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The Mermaids Singing
Val McDermid
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The Mermaids Singing (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan #1)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  8,090 ratings  ·  441 reviews
Traditional Chinese edition of The Mermaids Singing (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series), 1995's Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year. McDermid has won the Gold Dagger four times. The Torment of Others, another title in Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series, is a Gold Dagger winner in 2004. In Chinese. Distributed by Tsai Fong Books, Inc.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Chun Tian Chu Ban (first published 1995)
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May 25, 2010 Tracey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone that loves BBC "Wire in the Blood" series
Shelves: mystery, kook
This was fantastic. It had a little bit of this


and a little bit of that


and lets not forget this


It was nice to see men being the victims for once. It was disturbing at times, and maybe that was why I loved it.
Moira Russell
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
aPriL purrs 'n hisses

Many sensitive types should not read this novel.

First, there is lots of explicit torture. On the other hand, it's not gratuitous, in my opinion. However, it keeps on coming. As someone who reads a GREAT deal, of course I've come across historical and explicit descriptions of torture before. The Spanish Inquisition truly used incredibly awful devices of torture in real life, and the bad guy in this book, a serial killer of young men, builds such devices to use in his murders, having studie...more
Neide Parafitas
Sem dúvida um livro que mexeu comigo, tal era o horror descrito nas mais variadas situações em que o assassino colocava as suas vítimas!


Maria João Fernandes
"Como é óbvio, a descoberta de que se tem um talento natural para alguma coisa não significa necessariamente que devamos seguir cegamente esse caminho."

Val McDermid deve ter pensado o oposto desta citação do seu livro, seguindo assim o caminho do seu talento natural, a escrita. Mas terá ela esse talento? Já há muito tempo que tinha curiosidade em conhecer a autora, tão aclamada no género policial. Infelizmente, o seu primeiro livro da série de Tony Hill e Carol Jordan revelou-se uma desilusão tã...more
After reading Beneath the Bleeding I knew I had to consume as many of these books as possible, so I continued onto The Mermaids Singing and finished it around 4 o' clock in the morning, having been so engrossed I completely lost all sense of time.

McDermid has a strong grasp of human psychology and her characters are realistic, down-to-earth and with all the gritty, dirty bits that make up a human life. Each and every character seems to breathe from the page, whether they're in the book for two...more
Emma Sea
I probably should have appreciated this more than I did. The problem is it's 20+ years old, and I'm coming to it after a lifetime's exposure to crime dramas and novels. I'm not sure there's anything left for McDermid to say in this one that I haven't heard before. And again, this is a vintage thing, but when Carol calls the murderer, (view spoiler)...more
Mike Gabor
This is the book which introduced Tony Hill and Carol Jordan. Four men are brutaly slain. Ther tortured and mangled bodies are left in the gay community. At first the police are reluctant to label the muders as a serial killing however, as the bodies begin to pile up they are forced to call in profiler Tony Hill. He teams up with DI Carol Jordan and attempts to get to the bottom of these killings.

I enjoyed this book immensely however, be warned that the murders are quite violent and the author d...more
Every now and again you start reading a mystery that sneaks up on you and punches you in the gut, leaving you gasping for air. The Mermaids Singing is exactly that kind of a novel. Tony Hill, a psychologist specializing in serial killers gets called into three ongoing investigations that the police are resisting linking to one killer.

The result is an exciting read, one that keeps you awake, both because of the stark horror of the killer's desire, but also because you cannot put the book down. E...more
“O Canto das Sereias” de Val McDermid, foi publicado originalmente em 1995.
É um livro com uma construção narrativa muito interessante. Um livro tenso e emocionante, com detalhes requintados de um sadismo atroz.
“O Canto das Sereias” não é um livro confortável para ler.
É um bom livro policial, apesar de não ser excelente...
Choosing to tackle a new series, I was drawn to Val McDermid and the premise behind it. Pairing a police detective and a criminal psychologist is by no means new, but the British angle was a fresh approach for me and one that seems to work well. McDermid takes the reader down the path of numerous sub-plots while presenting a fascinating main tale to capture the attention of all who dare to explore. When men are found murdered in predominantly gay hangouts, the police are baffled as to where they...more
Hazel McHaffie
I went to hear Val McDermid speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this year, so I thought I ought to dip into her writing before too long a time elapsed. My chance came when I found The Mermaids Singing in a secondhand bookshop on Pitlochry railway station.
It's very well written, tight, tense, balanced and certainly had the pages turning for me. The bodies of four young men are found brutally tortured and mutilated. The clinical psychologist brought in to profile the killer is h...more
Very good. Bigoted coppers. Murder of men in gay areas. It has it all, and the literary introduction of Tony Hill and Coral Jordan.
the premise of the story is good, someone is murdering and torturing young men and dumping their bodies in area frequented by gay men. The local police force won't/don't want to use the serial killer words. Till their head decides to bring Hill. Then it snowballs when the fourth body is copper.
One of the coppers leading the investigation is very old-fashioned in his...more
There were a couple of visitors to my site who had recommended this one. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

