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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"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.
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.
"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.
"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.
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.
"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 done Val you've done it again!"
I don't know if it's better to hear it rather than read it to ones self.For me though to hear it saves me time and means i can cover more books generally.The reading of this book was very good indeed and i enjoyed it immensely.
There was too many memorable parts in this cleverly composed book to pick one out.
Never, but i will look forward to hearing their reading again.
This book made me want to hear every word so i was emotionally involved al the way through the story.I was very pleased that Charlie saw sense in the end and even more pleased that Maria was so forgiving and caring. Nice to read a strong lesbian story with strong characters.
This is one of Val's most clever stories.Beautifully written and thrilling all the way from beginning to end.Can't wait to read Val's next one.
"intermingled thriller with relationship novel"
the puzzle involved in trying to work out who the murder was
I enjoyed the personal relationship dilemmas of the main character, although in early chapters setting up the situation seemed a bit tiresome
There were lots of accents and voices, I found them distracting and often ended up thinking about the readers rather than about the story. I wonder if they were exaggerated.
The steadfastness of the heroine's lover who saw her partner going through difficulties and temptations
Some bits seemed implausible e.g. the heroine deciding on a whim to knock down a wall in a disused building to see what was behind it
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