Stunning new psychological thriller featuring Tony Hill, hero of The Wire in the Blood, from one of Britain’s bestselling novelists: ‘Val McDermid has become our leading pathologist of everyday evil… The subtle orchestration of terror is masterful’ Guardian
Clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill and Detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan face the toughest challenge of their careers when they are confronted with an 'impossible' series of murders.
Back in Bradfield after her traumatic experiences in Berlin, Carol is surprised to find Tony has followed her there to take up a post in the local secure mental hospital. When a prostitute is murdered in a particularly grotesque and stomach-churning way, she turns to him for help. Bizarrely, this killing matches in every detail a series of murders that took place a couple of years previously. A series of murders for which Derek Tyler was tried, convicted and sentenced. There has never been any doubt about his guilt. But now the ghost of his crimes has risen again.
A second prostitute murder soon follows and the team are struggling. While Tony tries to crack Tyler, the police decide to mount an undercover operation that goes horribly wrong. The decoy is taken, presumably by the killer. As the tension mounts, a mixture of psychological insight and dogged detective work leads inexorably to a terrifying climax where Tony faces one of the most perverse killers he has ever encountered.
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The Torment of Others is a salutary reminder what an asset to British crime fiction Val McDermid is. Her first books with journalist Lindsay Gordon as heroine gave hints of the talent that was to mature so impressively--and the subsequent series with the resourceful private eye Kate Brannigan demonstrated a sharper eye for the harder edges of society. But the best was just around the corner. McDermid's third sequence with clinical psychologist profiler Tony Hill was something of a quantum leap: as well as forging one of the most memorable figures in contemporary crime fiction with mildly eccentric Hill, McDermid added a degree of psychological acuity that made the earlier books seem like warm-ups for the main event.
The latest outing for Hill, The Torment of Others, also features McDermid's other richly realised creation, DCI Carol Jordan, and the author carries her familiar protagonists into truly unsettling new areas. This time, Hill is coping with a return to practical clinical profiling after a frustrating spell as an academic. And there's another major complication for him: his ex-partner Carol Jordan is no longer sure she wishes to be in charge of a team after the brutal sexual assault she suffered during undercover work. But she is persuaded to do so--and realises that one of her main tasks will be to create a cohesive unit.
A dead woman discovered in a sexual position on a bloody mattress, appears to be the victim of a killer the team knows all about: the monstrous Derek Tyler, who had carried out similarly bloody work two years before. However, forensics have landed Tyler in a mental institution--does this mean that Hill and Jordan are searching for a murderer who is copying the techniques of the psychotic Tyler?
While this may not be the best starting point for those new to McDermid, enthusiasts will find all the key elements are firmly and satisfyingly in place. --Barry ForshawReview:
Praise for Val McDermid
‘McDermid’s capacity to enter the warped mind of a deviant criminal is shiveringly convincing’ The Times
Praise for The Distant Echo
'A real page-turner and another McDermid triumph' Observer
‘A powerful story of murder and revenge… an exciting page-turner' Sunday Telegraph
'McDermid's plot is a classic… Impeccable' Guardian
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2004. Audio Book(CD). Book Condition: Very Good. Very good. Bookseller Inventory # HH-000-24-4345004