The serial killer sub-genre has certainly been watered down over the years, so I usually take a grain of salt before trying a new one, half-expecting the same old cliches. Almost always I can find some bit of dialogue or a lucky break in a case that makes me roll my eyes but I could find nothing like that in this tale.

This is an entirely believable story, with entirely believable characters...more
Max Rudenko
After I've finished reading this novel I had some conflicting and contradictory feelings and thoughts. Having pondered over them for a while now, I'm ready to share the following thoughts.
Overall I liked this book. It is rather good police thriller, especially it being a first work in this series. However, there were some annoying problems. First of all, it's very unevenly paced. The story starts very slowly and drags for the first three quarters almost without any development but then wraps up...more
Oh, yuck, this book.

I have quite a strong stomach. It's not that impressive or anything, but I'm not incredibly easily shocked. This book, however, was more than I could bear. I like books and TV that take a look at the darker side of life, but the torture scenes were unneccessary and extremely gratuitous (sp?). It seemed like McDermid wrote it to shock. The killer lacked nuances and did not interest me in the slightest; s/he may as well have had a mustache to twiddle. There was no depth to thei...more
The books on which Wire in the Blood is based. British clinical psychologist teams up with copper to profile serial killers. All expected elements present and accounted for – hostile police brass, sexual "tension," personal issues.

Yawn. And that's pretty impressive, considering books featuring a maladjusted trouble-magnet who does criminal profiling are a huge weakness of mine. But I don't think my emotional needle so much as quivered, except for occasional flickers of annoyed disgust at the vi...more
Agatha Christie meets a sadistic serial killer. Taking place in the north of England, Tony Hill is a profiler and Carol Jordan is a police lieutenant in a very sexist police department. They are asked to work together on a series of murders, where the victims seem to be gay and the murders involve torture with sexual overtones. The narrative moves between the killer's diary, Tony's perspective and Carol's. Wonderfully well written, gruesome and an excellent mystery. The first outing in a series...more
I can remember watching the film version of this book before I know that this was a book series and that it was written by Val McDermid, one of my favorite British authors. At the time, I thought the movie was extremely creepy to say the least. When I put two and two together, I thought that maybe the film took liberties and made the movie more graphic than the book. I was wrong. This book is just as creepy as the movie. This book is an example of why I love Val McDermid's writing so much.
fantastic great storyline no lovey dovey romance crap! I finished this in record time, well to some it wouldn't be classed as record time but for me, trust me on this, this was one book I didn't want to put down! I thought I knew who the killer was and I am usually right but alas I was wrong way wrong!!! Val McDermid is going on my list of best authors and I can't wait to read more by her!!
Paula Cappa
This is not a badly written book, but I had to stop reading it because of the vile nature of the content. A serial killer performing ritualistic torture, genital mutilations, branding, dislocating limbs, disembowelment, etc. using medieval tools against the gay community. This is not entertaining in my opinion and the murder mystery part was not all that compelling. I skipped ahead to the ending to confirm who I thought was the killer and was right. So, it's fairly predictable, which I would not...more
Very violent and gory. Not for the squeamish!!!

I watched the TV show a couple of years ago and fell in love with it. I had been meaning to read the novels for a while now and finally got around to it a couple of months ago. The story is almost identical to the first episode of the show. Since I already knew the story, the suspense part was lost on me. However, it was a really good read even with the suspense factor out.

