Picture of author.

Val McDermid

Autor(a) de The Mermaids Singing

95+ Works 24,546 Membros 926 Críticas 71 Favorited

About the Author

Val McDermid was born in Scotland on June 4, 1955. She was the first student from a state school in Scotland accepted to read English at St Hilda's College, Oxford. She graduated in 1975 and became a journalist. She wrote her first novel at the age of 21. It didn't get published, but she turned it mostrar mais into a play entitled Like a Happy Ending. It was performed by the Plymouth Theatre Company and was later adapted for BBC radio. Her first book, Report for Murder, was published in 1987. She is the author of the Lindsay Gordon Mystery series, the Kate Brannigan Mystery series, and the Dr. Tony Hill and Carol Jordan Mysteries series as well as several stand alone books including The Distant Echo, A Darker Domain, Trick of the Dark and Out of Bounds. The Mermaids Singing won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: Mimsy Moller / literature.britishcouncil.org


Obras por Val McDermid

The Mermaids Singing (1995) 1,843 exemplares
A Place of Execution (1999) 1,686 exemplares
The Distant Echo (2003) 1,441 exemplares
The Wire in the Blood (1997) 1,409 exemplares
The Grave Tattoo (2006) 1,205 exemplares
The Last Temptation (2002) 1,180 exemplares
The Torment of Others (2005) 1,132 exemplares
A Darker Domain (2008) 1,063 exemplares
Killing the Shadows (2000) 1,022 exemplares
Beneath the Bleeding (2007) 836 exemplares
Fever of the Bone (2009) 754 exemplares
The Retribution (2011) 640 exemplares
Northanger Abbey (2014) 549 exemplares
The Skeleton Road (2014) 531 exemplares
Trick of the Dark (2010) 510 exemplares
Dead Beat (1998) 500 exemplares
Out of Bounds (2016) 455 exemplares
Cross and Burn (2013) 429 exemplares
Broken Ground (2016) 411 exemplares
Splinter the Silence (2015) 402 exemplares
Blue Genes (1996) 397 exemplares
Kick Back (1993) 372 exemplares
Report for Murder (1987) 369 exemplares
Clean Break (1995) 363 exemplares
Crack Down (1994) 341 exemplares
Insidious Intent (2017) 338 exemplares
1979 (2021) 326 exemplares
The Vanishing Point (2012) 325 exemplares
Star Struck (1998) 315 exemplares
Still Life (2020) 307 exemplares
Common Murder (1989) 272 exemplares
How the Dead Speak (2019) 266 exemplares
Union Jack (1993) 237 exemplares
Booked for Murder (1996) 219 exemplares
Final Edition (1991) 217 exemplares
Hostage to Murder (2003) 197 exemplares
1989 (2022) 157 exemplares
Cleanskin (2006) 102 exemplares
Stranded (2005) 69 exemplares
My Granny Is a Pirate (2012) 36 exemplares
Dead Beat | Kick Back (1976) 28 exemplares
Past Lying (2023) 27 exemplares
Report for Murder | Common Murder (1987) 26 exemplares
Resistance (2021) 26 exemplares
Life's Too Short (2010) 22 exemplares
Imagine A Country: Ideas for a Better Future (2020) — Editor — 16 exemplares
Final Edition | Union Jack (2018) 13 exemplares
Blue Genes | Clean Break (2005) 12 exemplares
Crack Down | Clean Break (2018) 12 exemplares
Footloose [short story] (2019) 10 exemplares
My Scotland (2019) 9 exemplares
Blue Genes | Star Struck (2018) 8 exemplares
Crack Down | Star Struck (2004) 7 exemplares
Mission Mini (2002) 5 exemplares
The Long Black Veil 2 exemplares
Deadheading 2 exemplares
Ghost Writer (2013) 1 exemplar
La route du sud 1 exemplar
Cuentos inéditos — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Happy Holidays (2011) 1 exemplar

