Friday, 14 August 2015

The Wire in the Blood by Val McDermid

Title: The Wire in the Blood
Series: Tony Hill & Carol Jordan (#2)
Author: Val McDermid
From: Amazon
Genre: Crime
Release Date: 1st March 2005
Challenges: COYER Scavenger Hunt, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

With the new Profiling Task Force being set up, Tony Hill has new recruits to train in Profiling techniques. Carol Jordan is now Detective Chief Inspector based in Seaford, and with a potential Serial Arsonist on the loose she tries her own hand at profiling. But when one of Tony Hill's new apprentices finds more than they bargained on in an exercise and ends up dead, Tony and Carol find themselves joining forces again to catch a serial killer of teenage girls.

I forgot how addictive these books were! When I reread The Mermaids Singing it made me wonder why I'd stayed away from crime books, and Val McDermid's books, for so long. It didn't take me long to feel that I should go back and so I picked up The Wire in the Blood (which is the book that named the TV show, though I wasn't a massive fan of that, which I think was to do with Robson Green not living up to the Tony in my head, even if he is a good actor).

As with The Mermaids Singing I didn't think that knowing the plot of the book detracted from it at all, though I didn't remember the plot nearly as clearly as I did the first one. The big difference in this book is that the reader knows from very early on who the murderer is, and the investigators catch on pretty quickly too, it's just the proving it that takes them time.

There is a real sense of racing against time with this book. At the same time as following the last days of one of the murderer's victims, the story follows the efforts of Tony's task force in trying to find the evidence to convict the murderer and find the girl. It really made me read with a sense of urgency.

The cast of characters expanded somewhat from the first book. With Tony and Carol both established characters there needed to be less time spent with them, meaning that more time went into exploring the other characters. In some cases it took a while for them to grow on me but each of them brought something to the table.

The relationship between Tony and Carol is super complex, and I like that. The book isn't romance, so it wouldn't be right for there to be a HEA in that department as such, but neither does McDermid shy away from that being an aspect of the characters' lives. Both Tony and Carol have feelings and attraction towards the other, but each have their own reasons not to pursue it. It's messy and complicated and that's what makes it perfect.

I can't believe I've missed out on these books for so long! Now it'll be interesting to see how long it is until I cave and read more McDermid!