Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Trick of the Dark” as Want to Read:
Trick of the Dark
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Trick of the Dark

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  1,193 ratings  ·  223 reviews
When Charlie Flint is sent a mysterious package of press cuttings about a brutal murder, it instantly grabs her attention. A groom was battered to death just hours after his wedding. As Charlie delves deeper into the case, she realises there is much more to this crime than meets the eye.
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published 2010 by Little Brown
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Trick of the Dark, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Trick of the Dark

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,245)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Now I could be extra harsh and just give you the review of this that I gave to my girlfriend - "Too many lesbians, not enough murder," but that would sell it short somewhat and make me sound a little bigoted. Nevertheless I was disappointed by Trick of the Dark primarily because the story seemed so tame and rather slow, not up to the standards I would expect from McDermid.

A man is killed on his wedding day, seemingly bludgeoned and drowned by his two business partners. Later the victims prospec
Ellen Keim
I'm really having trouble convincing myself to finish this book. I'm afraid that there's going to turn out to be a perfectly logical explanation for all the deaths that have surrounded the main "suspect." I put that in quotes because it's not the police that are investigating this person; it's an out-of-work forensic psychiatrist who has been asked to do so by this person's lover's mother. Got that? Yeah, it's kind of convoluted and the whole mystery is so up in the air, it's hard to care about ...more
Trick of the Dark reminded me more of McDermid's early Lindsay Gordan series than her recent, gritty standalones. Although a crime novel, the spine of the book is really its many lesbian characters and their myriad love lives. It's something that would irk me just as much if they were all straight and frequently backburner-ing a serial killer to contemplate their hetero romances and affairs. I want to read crime fiction, not romance with crime draped loosely around its shoulders. Added to that, ...more
I've never read any of McDermid's Tony Hill series, though I did like the BBC Wire in the Blood production based on them, but I've read and enjoyed several of her standalones. Trick of the Dark is no exception. Initially I wasn't sure whether I was going to like it or not as I had difficulty finding a character to feel sympathy with or for but as the action/investigation ratcheted up I did get hooked.

This story depends on coincidences which I found myself willing to accept. I love McDermid's plo
This Val McDermid book has just recently become available in the US after being out in Britain for a year. Despite its so-so reviews, I gave it a try. McDermid can reliably write a page turner that makes you want to read "just one more chapter" every time you come to the end of the current chapter, even if there is a part of your mind that knows you aren't really enjoying the story at all. McDermid also usually can be counted on for a flawlessly structured plot where everything makes sense when ...more
Ishmael Seaward
The last four sentences are worthy of Alfred Hitchcock.

This is a dense book, if I can use that term. Four hundred pages of a tightly written plot, even though at times it may not seem like it.

Charlie Flint is a clinical psychiatrist, specializing in psychological profiling, who has been suspended from practice pending an investigation of her testimony at a recent trial. She gets sucked into a murder investigation at the behest of a former college tutor. The question is whether or not a person (J
Dr. Charlie Flint is having a bad time. She refused to help wrongly convict a man who went on to kill four women and her medical license is under review. She loves her wife, a dentist, but feels tempted by the attentions of a flirtatious self-help expert. When her former Oxford tutor asks her to investigate her daughter's lover, Jay, a wealthy entrepreneur the professor suspects may have had a hand in the murder of her daughter's husband as well as other business rivals, Charlie takes the case, ...more
Well I got to page 64 and decided to quit - it's not that this was that bad it's just that I could not get into the characters at all. I just wasn't drawn in enough to want to know what happens. I think there was too much emphasis on everyone's relationships - the mystery element just sort of faded away to me and I didn't like the characters well enough without more plot.