Associated Works

Northanger Abbey (1817) — Introdução, algumas edições21,055 exemplares
Quando o Cuco Chama (2013) — Prefácio, algumas edições9,517 exemplares
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963) — Introdução, algumas edições2,799 exemplares
The Seven Dials Mystery (1929) — Introdução, algumas edições2,789 exemplares
The Singing Sands (1952) — Introdução, algumas edições1,425 exemplares
The Man Who Went Up in Smoke (1969) — Introdução, algumas edições1,360 exemplares
The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories (2016) — Prefácio, algumas edições707 exemplares
Marple: Twelve New Stories (2022) — Contribuidor — 424 exemplares
The Library Book (2012) — Contribuidor — 384 exemplares
MatchUp (2017) — Contribuidor — 303 exemplares
Naked Came the Phoenix: A Serial Novel (2001) — Contribuidor — 303 exemplares
Mortification: Writers' Stories of Their Public Shame (2003) — Contribuidor — 293 exemplares
Inherit the Dead (2013) — Contribuidor — 286 exemplares
The Best British Mysteries 2005 (2005) — Contribuidor — 123 exemplares
Tart Noir (2002) — Contribuidor — 108 exemplares
A Hell of a Woman: An Anthology of Female Noir (2007) — Prefácio, algumas edições78 exemplares
The Best British Mysteries (2003) — Contribuidor — 75 exemplares
OxCrimes (2014) — Contribuidor — 72 exemplares
Bloody Scotland (2018) — Contribuidor — 62 exemplares
The Mammoth Book of Best British Mysteries (2008) — Contribuidor — 62 exemplares
The Best British Mysteries 2006 (2005) — Contribuidor — 62 exemplares
P. S. Ich töte dich: 13 Zehn-Minuten-Thriller (2010) — Contribuidor — 58 exemplares
3rd Culprit: An Annual of Crime Stories (1994) — Contribuidor — 40 exemplares
The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 7 (2010) — Contribuidor — 38 exemplares
Mysterious Pleasures (2003) — Contribuidor — 33 exemplares
The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 9 (2012) — Contribuidor — 28 exemplares
Romance for Life (2006) — Contribuidor — 27 exemplares
12 Days: A Modern Twist on The Twelve Days of Christmas (2004) — Contribuidor — 25 exemplares
A Merry Band of Murderers (2006) — Contribuidor — 20 exemplares
Afraid of the Christmas Lights: An Anthology of Crime Stories (2020) — Contribuidor — 14 exemplares
The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 11 (2014) — Contribuidor — 11 exemplares
The Arvon Book of Crime and Thriller Writing (2012) — Contribuidor — 10 exemplares
Crime in the City (2004) — Contribuidor — 9 exemplares
Killer Women: Crime Club Anthology #1 (2016) — Prefácio — 9 exemplares
It's OK to Be Gay (2013) — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares
Murder Squad (2001) — Prefácio, algumas edições3 exemplares
Ausgezeichnete Morde (2016) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares
Vrouwen onder hoogspanning (1995) 2 exemplares
Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine - 2002/01 — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar


a ler (2,963) antologia (185) Arte e cultura clássicas (1,050) Assassínio (392) Audiobook (259) Austen (295) Britânico (741) clássico (939) contos (311) Crime (2,105) detective (537) e-livro (591) Escócia (421) espião (186) Ficção (5,684) Gótico (399) Inglaterra (942) Inglês (255) James Bond (273) Jane Austen (465) Kindle (534) lido (687) Literatura (521) literatura britânica (381) Literatura inglesa (378) Londres (264) Mistério (4,003) own (223) police procedural (192) por ler (227) Regência (220) Romance (785) Romance (662) Romance policial (966) Suspense (241) Sátira (220) Século XIX (568) Série (339) thriller (867) Tony Hill (281)

Conhecimento Comum



Chat em Book Discussion : The Distant Echo by Val McDermid (Março 2017)


This is the third of the three books by this author that I picked up cheaply in charity shops or library discard sales recently, and of the three was the one I enjoyed the most until the ending rather undercut that. It is one of a series about Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie, but I found it worked as a standalone novel. Unusually, it takes the Balkans conflicts as its background, which I haven't encountered as a setting for fiction previously.

