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Trick Of The Dark Hardcover – 2 Sep 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; First Edition, First Impression edition (2 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408702010
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408702017
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 330,514 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

Wonderfully compelling stuff (Daily Mail)

A workout for the grey cells, perfectly executed (Daily Telegraph)

This standalone from the Scottish force of nature, and creator of Robson Green's Wire In The Blood TV series, is a brutally clever story (Daily Mirror)

thoughtful, tender and always entertaining', Guardian ('Flawless, chilling and truly un-put-downable')

Book Description

The new chilling standalone from the author of the Tony Hill series

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K. L. Charlton on 9 Nov 2010
Format: Hardcover
I've read most of Val McDermid's earlier books but I must admit, Tony Hill just didn't grip me and I moved on to crime writers new. However, after reading reviews in the newspapers for Trick of the Dark, I thought I'd give this book a go and managed to finish it in a couple of days whilst on holiday. The book is a classic slow burner and does indeed take a while to get going but it's a book that draws you in and leaves you unable to put it back down until the end. Yes, the plot is a little predictable in places and yes, some of the dialogue may be a little dry but this doesn't detract from the overall appeal of the book. It is nice to see lesbian main characters in mainstream Top 10 fiction but that is not what this book is about. Complex relationships and life changing decisions abound, Trick of the Dark is an excellent read and Val McDermid remains on top form.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Simon Savidge Reads TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback
The premise of `Trick of the Dark' is a hard one to summarise, especially without giving the plot away so I shall try my best without any spoilers. As the novel opens we meet `disgraced' psychiatrist Dr Charlie Flint who has been suspended from her job and is considering on leaving her wife Maria, a dentist, for another woman - one she barely knows but the chemistry is too strong. Over breakfast she receives a mysterious parcel filled with press cuttings of a recent murder of a groom at his wedding. Initially Charlie things this is nothing to do with her, until she recognises the dead mans wife, Magda, who was the daughter of Charlie's old tutor Corinna when she studied in Oxford. Are you still with me? Good.

Charlie decides to investigate, she has the time and she wants to redeem herself for something we slowly learn about so I won't spoil it, in doing so she goes back to her old life in Oxford to meet Corinna who believes her daughter is now having a lesbian affair with a murderer, Jay Macallan Stewart. Jay is now a multi-millionaire of the dot.com era, she is also the best seller of misery memoirs and, if Corinna is to be believed, she is also a serial killer from murdering a fellow student that got in her way back at school to Magda's husband Philip and countless in-between. Sounds far fetched doesn't it, Charlie certainly thinks so and yet she decides to investigate anyway opening secrets from the past that might be best left alone.

I admit, though it might be a poor explanation from me above, that the story does sound rather complicated and far fetched. Val McDermid makes this all sound highly believable, gripping and yet doesn't loose the reader in the twists, turns and possible red herrings she plants along the way.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Novel Reader on 27 Mar 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm a big Val McDermid fan and agree with others that it's not her best and the plot is a bit implausible, but it's still a page-turner (I just read it in one go on a long-haul flight).
Do buy it - you will enjoy it - but (message to Val) yes, you can do better, and the plot twist felt a bit amateur.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By puma on 1 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
Val McDermid is one of the most gripping crime/mystery writers in the English language, and "Trick of the Dark" is, simply put, a good novel. It's hard to put down once you've started, and much of the criticism on this website is based on McDermid's (inevitable) decision to make most of the main characters lesbians. While I wouldn't have said this was necessarily my cup of tea had I known before I started the book, I have to say it didn't at all affect the enjoyment of reading the novel. While this may not be McDemid's best book, it's definitely worth reading and is still far better than 95 percent of the other books out there in the genre.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mckenm1m on 14 Nov 2012
Format: Paperback
Utter nonsense from an author I usually enjoy. Characters I could not give a stuff about, engaged in activities I found scarcely credible with a plot that bordered on the ridiculous.

Get well soon Val.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LizzieN4 on 19 Dec 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I couldn't quite believe I was reading a novel by Val McDermid, an author I normally like a lot. In many places, this read rather as I would imagine a Jeffrey Archer book to read. What I found most irritating was the very contrived and unnatural dialogue -- the plot is partially revealed through characters giving each other detailed and pedantic accounts of events they already know about. This contributed to the general lack of credibility of the characters, who seemed more like allegories than multi-dimensional human beings. (I also can't quite believe that anyone could eat as much as these people do.)

The lesbian angle was no problem, though this seemed like a strange world where men are at best peripheral characters. In particular, I found it difficult to recognise the Oxford of the 1990s, which seemed about half a century -- in terms of attitudes to sexuality, gender balance, and the amount of formality between students and academic staff -- behind the Cambridge I attended in the 1970s.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J.Flood on 21 Feb 2011
Format: Hardcover
Physchiatrist, Charlie Flint is sent a mysterious package of press clippings about a recent murder. The murder took place on the grounds of Oxford college, which Charlie attended, years before. When Charlie figures out who sent her the package, she decides to investigate the murder, and who was responsible.

This book was an exciting read, pretty much up to the Val McDermid standard. There was always something going on in the story that made me want to read on futher. I thought the characterisation was good, and the whole lesbian aspect did not bother me. A better than average thriller.
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