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Trick of the Dark — Val McDermid. The Retribution — Val McDermid. Savidge, What a wonderful dicovery to find your reviews! You have opened a completely new world to me regarding interesting books to read! It is rather late in life for me, so I look forward to spending many hours reading your recommendations! You see, I trust your judgement! Once again, thank you! You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email.

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Igoni Barrett 1 A. Robert Cargill 1 C. Scott Fitzgerald 3 F. Jefferson Farjeon 1 J. Frank Baum 1 L. John Harrison 1 M. You can see why Mildred is my spirit animal. This look made me cackle. A fascinating look at the life of one of the classical mythic witches Circe, from her childhood ignited by the gods to the acts that saw her exiled and onwards Part psychological study, part mythical adventurous romp. Highly, highly, highly, highly recommended reading.

Most of you will know I bloody love a good bath. Especially with lush products galore. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Cat on Savidge Reads at the Man Booke…. And not "really violent violence" being described as torture, but recreated Spanish Inquisition-style torture. So if that's not your bag, skip this book. But it's worth it if you can overcome the gruesome.

It's an interesting and insightful police procedural, for sure. One note I would add is that I listened to this on audio, and while it was I wouldn't necessarily recommend it. Simply because the killer's voice tends to give a bit away, I think. As a reader, we aren't supposed to know anything about the killer's identity. We have written journal interludes. But of course, your mileage may vary.

I did like the reader otherwise. View all 10 comments. Jun 06, Gary rated it really liked it. I have only read a couple of Val McDermid's books but have enjoyed them and intend to read more in the future. This is the 1st book in the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series and is an excellent start. The characters are meaty and I can imagine they offer a lot of chances to develop further in future books.

Quite gruesome in places as it describes a killer who is obsessed with ancient torture methods. I feel confident that this series will only get better. Oct 18, Jill Hutchinson rated it really liked it Shelves: This book grabs you and won't let go. Tony Hill and I don't think any other of the books I have read a couple is as intense or as graphic as this one. Four young men, who have no connection to each other, are found, battered and broken and obviously tortured horribly before they were killed. There is a serial killer on the loose and has committed the perfect crimes Although the police h WHEW!!!!

Although the police have little faith in criminal profiling, Jordan and Hill team up to approach these crimes from a psychological standpoint. And where it leads will make the reader wince. The denouement is slightly far-fetched but it still will keep you on the edge of your seat to the very frightening ending. A chilling, thrilling, E-Ticket ride! The diary entries from the killer are some of the most chilling things I have read. His research in to medieval torture devices is both fascinating and sickening at the same time. I have to admit there were a couple times where I had to put the book down just from the sheer anticipation of what was coming next.

The interaction between Dr. Hill and Inspector Jordan is great If you are a fan of dark, twisty thrillers, then this is a must for you! If you think that Karin Slaughter is too violent, then definitely steer clear. View all 5 comments. This one was dark, twisted, fast-paced, complex, gruesome, a tad stereotypical at times but then, it WAS written in the mids , extremely well written, and a great combo of police procedure and psychological thriller. Nice twist ; The best thing of all, for me, is that there are another 9 books in this series!!! Jun 02, aPriL does feral sometimes rated it really liked it Shelves: Many sensitive types should not read this novel.


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First, there is lots of explicit torture. On the other hand, it's not gratuitous, in my opinion. However, it keeps on coming. The Spanish Inquisition truly used incredibly awful devices of torture in real life, and the bad guy in this book, a serial killer of young men, builds such devices to use in his murders, having studie Well. The Spanish Inquisition truly used incredibly awful devices of torture in real life, and the bad guy in this book, a serial killer of young men, builds such devices to use in his murders, having studied them in British museums.

However, some reviewers did. To me, having known people of the LGBT community, as well as 'bad' women and 'bad' men and police who went off the rails or behaved badly, it did not offend MY liberal-progressive sensitivities. However, I went through a stage when I was in my 20's and participating in protest marches where I couldn't stand ANY possible slurs or impugning of reputations or morality in the minorities of society because I either saw prejudice or that it gave white heterosexual males ammunition.

