Karen Pirie finds herself irresistibly drawn to another mystery that she has no business investigating…
What have I been doing??
Why did I not read Val McDermid books before?
Out of Bounds is the latest novel from Val McDermid, published early this year by Little, Brown Book Group.
Having heard only all positive reviews, here was a book I was so looking forward to getting my teeth into and it certainly did not disappoint….
Please continue reading for my thoughts….
When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to an unsolved murder from twenty-two years before. Finding the answer to the cold case should be straightforward. But it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself.
Meanwhile, Karen Pirie finds herself irresistibly drawn to another mystery that she has no business investigating, a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago.
And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems…
Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie, head of Scotland’s Historic Cases Unit (HCU) is back in her fourth appearance under the fab writing of Val McDermid. I was oblivious to the fact I was starting into book four and may I say it made no difference to the enjoyment of this read. References are made to Karen’s background so there’s enough to give you an insight to where Karen is currently in her life.
In recovery from the loss of someone close to her, Karen is finding it very difficult to settle back into the routine of work and life. Sleep escapes her many nights and Karen finds herself wandering the streets of Edinburgh ‘learning the city one street at a time might take her mind off the grief and pain…so far she couldn’t claim it had worked.’
Karen soon finds herself becoming obsessed with a case that turns up on her desk. A joyriding accident results in a young man in hospital in a life/death state. Unknown to him or his family, he may carry the secret to one of many of the unsolved cases sitting on Karen’s desk.
Meanwhile, a body is discovered on a bench in a remote area by a lake. Not a case that is within Karen’s jurisdiction, but yet she is drawn to the story of this individual. There is an historic connection to this story relating to a supposed IRA involvement in a bombing over twenty years previously, a case that was never really closed.
Karen soon discovers this is a case with far reaching tentacles. The deeper Karen gets involved, the more she uncovers, the more she realises that she may have taken one step too far this time.
Karen is not very popular with many of her colleagues due to her tenacity with her work and her ability to unearth information that was thought to have been buried with the dead. Karen finds herself faced with many obstacles along the way yet she persists, to the frustration of both colleagues and others.
While Karen Pirie’s personal suffering does take her on a very rough emotional journey, it also makes her someone you do not want to mess with. Karen has empathy when necessary but she also is tough when required. Her inability to sleep means her mind is constantly active exploring deep into cases and unprepared to just accept the status quo.
Val McDermid has written a novel that genuinely kept me glued to every single page. Her ability to write so coherently, and with such passion, grabs you as a reader and commits you completely to her writing.
THIS is how crime fiction should always be written. It’s fast, It’s sharp. It draws the reader in from the first page to the very last.
I highly recommend Out of Bounds ~ just perfect for all Crime Fiction fans and for all Val McDermid fans, both new and old.
Purchase Link ~ Out of Bounds
About the Author:
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.