mandag den 1. marts 2010

Val McDermid, A Place of Execution (1999)


This Scottish stand-alone is part of my loot from our holiday in Scotland.

The plot begins when thirteen-year-old Alison Carter disappears from her home in Scardale, an isolated village in Derbyshire. Two children have disappeared from Manchester shortly before, but Inspector George Bennett does not see the cases as related. When he has ruled out a voluntary disappearance, he begins to suspect Alison has been abducted by someone she knew.

You could read this novel because it is a fantastic police procedural with an excellent and exciting plot. I guessed a few things, but still I rushed through the last two hundred and fifty pages in one night.

Or you could read it for the portrayal of the main characters: George Bennett and his colleagues, Alison´s mother and the other villagers (who are all related to Alison, of course).

Or you could read it for the very fine language.

Or for the setting: the village where people seem to continue a life style of a remote past. Children are born, they grow up and marry, they cultivate their land, but first of all they remain in Scardale, and they stick together!

No matter what, there is only one thing to say: if you have not read this one already, you should! (My son and older daughter agree, they read it first and told me to read it – NOW)

And to readers who know McDermid´s Tony Hill & Carol Jordan series: no, this one is not horrid or graphic. Children are victims, but McDermid handles the crimes against them without crossing my limit anywhere.

18 kommentarer:

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - OK, I will take your advice and read it. I like McDermid's other work (although I am grateful for your reassurance that this one isn't overly graphic), but I'm not familiar with this one. It really does sound like a terrific novel. Good characters and a fine police procedural? That works for me!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams sagde ...

With so many ways to recommend it, you've sold me on it! I'll look for it. :)

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

R. T. sagde ...

I suppose I will have to give McDermid another chance to redeem herself. Years ago, I read (or attempted to read) one of her novels (though I forget which one), and I was very much put off by the grotesque, gratuitous tone. Perhaps I judged unfairly. But--this leads to a question--I wonder why so many contemporary "mystery" writers rely upon blood-and-guts (with a generous helping of sadistic violence) rather than old fashioned plotting and characterization. Perhaps this says something about the coarsening of the readers' minds in the marketplace than the minds of the creators.

Paul D. Brazill sagde ...

VM's The Distant Echo is one of my favourite books. I do fancy this one. Cheers!

Dorte H sagde ...

R.T.: you have probably tried one of her Hill/Jordan series. I have read two, and though I found them exciting, I don´t want to read more of them because of the sadistic violence. Blog friends assured me her other stories were very different, and now I must say that they were right.
It is sad, though, that some writers seem to give in to the demands (from readers or publishers?)for unnecessary sadism and gore.

Dorte H sagde ...

Paul: the next on my list is A Darker Domain (my son and daughter have just read it and they recommend it strongly), but I will put her other books on my list (apart from the Hill/Jordan series).

Dorte H sagde ...

Margot: I don´t often rate novels (but that is because I don´t like giving anyone two or three stars). This one is a five star read, though.

Dorte H sagde ...

Elizabeth: I am glad I have convinced you. I didn´t have time to write a long review, but I really wanted to make it clear that this is one of the best I have read for a long time.

Vivienne sagde ...

Hi!
I saw your comment on Petty's blog site, about you selling your work, and I just want to say Congratulaitons!

Hope it's the first of many!

Dorte H sagde ...

Vivienne: oh, how kind of you to pop in! Thank you!

Kelly sagde ...

The only Val McDermid I have read is "The Grave Tattoo". It's been awhile, but seems like I had some trouble getting through it.

I'll put this one on my wish list.

pattinase (abbott) sagde ...

One of my all-time favorites. The recent TV production didn't do it justice.

Dorte H sagde ...

Kelly: The Grave Tattoo was okay, but a bit difficult to take seriously. I remember calling it a yarn. This one is crime fiction of very good quality.

Patti: I am glad we are two! I was overwhelmed by this one.

Bernadette in Australia sagde ...

Sounds excellent. I try to avoid the Tony Hill ones but am keen to try something else of hers.

Belle sagde ...

The one McDermid I read was too graphic for me. But this one sounds very different.

Dorte H sagde ...

Bernadette: I was really impressed by this one.

Belle: as long as you can live with a book where children are victims, you should enjoy this one - plus the excellent ending.

cathryngrant sagde ...

Val McDermid has been on my "want to read" list for quite some. Thanks for a recommendation.

Dorte H sagde ...

Cathryn: this one is the best crime novel I have read for a long time. I have another one ready on my shelf to look forward to.