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

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  14,119 Ratings  ·  824 Reviews
Val McDermid stunned readers and critics alike with the publication of her brilliant thriller, A PLACE OF EXECUTION, which was a finalist for the prestigious Edgar Award. Now, in THE MERMAIDS SINGING, she continues her trademark ingenuity for suspense, and introduces criminal profiler Tony Hill, who has spent years exploring the psyches of madmen. But now he's become one o ...more
Paperback, 364 pages
Published June 17th 2002 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1995)
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Dora Hi Nicole, I haven't read the novel yet, but the title is taken from the ending of T. S. Eliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock": "I have…moreHi Nicole, I haven't read the novel yet, but the title is taken from the ending of T. S. Eliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock": "I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me." The speaker is a painfully shy man who fantasises about women, who scare him to bits. - Fits this novel?(less)

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Mohammed Arabey
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mohammed by: Lema
That's how this novel was recommended for me;

This series is perfect for fans of The X-Files and Cormoran Strike.
Like I'm not obsessed enough..

And now I pass the recommendation for every “Criminal Profiling” cases fans..from the early “Jack the Ripper’s Case, Sherlock’s Cases, to Scarlet from 'Silence of the Lambs'.

The art of getting INSIDE the Criminal's'll experience it here.. depressingly well.

This is my first read for Val McDermid, and she truly surprised me.
She gives the characte
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4000-books
I have been meaning to get around to this one for years. Having been an avid fan of the TV show I am really not sure why it has taken me so long! Anyway at last I picked it up and read it and I am very glad I did.
The TV series was good but the book is better. There is some really brutal stuff in it but I skimmed over the bits that really disturbed me. The killer uses instruments of torture which are really appalling to imagine, but leaving some of the descriptions of them unread did not spoil th
May 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
João Carlos

Val McDermid (n. 1955)

Alguns Spoilers

1 - Nunca tinha lido nenhum livro da escritora escocesa Val McDermid (n. 1955);
2 – “O Canto das Sereias” foi publicado originalmente em 1995;
3 – É um thriller com uma construção narrativa muito interessante, alternando os capítulos entre as principais personagens, conferindo a evolução da investigação criminal, com as descrições dos pensamentos e estados de espírito do assassino, a sua mentalidade e o seu planeamento, com recurso a uma excelente caracterizaçã
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have only read a couple of Val McDermid's books but have enjoyed them and intend to read more in the future.This is the 1st book in the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series and is an excellent start. The characters are meaty and I can imagine they offer a lot of chances to develop further in future books. Quite gruesome in places as it describes a killer who is obsessed with ancient torture methods. I feel confident that this series will only get better.
aPriL does feral sometimes

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
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Mermaids Singing is Val McDermid’s first in a series of Tony Hill and Carol Jordan novels, and I must confess that I have mixed feelings about this one. It is certainly well written and is, without a doubt, a fascinating combination of police procedural and psychological thriller.

Men are being murdered in the fictional city of Bradfield, England, and their mutilated bodies are being dumped in the Temple Fields area where the gay bars are located. After the third body is found, Assistant Chi
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
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
Jan 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Jun 26, 2015 rated it liked it
This one is over my gruesome quotient. You won't fall out of interest to what happens next, and the psychological analysis is not exactly "wrong"- but it is troublesome. This series is not for the faint of heart or cozy mystery readers.
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!


Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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
Sep 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, lgbt, mystery
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
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, nick-s-gifts
I completely lost all sense of time and I had to stay up till late because I couldn’t sleep without finishing this book.

(view spoiler)

Despite the fact that this was an uncomfortable and at times disquieting read, I really liked it.

Slightly politically incorrect, probably due to the fact that it has been published many years ago

‘Not all ga
Viji  (Bookish endeavors)
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it

Oh.! So this is how Tony Hill met Carol Jordan..! Having read the sequels in the series before reading the first ones,I was quite impressed by the chemistry the duo shared,and it seems a pleasant thing to read about their first meeting after a long while. There was a time when all I was interested in was psychological thrillers.. My days were divided between Patricia Cornwell and Keith Ablow and Val McDermid and Mo Hayder.. Day in and day out with serial killers.. Lots of coffee and chips.. Gett
Mike Gabor
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: british-mystery
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
Emma Sea
Apr 29, 2014 rated it liked it
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
John Wiltshire
Jun 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: given-up-on
I've read this one before. I got quite far into the series, I seem to remember. It's on my Kindle. Light reading for travelling. I'll update when done...
Huh, I now remember why I gave up on this series. I must be in a minority here because I know these books are held up as masterpieces of the genre, but I don't like them. I don't like pornographic violence (torture porn). I love gore; horror; crime; deviant psychology; and all the other elements of great serial killing novels, but I don't like r
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This was my first introduction to Val McDermid. I'd seen the name mentioned a few times and thought it was about time I acquainted myself with her books.

