Monthly Archives: May 2013

Book Review – The Mermaids Singing

This is my first Val McDermid book.

Profiler Tony Hill and police detective Carol Jordan work together on a series of murders where the victims seem to be gay and the murders involve torture with sexual overtones.  The book’s point of view alternates between Tony Hill, Carol Jordan and the killer. The latter point of view is in the form of a diary and I liked the way the description of each murder always lagged behind the description of the discovery of its victim.

The book is very well written and the serial killer is really a very scary character. The torture scenes are detailed and extremely gruesome; I did find these rather uncomfortable reading.  In the background the book is much about how Tony Hill needs to sell psychological profiling to a sceptical police force and the internal politics of that force. There is a nice twist towards the end although it’s clear from early on who the serial killer’s next target is.

This really is an excellent book and I found it all the more gripping as I haven’t seen the TV series.  5 stars

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Book Review – The Innocent

This is my first David Baldacci book.

Will Robie is a US government assassin whose latest latest assignment goes wrong and he finds himself a wanted man. But by whom and why is a mystery which is revealed bit by bit over the course of the book. Also on the run is 14 year old Julie who teams up with Robie.

The book is a page turner and although long,400 pages, each of the 100 chapters is short and always moves the plot along. On the way there are a number of false leads, betrayals and twists. There is some introspective moral questioning of the main character’s motives but I didn’t find this particularly well written.

I had a problem with Julie; she was far too mature for a 14 year old. Occasionally Baldacci would throw in a scene where she does act her age but for me this only highlighted how incredible a character she was most of the time.

Overall I enjoyed the book and give it 3 stars. I would have given 4 if the book was a bit shorter and the Julie character made more believable.