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Publisher's Summary

Widely recognized as one of our finest crime writers, with numerous accolades and legions of devoted fans worldwide, internationally best-selling author Val McDermid is back with the latest installment in her series featuring psychologist Tony Hill and former police detective Carol Jordan. In Insidious Intent, Tony and Carol are on the hunt for a serial killer who victimizes women at weddings without a date - and forces the duo to confront their most haunting moral dilemma so far.

In the north of England, single women are beginning to disappear from weddings. A pattern soon becomes clear: Someone is crashing the festivities and luring the women away - only to leave the victims' bodies in their own burned-out cars in remote locations. Tony and Carol are called upon to investigate - but this may be the toughest case they've ever had to face. Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Paula McIntyre and her partner Elinor must deal with a cruel cyber-blackmailer targeting their teenage ward, Torin.

Impeccably plotted and intensely gripping, Insidious Intent reaffirms Val McDermid's place as Britain's reigning Queen of Crime.

©2017 Val McDermid (P)2017 Recorded Books

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Another stellar mystery. Unfortunate narration.

I struggled through nearly half the audio book before deleting it and downloading the novel on kindle to finish this excellent new installment in Val McDermid's Tony Hill/Carol Jordan mysteries.

I'd grown so used to Gerard Doyle's narrations, this new voice threw me for a loop with his interpretations of Ms. McDermid's stellar characters.

Others may enjoy this narrator, as he's enthusiastic. Unfortunately, he's not my cup of tea.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Disappointing, and poorly narrated

I love the Tony Hill series, and I look forward to each installment eagerly. In my opinion, this was the weakest entry in the series so far. Tony had little to do here, other than shore up Carol's psyche as she struggled with demons both personal and professional. It's not until the very end of the story that he figures large, but he makes a move that is improbable at best.

I felt there were too many side stories that seemed to be there to pad the story, there was far too much attention paid to Paula's foster son and his troubles and far too little attention paid to the killer, his background, and the details of the central case. I don't care much about the personal lives and/or troubles of the supporting cast in these books. I care about Tony Hill, Carol Jordan, their relationship, and the cases they work on. The only exception is Stacy, the computer geek. Her motives and slippery morality are pretty interesting.

In this entry, the crime story felt poorly defined and not well imagined. Carol is going through or trying to recover from several personal and professional crises, and Tony is her support system, but too late realizes he's been enabling her instead. This creates a crisis in their relationship, and the fallout from that is devastating. But, and it's a big but, the actions they take in the final chapters of the book are out of character in my opinion. In spite of everything she's going through, Carol, as she has been written so far, would never truly take the action she threatens. And Tony, as much as he loves her, would never do what he did to protect her from herself in the final act.

I also felt the narration was gawdawful, slow and choppy, somewhat breathy and lispy too, with accents that bear no resemblance to previous vocal incarnations of these characters. Tony's voice sounded almost effeminate! Get Simon Prebble to read these books...his voice has the gravitas needed and he does wonderful voices and accents. Saul Reichlin was terrible and I hope he's not hired to read any more of McDermid's novels.

It will be interesting to see how McDermid brings Tony back from this situation he's landed himself in, if she continues the series that is. I can certainly see her ending it here, or at least ending the Tony/Carol portion of it. She is clearly setting Paula up to eventually replace Carol, and really....how much more can she put either Carol or Tony through after this?

If there are more books in this series, I will read them. I read pretty much everything McDermid writes, she's extraordinarily talented. Her thrillers are among the best in the business. But this was not her best effort, and it was further hampered by the terrible narration. If you're a die hard fan like me, then you'll want to know the story. If not, I really can't recommend this one. Use your credit for something else.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Ann
  • United States
  • 12-10-17

Yes or No? Tough Call

McDermid is one of today's best mystery writers, and I would have purchased this audiobook despite some of its negative reviews. The story was very good and the narration was excellent, but the ending was not what I expected from a McDermid story. (I cannot explain further without revealing things I shouldn't.) To be fair to McDermid, I would recommend her book, if only to understand the prior thought processes of the characters in her next book and because I'm anxious to know how she's going to get herself out of this book's unlikeable ending.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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How Do I Love Thee, Val McDermid?

