Friday, February 22, 2019

Beneath the Bleeding by Val McDermid


Dr. Tony Hill is bedridden after an attack at a mental ward and an axe to the knee. It's really not a good time to be immobile when a top footballer is admitted to the hospital and the staff finds out that he has been poisoned with ricin. He passes away and Detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan is called in to investigate. Researching from a hospital bed, Tony is frustrated at the lack of progress he makes, but eventually finds a possible connection to another mysterious poisoning case.

During the memorial for this football player, an alleged terrorist attack occurs, bombing the stadium and killing many. Could these be connected? Why was the stadium targeted?

I haven't read a Hill/Jordan mystery for a while but this one felt pretty lazy. The bombing builds up for a very long time and then only takes place in the last third of the book and really has nothing to do with anything else in the book. It just didn't connect for me. Then when they finally catch the murderer, though we sort of know the motive, the murderer refuses to give the full story on why he did it. It's like McDermid didn't want to bother sorting out that part of the story.

Definitely not my favourite Hill/Jordan mystery. I hope Jordan sorts out her drinking problem soon but I doubt that'll be the case.

First Line: "The phases of the moon have an inexplicable but incontrovertible effect on the mentally ill."


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