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Publisher's Summary

A stunning new cold case novel from internationally best-selling crime writer Val McDermid about a car crash that opens up an unsolved murder from decades before.

Internationally best-selling author Val McDermid is one of our finest crime writers, whose gripping, impeccably plotted novels have garnered millions of listeners worldwide. In her latest, Out of Bounds, she delivers a riveting cold case novel featuring detective Karen Pirie.

When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to an unsolved murder from 22 years before. Finding the answer to the cold case should be straightforward. But it's as twisted as the DNA helix itself.

Meanwhile, Karen finds herself irresistibly drawn to another mystery that she has no business investigating - a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems.

An enthralling, twisty listen, Out of Bounds reaffirms Val McDermid's place as one of the most dependable professionals in the mystery and thriller business.

©2016 Val McDermid (P)2016 W. F. Howes

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda
  • Bowie, MD, United States
  • 01-01-17

Karen Pirie Is Terrific Detective and Scottish!!

This was my first book by Val McDermid but it wasn't be my last. Can't imagine why I have not read her before now since murder mysteries and Scotland are my favorite things. I loved the narration by Kathleen McKarron. The Scots dialect by all of the characters was most rewarding and made the reader feel as if we are walking the streets of Edinburgh. I loved that the protagonist is a strong female detective of cold cases in the Police Scotland. The author weaves in weakness from the loss of her lover, her patience for her partner in the cold cases unit who doesn't live up to her standards, and her ability to get her way with her boss who sounds like a typical high level old school police supervisor but who knows Karen is often right in her investigations. There is enough action to keep one turning the pages and it is not easy to figure out who did it. I like that it is written in the current time period with just enough politics thrown in. All in all I liked this book very much and have already ordered another McDermid book. Hope Karen Pirie keeps solving cases.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ann
  • United States
  • 12-11-16

Well, Well

DCI Karen Pirie of Scotland's Historic Crime Unit -- Cold Case Squad to Americans -- is a little overweight, a little disheveled in her just-not-right clothing, and a little too near the threshold of insubordination when it comes to her boss, but she is a whole lot of intelligence, determination and quick-wittedness. The excellent narration keeps the story moving well. The characters are well-fleshed out and interesting. Kudos to Val McDermid's 30th novel.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Another good one

I like this author's books. Scotland with bits of local color (macaroons made with a potato and sugar?) interesting cops, an involving story line with twists and turns. It is a treat to listen to this excellent reader. Update,
I've just listened to this again.... it is a favorite. I'm giving another nod to the narrator - she is excellent. I also like these Karen Pirie titles better than the Tony Hill series.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Joshua
  • Spring Mills, PA, United States
  • 01-06-17

A very good, nicely narrated listen

I'd almost give this 5 stars, but the ending was a little unsatisfying, very good, but not quite 5 stars. Otherwise it was a really good story, superbly written and read. I suppose, if I didn't have such a high expectation of Val McDermid I would rate it 5 stars and I'm not sure it's fair that she suffers by being compared to her own exceptional standard.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Fabulous

I LOVE McDermid. Have done for years. I can hardly believe that she has outdone herself, but she certainly has done exactly that. Full marks to the narrator, too. FABULOUS!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fabulous narrator and great writing

Really well done Scottish police procedural with interesting, believable characters. I loved Karen and her sidekick Jason. The narration was absolutely perfect. I wish Kathleen McCarron narrated more books!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Lovely new narrator

I always love McDermid's novels, but I often don't love the narrators. This time she got a top of the line narrator. I hope she sticks with her.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Out of Bounds

The narrator was amazing! She really brought the story to life. I personally didn't get a few things, but accents are difficult for me, but I totally loved her!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great plot, awesome reader. I have listened to many of Val's McDermids books. books

Love the story, the person reading the story was super. I really enjoy your books. Good plot and cannot stop listening. I'm a big fan 💕

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent police procedural. Terrific narrator.

I am aware that Val McDermid has had a long and distinguished career as an author of mysteries and thrillers, but I must admit that this is the first of hers that I have read. This is an extremely good police procedural that builds suspense gradually and kept me wondering who the antagonist(s) might be. I grew to admire the MC, Chief Inspector Karen Pirie, a strong-willed, dedicated, cold-case detective who has experienced her share of personal tragedies. I found her situation and circumstances, as well as the behavior of the other characters, believable, so much so that I wouldn't have been surprised to learn that this novel was based on a true story.

To see spoilers and links, please see my review on goodreads.

The telling is related in first-person by C.I. Pirie, including her thoughts and dreams, except at one point where the PoV changed for one sentence, which jarred me. (spoiler) As a result, I was more or less informed of the back story that I needed without having to read earlier volumes in this series. There is one cold-case murder and several present day murders that are linked, so the reader needs to pay attention to keep track of the names. I won't expand here on the details of the plot.

I should add that the narrator, Cathleen McCarron, was exceptionally good at giving voice to the various characters. For my American ear, it took me a while to adapt to her Scottish accents and dialects, occasionally even having to replay the last minute, but I could tell that she knew what she was about. After completing the book, I was not surprised to find that she is a professional voice, text, and accent coach, currently based with the Royal Shakespeare Company. (See linked in.) BTW, her first name is misspelled on audible.com and amazon.com, although not on their UK counterparts. In fact, she has narrated over 50 other books.