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Beneath the Bleeding [Paperback]

Val McDermid
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)

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Beneath the Bleeding Beneath the Bleeding 3.9 out of 5 stars (93)
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Book Description

3 Mar 2008

The Number One bestselling crime series featuring Dr Tony Hill, hero of TV’s Wire in the Blood. The award-winning Val McDermid is at the height of her powers in this tense masterclass in psychological suspense.

The race is on to uncover the identity of a murderer with nothing to lose – and everything to kill for.

When Robbie Bishop, star midfielder for the Bradfield Vics, is poisoned by a rare and deadly toxin, profiler Dr Tony Hill and trusted colleague DCI Carol Jordan have their work cut out for them. Robbie was adored, so the public want answers – but the answers aren't coming, and trails are running cold.

Then a bomb explodes in the football stadium, causing massive casualties – and another man dies from poisoning. Is there a link between the cases? And what are the motives for these crimes? The clock is ticking for Tony and Carol – and the death toll keeps rising…

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Beneath the Bleeding + The Torment of Others + Fever Of The Bone: 6 (Tony Hill)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First printing of this edition edition (3 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007243286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007243280
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 374,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Val McDermid grew up in a Scottish mining community then read English at Oxford. She was a journalist for sixteen years, spending the last three as Northern Bureau Chief of a national Sunday tabloid. She divides her time between Northumberland and Cheshire

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Amazon Review

It seems hard to believe now, but there was a day when Val McDermid was just another crime writer. True, her Kate Brannigan novels were highly accomplished and well-honed pieces of work, and if McDermid had written nothing else, they would have assured her a solid place in the history of the genre. But Beneath the Bleeding (as with most of the other work the author has done more recently) is a much more ambitious and considerable novel, written on a grander scale, tackling pertinent social issues and (most importantly) developing two highly memorable characters: forensic profiler Tony Hill and his police ally DCI Carol Jordan.

The new book, as disturbing as it is compulsively readable, continues to add new levels to the psychological thriller -- something that McDermid seems able to do in every new book. A star footballer has been murdered in the city of Bradfield. Shortly after, an explosion rocks the town's football stadium, wreaking mass carnage. In the current climate of fear regarding home-grown terrorism, it is inevitable that suspicion falls in this direction – but is money -- or something else -- involved here? Such as a bloody working out of some kind of revenge scenario against the football team? Needless to say, this is quite a different case from those that Tony Hill and Carol Jordan have previously been involved with, and the customary relationship (swinging between confrontation and admiration) is worked out with all the rigour that we expect from McDermid. Of course, this is an author who always has more fish to fry than the simple exigencies of the crime novel, and astringent commentaries on many aspects of British society are provocatively incorporated here (always, though, inter alia -- never at the expense of a forward-moving narrative). If you're a fan of the Wire in the Blood TV series, you should do yourself a favour and investigate the original novels – such as Beneath the Bleeding. They offer a considerably more involving experience. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


‘McDermid is at the peak of her murderous craft’ Mirror

'The Queen of serial killers in this country keeps her end up…. few can scoop Val on throat-clutching narrative… Marvellous' Daily Mail

‘All the craft, panache and pace that we have come to expect from this outstanding writer… Vintage stuff: unplug the phone, lock the door and prepare to read in a sitting’ Guardian

‘Peerless … One of the world’s finest crime writers, McDermid is currently at the top of her game’ Glasgow Herald

‘McDermid’s writing gets better and better’ Spectator

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I can't believe some people thought this wasn't Val at her best - why? Tony and Carol are satisfyingly and convincingly at loggerheads here, and Tony's confinement to a hospital add tension to the plot because he can't move (it's a bit like Hitchcock's 'Rear Window' - the sense of paralysis adds to the suspense). Great double-stranded plot, as readable as all Val's books. I didn't find Tony's icy mother entirely credible as a character, but still - few people can write thrillers as well as Val McD, and this one had a less guessable ending than 'The Torment of Others', in which I guessed early on who the psycho-killer was. Brilliant moment too, in this one, where one line of dialogue changes everything - can't say any more without giving away something crucial. Read it - it's fab!
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Above the Average 12 Aug 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Val McDermid has written some wonderful crime fiction tales in her time but she is probably best known for the series involving psychological profiler Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan, based in the fictional Yorkshire city of Bradfield. Expectations are bound to be high for this, the fifth in the 'Hill-Jordan' collection of novels so far, following hot on the heels of the fifth in the associated Wire in the Blood TV dramatisations. In effect there are two stories running in parallel with each other, one the hunt for a serial killer and the other the search for a mass murderer, each person displaying very different methods but sharing an obsession for careful planning and forward thinking.

Knowing that the author herself recently went through considerable pain and discomfort as a result of major knee surgery, I cannot help but regard her decision to place Tony Hill in a hospital bed recovering from - guess what - major knee surgery for very nearly the entirety of this story's time span as something of an indulgence on her part, possibly a gesture of thanks to those who treated and cared for her, I don't know, but I got the impression that this strand of the plot was slightly at odds with everything else that was going on. It did however enable the author to introduce Tony Hill's mother in a thread that promised interesting developments but ultimately faded into insignificance. On the other hand it did offer an insight into the complicated personality of Dr Hill, and in that respect the mission was successful. Of course, anyone who has seen the Wire in the Blood series on TV will visualise actor Robson Green as Tony Hill in this book, personally I did not find this a distraction at all as the actor plays the part very convincingly.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but missing something. 5 Aug 2007
By M. Thornton VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I looked forward to reading this book having read all four previous books in the Carol/Tony series. It is an excellent top quality crime thriller yet it somehow felt that it was missing something compared to the previous books.

The story centres around an unexplained murder. Another serious crime takes place midway through the book, however the suspense is somewhat spoiled because the blurb on the cover tells you what this crime is and therefore you know it is going to happen and not be foiled. The story is paced well but is not quite as suspenseful as some of McDermid's previous books, perhaps because it doesn't have quite the same sense of immediate danger that 'The Last Temptation' and 'The Torment Of Others' had.

Throughout most of the book Tony is in hospital following an assualt at work. It was interesting to see how Tony coped with this but I was expecting something more to come out of the events at the very beginning of the book and the storyline featuring Tony's mother. As it stands it felt like the very first part of the book was simply a plot device to get Tony into hospital since there is very little reflection/repercussions from this event.

Carol's team from 'The Torment of Others' are back and it's great to see their characters being developed and the occasional reference to events from previous books. Carol has a slightly worrying habit which I thought would come to be important but again nothing happened about it.

Overall it was a good book with a satisfying ending. With any other author I would have given it five stars, however it's just not quite on a par with McDermid's superb earlier novels.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just as good as usual but a bit different 25 Aug 2007
Val McDermind's crime output is very varied coving simple (though not simplistic) who-done-its to very gory thrillers. Some reviews seem to suggest that this book is below par compared to the other Wire in the Blood books, but I found it just as engrosing and satisfying as ever - I think some of the dissatisfaction expressed is because this is far less gory than the other Wire in the Blood books and more in the vein of Val's other books.

This stoy lifts off where the Torment of Others leaves off and I had to run quickly over the plot of that book to be sure of all the references the characters make. Again people have commented that the characters, in particular Tony and Carol, are not progressing particularly quickly - however moving things along any faster would not be true to the cautious, damaged and workaholic characters of this pair.

One note of caution, the cover blurb contans a spoler that I would have been happier to avoid.
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