Wednesday, June 6, 2018
The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid
When skeletal remains are found on the roof of a deserted Edinburgh building, two strong women must come together to solve the mystery of who it is and who wanted him dead. Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie heads up the Cold Case Unit and the case is assigned to her team. The first thought was that the murder might be related to the sport of climbing old deserted buildings, but a bullet hole in the head puts paid to that idea. This is murder and Pirie must first find out who it is.
After forensic investigation, the body is identified as General Mija Petrovic. He was instrumental in the Balkan wars of the 1990's and had moved to England afterwards with his lover, Professor Maggie Blake. When he disappeared eight years before, she assumed he had returned to Dubronik and the life he left behind there. Now that she discovers that he didn't leave her but was murdered, she is determined to discover who did this. The two women work together, even going to Yugoslavia to discover Petrovic's background to see if his death is related to the war. The International Crime Tribunal still working on the human rights violations of that time are also interested in discovering Petrovic's whereabouts and what part he played in all the violence of those times. Who will track down the truth first and determine who killed Petrovic and whether his past played a part in his murder?
Most fans of Val McDermid know her as the author of the Tony Hill, Carol Jordan mysteries. Karen Pirie is a different sort of police officer and this case focuses less on psychological probing and more on solid police procedures. McDermid is a master at creating strong women characters and starkly outlining the brutality that makes up a police officer's daily life as they go about the work that few can do untouched. This book is recommended for readers of mystery novels.