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Featured Author: Val McDermid

By Ms Vyk
Posted: 08/24/2020
If you like your crime fiction violent, gritty, and gruesome with plenty of torture thrown in for good measure then have I got the author for you!

International best seller Val McDermid  is a renowned author with over 32  books under her pen. She has won several awards and is described as “Britain’s reigning Queen of Crime.”  Her books mostly fall into four series, with most helmed by female lead detectives. There are standalone books as well as nonfiction books about forensics. She is, to say the least, a prolific writer who knows the dark and smarmy side of human nature.

I’ve gotten hooked on the Carol Jordan/Tony Hill book series. She’s the lead detective and he’s the psychological profiler, and both are part of an elite “murder squad” of a police department in South Yorkshire, England. I have zipped through THE RETRIBUTION, CROSS AND BURN, SPLINTER THE SILENCE AND INSIDIOUS INTENT in less than 14 days. They are that compulsively readable and hard to put down.  Yes, I’ve lost sleep reading deep into the night. While I did not start at the beginning of the series it was easy enough to “catch up” with the main characters and background references.

What makes reading this author so addictive?  First, her excellent writing style.  McDermid knows how to turn a phrase.  Her vocabulary is refreshingly extensive. She is elegantly crisp with her prose and she does not clutter the page with needless and endless exposition.

Secondly, her complex characters come alive on the page. Her team is comprised of colleagues with individual quirks and conflicts, emotional depth and intelligence, tangled relationships and personalities that hold your interest. They are compassionate about the victims of the hideous crimes they investigate. Consequently, you, as a reader, are drawn in to care about the team and what happens to and with them during the course of each book.
Thirdly, the murder plots are intricate as well as atrocious. They are not only violent but also viciously disturbing and demented. The murderers themselves are deranged yet cunning and self-righteous with their points of view.  The storylines veer from stalking, internet trolling to arsonists to wedding crashers with more than a little hint of feminism thrown in for good measure.

A plethora of crime, mystery, thriller and suspense books are out there to choose from. The genre is jam packed. But if you’re looking for taut, smart, riveting, edge-of-your seat story telling you won’t go wrong choosing a Val McDermid novel. But be warned: you will undoubtedly lose some sleep.

Ms. Vyk

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