Insidious Intent: (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Book 10) by Val McDermid

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Insidious Intent: (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Book 10) by Val McDermid

Category: Crime
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: This could well be my crime book of the year: stunning writing and an ending which left me gasping. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 448/13h14m Date: August 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1408709320

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When we meet Kathryn McCormick we know that she's got less than three weeks to live. Had Kathryn known that she might have made different choices. I've a suspicion that she might not have wasted time being at the wedding, but it was there that she met her killer. He said his name was David and he was charming, respectful, unwilling to rush anything as he was still getting over the death of his wife. Kathryn was left with the feeling that he was still more than a little bit in love with Tricia. They went on a couple of dates and then David took her to a cottage in the Dales for the weekend. By the end of the weekend Kathryn would be dead in her burned-out car.

It was a while before anyone realised that it was, in fact, a murder. The first reaction was that it was either a nasty accident or possibly even suicide, but once it was discovered that dead people don't commit suicide the case was transferred to ReMIT - the regional major incident team headed up by DCI Carol Jordan and assisted by profiler Dr Tony Hill. It's a crack team - the team of all the talents - but whoever killed Kathryn was forensically very savvy and it's impossible to get a lead on the man. Then three weeks later Amie McDonald was dead in a burning car after meeting Mark at a wedding...

I was going to take Insidious Intent away with me on a four-day break: interesting subject matter and a suitable length, but I made a mistake. I opened the book (just to have a look, you know...) and 36 hours later I'd finished it, reading through until three in the morning because I simply couldn't put it down. Then I couldn't sleep because the ending delivered a sucker punch which I never saw coming, but which is so totally, totally right. I'm jumping ahead of myself though.

The writing is stunning: it's so good that it makes the craft look simple, as though anyone could do it and it makes reading such a pleasure. It's only when you start to look at the interwoven storylines: DS Paula McIntyre's ward Torin is getting over the murder of his mother, but he's a little too gullible when dealing with online relationships and a little too cavalier in real life. He's going to learn that reactions to relatively small slights can be disproportionate: a lesson that the murder victims also learned the hard way. The stresses on the members of the ReMIT team are realistic though: Carol Jordan is struggling with her battle with alcoholism and facing the danger of quite how she avoided a drink driving charge being made public. There's guilt too about the consequences of the charges being dropped. Paula McIntyre has given up smoking and she's now wondering is she should give up vaping. And the doughnuts.

Whilst we might be party to the killer's reasoning, his motives, the preparations he makes, we don't know how he's going to be caught. Could this be the case that remains unsolved? It's certainly the book I couldn't put down and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag. (And thanks too to Val McDermid for the bonus short story at the back of the book.)

I was tempted to read Insidious Intent because I'd enjoyed Out of Bounds, one of Val McDermid's DCI Karen Pirie novels. That's a cracker too.

Buy Insidious Intent: (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Book 10) by Val McDermid at Amazon You could get a free audio download of Insidious Intent: (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Book 10) by Val McDermid with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Insidious Intent: (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Book 10) by Val McDermid at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Insidious Intent: (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Book 10) by Val McDermid at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Insidious Intent: (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Book 10) by Val McDermid at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Insidious Intent: (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Book 10) by Val McDermid at Amazon.com.


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