Bob Price's Reviews > The Retribution

The Retribution by Val McDermid
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's review
Jun 28, 2012

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Read in June, 2012

If this is the last Tony Hill and Carol Jordan book, it's an ending that could only make sense in their world. It's not to say that it's not good...but supremely fitting.

The Retribution could be seen almost as a direct sequel to The Wire in the Blood that takes place fifteen years later. Jacko Vance, the villain of Wire is back to wreck havoc in the lives of those whom he feels responsible for putting him in jail all those years ago.

At center stage in this book is the unique and difficult relationship between Tony Hill and Carol Jordan. The 'will they' or 'won't they' status between them almost feels relieved until Vance escapes from jail and begins a new reign of terror, blood, and mayhem.

McDermid's writing is still the crisp, clear, and often terrifying style she has developed and utilized in her other works. As somebody who has read a fair share of thrillers, I am not ashamed to say that this book has some of the most terrifying imagery I have read in a while.

The downside, for me, were some of the plot elements she used. Maybe I was influenced by the TV series, but Jacko Vance did not seem as terrifying as say Hannibal Lecter. There seems to be a bigger suspension of belief present in this book that was not present in others in the series.

As for the end...I won't give away spoilers....but my sense is that McDermid is done with Tony Hill and Carol Jordan and has given them the only send off that would be appropriate to both characters.

It is a quick and easy read and I recommend it for Tony Hill fans and thriller fans in general.
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