I understand the hair-trigger defensiveness of some reviewers, but I honestly only felt this a horror mystery with hard-core elements. Third, Tony Hill is the 'hero' psychologist - and I can see how this character could really disgust some readers. Some of my blue collar and Republican friends might see him as one of those 'bleeding-heart liberals who see criminals through rose-tinted glasses and serve as apologists for bad people who should be shot but only get liberal judges that slap them on the wrist because they feel sorry for the bastards'.

As an aside to my conservative friends: Tony Hill is as pure of a real-life psychologist depiction as I ever did read in a fiction. He is personally an insecure and self-flagellating loner, but he presents to the world a very professional and reasoned image that, for the most part, is true to who he is, as well. He is not perfect and he has his demons - but they tend to strike the hard-core rage-based observer as a wine-drinker's response to distress and not that of a whiskey imbiber Hill HAS hair on his chest, just saying That said, he is also a 's-style psychologist.

I've noticed recently newly-minted psychologists are more into recommending a six-week behavior modification course of therapy with excessive drugs - and don't let the door hit your butt on your way out. Tony Hill actually has curiosity for why people are in mental disarray, and since I share that macabre fascination, I like Dr. I too prefer wine over whiskey, but I like both. It's expert and fast, if somewhat tech-dated. A serial killer is loose, and typically, the police brass refuse to recognize it, partially because it is perceived as a gay community criminal spree, and partially because of the maddog media coverage that would ensue.

The third body with incredible marks of torture is found, so reluctantly the bosses include a woman detective and approve calling in Dr. Tony Hill as profiler. Fortunately for Hill and Jordan, they have one progressive boss, John Brandon, Bradfield Metropolitan Police Assistant Chief Constable, who has some authority and beliefs in modern methods, on their side.

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At crucial moments, he provides the kind of assistance they need to get the job done. The real problem is the unknown murderer is VERY scary, vicious - and oops! Hill's profile is leaked out to the press! The bad guy likes to read the newspapers - and gets the idea some of the police need punishment. Hill in particular appears to be insulting and hurtful to a poor murderer. There is a Spanish Inquisition torture that the killer has been thinking to try View all 3 comments. Mar 21, Jean rated it really liked it. It is certainly well written and is, without a doubt, a fascinating combination of police procedural and psychological thriller.

Men are being murdered in the fictional city of Bradfield, England, and their mutilated bodies are being dumped in the Temple Fields area where the gay bars are located. Hill is paired with Detective Inspector Carol Jordan, and this proves to be a good match, in many ways. Speaking of dysfunction — the killer has it in spades. The person is not named, but we see what happens to the victims through the journal that the killer keeps, beginning before the first murder. This person is intelligent and extremely careful, planning everything in minute detail so as not to leave behind any evidence.

That is where the tug-of-war tears at my feelings about this book. McDermid has painted this individual with a very sick and twisted psyche, and there were times as I read the journal sections that I thought she went too far. Also, does she sensationalize the gay scene with the sadomasochistic scenarios and the brutal murders she portrays? The Temple Fields area felt stereotypically dark and sleazy. But this was the s. AIDS had been around less than 10 years. Whatever rights forward steps gays had taken, fear of the disease sent many of them back into the closet, and in some cases, brought the bullies and the gay-bashers out of the woodwork.

The book was published in Tony Hill and Carol Hill, however, are brilliantly conceived and well developed characters. There is a push-pull between them that is palpable. But there is much that makes them a good fit. The supporting characters were well written too. It is amusing to read about the mids technology, such as answering machines and camcorders. Finally, there was the twist. I felt like I should have seen it coming.

If you have a strong stomach and are not easily offended, then you will probably enjoy The Mermaid Singing. View all 9 comments. Apr 11, Matt rated it really liked it. Choosing to tackle a new series, I was drawn to Val McDermid and the premise behind it.

