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The Mermaids Singing Paperback – 4 Mar 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Later printing edition (4 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007344678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007344673
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,193 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

Product Description

Review

'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

From the Back Cover

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.

In the northern town of Bradfield four men have been found mutilated and tortured. Fear grips the city; no man feels safe. Clinical psychologist Tony Hill is brought in to profile the killer. A man with more than enough sexual problems of his own, Tony himself 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, brilliantly written psychological thriller, The Mermaids Singing explores the tormented mind of a serial killer unlike any the world of fiction has ever seen.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
"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 on 24 Jun. 2000
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 By A Customer on 4 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
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 By Amazon Customer on 21 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
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 By Mr Creepy on 20 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
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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