Early on in the story, skeletal remains are found on the roof of an abandoned building and analysis of the teeth and a metal plate in the leg indicate work done in Eastern Europe. Identification of the body leads Pirie to make contact with a professor in Oxford, Maggie Blake, who has built a career upon the geopolitics of the Balkan states, following on from time spent there during the wars that took place, and her personal involvement with the dead man.

The story interweaves various narratives. As well as the more interesting thread which follows the investigation by DCI Pirie and her sidekick, for some of the time we are unfortunately forced to follow a couple of unlikeable lawyers who are attached to the organisation which is meant to be bringing war criminals to justice. Their organisation is shortly going to be wound up, but a new boss wants a solution to the violent deaths which have been meted out to several war criminals before they could be brought to trial, indicating that there is an intelligence leak in their organisation. Another thread is the POV of Professor Blake and a third is her memoir of the Balkans conflicts. The latter is a technique the author used in the previous book I read, A Trick of Dark and I found myself wondering why she didn't instead use a series of flashbacks to impart the information with vitality as other writers would have done. The memoir form came across as rather dry and bit boring. Usually, as in the previous book, its use indicates an unreliable narrator who doesn't set down how things really happened, something far more difficult to pull off if their actual POV in a "live" narrative is presented, but Blake isn't so much unreliable as unaware of what was going on. A key fact is presented in one chunk of this autobiography about three quarters through the book - which immediately clued me in to who the murderer must be.

And therein lay the problem because I didn't find it convincing that this person could have pulled off the types of violent attack described in the prologue. I also found the resolution rather ridiculous, especially the late-on insistence that a key character's nearest and dearest (trying to avoid spoilers) should be forcibly removed. It had been a pleasant surprise to discover that this series had escaped the usual cliche in detective novels of the embittered lonely driven individual with no family life, but presumably this event is meant to restore that status quo. Anyway, I found its outcome melodramatic and unnecessary, and it reduced my rating for this book from a 4 to a 3 star.
… (mais)
kitsune_reader | 41 outras críticas | Nov 23, 2023 |
Having never read any of McDermid's fiction, only her non fiction book on Forensic science, I thought it was high time to try one. Perhaps the choice of this book, which I now realise is quite well into a series, was not the best. Although I could see accomplished writing here, I found it hard to differentiate the various police forces who were investigating the murders and to emphasise with Tony Hill, a major character. Although he is damaged, having been brought up by a terrible mother and feeling abandoned by his, now deceased, father, it seemed a bit cliche to have this trope yet again - he is a great crime profiler because he is so messed up himself? I also had no patience with his prevarication about looking into his father's life, and the legacy left to him.

It also takes a stunningly long time for the police to realise the connection between the main murder cases. Agreed that the lack of joined up systems between forces would hamper things, but given the nature of the crimes, they would have been front page news and you would expect the media at least to link them. Given that Jordan's unit is comprised of supposedly creative and lateral thinking individuals, it does make them come over as rather dense to say the least.

Some of the minor characters are well developed such as Paula, one of the task force led by DCI Carol Jordan, and Ambrose who is on another force but is drawn into the main case. However, given the main role of IT in this, a lot of the key clues - such as the villain using approach and use computers in different locations - comes across as curiously old fashioned. The author is definitely wise to invent a social media site given what ends up happening under its auspices, but even in 2009 surely there was software which could obsfucate internet addresses? The development seemed slow in places although it picks up towards the - to me, not that convincing - denoument, so not a keeper for me.
… (mais)
kitsune_reader | 29 outras críticas | Nov 23, 2023 |
This is the second of three McDermid novels which I acquired second-hand and after the lacklustre first one - one of her series about Tony Hill - I had hoped for better with this, and at first it seemed more interesting.

