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Book Review: Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid

Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid

I’ve never read a Val McDermid novel before, but after reading Fever of the Bone I’d like to go back and devour the entire series she has created featuring criminal profiler Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan – which many people will know from the TV series, Wire in the Blood.

The novel opens with the discovery of a teenage girl’s body, brutally asphyxiated and mutilated. Later on a teenage boy disappears and is later found murdered in the same way. It’s not long before Tony and Carol realise that a dangerous psychopath is targeting young people, chatting to them online on the social networking site Rigmarole before luring them to their deaths. But just when Tony should be in the middle of the investigation, he’s pushed to the sidelines by Carol’s boss – and he takes this time to go on a surprising personal pilgrimage.

Val McDermid’s writing is tense and precise, conveying the horror of the killings through the reactions of the parents and friends, rather than lingering on gory crime details. Dr Tony Hill is an incredibly compelling character, as is DCI Carol Jordan, but together they have a unique chemistry that drives the book, and no doubt, the series. Val McDermid is a master at psychological suspense and I was on the edge of my seat when I was reading Fever of the Bone. This is crime writing at its best.


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