I feel bad I didn't finish this but there are just too many books out there to waste time with one that is just not quite my t
I tried one of Val McDermid’s books a couple of years ago, and could not get on with it. Then this book got good reviews so I tried again. I just don’t know why she is so highly rated as a crime novelist. This is simply crime-writing-by-numbers. If it were better written, I wouldn’t have minded so much, but the dialogue is hackneyed, the plot is so well sign-posted you could drive a bus through it – what’s the big appeal here? Anyway, I plodded through the first half, increasingly irritated. Abo ...more
J.F. Penn
How do events from Oxford years ago reflect on a recent death, and is the public face of a well known business woman hiding a serial killer. Another great one from Val McDermid .
Lizzie Hayes
‘Trick of the Dark’ by Val McDermid
Published by Little Brown, September 2010. ISBN: 978-1-4087-0201-7

Charlotte (Charlie) Flint, forensic psychiatrist is in turmoil, firstly she is currently suspended awaiting a hearing by the GMC which will decide whether she can be reinstated, and secondly because she is in love, normally a happy situation, but when you have a partner of seven years, whom you still love, not so good.

She receives through the post a bundle of photocopied sheets that refer to a mu
Liz Wilkins
For me, a Val Mcdermid novel is a treat to be savoured which is why I often read them long after publication (the exception being the "Tony Hill" books which I can't stop myself from devouring in an instant!). The Hardback version of this has been sat on my shelf for a while (and boy its a good looking book) A couple of days ago I decided it was time and dived in. I tend to really enjoy Ms McDermid's stand alone novels (A Place of Execution and The Distant Echo being some of the best crime ficti ...more
Trick of the Dark is an intricately plotted who-done-it, satisfyingly set in Oxford, London, and other British and Scottish locales. That gives American readers not only an intelligent puzzle to work out but also a trip to jolly new Great Britain. It's the story of Dr. Charlie Flint, a disgraced psychiatrist whose testimony set a murderer free. She's wrestling with that angst, but also flirting with betraying her wonderful wife, Maria, for the sultry, mixed-message charms of Lisa.

(Oh, did I ment
I was very disappointed with this most recent McDermid book ~ after waiting for it to hit Oz shelves for what felt like a.g.e.s.
It seemed to be a more gay activist/support theme, than of the 'noire' genre for which Val is so well known and respected.
I wondered several times throughout if she had employed a ghost writer because this book is so very different from her usual style.
I found it very slow and hard to get into. There were so many characters introduced quickly that I found myself a bit c
Barbara Green
Val McDermid is one of those writers I turn to if for some reason I'm having difficulty reading. I find her books are usually page turners and this was no exception. It is not, however, her best work. I applaud her use of lesbian characters but most of them in Trick of the Dark aren't like any of the lesbians I know and love. I also feel this book is more lesbian chick lit than a crime novel or thriller. The blurb describes it as a complex and it is to some extent but I guessed who the killer wa ...more

I'm being generous. This book doesn't start for 200 pages. I felt I achieved something just by finishing it and I really wanted to be taken somewhere but this felt contrived. The was a lot of internalised angst and a lot of exposition. It felt like a book that had to be written by a due date and was pushed out to order. A pity, this could have been a tighter, shorter story. The policeman character felt placed because the writer had a plot problem. I didn't buy the 40 somethings behaving like te
Considering it's been a while since I last read anything by Val McDermid I tend to forget what a truly great storyteller she is. The stand alone thrillers of her's that I've read before have varied from being a great read to an outstanding mnd blowing experience.
What gets me is for a seasoned thriller reader such as myself your mind starts to consider all the possible outcomes, especially when it comes to the classic question of "whodunnit?" There is a certain level of satisfaction you get when
Lisa Lilly
This book made me rush home from work to read it (and I love my work). Main character Charlie Flint initially doesn't seem sympathetic. Despite being in a happy marriage, she's contemplating an affair. But her inner conflict over her intense attraction to another woman versus her real and deep love for her wife is so well drawn it's compelling. I really feel for Charlie as she veers one way and then the other. She's also struggling with having done the right thing in her work as a forensic psych ...more
The book would have been better if the author would have cut most of the lesbian romances and just written a good murder. I figured out the plot before it was revealed and this spoiled the ending for me. Val mcDermid usually writes better books, but this one didn't really make it. Romance and murder mysteries aren't always a good combination.
I'm a bit unsure about this book. I don't think it'll ever be my favourite 'Val' book. Nevertheless the plot was very believable as were the characters. The last 50 pages were very fast and furious. It had a satisfying ending.
Carolyn J. Rose
Not every book is for every reader and, even though I've loved many of Val McDermid's other mysteries, this one wasn't for me. Many of the characters seemed flat and the lesbian sex issue seemed to overwhelm mystery and murder.
Sherry Mackay
Somewhat disappointing. It is mainly a lesbian love story which I find really boring. Not so much the lesbian bit but the fact that it is a tedious and badly-written love story. The characters are acting like love sick adolescents with no moral compass. There is not much logic in the whole thing and not much mystery. At one point without any explanation the woman investigating these murders suddenly protects another woman whom she is pretty sure is a serial killer. Hah? Why? If I wanted to read ...more
Disappointing. Predictable. Meh.
Lame plot and unconvincing characters.