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Pairing a police detective and a criminal psychologist is by no means new, but the British angle was a fresh approach for me and one that seems to work well. McDermid takes the reader down the path of numerous sub-plots while presenting a fascinating main tale to capture the attention of all who dare to explore. When men are found murdered in predominantly gay hangouts, the police are baffled as to where they Choosing to tackle a new series, I was drawn to Val McDermid and the premise behind it. When men are found murdered in predominantly gay hangouts, the police are baffled as to where they ought to begin and with whom they are dealing.

Add to that, the gruesome means by which the victims are killed, and the story takes on a whole other level. Could the means of torture be a religious way of scorning these men for their sexual proclivities, doubly so when none is a declared homosexual? Tony Hill, Home Office criminal psychologist whose tasked with creating a database useful to tracking serials murderers.

Through their teamwork and respective expertise, Jordan and Hill begin to get a better idea of the cunning murderer they seek, but not before more bodies pile up and the killings become more and more gruesome. Paralleling the progress of the investigation, each chapter offers a journal entry of sorts from the killer, with subtle clues by which the reader can piece things together.

Filled with stunning storytelling and interesting details, McDermid does well to hook the reader early and throughout this horrid tale, right through until the last page. A successful opening to the series. While some lament the treatment of homosexuality within the story, I feel it adequately reflects both the limited understanding and willingness to openly accept the lifestyle, both within the press and police and perhaps society.

While McDermid pulls no punches and does dive right in, making generalisations throughout, she presents it all in a tasteful way while not hiding some of the preconceived notions. Her great use of the giant flaws within both Jordan and Hill's lives, McDermid shows that no one, no matter how important their jobs or settled they appear, is truly free from personal struggles.

Of great interest is the way in which she portrays Dr. Tony Hill, who will surely return in all books, and his inner weaknesses with the opposite sex and his own missing sexuality. Powerfully done in this novel, whose central theme is discovery and presentation of one's sexuality. Kudos Madam McDermid for this wonderful introduction in the series. I am eager to see how some of the upcoming novels compare with this highly controversial opening.

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Jan 10, Beth rated it did not like it Shelves: Oh, yuck, this book. I have quite a strong stomach. It's not that impressive or anything, but I'm not incredibly easily shocked. This book, however, was more than I could bear. I like books and TV that take a look at the darker side of life, but the torture scenes were unneccessary and extremely gratuitous sp?

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It seemed like McDermid wrote it to shock. There was no depth to thei Oh, yuck, this book. There was no depth to their narrative and, to me, if you're going to write about a killer in that way, you need to infuse them with more depth. This was simply a creepy narrative with nothing to distinguish itself. But, on that note, I almost laughed while reading several reviews of this book. At one point, the killer tortures a German shepherd. And I am disgusted by animal cruelty of any kind and, yes, this scene was hard to handle.

What I find harder to handle is the way that people are taking issue with that scene - as opposed to the others in which the killer tortures various human men. Jun 26, Jeanette rated it liked it. This one is over my gruesome quotient. You won't fall out of interest to what happens next, and the psychological analysis is not exactly "wrong"- but it is troublesome. This series is not for the faint of heart or cozy mystery readers.

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After reading Beneath the Bleeding I knew I had to consume as many of these books as possible, so I continued onto The Mermaids Singing and finished it around 4 o' clock in the morning, having been so engrossed I completely lost all sense of time. McDermid has a strong grasp of human psychology and her characters are realistic, down-to-earth and with all the gritty, dirty bits that make up a human life. Each and every character seems to breathe from the page, whether they're in the book for two After reading Beneath the Bleeding I knew I had to consume as many of these books as possible, so I continued onto The Mermaids Singing and finished it around 4 o' clock in the morning, having been so engrossed I completely lost all sense of time.

Each and every character seems to breathe from the page, whether they're in the book for two pages or two hundred. The relationship between her two main characters, Carol and Tony, is very believable. It's not romantic, but you find yourself desperately wanting them to work it out. Whether or not they ever will remains to be seen. From the diary entries kept by the villain of the piece, termed 'The Queer Killer' by the police, the reader gains a real insight into the murderer's mind, something that I've often found lacking in crime and thriller novels.

