The brand new thriller from the award-winning crimewriter. 'Death is a hollow drum whose beat has measured out my adult life.' So writes Jay Macallan Stewart in her latest volume of memoirs. But nobody has ever asked whether that has been by accident or design. Nobody, that is, until Jay turns her sights on newly-wed and freshly-widowed Magda Newsam. For Magda's mother Corinna is an Oxford don who knows enough of Jay's history to be very afraid indeed...
©2010 Val McDermid (P)2011 WF Howes Ltd
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"Will be back to this one"
Beautifully crafted characters, and wonderfully read, I'll be listening to this again in short order as I enjoyed it so much. The twists and turns of the plot and the sympathetic portrayals of complex people (aren't we all) create a gripping story. Val is a new discovery for me. I'll be reading more.
I was very disappointed by the novel and the choice of narrative voices. It's been some time since I read a McDermid and this felt like it could have been a first attempt at novel writing rather than that of an experienced writer. It was v simplistic and to be honest rather poorly edited. Given both the narrative voices were supposed to be of youngish women, I can't understand why the producer chose voices that sounded as if they belonged to over 50 women. All in all not good.
"Just So Disappointing"
McDermid is one of my favourite crime writers who usually constructs a powerful and absorbing plot combined with credible characters. Sadly in this book she fails on the first and possibly on both counts.
This is largely a lesbian love story with what might turn out to be a good crime story hiding somewhere in the background.
I gave up after about three hours and that's the first time I've done that for years and the first time with one of her books ever.
As I said, a great disappointment.
"Felt let down"
Generally speaking I am a fan of Val McDermid and generally she appears to be believable on background. However, on this occasion she appears not to have given as much commitment to this as she normally does. The central character appears to be some sort of cross between a psychologist and psychiatrist which in my experience very rarely happens, I have never experienced it myself and I have 30 years experience in psychiatry. The story seems to revolve around her competence to practise and awaiting the verdict from the GMC which probably wouldn't happen because it would not come under the remit of the GMC, even if she was a psychiatrist which she wouldn't be unless she had first been trained as a medical doctor. She is a good storyteller but I did feel there is a responsibility to get the background something like believable. Sorry Val not your best.
An exciting plot but based on false premises about forensic psychiatry.'A beach book' it will sell well but the links to reality are tenuous.
"Indeed a trick"
I am still scratching my head wondering how & why I purchased this strange book. I am fairly new to 'Audible' and maybe I was tricked into it because it certainly is not the sort of literature which I would normally choose. However, I paid for it so I listened to it from start to finish.
The publishers describe it as a 'thriller' but I found little or nothing thrilling about it - but doubtless had the publishers been more honest & described it as a homosexual fantasy I would have given it the wide berth which it deserves.
I have seen other reviews complementing the storyline. Frankly, I found it dull and enitely predictable. I accurately deduced the villain's true identity very early on in the piece which thus added little to the enjoyment.
The constant theme of lesbianism which runs through the story was more nauseating than tittilating & was certainly unendearing.
As for the reading, I have no doubt that the 2 readers found it arduous but the attempt at a Scottish accent was almost farcical.
I shall NOT be looking for any more of this genre in future:
"Well paced, well narrated"
A well paced, well structured book which was supported by a good narration.
A few unexpected twists and good characterisation made this one a real pleasure to listen to.
Well read, and presented, what made this audio crime novel interesting to me was the first consistent use of the 'Ethic of Care' which arose in Moral Philosophy research in the 1980s, in response to the idea of "Ethic of Justice' being the moral framework for the whole of humanity. Since the 'Ethic of Care' was taken as being the main female way of reasoning about the moral, or ethical, quality of behaviour this becomes a very interesting account indeed. I am not sure whether I would have realised this if I had read the book, rather than listening to it, whilst doing other things. Pacing is patchy, the story in the round, very interesting (and yes, you MUST be a medic to be a psychiatrist; very few people can start a medical degree with a Psychology degree, even a first from Oxford; although you might do psychology for your final, pre-clincal year, as medics did at UCL in the 80s when I were a lass) and there are forensic psychiatrists. Recommend
I found this book very boring and very disappointing. The author seems to be more interested in promoting her homosexual feeling than producing an interesting plot. I gave up after plough through three quarters of the first half and wondering if there really was a story line.
Having loved the Tony Hill series this was such a disappointment. The characters are irritating, the plot weak and the narration awful. This feels like a book written to sell on the back of the author's previous success.
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