4 but for me they all come very close to 5 stars. I highly recommend this series for extended reading. I like Doyle's narration generally but in this one book he was not at his best--he does well in the others in this series.
Plot had a lot of secrets revealed
He formed the characters in a seamless manner
There are more than one way to slice a terrorist.
I think this was a lesser entry in the Carol & Tony saga, but the reader certainly didn't help. Midway through, I began to wonder if these books were just better when read instead of heard, but I don't think it was entirely that. The story itself was a bit clunky, and I realized there was more tell than show than I remembered from previous volumes. The dialogue was lacking and the mysteries felt half-hearted. It's as if the story part of the book got lost in its own politics. There were also a number of threads and asides that never went anywhere, which was distracting. Overall, I'd say this was a middling effort for this author, but I'm hoping for a return to form with the next book. It wasn't horrible. I just expected better.
Now, as for the reader - I have to say that my enjoyment of the book was very much so impacted by the reader. His pacing was odd. It felt like, at times, he just rushed from paragraph to paragraph with no break, which made the material seem disjointed. He also had that odd cadence where his inflection peaked in the middle of the sentence, making each one sound as if it was climbing a hill. He'd start in a normal tone, jump up a little higher (in the way one does when the sentence becomes a question by inflection only), then wind back down to normal. Something about the way he read some of the characters, Carol in particular, made them come off as quite whiny. At the same time, he was also very flat. I'll give him this - he did a pretty decent job with some of the accents.
In sum, there are better books in this series. If you've never read any of them, certainly do not start with this one.
I can't comment on the story as I was unable to finish it. From the small part I read, I would guess that folks who enjoy Patricia Cornwell would like the gruesome plot.
It isn't fair of me to review the story as I was unable to complete it. I just was not in the mood to be depressed.
The performance is what ruined the story for me and made it impossible to continue past the first 15 minutes. The narrator reads in a monotone. Who would approve someone to read a story who makes a thriller so boring you can't continue to listen? It was impossible.
Didn't finish the book.
Narration ruined the experience. This is one where I'd like my money back.
The character development is nice, but with 2 big storylines....too many characters. The narrator was good, but did not vary vlmuch between characters. Was that Carol or Paula? Unless the author notes it, you may miss it.
Too contrived and inauthnic sub-plot. Cause and effect incongruent. Author's incredible foresight of events could have been ripped out of todays headlines. She's a great storyteller.
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