I enjoyed reading about the slightly "different" version of Tony Hill in the...more
Filipe Dias
Há algum tempo que me falavam deste livro, como sendo um livro fantástico. Finalmente tive oportunidade de ler.
Ao chegar ao final do livro pude constatar que a trama em nada se identifica com o nome do livro. Na verdade não percebi mesmo a associação.
Mas vamos à trama em si.
Vários inspectores da polícia vêem-se confrontados com homicídios brutais, de uma violência extrema, com grande dose de tortura doentia. Uma particularidade é que as vítimas são todas achadas em zonas de conhecidas práticas h...more
If you have any problem with triggers relating to torture, violence, suicide or rape, I don't suggest you read this book. The violence is graphic, lovingly detailed, and given to you from the point of view of the person carrying out the torture. If you're squeamish, there's also graphic descriptions of the mutilated bodies, etc. The only reason I continued reading this book was because I think I'm going to have to make reference to it in my essay -- if I wasn't planning on that, I would have giv...more
Sian Wadey
I've seen a few episodes of Wire In The Blood, featuring Robson Green and therefore went into this book with preconceived notions. In this case, I actually think they helped.
The Mermaids Singing is about a serial killer in the fictional town of Bradfield. Bradfield police force enlists profiler Dr Tony Hill to help them catch him.
The initial idea is quite a good one and the police's speculations are interesting as bit by bit they get closer to the killer. It's also quite a fast paced book, with...more
In fact it's a safe and solid 3.5 stars. Strongly recommend to anyone who loves worthy crime and thriller novels.

The gruesome murders and the killer's creative methods of killing and torturing the victims got one big thumb up from me, and the final plot twist would take your breath away. I'm not surprised this novel is named The Best Crime Novel Of the Year.

Not a perfect thumb up picture, but I want Reita there anyway.XD

But sadly the main characters (the police detectives duo) left no lasting im...more
* PLACEHOLDER TEXT * Here's a real writer. Sadly I didn't only not write reviews for the last 2 weeks = 14 books, I didn't make any notes, and kept reading, more and more thoughts piling up, so when I started writing this week it turned to 10 pages. The book might have weaknesses. It also has the most painful torture scenes I could barely stomach to read. And it has Tony Hill ... *points to 10 pages you can't see* I'm sorry about this place-holder text - I'm glad people are giving it 5 stars - I...more
Sheila Beaumont
The first in Val McDermid's Tony Hill-Carol Jordan series, this is a compelling, ingenious, complex, creepy and frightening thriller. McDermid really knows how to craft a story that will keep the reader turning the pages. Warning: Many of the chapters are journal entries by the killer, who is undoubtedly one of the most twisted, depraved, sadistic, evil psychopaths in fiction. I admit that there were some passages so graphic that I skimmed them. The two main characters investigating the case are...more
Once again, Val McDermid proves she's the best of the best. I was hooked from page one. Her matter of fact descriptions of things sadistic and horrible had me wincing but i couldn't read further fast enough. I particularly love this one because I thought I had it figured out about 2/3 of the way through. Not only did I not have it figured out, but in the wrap up chapter, she has one of her character say that they were thinking exactly what I was thinking. As usual, everyone has deep dark secrets...more
This is the first of McDermid's Tony Hill/Carol Jordan collaborations. I was delighted when I discovered these books as I love a good crime novel. These have all the components you would expect: a will they/ won't they relationship between the central charcaters, who are flawed survivors of the criminal justice system, twisting plot strands, a LOT of gruesome detail of the murders/torture of victims and of course a sstisfying ending. What puts McDermid a cut above (excuse the pun!) is the qualit...more
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Val McDermid was born and schooled on the east coast of Scotland and then Oxford University after which she became a journalist.

Her first book, Report for Murder was published in 1987 and since then she has gone on to have 25 more books published.

She lives in Manchester and Northumberland with 3 cats.
More about Val McDermid...
The Wire In The Blood (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #2) A Place of Execution Fever of the Bone (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #6) The Torment of Others (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #4) The Distant Echo

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“It's only hunting you that keeps me from being you.” 1 likes
“She watched his pale, square hands on the map, the short almost stubby fingers, with their neatly trimmed nails and a sparse scattering of fine black hairs on the bottom section of each finger. Appalled, she felt a stirring of desire. You're pathetic as an adolescent, she savagely chided herself. Like a teenager who fancies the first teacher who says anything nice about your work. Grow up, Jordan!” 0 likes
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