This was an outstanding story. What I loved was the two mysteries to be solved plus Karen slowly healing after a tragic event. At times I could feel Karen's loss and I was teary. This is brilliant writing to wring such an emotional response from a hardened reader of crime fiction. If you have not read this series I encourage to take the plunge. What I'm very sad about is that the author only seems to write DCI Pirie books every 8 years so sadly I will need to wait until 2024 for the next installment.
I have been binge reading Val McDermid recently and I thoroughly enjoyed this. The fourth in the DCI Karen Pirie series, this was a fast-paced and engrossing read with a decently twisty plot and great character development. I have just bought book five in the series and I'm looking forward to starting it.
I’m a fan of Val McDermid and was delighted last year with the return of her Tony Hill / Carol Jordan series via the impressive Splinter the Silence.
Her latest, Out of Bounds, features Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie who I vaguely remembered from previous novels. I was slightly concerned that – as I wasn’t a devotee – I might struggle to work out who was who or suffer from backstory ignorance. But it wasn’t the case and I really loved this book.
McDermid likes her quirky characters and Karen is certainly that. She’s focused and, though a little too direct and lacking in empathy, is working on this and showing more tolerance; something particularly important given the occasional bumbling nature of her Cold Case Unit offsider DC Jason Murray.
The case at hand is one involving the DNA recovered during the car accident. One of the victims is a familial match for the DNA from a twenty year old rape/murder. Open and shut Karen and Jason think as they set off looking for the father of their hospitalised joy-rider. And you guessed it…. it’s not that easy.
In the meantime Karen finds herself drawn to a case that isn’t her own: the murder of a young man whose mother was the victim of an alleged terrorist attack just over 20 years before.
I initially worried that McDermid / Karen pursuing two cases might distract our attention and dissipate or diminish our interest in one or both, but that wasn’t the ‘case’ – this time around, for me anyway.
I was also actually pretty happy with the end of this book which is a rarity. It’s not wrapped up neatly and involves a level of acceptance, which again offers something a bit different.