It’d been a while between Tony Hill / Carol Jordan drinks for me on the book front when Val McDermid’s 9th novel in the series arrived in my letterbox.
I’m a huge fan of the series and was a lover of the TV show based on the series (though vaguely recall losing interest for some reason which now alludes me. Was there a change of characters? Or perhaps it just finished?). Anyhoo… I excitedly tuned in for the latest instalment and was (again) forced to change dinner plans so I could read the book in a night!
Psychological profiler Tony Hill is trained to see patterns, to decode the mysteries of human behaviour, and when he comes across a series of suicides among women tormented by vicious online predators, he begins to wonder if there is more to these tragedies than meets the eye. Similar circumstances, different deaths. Could it be murder? But what kind of serial killer wants his crimes to stay hidden?
Former DCI Carol Jordan has her own demons to confront, but with lives at stake, Tony and Carol begin the hunt for the most dangerous and terrifying kind of killer – someone who has nothing to fear and nothing to lose . . .
When we meet Carol in this latest outing she’s retired from the police service and living in the countryside renovating a barn which belonged to her brother. She and Tony aren’t estranged but aren’t really talking. However when she finds herself in trouble she calls on him because she knows he’s the only person who’ll drop everything to be there for her.
Tony co-opts Carol to assist with his project—looking into the recent suicides—to take her mind off her problems and before long they bring a few other familiar faces into the fold.
This is very much a police procedural as Tony, Carol and the team spend a significant amount of time looking into each suicide to prove that there was (indeed) more to it than local police suspected. And once they find a common theme Tony’s able to put together a psychological profile to help narrow the search.
I love that McDermid’s narratives remain current. The addition of digital forensics expert Stacey Chen to the team and a plot centred around online bullying and trolling keeps this series relevant.
Yet again Tony, Carol, long-time offsider Paula and other team members are well-developed characters with distinct and engaging voices.
McDermid’s taken them in a new direction in this novel which should shape future books in the series. And… as Carol’s had to confront some demons in this book it will be interesting to see what’s next for her.
I’m really excited by this latest novel and now can’t wait for number ten!
Splinter the Silence by Val McDermid was released in Australia via Hachette on 25 August 2015.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.