The mind of a killer may be an uncomfortable place to be, but the reader can easily imagine the kind of pain and suffering that led to that dark and twisted place. The book is full of a mixture of human weakness and strength, darkness and light. The pages of this book are the grey areas of all human behaviour. There are no easy answers and although some may find these books unsettling and uncomfortable to read, for those willing and eager to delve into the dark places of the human mind, I highly recommend this book. Sep 20, Lightreads rated it it was ok Shelves: The books on which Wire in the Blood is based.

British clinical psychologist teams up with copper to profile serial killers. All expected elements present and accounted for — hostile police brass, sexual "tension," personal issues. And that's pretty impressive, considering books featuring a maladjusted trouble-magnet who does criminal profiling are a huge weakness of mine. But I don't think my emotional needle so much as quivered, except for occasional flickers of annoyed disgust at the vi The books on which Wire in the Blood is based.

But I don't think my emotional needle so much as quivered, except for occasional flickers of annoyed disgust at the violence, which has that smug, gloating feel you get with over-the-top torture scenes that serve no narrative end except to. That, and I'm supposed to be interested in a criminal profiler who gives the unsubs personalizing nicknames, has deep emo pain about gazing into the abyss, and forgets to profile the unsub's race?

View all 7 comments. Mas eis que ele surge de qualquer forma! View all 8 comments. Jun 24, John Wiltshire rated it did not like it Shelves: I've read this one before. I got quite far into the series, I seem to remember. It's on my Kindle. Light reading for travelling. I'll update when done Huh, I now remember why I gave up on this series.

I must be in a minority here because I know these books are held up as masterpieces of the genre, but I don't like them. I don't like pornographic violence torture porn. I love gore; horror; crime; deviant psychology; and all the other elements of great serial killing novels, but I don't like r I've read this one before.

I love gore; horror; crime; deviant psychology; and all the other elements of great serial killing novels, but I don't like reading about exquisitely detailed torture written not to enhance the writing or the plot but to titillate the reader. McDermid may not have intended this, but that's how it comes over to me. I have a character in one of my novels, Nikolas, who was a torturer, before life and his relationships redeemed him, and he refuses to either read or watch torture porn Hostel, Serbian Film, for example. As he says, he's seen enough of pain for real for one lifetime. McDermid's main character Tony Hill doesn't engage me at all.

I get that he's supposed to be flawed.

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I just find him incredibly unrealistic and unengaging yes, that is a word I've given up on this. Which is a shame as there are a lot in the series. I prefer something a little more deft and intriguing. Val McDermid is one of the luminaries of British crime fiction. This novel has predominantly four and five star ratings on Goodreads. It won the CWA Award for best crime novel of It formed the basis for a TV series.

The writing is, at best, unsophisticated. All the characters speak with exactly the same voice, and they all express themselves like bad actors in an amateur dramatics production, constantly addressing each other by name in a ma I'm astounded. All the characters speak with exactly the same voice, and they all express themselves like bad actors in an amateur dramatics production, constantly addressing each other by name in a manner that never occurs in real conversations.

Cliches occur with tiresome regularity. Seriously, am I the only one who winces at that? I woke up screaming! But maybe political correctness is a concept thought up by moral arbiters and thought police cit. Jun 10, Anna rated it really liked it. Not really a review, but about 50 pages from the end of the book I realised I had seen the Wire in the Blood episode of this one.

Took me a while. Still really enjoyed it anyway. Dec 28, Viji Bookish endeavors rated it really liked it. So this is how Tony Hill met Carol Jordan..! Having read the sequels in the series before reading the first ones,I was quite impressed by the chemistry the duo shared,and it seems a pleasant thing to read about their first meeting after a long while. There was a time when all I was interested in was psychological thrillers.. Day in and day out with serial killers.. Lots of coffee and chips.. Getting so deep into the plot that you forget to brush and bathe..

Getting up few minutes after going to bed because you can't sleep without finishing that book.. These are things of the past.. Serial killer thrillers aren't regular with me these days.. Val McDermid isn't a name any serious psychological thriller reader can avoid..

Her bloody and gruesome murder scenes might have made many lose their meals.. Not many can claim the same. Whatever else it be,you must give it to her for her unique killers. I still remember the guy who used to target psychologists.