Monday, April 16, 2018

The Retribution by Val McDermid

Dr. Tony Hill's life has hit a new level of contentment.  During his hospital stay for a damaged knee, he found out one of the secrets of his life; who his father was.  More than that, he discovered that far from despising him as his mother had always said, he had left Tony his expensive house.  For the first time, Tony has a place that makes him feel safe and even loved.  More significantly, he is about to give up his job working with damaged individuals in a psychiatric hospital and move to live there.  The most important person in his life, DCI Carol Jordan, has agreed to live in the house with him as she takes up a new job there.

But plans often go awry.  Carol is faced with a new serial killer in her last days at her old job.  Street prostitutes are showing up dead and it is clear their murders are the act of the same person.  As she works the case with her team, something even worse happens.

Jacko Vance was imprisoned over a decade ago for his crimes.  He had kidnapped, tortured and killed seventeen teenage girls although the case against him for those crimes was thrown out.  He had been given a life sentence for killing a police officer, a new forensic profiler working under Tony Hill who was the first to see Vance for what he was.  The world saw him as a hugely successful TV presenter who had been on his way to winning an Olympic gold medal before the accident that ruined his chances.  Once that dream was over he felt free to indulge the desires he had always harbored.

Now Vance has managed to escape custody and it is clear that the main thing on his mind is retribution against the people he holds responsible for his incarceration.  That list includes his ex-wife but also Carol Jordan and Tony Hill along with other police officers from the original case.  Can the pair find and imprison him again before he can carry out his plans?

The Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series is one of the strongest in the mystery genre.  Val McDermid has created two private individuals, both scarred by events in their background, who have found each other and are making the best of the lives they've been given.  The tension is always high and the reader must find out what happens next.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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