The Wire in the Blood by Val McDermid

Val McDermid's award-winning crime fiction has made her a true staple amongst mystery readers.

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The Wire in the Blood by Val McDermid


Features

  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.08 x 6.67 x 4.10
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; (July 2002)
  • ISBN: 0312983654


    Reader Reviews
    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful: One can smile and smile and be a villain., February 22, 2003 Reviewer: booklover10 from Brooklyn, New York Val McDermid's "The Wire in the Blood" is not a whodunit. It features a psychopath whose identity is never in doubt. He is so devoid of compassion that one wonders if he is human at all. Jacko Vance is, to his adoring public, a saint on earth. After losing his lower right arm while attempting to save several victims at the scene of a terrible car accident, Jacko becomes a famous television personality and a tireless charity worker. What no one knows is that this seemingly kind and selfless man is hiding a monstrous secret. Jacko's adversaries are Dr. Tony Hill, a skilled psychological profiler, and DCI Carol Jordan, Hill's former lover and someone whose judgment and skills he still values. What begins as an exercise in profiling turns deadly serious when one of Hill's young students is found brutally murdered and mutilated. Hill and Jordan pull out all the stops to find the serial killer whom they believe is responsible for the disappearance of a number of teenaged girls as well as the murder of the young police officer whom Dr. Hill was training. Val McDermid's writing is not for the squeamish. She depicts Jacko's sadism in great detail and she doesn't shrink from killing off likeable characters. I think that McDermid went a little overboard in making Jacko Vance almost too expert in his manipulation of the public and the police. The author unfairly paints the police as naive bumblers, needing Hill and Jordan to do their sleuthing for them. I doubt that real police officers would be as vulnerable to Vance's charm. At approximately five hundred pages, the book is a bit too long. It could have been more concise with no loss of plot or character development. A secondary plot about a serial arsonist adds little to the novel. However, McDermid keeps the suspense at a high level throughout the book and her writing is always skillful and hard-hitting. All in all, "The Wire in the Blood" is a reasonably good, but not extraordinary, psychological thriller.

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