A psychiatrist, Charlie Hill, is suspended over a controversy where she cleared a suspect in a murder case because he had not, in her opinion, committed a murder although he had the potential to do so (and she was right). He then went on to murder four women. While waiting for an opportunity to clear herself with the General Medical Council, and the press and public who have pilloried her, she is asked by her old university teacher to help investigate the background of a successful business woman. Jay Stewart has a tendency to leave bodies in her wake, although nothing has ever been proven against her, but is now involved with this teacher's daughter. Rather implausibly, the daughter's husband was murdered at the wedding reception, and the teacher believes he was yet another of Jay's victims, this time because he stood in the way of her having a relationship with the daughter.

None of the characters comes across as particularly convincing, even Jay whom we see writing her self-serving memoirs. Charlie is not very likeable - she spends most of the book lusting over another woman despite being in a committed relationship for the last seven years, and contemplating finishing with this long suffering soul. Rather hypocritical in view of the self-proclaimed moral high ground she claims to occupy. And despite supposedly being an intelligent woman and someone who profiles serial killers for the police, she is completely lacking in self-awareness and analysis, and fails to realise she is being manipulated by a master manipulator, every bit as psychopathic as she assumes Jay to be. So I rather lost patience with the character.

It was obvious pretty early on who the killer was, although I didn't work out a couple of the twists revealed at the end. But one of the problems with this book is that all the action has taken place off stage years ago and is therefore told in conversation or character internal monologue rather than being shown. The process of Charlie going from place to place, talking to people to find out if there is any evidence against Jay becomes protracted and some of the points do not seem to be resolved at the end - certain people seem to have completely escaped prison sentences for perverting the course of justice, for example. All in all, can only rate this at 2 stars.
… (mais)
kitsune_reader | 21 outras críticas | Nov 23, 2023 |
An interesting read with chapters on each aspect of forensic science, giving the background/history and illustrating with details of specific crimes, quite a few of which are those well known to UK citizens.

This did not quite warrant 5 stars as there are quite a few typing mistakes and even words missed out occasionally, which is not expected in a traditionally published book. Would have deducted half a star but GR does not permit that so have rated this as 4 stars.
kitsune_reader | 33 outras críticas | Nov 23, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Jo Sharp Editor
Doris Styron Translator
Sally Carman Narrator
Paul Higgins Narrator
Tamsin Greig Narrator
Jerome Charyn Contributor
Dennis Lehane Contributor
Saul Reichlin Narrator
Gerard Doyle Narrator
Sophie Brinkman Translator
Wouter van der Struys Cover designer
Michael Page Narrator, Narrator
Will Lee Cover artist
Jen Sheckels Cover designer, Cover artist
Cordula Schmidt Cover designer
Marek Allvee Kujundaja.
Manes H. Grünwald Übersetzer
Paddy Glynn Narrator
Paddy Glynn Narrator
Micaela Alcaino Cover designer
Peter Capaldi Narrator
Roy Bishop Photographer
Henning Kolstad Translator
Laura Wilson Producer
Olga Grlic Cover designer
Kate Reading Narrator
Eilidh Fraser Narrator
Johan Nilsson Translator
Eric Moreau Traduction
Gies Aalberts Translator
Edwin Krijgsman Translator
Sarah Barron Narrator
Charles Rue Woods Cover designer
Becca Fox Cover lettering
Pablo Hidalgo cover photo stone alley
Willem Havenaar Cover photo skull
Marc Cohen Cover designer
Davina Porter Narrator
MJC Design Cover designer
Shutterstock.com Cover image
Becca Fox Design Cover designer
Ian Rankin Foreword
Sara Paretsky Foreword
Louise Oliver Narrator
John Kazek Narrator


Also by
½ 3.8
Marcado como favorito
Pedras de toque

Tabelas & Gráficos