The Number One bestselling crime series featuring Tony Hill, hero of TV’s Wire in the Blood, written by the award-winning Val McDermid. This is a psychological thriller – and serial killer – that will keep you up at night.
For some, there is nothing so sweet, so thrilling, as the torment of others …
A dead girl lies on a blood-soaked mattress, her limbs spread in a parody of ecstasy. The scene matches a series of murders which ended when irrefutable forensic evidence secured the conviction of one Derek Tyler. But Tyler's been locked up in a mental institution for two years, barely speaking a word – except to say that 'the Voice' told him to do it.
Top criminal psychologist Dr Tony Hill is prepared to think the unthinkable – this is not a copycat murder but something much stranger. While DCI Carol Jordan and her team mount a desperate and dangerous undercover police operation to trap the murderer, Hill heads towards a terrifying face-off with one of the most perverse killers he has ever encountered…
‘One of McDermid's finest, which is saying a lot' The Times
‘An especially taut and inventive thriller. This is McDermid on top form’ Daily Mail
'Serial killers are thankfully rare. It is a tribute to the power of Val McDermid's imagination that she made this one seem so believable' Daily Telegraph
'Complex, combative and nuanced' Express
‘No one compares to McDermid’ Guardian
'Val McDermid is an intelligent, supremely talented novelist and with this latest tale, she is writing at the height of her power. Utterly compelling' Glasgow Herald
About the author
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 years as Northern Bureau Chief of a national Sunday tabloid. Now a full-time writer, she divides her time between Cheshire and Northumberland. Her novels have won international acclaim and a number of prestigious awards, including the Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year, the Anthony Award for best novel, and the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year Award. Her thriller series featuring criminal profiler Tony Hill has been adapted into the much-loved TV series Wire in the Blood.
British author McDermid, whose The Wire in the Blood has become the best of actor Robson Greer's omnipresent TV outings, has published most recently a gripping stand-alone, The Distant Echo (2003). Now she continues her engrossing series about criminal psychologist Dr. Tony Hill and his police colleague, DCI Carol Jordan (who made their debut in 1996's The Mermaids Singing), in a beautifully constructed, impeccably written story about an apparent copycat killer. McDermid takes this not exactly virginal supposition and literally turns it on its head. Two years earlier, strong forensic evidence put serial killer Derek Tyler behind bars in a mental hospital. Now Hill is sure that against all logic Tyler has committed a new murder in the same way as his old ones. The more he and Jordan dig, the more impossible the connection appears. But Hill refuses to swallow the obvious that someone is imitating Tyler's modus operandi and McDermid's swelling legions of enthusiasts will share his bafflement. A finalist for the CWA's 2004 Gold Dagger Award, this fresh, imaginative psychological thriller should help win the author many new fans in the U.S.