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Chris High books reviewed


Val McDermid

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
ISBN-10: 000724326X
ISBN-13: 978-0007243266
August 6, 2007

Image: Front cover of the book 'Beneath The Bleeding' by Val Mc Dermid.


Val McDermid has for quite sometime been looked upon as Queen of Crime. With Beneath The Bleeding, her latest Tony Hill novel, it is easy to understand why.

A city is in mourning. Bradfield Victoria's star midfielder has been murdered, bizarrely poisoned in an apparently motiveless killing. Then a bomb blast rips through the football stadium. Dozens lie dead, many more injured. Is it a terrorist attack or a vendetta against the Vics? Or something even more sinister? As he lies in a hospital bed, psychologist and profiler Dr Tony Hill struggles to make sense of the fragments of information he manages to gather. But his customary ally, DCI Carol Jordan, is being pushed to the margins of the investigation by intelligence services determined to prove themselves indispensable. It wouldn't be so bad if Tony and Carol could agree about who they're looking for. But even their relationship has its dislocations and dark places.

Written, as one might expect, with a style that oozes quality, the reader is almost dared not to turn the pages by some of the tightest, breathtaking prose available, with scenarios so credible they make you wonder as to whether they should feature in works of fiction for fear of giving people ideas.

Tony Hill, a man of many personal problems, is much more “human” in Beneath The Bleeding than in his previous outings and Carol Jordan, too, is not quite so caught up in her own dilemmas and so both comes across as so much more rounded and three-dimensional.

To put it concisely, it will be difficult indeed to find a novel more intriguing or better written than this and Beneath The Bleeding is an outstanding addition to Val McDermid’s already quite extraordinary catalogue.

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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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