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The Torment of Others by Val McDermid
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's review
Jan 31, 2010

really liked it
Read in January, 2010

This is actually the fourth book in Val McDermid's Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series, but the first one which I have read.
I tend to choose library books at random, so it's fortunate that each of the books has a stand-alone story.
This series was also the basis for television's Wire in the Blood, although only four of McDermid's books became episodes in the TV programme.

Tony Hill has returned to profiling having spent some time as an academic, while DCI Carol Jordan has just returned to active police work in the fictional northern English city of Bradfield. Jordan is in charge of a team for the first time since being raped while working undercover.
The novel interweaves the story of the disappearance of two young boys with the main storyline of a series of murders in Bradfield's red-light district.
The first murder - gory and graphic - seems an impossibility since it is exactly the same as a series of murders two years previously. Derek Tyler, the perpetrator of the earlier murders was caught and is incarcerated in the local secure mental institution. There is no doubt about Tyler's guilt but, after a second prostitute is murdered, it is apparent that these are not merely copycat killings.
When a policewoman is used as an undercover decoy and disappears without trace, Jordan begins to doubt her ability to lead the team.
McDermid allows the reader into the thoughts of the killer/s. Having greater knowledge than Hill or the police doesn't, however, mean that the reader can easily spot the real killer.

In spite of the gory nature of the story, reading this is a good way of escaping briefly from everyday life. On that level, I enjoyed the book.

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Reading Progress

01/04/2010 page 113

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