Publication Date: 27th August from Little Brown
Source: Advanced review copy
Psychological profiler Tony Hill is trained to see patterns, to decode the mysteries of human behaviour, and when he comes across a series of suicides among women tormented by vicious online predators, he begins to wonder if there is more to these tragedies than meets the eye. Similar circumstances, different deaths. Could it be murder? But what kind of serial killer wants his crimes to stay hidden?
Outing number 9 then for Carol and Tony – and I can say genuinely that this series has not even shown a hint of growing old , the quality, readability and just sheer addictiveness of it grows with every single novel and Splinter the Silence is no exception.
In this instalment Carol is still hiding away from the world, despite having started to mend her relationship with Tony there are a lot of underlying issues hounding her. For his part, Tony is determined to force her to confront her demons, but circumstances may get in his way. A killer may be hiding in plain sight, is he real or imagined? Behind the scenes as well things are happening that could mean major changes for everyone…
The character development in the series is second to none. I still have no idea how Val McDermid manages to write so perceptively when it comes to the intricacies and ever changing relationships within the core group yet still allows every story to be perfectly brilliant even if it is the only one you ever read. For me, as an avid reader from the start when those Mermaids were singing, these characters are as real to me as anyone in life – I’m pretty sure if you pick up this as your first foray into their world you’ll still feel like you’ve known them forever within a very few chapters. A talent for sure.
Splinter the Silence has some very current issues bang at the heart of it, the predatory nature of social media, in these days when any opinion expressed can be commented on with no middle ground, how that can escalate to wildly dangerous proportions – Tony’s foray into a recent spate of suicides uncovers some really horrific stuff – whilst you are being thoroughly entertained by the ongoing drama you will also pause to think about the realities here. If you are looking for authenticity in your crime novels they don’t come much more real than this.
As usual Val McDermid juggles her characters and her story arc brilliantly, moving things ever onward – I was particulary enthralled by one of the many layers here, that concerning Stacey and Sam – but I’ll say no more. There is a huge depth and – well I want to say mythology although that’s probably not the right word – that has been created here over the course of the series. Whilst every single tale has a central case or mystery that is always intriguing and compelling it is the engaging and utterly gripping lives of the core group that gives it the edge, that little added frisson that will keep you coming back for more.
If you are a fan already then Splinter the Silence will delight you – if you are not, whether you choose to start at the beginning or jump in right here I can almost guarantee you will not be disappointed. When crime fiction is at it’s best it can do more for the reading soul than any other genre I know and this is most definitively crime fiction at it’s best.
For someone who writes so well about the dark and disturbing side of human nature, Ms McDermid also has a terrifically delicate touch when it comes to the intricacies of personal relationships – and it is the two combined that make for such fascinating, and alluring reading. I was captivated from the very first page as ever and for me these just get better and better.
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Want to go back to the start? Try these:
Also by Val McDermid – My top Crime Fiction novel.
On a freezing day in December 1963, thirteen-year-old Alison Carter vanishes from her village. Nothing will ever be the same again for the inhabitants of the isolated hamlet in the English countryside. A young George Bennett, a newly-promoted inspector, he is determined to solve this case—even if it just to bring home a daughter’s dead body to her mother.
As days progress, the likelihood that Alison has been murdered increases when a gruesome discovery is made in a cave. But with no corpse, the barest of clues, and an investigation that turns up more questions than answers, Bennett finds himself up against a stone wall…until he learns the shocking truth—a truth that will have far-reaching consequences.
Decades later, Bennett finally tells his story to journalist Catherine Heathcote. But just when the book is posed for publication, he pulls the plug on it without explanation. He has new information that he will not divulge. Refusing to let the past remain a mystery, Catherine sets out to uncover what really happened to Alison Carter. But the secret is one she might wish she’d left buried on that cold, dark day thirty-five years ago.
Happy Reading Folks!