Val McDermid has been my favorite crime writer for many years, and Insidious Intent is probably her very best work. I found myself smiling often at the plot twists, and unexpected situations cropping up, all weaved together in an intricate web.

I'll not go into the plot line at all, and I certainly won't even hint at the ending except to say that it will knock your socks off.

PS: The narrator, too, is right at the top of her game. Fabulous.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good but not as good as...

Not as good as some previous Tony Hill/Carol Jordan books by Val McDermid. Narrator was okay but sometimes it was difficult to tell when he changed characters. As mentioned by others, the ending was a bit strange.....but okay, I guess.
Still a good listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Poor Direction for the Series

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The last book in the series took something of a bad turn for our favorite characters from the series. This one continues in that direction. To introduce new flaws, and to have dark stories is one thing, but to put them in a downward spiral?

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Clever stories with solid likeable characters attracted me to this series, but it seems bereft of these things now.

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  • Matthew
  • LEEDS, United Kingdom
  • 01-16-18

Excellent Return of Hill and Jordan.

For those like me, who have been following Carol and Tony's adventures over the last handful of years, this book represents a wonderful conclusion to a few plot strands that have been quietly germinating in the background, whilst introducing some real game changers. Always fresh and inventive, the Author returns to bradfield to find older, more seasoned secondary characters, a compelling villain and of course detective fictions greatest (nearly) love affair. May there be many more.

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  • Mark
  • Reno, NV, United States
  • 01-14-18

Should've got a female narrator; book is solid

No spoilers - the end of this one reminds me of the earlier Tony Hill-Carol Jordan book where Tony's mom encounters a serial killer: what happens is perfect but I don't think enough time was spent on the ending. It happens so quickly and shockingly, that I wish McDermid had spent more time on the buildup and then lingered afterward. But it’s just a metaphorical “Boom!” ripping through the main characters. Anyway, in this one, a serial killer targets women who are alone at weddings and wishing they had a partner. The killer’s gimmick feels slight at first but as the book goes along, his motivations feel like they could really happen. One observation on the overall series: the earlier books were creepier and darker. For the past five or so, the methods of killing are less skin-crawling and more about the relationships of the investigators. In this case, I think more skin-crawling would've justified the ending better. Still good. Bechdel test: Pass. Grade: B+

As for the new narrator, I didn't initially like his voice for young men but he soon faded into the background and it was just about the story. Yes, I like the narrator of the earlier books better. But this new one is good, too. However, if the publisher had to change narrators, a woman should've been chosen. The author is female, and the majority of main characters are female. Feels like a poor decision by the publisher.

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  • Ruth
  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • 01-12-18

The end of a series for me. Unbelievable and incredible.

I have been reading this author's books since almost the beginning of her career. It has been a roller coaster of a ride as she is an excellant writer and has created two iconic characters in this series that her fans feel strongly about. Yet too many of her books are below par. But I keep buying and reading/listening because when Ms McDermid is at her best she is quite remarkable.

But this is the last one I will read. She has crossed a line and has turned Tony and Carol into characters who themselves become "insidiius" and are no longer Tony nor Carol. The ending is not believable. The "mystery" itself is no mystery as we all know the who "done it" from the start.

As for the narrator. I agree with many of the reviewers that he was a poor choice. But given what he had to narrate it is hard to believe that a better narrator would have altered my feelings.

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WHERE IS GERARD DOYLE????

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, because I wanted to know what is going on with Tony and Carol, with Torin, and with Stacey. No, because it was painful to listen.

What didn’t you like about Saul Reichlin’s performance?

He is no right for this series. The cadence and accents were off. The tones were wrong. In some instances it was hard to distinguish one character from the other. The voices of Stacey, Carol and Tony were wrong, wrong, wrong. Torin's was fine.

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

Yes.

Any additional comments?

I confess I am ignorant of the process of publishing an audiobook, but I guess sometimes the narrator changes for any reason. Please try to maintain some semblance to the voices already established in the series. It can kill the experience.