Book Blog: “Still Life” by Val McDermid

Several years ago I had an enthusiasm for reading the Tony Hill novels by Val McDermid.

After a while I found the very gruesome nature of her serial killers’ crimes too unpleasant and moved on to other crime writers. However, recently I noticed that McDermid’s new novel, “Still Life”, was the Kindle Deal of the Day and I downloaded it for 99p.

It’s tagged as “the heart-pounding number one bestseller from the Queen of Crime” and is certainly high in the charts at the moment.

DCI Karen Pirie heads up the Historic Crimes Unit for the Scottish police.

When a fresh body is pulled from the ocean who turns out to be the brother of a ten-year-old missing presumed dead case that Karen has already worked on, she gets the job.

She’s already very busy trying to solve a skeleton-in-a-caravan case so there’s a lot of action in the novel as she tries to juggle the two mysteries.

It’s difficult to write about detective novels with out giving something away so I’ll just quote from the book blurb:

“In her search for the truth, Karen uncovers a network of lies that has gone unchallenged for years. But lies and secrets can turn deadly when someone is determined to keep them hidden for good . . .”

Overall “Still Life” is competent crime fiction but I was disappointed.

Despite my reservations, the plots of the Tony Hill novels were gripping and page turning and the characters were really vivid and intense. My recall is of couldn’t put it down reading but this wasn’t the case with “Still Life”. I read the book over several nights and had started something else before it was finished.

There’s nothing wrong with “Still Life”; I just expected it to be better.

There are some very negative reviews on Amazon referencing the political aspects of the writing.

What nonsense!

Anyone who’s watched BBC Question Time in the last ten years must have heard Val McDermid’s views on Scottish Independence and Brexit.

Her characters are perfectly entitled to share her views or not. You don’t have to agree with the opinions of every character in every book you read.

The book certainly doesn’t warrant one star reviews and the unpleasant comments that accompany them.

If I still wrote Amazon reviews I would give “Still Life” four stars and it would deserve every one of them despite my rather lukewarm comments above.

Thanks for reading my blogpost today. Happy Reading!

image credit: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay