Val McDermid grew up in a Scottish mining community then read English at Oxford. She was a journalist for sixteen years, spending the last three as Northern Bureau Chief of a national Sunday tabloid. She is now a full-time writer and lives in South Manchester.
When Michelle Gibson reports her father, Mick Prentice, missing at the start of McDermid's intricate but underwhelming stand-alone psychological thriller, Det. Insp. Karen Pirie, head of the Fife police Cold Case Review Team, isn't interested until Michelle reveals that Mick disappeared during the 1984 miners' strike. At the time, everyone believed Mick went "scabbing" in Nottingham. Later, Karen is summoned to the home of wealthy Sir Broderick Maclennan Grant, whose daughter, Catriona, and baby grandson, Adam, were abducted in 1985. A botched ransom hand-off left Catriona dead and Adam nowhere to be found. New evidence linked to the kidnapping has surfaced, and now Karen has two missing people to locate. McDermid tries to pack too much story into one book, and the connection she draws between the cases feels forced. Fans of the Scottish author may be better off waiting for the next outing of McDermid's series to feature psychologist Tony Hill (The Mermaid Singing, etc.). Author tour. (Feb.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Set in Fife, Scotland, McDermid's (The Grave Tattoo) 25th psychological thriller features Detective Inspector Karen Pirie, who must handle two cold cases almost simultaneously. On behalf of a mother desperate to save her dying son through a bone-marrow transplant, Pirie seeks the woman's father, who disappeared 23 years ago during a miners' strike. In the other case, a journalist vacationing in Italy has uncovered new evidence regarding the kidnapping of the daughter of Sir Broderick Maclennan Grant, the richest man in Scotland. However, Sir Grant has the reporter, Bel Richmond, investigating the new evidence, and vital information is not always shared with the police. Pirie's superior officer pressures her to solve the Grant case to everyone's satisfaction, but Pirie's own interest is held by the missing grandfather case. The plot weaves between the past and the present, the two cold cases, and the two women investigating them until it reaches a startling conclusion. This is McDermid's storytelling at its best, and DI Pirie, with her blend of humor and tenaciousness, is both likable and believable. A great read; highly recommended for fans of the genre.-Lisa Hanson O'Hara, Univ. of Manitoba Libs., Winnipeg Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Praise for 'A Darker Domain': 'Val McDermid is a born storyteller! absorbing reading' Sunday Telegraph 'A searing piece!McDermid orchestrates the tension with authority! as topical as ever! after reading McDermid's novel, readers may wish that more crime fiction would have the guts to take on serious issues' Daily Express 'More than worthy of the best of Barbara Vine' Evening Standard 'Torture, warped psyches, unspeakable cellars: Val McDermid sends you to bed with lights blazing' Sunday Times 'One of the best modern writers of crime fiction! excellent' Scotland on Sunday