‘Murdered people don’t kill themselves…’
Val McDermid, dubbed the Queen of Psychological Thrillers, is back with her latest novel featuring two of the more well known characters in crime fiction. Clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan return in Insidious Intent, the tenth book in this series and I have to admit the first in this series for me.
I read and loved Out of Bounds (featuring detective Karen Pirie) by Val McDermid (Review HERE ), so I knew from the offset that I was going to be reading a fast-paced page-turner.
Published by Little Brown Books on 24th August in hardback (& ebook) I was very lucky to receive a fabulous special edition of Insidious Intent, with a bonus short story included. The paperback edition is due for release early 2018.
Please read on for my unbiased and voluntary review…
A quiet night on a country road. The stillness shattered by a car engulfed in flames, and a burned body discovered in the driver’s seat. As the investigation unfolds, DCI Carol Jordan and psychological profiler Tony Hill quickly realise that this is more than just a tragic accident. And so begins the hunt for a truly terrifying killer, someone who believes he is invisible, untraceable and untouchable.
As other victims are found to have met the same terrible fate, and with more women at risk, Tony and Carol are drawn into a dark and twisted web of fear and revenge that will force them to question their own ideas of justice .
I consider myself almost at an advantage picking up Insidious Intent as a first timer, featuring the iconic Tony Hill and Carol Jordan. I had no preconception, no expectations and therefore went in blind!! I have done this before with other authors and quite frankly I like it. The characters are new to me, with a sufficient back story provided to make me feel I’m not missing out on too much. I know not everyone will agree with me but with so many fantastic authors out there I just cannot read all the series on the market!!
In Insidious Intent, a serial killer is on the prowl. Psychologically tainted by events in his past, the killer is now preying on women, inflicting horrendous deaths on them and fulfilling some kind of sick fantasy of his own.
It is on the discovery of human remains, burned out in a car on a country road, that unleashes a chain of events, which I’m sure will take away the very breath of all hardened fans of this series.
DCI Carol Jordan and the newly formed ReMIT (Regional Major Incident Team) are given this case as their first. The pressure for a fast result is there from the outset. Jordan is dealing with some very personal issues, which run in parallel to the main story. These issues provide an insight into the person behind the tough veneer. As a reader we get to see the daily struggles Carol Jordan is dealing with, as she attempts to keep her self above water. Carol Jordan is a great character. Tough on the exterior she is also very fragile, and almost like a fallen china doll, cracks soon begin to appear.
Her colleague Dr Tony Hill assists in this case as a psychological profiler but also as her friend. He watches Jordan as she moves through her days and as the cards begin to fall, he props them up again.
Their relationship, though very new to me, had an intangible feel to it. It was always there floating in the background, enough to have an impact, but yet also maintaining a brittleness that could disintegrate at any moment.
As the case continues to unfold, the team struggle to make a connection to any one individual. As other victims are discovered, all left to burn in a car, all on country roads, it is soon very obvious to the team that they are dealing with a killer who is forensically astute and always one step ahead of them. It’s also very clear that momentum is picking up as the killer is obviously in a race to a finish.
But who is his ultimate victim and why?
Carol Jordan is frustrated with the progress in this case and as the burden lands firmly at her feet, she starts to feel some serious pressure from on high.
In setting up the ReMIT group, it’s role was established to ‘scoop up all the sudden violent deaths, the most vicious sexual assaults and the sickening child abductions from six separate police forces. The first tentative step toward a national agency like the FBI, perhaps?‘ With Carol Jordan heading up this new force, her job is to develop an elite team whose combined talents would be enough to bring down the most violent of criminals that society produces.
Will ReMIT uncover this murderous individual who is playing cat and mouse with them? Can Carol Jordan safeguard her position as head of ReMIT?
I thoroughly enjoyed Insidious Intent as I raced through the pages breathlessly to the finish. Val McDermid knows how to keep her readers enthralled and for me that’s all I need when reading a book of this nature. There is an abundance of crime fiction on the market at the moment and sometimes the choice for the reader can be almost too much!! Val McDermid is a steady presence in the market with her novels selling across the globe. She is in high demand for literary events and is also familiar to many from her appearances on radio and television. There’s a reason for that folks!!
I haven’t gone into any more detail in my review for one very simple reason…Val McDermid requests it. ‘I’ve had twenty years of readers telling me how invested they are in these characters, and I want them to enjoy this book as much as I hope, you have..I’m asking you not to say anything that is a spoiler…’ As I have mentioned earlier I am new to this series so it would be very unfair of me to write in any more detail about characters and past histories that I know very little about for fear of spoiling something for the reader who has stayed with this series all the way.
Suffice to say, Insidious Intent is a great read, a compulsive read. It is crime fiction with a very human edge. Thoroughly enjoyable!!
Purchase Link ~ Insidious Intent
About Val McDermid:
Val McDermid is a No.1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over fifteen 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 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
She writes full time and divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh.
Website ~ https://www.valmcdermid.com/
Twitter ~ @valmcdermid