Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Beneath The Bleeding by Val McDermid

It's a new experience for Dr. Tony Hill.  He is laid up in the hospital after surviving an attack by a patient at the mental hospital in which he works.  Having taken an ax blow to the knee, he is not going anywhere for the next while.  But crime goes on regardless.  Bradfield police are in the spotlight as they attempt to solve the murder of Robbie Bishop.  Bishop is a local lad who has made it into the big time of a professional football team where he is the star.  When he is poisoned by ricin and dies, no one knows who would have done this.

Chief Inspector Carol Jordan is in charge of the Bishop investigation.  She visits Tony when she can as they have been friends for many years.  But being friends doesn't mean they never disagree.  When Tony insists that he believes a serial killer is at work, Carol puts his theory aside, assuming that he is seeing conspiracy where none exists, due to drugs and boredom.  When Tony finds more cases of poison, she starts to agree that they have a serial poisoner on their patch.

While the investigation is in play a horrific event occurs.  The football stadium where Robbie played is blown up and it appears to be a case of terrorism.  Carol and her team are adamant that everything else must take second place as the case of thirty-four deaths takes priority.  However, the country's anti-terrorism unit arrives and takes over the bombing, causing hard feelings wherever they go.

This is the fifth Jordan/Hill novel in this series.  McDermid has not settled for a conventional romantic relationship between her two protagonists as each has a lot of personal baggage and challenging careers they put first in their lives.  The complex mystery and its unfolding keeps the reader's attention until all is solved.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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