The second riveting crime novel in the Karen Pirie series, from No.1 Sunday Times bestseller Val McDermid.
‘A superb mystery’ The Times
Twenty-five years ago, a woman and her baby son were kidnapped and held to ransom. Catriona Grant ended up dead and little Adam's fate has remained a mystery ever since.
When a new clue is discovered in a deserted Tuscan villa – along with grisly evidence of a recent murder – cold case expert DI Karen Pirie is assigned to follow the trail.
She's already working a case from the same year. During the Miners' Strike of 1984, pit worker Mick Prentice vanished. Where did he really go? And is there a link to the Grant mystery?
The truth is stranger – and far darker – than fiction.
‘An absorbing novel, one of her best’ The Times
‘Val McDermid is a born storyteller… absorbing reading’ Sunday Telegraph
‘A searing piece … McDermid orchestrates the tension with authority… After reading McDermid’s novel, readers may wish that more crime fiction would have the guts to take on serious issues’ Express
‘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
About the author
Val McDermid is a No.1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold more than sixteen million copies. She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009, was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger in 2010 and received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award in 2011. In 2016, Val received the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. In 2017, she received the DIVA Literary Prize for Crime and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She is also the patron of the Scottish Book Trust. Val writes full time and lives in Edinburgh and the East Neuk of Fife.
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.