Thursday 23 November 2017

Crime: Out of Bounds by Val McDermid

Little, Brown €24.99

Out of Bounds by Val McDermid
Out of Bounds by Val McDermid

Breda Brown

Multi-award winning Scottish crime writer Val McDermid is probably best known for her Dr Tony Hill and Carol Jordan novels, a series that was adapted into the very successful TV drama Wire in the Blood with Robson Green and Hermione Norris playing the leads. Out of Bounds is the prolific Scot's 30th title but, though I'm an avid crime fan, it's the first one I've read.

The action kicks off with four teenagers crashing a stolen jeep. Three are killed instantly while the only survivor lapses into a coma. When a routine DNA test reveals an unexpected connection to a 22-year-old unsolved murder case, detective chief inspector Karen Pirie, head of the Historic Cases Unit at Police Scotland, is called in. Separately, Pirie also begins working an unrelated cold case which involved the terrorist bombing of a private plane that killed four people.

Karen Pirie is a brilliant and memorable lead character who is not averse to standing on the toes of her superiors or using creative policing methods to achieve her overriding objective of finding justice for her cold case murder victims.

In each case, she steadfastly examines the evidence and embarks on intricate forensic trails that eventually lead her to the truth. Also worth mentioning is the unexpected treat of McDermid's vibrant descriptions of an array of stunning Scottish locations, all of which leave an incredible lasting impression.

With plenty of twists and turns, Out of Bounds will keep you guessing and, given how much I enjoyed it, I'm looking forward to reading Val McDermid's vast back catalogue. One mesmerising thriller by the Queen of Tartan Noir down - just 29 to go!

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