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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