I'm not a squeamish person. I can happily (odd choice of word) read about murders and gore and blood and whatnot. Except when it involves animals. But the torture and the murders in this book made me very uncomfortable. I had to stop reading a few times. None of it is gratuitous but I did feel like maybe some of it was a bit over the top. I have
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thriller vero, raccontato a due voci.
L'io narrante, quello scritto in corsivo, è ricco di particolari e decisamente per stomaci forti.
Il resto, in terza persona, narra la vicenda, le indagini, le azioni degli altri.
Personaggi ben delineati e caratterizzati, situazioni descritte con dovizia di particolari.
In me ha suscitato empatia: spesso - infatti - ho avuto la sensazione di muovermi al fianco dei personaggi o di essere dentro le loro teste a seguirne i pensieri, a viverne le sensazioni.
Ben co
Sep 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
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
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Weird and revolting. Loved it. Val McDermid is great. I will continue to read this series. Interested to see where it goes.
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-library
I think The Mermaids Singing is a good start to a series I'd like to continue. Set in England, there is a serial killer targeting closet gay men..........or so we think. The investigation is led by Detective Inspector Carol Jordan and they've brought in a criminologist, Dr. Tony Hill.

This book was written in the 90's and this character, Dr. Hill, emulates the famous character (Will Graham) that the actor, William Petersen, made famous in Manhunter. (such a good movie) This movie (and Silence of
Linda Lpp
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have lost 3 of my updates, when switching to this edition of the book. Lets try this again-only not on my cell phone, but PC.
Am only now going back to read this first book of this series. Interesting to find out how Dr. Tony Hill came to work with Carol Jordon. His contribution is in creating profiles of offenders. Certainly with mixed acceptance by the British police.

I'm loving this particular copy of The Mermaids Singing. It is an old, old 1996 publication and certainly feels like its been
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read
Surprisingly gory but an excellent entry in the British police procedural genre. The main characters (detectives) are Dr. Anthony Hill (a psychologist and criminal profilers and DI Carol Jordan.

This is the first book in the long-running series and the chemistry between the two leads is palpable and interesting from the very beginning.

The main criminal is a serial killer who is abducting and murdering men and dumping the bodies in the gay district of Bradfield. Mcdermid provides TMI about the gor
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can see why Val Mcdermid is called a queen in the crime genre, you can see how it inspired others such as JK Rowling's The Cuckoo's Calling series. The only difference is that where in Rowling's I cared so much about the characters and little about the mystery, every single detail The Mermaids Singing kept me on the edge of my seat!

First, I just wanted to get it out of the way and say that this novel was clearly reminiscent of The Silence of the Lambs, and it was even referenced a couple of t
Liz Barnsley
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So with great anticipation I set off on my re-read of all Val McDermids novels and I began with “The Mermaids Singing” the first in the series featuring Tony Hill and Carol Jordan.

In Bradfield the bodies of four men have been discovered…with the police reluctant to link them Dr Tony Hill is already certain that a serial killer is operating in the area. When forward thinking ACC John Bradfield enlists Tony’s help to profile the killer, he is teamed up with Carol Jordan and so begins their story…

Mark Hodder
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
I'm astounded. Val McDermid is one of the luminaries of British crime fiction. This novel has predominantly four and five star ratings on Goodreads. It won the CWA Award for best crime novel of 1995. It formed the basis for a TV series. And ... it's really not very good. The writing is, at best, unsophisticated. All the characters speak with exactly the same voice, and they all express themselves like bad actors in an amateur dramatics production, constantly addressing each other by name in a ma ...more
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Val McDermid is a No. 1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies.

She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cart
More about Val McDermid...

Other Books in the Series

Tony Hill & Carol Jordan (10 books)
  • The Wire in the Blood (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #2)
  • The Last Temptation (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #3)
  • The Torment of Others (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #4)
  • Beneath the Bleeding (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #5)
  • Fever of the Bone (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #6)
  • The Retribution (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #7)
  • Cross and Burn (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #8)
  • Splinter the Silence (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #9)
  • Insidious Intent (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #10)
“It's only hunting you that keeps me from being you.” 5 likes
“You know, I've often wondered. It's pretty clear what they were up to in Sodom, but what do you suppose the sin of Gomorrah was?' Carol asked.” 5 likes
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