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Publisher's Summary

International best-selling crime writer Val McDermid is one of the most dependable professionals in the mystery and thriller business, whose acutely suspenseful, seamlessly plotted novels have riveted millions of readers worldwide. In her latest, The Skeleton Road, she delivers a gripping standalone novel about a cold case that links to the Balkan Wars of the 1990s.

In the center of historic Edinburgh, builders are preparing to convert a disused Victorian Gothic building into luxury flats. They are understandably surprised to find skeletal remains hidden in a high pinnacle that hasn't been touched by maintenance for years. But who do the bones belong to, and how did they get there? Could the eccentric British pastime of free climbing the outside of buildings play a role? Enter cold case detective Karen Pirie, who gets to work trying to establish the corpse's identity. And when it turns out the bones may be from as far away as the former Yugoslavia, Karen will need to dig deeper than she ever imagined into the tragic history of the Balkans: to war crimes and their consequences, and ultimately to the notion of what justice is and who serves it. The Skeleton Road is an edge-of-your-seat, unforgettable read from one of our finest crime writers.

©2014 Val McDermid (P)2014 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not the Val McDermid I know and love

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

I tried to listen to this book twice, but just couldn't get through it. It seems out-of-style compared to all the other fabulous books I've listened to by this author, and I found there was no central character that I was rooting for, and the storyline was different (and boring as far as I'm concerned) from any of her previous work.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Didn't Change My Mind

I quit reading McDermid's Hill/Jordan series after the 2nd book in the series, because I thought there was simply too much gratuitous violence and gore that added nothing to the story, often actually interrupting the flow of the plot, and because the relationship between the two principals seemed forced and unnatural to me. They didn't seem like people that would ever connect on any level - professional or personal. And in a series, if I can't buy into the main characters, it is hard to keep me interested.

But despite the excessive gore and violence and the fact that I didn't like the main characters, I still recognized McDermid's talent. Her attention to detail is amazing. There are no slip ups in character or location detail. And sometimes her prose is quite lyrical. I just think that when she gets stuck in her plot and isn't sure how to move forward, she inserts unnecessary gore and violence.

So I decided to try this book, which is not part of the series. With Davina Porter narrating I figured that even if this book became mired down in violence and gore, her melodious and soothing narration would negate the impact.

And actually, McDermid didn't go too overboard on the violence detail. Plus, I found the discussion about the Balkan wars and Britian's role in mediating the peace and assuring justice very interesting. Unfortunately that is about all I found interesting. This is one of those stories that would have worked well if an editor had cut about a third out of it. It just moved too slow to keep my interest. And I found none of the characters interesting or sympathetic. Everyone either seemed crooked or weak. Porter's narration added nothing to the book, which may be a first, in my opinion.

If you are a McDermid fan I am sure you will appreciate this book. After reading it though I have unequivocally determined that I am not a McDermid fan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

loved this story

It's always a pleasure to have a Val McDermid book at hand and even more of a treat when Davina Porter narrates.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

By MzLoo

Different. Not as captivating or horrifying as Echo of a Distant Past or The Place of Execution.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

slow start

What did you like best about The Skeleton Road? What did you like least?

Overall I liked the book. Seemed to have a slow start. It took me several chapters to get used to the narrator's style and a few more to buy in to the story. It did pick up and I did enjoy the characters and the build up of events. However, it became a little predictable. The parts of the story I wanted more of were glossed over for things that I had figured out in earlier chapters.

Was The Skeleton Road worth the listening time?

Yes. I still enjoyed the read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Slivers of Yugoslavia

What did you love best about The Skeleton Road?

The background subject was unique.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Skeleton Road?

Several, but spoilers

Did Davina Porter do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Fair enough. I usually enjoy the speech patterns from "across the pond" but this was a little thick for me.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

Too much analysis may punch gaps in the logic, but I enjoyed the story. I found the background of Yugoslavia fresh. Val McD always gives a good ride.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not the best <br />

great author plus great narrator should be dynamite but a third of the way through I was exhausted trying to keep the characters and scenes straight. Could not distinguish between characters by voice tone. Returning this audiobook and may just read good ol' print copy.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Series

The voices and some of the personas of the characters were very different from those in the series. Once I got past that, I was completely sucked in. GREAT STUFF!!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So enjoy Davina Porter as a narrator!

the story is fantastic! Will definitely enjoy more my this author! I would enjoy a sequel with the same characters.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loudness varies greatly, listen in quiet room

The voice of the reader is very pleasant, but I struggled to understand all the words in noisy environments because of the way certain parts of the sentences were spoken more softly. Turning up the volume made other parts too loud for comfort.