This standalone mystery took awhile to become likeable. McDermid's writing seemed stiff and monotone for a good 150 pages. There were plot points aplenty, and even more lesbians, but it was hard to warm to the protagonist Charlie Flint until at least halfway through the novel, perhaps because though happily married to a perfectly nice woman, she was considering cheating with a sexy manipulator who made her feel giddy. At some point there was a subtle shift and everything became more interesting
Excellent mystery by Val McDermid, I am really liking "tartan noir", although much of this book takes place in Manchester and Oxford.

The book builds at an almost leisurely pace to the final "WTF!?" moment that stands on their heads all theories you might have entertained up to a certain point and leave you wondering what you missed.

Perhaps I am getting too used to thinking twisted, so I saw the ending coming, but in spite of that it was still very enjoyable when I got to that moment, because th
I try not to miss a Val McDermid book, and I especially like these dark, psychological stand-alones. I had missed this one, but a review, now lost, of some other book led me here. I don't like books with no characters to care about, so I shouldn't like this one, as they're all flawed, but I find McDermid's storytelling so addictive, that I get caught up in it all. I also like her turn of phrase--Charlie Flint, our heroine, is a clinical psychologist, a "detective of the interior state." Somethin ...more
Spannung pur
Alle Rache will Ewigkeit entführt den Leser in das Leben der Profilerin Charlie. Ihr nächster Fall erfordert ihr ganzes Können, obwohl sie zur Zeit eigentlich suspendiert ist, und zu allem Überfluss, geschah der brutale Mord auch noch an ihrem alten College: In Oxford! Die Art, wie sie davon erfährt, ist auch merkwürdig, denn sie bekommt ein Päckchen mit Zeitungsartikeln über den Mord zugeschickt. Absender? Anonym. Wer hat den Bräutigam umgebracht? War Rache das Motiv? Und wenn ja, w
The Cats Mother
I've enjoyed most of Val McD's books, but many of them are very dark and twisted, so it was something of a relief to read a psychological mystery with no sadistic violence or psychotic cruelty, but that still has a satisfying conclusion.
I did guess the twist, but not too early, and only because I knew there had to be one, and not all of it.
The story is cleverly told from two points of view, Charlie the disgraced psychiatrist asked to investigate the murder of the son-in-law of an Oxford don who
Mike Gabor
Charlie Flint is having problems. She's a psychiatrist who has been barred from practicing because of a court case she testified in. She's also having doubts about her relationship with her lover, Maria. She then receives a mysterious package of newspaper clippings regarding the murder of Philip Carling. She figures out that the clippings were sent to her by one of her old teachers at Oxford, Corrina Newsam. She returns to Oxford and starts looking into the murder at the request of Newsam.

A very
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 74 75 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Finders Keepers
  • Broken Silence (Inspector Jack Brady, #1)
  • Burial
  • Shatter The Bones (Logan McRae, #7)
  • The Missing
  • From the Dead (Tom Thorne, #9)
  • Bad Boy (Inspector Banks, #19)
  • The Echo Man (Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne, #5)
  • Blessed Are Those Who Thirst (Hanne Wilhelmsen #2)
  • Evil In Return (Mark Tartaglia, #3)
  • Cold in Hand (Charles Resnick, #11)
  • The Woodcutter
  • Lasting Damage (Spilling CID, #6)
  • Death by the Riverside (Micky Knight, #1)
  • The Impossible Dead
  • Slip of the Knife (Paddy Meehan, #3)
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 Mermaids Singing (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #1) 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)

Share This Book