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The Mermaids Singing (Tony Hill Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Val McDermid
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Gold Dagger award-winning serial killer thriller that began the Number One bestselling crime series featuring clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill, hero of TV’s much-loved Wire in the Blood.

You always remember the first time. Isn’t that what they say about sex? How much more true it is of murder…

Up till now, the only serial killers Tony Hill had encountered were safely behind bars. This one’s different – this one’s on the loose.

Four men have been found mutilated and tortured. As fear grips the city, the police turn to clinical psychologist Tony Hill for a profile of the killer. But soon Tony becomes the unsuspecting target in a battle of wits and wills where he has to use every ounce of his professional nerve to survive.

A tense, beautifully written psychological thriller, The Mermaids Singing explores the tormented mind of a serial killer unlike any the world of fiction has ever seen.

Product Description


'Compelling and shocking', Minette Walters

'Terrifying but stylish, cruel and compassionate. Truly, horribly good' Frances Fyfield , Mail on Sunday

'Gripping, intelligent stuff' The Times

'A superb psychological thriller' Cosmopolitan

'A deliciously gruesome serial killer thriller. Ms McDermid finds new ways to shock and revolt us' New York Times


Praise for The Mermaids Singing: 'Terrifying but stylish and compassionate! Truly, horribly good' Mail on Sunday 'Gripping, intelligent stuff' The Times 'Compelling and shocking' Minette Walters Praise for Val McDermid: The real mistress of pychological gripping thrillers' Jenni Murray, Daily Express 'McDermid's capacity to enter the warped mind of a deviant criminal is shiveringly convincing' Marcel Berlins, The Times 'McDermid has become our leading pathologist of everyday evil. The subtle orchestration of terror is masterful' Maxim Jakubowski, Guardian

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 986 KB
  • Print Length: 467 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0007344678
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New edition edition (22 May 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9QMG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,381 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER
"The Mermaids Singing"(1995), a British mystery, was the first of Scottish author Val McDermid's "Wire in The Blood" mystery series, and quite a stir it made, too. McDermid, who is now a prize-winning, best-selling author of 22 novels, is, of course, a leading exponent of the "tartan noir," school of mystery-writing: the specifically Scottish, bloody-minded, tough but slyly humorous approach to a thriller, lightened by the mordant wit for which the Scots are known. As does the entire "Wire" series, "Mermaids" deals with the psychological profiling and stalking of serial killers. It introduces us to, and stars, Dr. Tony Hill, forensic psychologist and criminal profiler; also introduces us to Detective Inspector Carol Jordan, with whom he works. It's a police procedural and rather a suspense/thriller. Her "Wire" series is now, of course, the basis for a popular ITV television series of the same name, Wire in the Blood: Series 1 and 2 (5 Disc Box Set) [DVD] [2002], starring the toothsome Robson Green as Dr. Tony Hill.

McDermid jumped to worldwide fame and popularity on the heels of her A Place of Execution, which was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel, won a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She was born and raised in a Scottish mining town not far from Edinburgh, north of the Firth of Forth; won a scholarship to the ancient, highly-prestigious Oxford University,where she read English; and worked for sixteen years as a journalist in Manchester, where she still resides.
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75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. D. J. Carr VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Val McDermid is one of the few writers which successfully merge the reality of a UK setting with the thrill of the chase.
Her background as a newspaper reporter seems to enable her to write developing stories in a style that makes you feel you are there. Her characters are more human than those found in Patricia Cornwell's police thrillers, and the characters have more depth than the typical James Patterson. She avoids the new realism which seems to demand more explicit torture scenes in short chapters, relying instead on a more thoughtful exposition of the motives involved and a true sense of time in the plotting.
Her development of the personality of Tony Hill is well-paced, and manages to blend the abstract analytical facet of his work with his human frailties and self-blindness.
This book encouraged me to read her back-catalogue works; the schoolgirl mystery stories of Lindsay Duncan and the Warshawski-like Brannigan series which although lighter in tone show the love of detail on which this more mature work depends for its success.
I unreservedly recommend it as a more human approach than Cornwell and created with rather more thought and insight than Patterson.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grippingly Superb! 4 Sept. 2002
By A Customer
What a great book! I was hooked from the minute I began to read. The characters became so real and the plot so nerve-tinglingly tense, that I could not put this book down! By the time I got to the last few chapters, I found myself reading faster and faster just so that I could find out what would happen next - would Batman arrive in time?!!! Seriously though, the detailed descriptions of the killer's methods (to me) were necessary for the heightening of the tension. Without such detail, the killer would not have seemed half as scary or crazy. If you love a good read and have a very strong stomach, read and enjoy!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A psychological thriller 21 Sept. 2007
This is the first in the series of clinical psychologist Tony Hill, and it kicks off to a good start.
Tony Hill explores the mind of a serial killer, which in turn puts the reader inside the mind of the killer also.
This is a well written psychological thriller which keeps you guessing right till the very end on who is brutally torturing and mutilating men to death.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A taut and gripping thriller 20 Mar. 2010
Hi folks; I expect everybody here knows by now that Val McDermid won the Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year. For all her fans out there I thought you'd also like to know her feet haven't touched ground since!
The Mermaids Singing is quite a departure from Val's Kate Brannigan books, marking a big step forward in writing style. This is a taut and gripping thriller that can easily take on the American 'hard-boiled' and come away dusting its hands. A serial killer with a liking for torture is tracked by a deeply damaged investigator, but this is no easy formula writing, the plot twists and turns like a labyrinth and makes it much too easy to fall into the trap of rashly presuming what and who culprit and victims might be. The suspense build up makes this book totally unputdownable, and I give a personal guarantee that after reading The Mermaids Singing, many heterosexual men will be very, very wary of opening their door to a stranger...... The lucky publishers are HarperCollins. Happy reading!
Kay Mitchell, creator of the Chief Inspector Morrissey Mysteries. (also known as Sarah Lacey, creator of Leah Hunter, PI.)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars as Val is a good author but this one left me with a great ...
Shame really, as Val is a good author but this one left me with a great sense of disappointment. It was just too graphic for me and - to be honest - I got bored! Read more
Published 1 day ago by Ben Bottle
3.0 out of 5 stars Twisty plot
A twisty plot, although a bit grisly - but you can skip those pages if you do not want those horrible images inside your head. Read more
Published 10 days ago by J.O.L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Unlike many crime novels, this took no 'getting into', but kept me hooked within the first few pages!
Published 24 days ago by grumpyoldlady
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book is when you can almost picture yourself at ...
A good book is when you can almost picture yourself at the scene and can associate to a degree with the main character. Great read,
Published 24 days ago by phil robertson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
This is the first Val McDermid I've read,it won't be the last. Characters are well developed, the pace of the story is good. The writing style is easy to read. Read more
Published 26 days ago by karenb
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A great thriller!! Keeps the tension going right through to the end!!
Published 1 month ago by Peter Munn
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab read
Could 're read this book over and over. Never gets old. Full of mystery and intrigue. Val McDermid is superbly brilliant.
Published 1 month ago by Rhian Monk
1.0 out of 5 stars Very bad book. Transphobic. Homophobic. Stupid.
This book is not only poorly written and edited (on one occasion the protagonist was referred to by the wrong name!) it is also highly offensive and salacious. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ellen
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read
The book is gripping and really good for getting lost in the story. Be great for any crime reader to enjoy
Published 1 month ago by cheryl cochrane
1.0 out of 5 stars I really did not like this book
I really did not like this book. I know Val McDiermid has tons of fans, but the account, early in the narrative, of a dog being deliberately murdered, sickened me, and I don't even... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. P. F. Harrison
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