Val McDermid is one author who knows exactly how to pull me into a story. In A Darker Domain, she sets the hook with just a couple of opening paragraphs that end with: “This is how it begins.” From that point on, I couldn’t put this book down.
It’s June, 2007, when a young woman goes to the Glenrothes Police Station in Fife, Scotland, to report a missing person. The individual is a miner named Mick Prentice, and he has been gone for 24 years. Why did no one report him gone? Because it’s been presumed that he was a “blackleg,” a miner who, during the horrific miners strike in 1985, left his family to work as a scab. No one reported him missing because his wife and child, his neighbours and former friends, no longer cared to know anything about him.
Multi-award winning author Val McDermid grew up in a Scottish mining community and now lives in Manchester. She read English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and was a journalist for sixteen years, but is now a full-time writer.
She has written a non-fiction book on real-life female private eyes, A Suitable Job for a Woman and three psychological thrillers featuring forensic psychologist Tony Hill (‘Manchester’s answer to Thomas Harris’ Guardian).
Val won the 1995 Golden Dagger Award given by the British Crime Writers’ Association for Best Crime Novel of the year for her book The Mermaids Singing and her complex and disturbing stand-alone thriller A Place of Execution won the 2001 LA Times Mystery Thriller Book Award. She has also written 6 crime novels featuring Kate Brannigan, and 5 more featuring Lindsay Gordon.
One of the UK’s most talented writers, she has written three series. Her latest book The Last Temptation is set in Europe and reunites psychological profiler Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan. A major ITV series based on the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series will be broadcast in 2002 with Robson Green playing the lead role.
See signed books by Val McDermid at www.vjbooks.com
The superb new psychological thriller from bestselling author Val McDermid mixes fiction with one of the most symbolic and exceptional moments in recent history – the national miners’ strike.
It seemed like an unsolvable mystery at the time: a wealthy heiress and son kidnapped in Fife, then a botched payoff, leaving her dead with no trace of the child. So when, over twenty-five years later, a possible clue is discovered by a journalist in Tuscany, cold case expert DI Karen Pirie doesn’t hold much hope of unravelling the infamous enigma. She’s already investigating a case from the same year.
At the height of the miner’s strike, Mick Prentice broke ranks to join ‘scab’ strike-breakers down south. But new evidence suggests Mick’s disappearance may not be as straightforward as that – and Karen’s investigations take her into a dark domain of secrets, betrayal and the ultimate violence. Past and present intertwine in a novel of taut psychological suspense that explores the intersection of greed and desire.
See Val McDermid signed first edition books at www.vjbooks.com
(connpost.com, jan. 16, Joe Meyers)
With so many “literary” novelists turning inward and away from broader social concerns and traditional storytelling, readers have been enjoying crime fiction in larger numbers each year.
A genre that was once viewed as essentially escapist — cozy little murders in cozy little towns — is now the place to look for stories that tell us how people live and die all over the world.
You could make a strong argument that some of the finest novelists writing today are working in the mystery and crime fields.
Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos are just three of the many “stars” on this side of the Atlantic and the popular and critically acclaimed crime writers in the United Kingdom include Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell and P.D. James.
Another U.K. star, Val McDermid, will be kicking off her U.S. book tour for “A Darker Domain” (HarperCollins) in Westport on Feb. 9.
The Scottish novelist has two dozen books to her credit. The Observer in London has called her “one of the world’s leading mystery writers … Thomas Harris crossed with Agatha Christie, if you will…” (more…)