Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Darker Domain by Val McDermid

A Darker Domain by Val McDermid

Detective Sergeant Karen Pirie is a cold case detective from Fife, Scotland. She's got a sharp mind, a boss that's out for himself, and a suppressed lust for her partner. When new developments are made in a twenty year old kidnapping case, Karen is brought in to examine the evidence. The case involves the kidnapping of a daughter and grandson to a wealthy Scottish businessman. The two were ransomed but the handover was botched and the daughter of Brodie Grant was killed, the grandson never to be seen again. Grant still wants to find his grandson, stopping at nothing to get more information, including not giving Karen access to all of the information she needs to know about the case.

Adding to Karen's case load is Misha Gibson, who reports her father Mich Prentice as missing even though he left his family over 20 years ago during a national miners strike. Many in the village believe he went scabbing with strike-breakers, abandoning his family. But the other men that left claim that Prentice never went with them. Karen sets out to solve the mystery without telling her boss that she's working in the field again.

It's refreshing to have such an ordinary person as the main character of the book. Karen Pirie explains herself as a little chubby and has a great whit and quick brain. She is a little self-conscious but doesn't let it affect her professional life (just her personal life!). McDermid bills A Darker Domain as a stand alone novel but I'd really like to see the return of Karen Pirie. She's right up there with Tony Hill as great McDermid characters.

The mystery is a typical McDermid-style mystery. You have some inklings on what may happen but you're still surprised at what ends up happening. This novel was a page turner, just as expected. If you've never read a McDermid book before but are a general mystery fan I suggest you pick this book up. If you are a McDermid fan, this is another great work. Either way, I suggest getting this book as it doesn't disappoint.

Browse or buy this book.

First Line: "The voice is soft, like the darkness that encloses them."



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