fredag den 19. marts 2010

Val McDermid, A Darker Domain (2008)


Two of my three children snatched this Scottish stand-alone from my shelf before I got round to reading it myself, and afterwards they coaxed me to read it before anything else.

The story begins in 2007 when a young woman reports her father missing – during the miner´s strike in the 1980s! Detective Inspector Karen Pirie takes the case herself even though she should allocate it to someone subordinate, but she has not really got used to sitting at her desk, fiddling with the paperwork of her cold case unit. At the same time her ridiculous superior wants her to focus on a high-profile case about a tycoon´s daughter and grandson who were kidnapped around the same time as miner Mike Prentice left his unassuming home, because an ambitious journalist has stumbled upon new evidence. Karen Pirie is a stubborn and spirited protagonist, however, who knows how to throw her weight about, and the clashes between Karen and her boss are part of the comic relief of this excellent story.

Among the many well-drawn characters I enjoyed a reunion with River Wilde, the forensic anthropologist I came across last year in the not very grave yarn “The Grave Tattoo” (2006). Another strong point was the convincing description of the strike and the consequences it had for the local communities.

This cold-case story is of the same, fine quality as “A Place of Execution” which I reviewed earlier this month.

This book is a generous gift from Maxine who reviewed it last year.

9 kommentarer:

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - Thanks for this very fine review. Now I feel so silly for not having recognized it earlier this week! I'm glad you were able to get it back from your children : ).

Dorte H sagde ...

Margot: oh, this is just a very short review. But I read three books in a row last week without taking notes so I didn´t remember all the details afterwards.

Maxine sagde ...

Ah, so this was the test this week! I didn't recognise it either, although it seems from your post I have read this book;-)

I like your review- I was pleased to meet "River" (great name?) again too. I think this is one of Val McDermid's strongest books, she's on top form here. Clearly she feels very passionately about those events in the 1980s, which I remember quite well.

Dorte H sagde ...

Maxine: I can see that the quotation was not as memorable as I thought. The novel was first class, though, so I have just ordered another of her books.

Jose Ignacio Escribano sagde ...

I like your review. I know the book should be mentioned on your february post Game, Sets and Matching Titles but I overlooked the comments on that post.

bkclubcare sagde ...

Wait. So, the dot says "Hey Dad has been missing for the last 20+ years, could someone pls look into this?" !??!?! I love (LOVE!) the cover!
:)

Dorte H sagde ...

Jose: this is an excellent crime novel! Five stars!

Care: I am not quite sure which dot you are talking about, and I wish the daughter reported him missing because she missed him, but this novel is more complex than that. It is compelling, and so is the (ominous) cover).

Beth F sagde ...

I've had McDermid on my list for a long time. I should give him a try.

Dorte H sagde ...

Beth: actually McDermid is a she, but I recommend this one and A Place of Execution warmly.