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The Mermaids Singing | [Val McDermid]

The Mermaids Singing

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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....

©1995 Val McDermid (P)1996 ISIS Publishing Ltd.

What the Critics Say

"Complex...powerful...psychologically terrifying...impossible to put down." (Publishers Weekly)

"Exciting, rapid-fire...a satisfying descent into the territory of a twisted mind." (Booklist )

"Compelling and shocking…." (Minette Walters)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (388 )
5 star
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Overall
3.7 (339 )
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Story
3.9 (339 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    brenda hubbard Ellensburg, Wa. United States 07-23-13
    brenda hubbard Ellensburg, Wa. United States 07-23-13 Member Since 2012

    I am a college professor and professional actor, director and playwright. The peformance of the book is as important to me as the writing.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "excessively violent for no good purpose"

    I was hopeful, the actor doing the voices was great, but the story was implausible and gratuitously violent. Ick.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Woodstock, GA, United States 07-14-13
    Sandra Woodstock, GA, United States 07-14-13 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WAY too graphic - author a serial killer??"
    What did you like best about The Mermaids Singing? What did you like least?

    I should have trusted the reviews warning about graphic violence - I couldn't get past the description of spilling dog entrails and the sounds of torture on the rack, and deleted this selection. The procedural component may be good -- I don't know -- but the violence is so graphic I couldn't listen to this.


    What could Val McDermid have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    There are many proven ways to convey this type of violence, and portray this kind of monster, without punishing the reader. Please use a less graphic technique. I won't try another of your stories until one of the comments says you've toned down the graphic violence.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I understand this may be a talented voice in procedural fiction. I'll never know.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Raleigh, NC, United States 05-28-13
    Denise Raleigh, NC, United States 05-28-13 Member Since 2008

    Addicted to Audible - I listen to at least three books a month while I'm out walking. I'm a motivational speaker based in North Carolina.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    47
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    "Didn't Have to Be So Graphic"
    What did you like best about The Mermaids Singing? What did you like least?

    I'm all in for the violent murder. I watch true crime on TV and most of what I listen to here involves a murder. But this was unnecessarily sick. Shock value to make up for average writing? I think the title was more intriguing than the book.

    And the mystery wasn't that great a mystery. I also wondered why the narrator often said he when she was the correct pronoun. At first I found it confusing, then I thought maybe it was a reference to all the gender bending. Then I decided I might be losing my mind. I still have no clue.

    I'd say there are loads of better books out there. No need to subject yourself to these really gross descriptions of sadism and torture.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    emily Denver, CO, United States 07-29-13
    emily Denver, CO, United States 07-29-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    15
    3
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    "Couldn't get into it."

    I thought the book sounded interested, but very very dull. There was a fifteen minute period of him explaining himself shaving.. I couldn't get into it at all.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan CLIVE, IA, United States 05-23-13
    Joan CLIVE, IA, United States 05-23-13 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    3
    Overall
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    "Awful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
    What would have made The Mermaids Singing better?

    Not publishing it.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Val McDermid again?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I couldn't listen to this book. It was distasteful, graphic and perverted.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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