Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop now Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
141
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£9.98+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

The Torment of Others is McDermid's fourth novel starring duo Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, who are, along with Stephen Booth's Ben Cooper and Diane Fry, the most interesting pairing in crime fiction. It is also, possibly, the very best. Not least because it's quite a bit shorter than many of her books - the result is a slightly slimmer, more tight, incredibly tense and suspenseful piece of work.
Two plots run parallel here: the disappearance of two young boys, which itself fades a little in importance when prostitutes begin turning up brutally murdered in grotty rooms. After her ordeal in Berlin, Carol Jordan has been off work in London, but is gradually tempted back to Bradfield by her boss John Brandon, to head a special team that will target particularly high-profile murder cases. Tony Hill, meanwhile, is also back in Bradfield, his stint as a lecturer at St Andrews University having come to an end. The job simply wasn't right for him. He much prefers to indulge in his work in the messy heads of the mentally ill. It is where he feels most at home, and is where he's most effective. He's taken a job at the local mental hospital.
The prostitute murders have particular resonance for the new murder squad, in that they mirror exactly a series of four murders from a few years ago. However, the culprit, Derek Tyler, is now incarcerated in the hospital where Tony now works. Tony's reluctant to accept the possibility of a copycat (they're sexual murders; each perpetrator has very differing needs and desires, thus the patterns of killing should very rarely, if ever, be the same), but what other explanation is there?
The general opinion seems to be that this is McDermid at her strongest, and I would probably agree. It may not be A Place of Execution, but that is a work that, as some reviewers say, "transcends the genre", so I am discounting it. In terms of the Hill/Jordan series, it is every bit as thrilling and inventive as the first, with the added bonus of having a veritable feast of the protagonists emotional turmoils to indulge in. The tension between the two is marvellous, their relationship is an absolute gem. All series detective novels, when taken as an entire unit, are essentially a love story (I think). In this regard, this series of McDermid's is the finest, all the better for that she doesn't fill books and books with it - just one every few years.
The Torment of Others is a very suspenseful, tense, thrilling read. The writing's excellent, very atmospheric, and the climax is exciting and shattering. Definitely so. Excellent work, Val; excellent.
0Comment| 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 April 2016
Title: The Torment of Others
Series: Tony Hill & Carol Jordan (#4)
Author: Val McDermid
From: Amazon
Genre: Crime
Release Date: 1st May 2005
Challenges: 2016 Read the Books You Buy, 2016 Prequel & Sequel challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*May contain minor spoilers for other books in the series.*

Having returned to policing after her undercover mission gone wrong, Carol Jordan is heading a serious crimes unit focusing on cold cases when there's nothing current on. Dr Tony Hill has tried to be an academic but realised it's not for him. Soon the two of them once again find themselves embroiled in the hunt for a killer in Bradfield, but this time it's not just Tony's demons they're having to fight behind the scenes.

I'll start off by saying that this was a re-read for me. I read the first four Tony Hill & Carol Jordan books back in my teens sometimes (so we're probably talking about 6-8 years ago). With the other two that I re-read recently (The Mermaids Singing & Wire in the Blood) I could remmeber the major twist, but with the Torment of Others I just kept pulling up blank. I could remember that there was one, and that it surprised me last time, but couldn't think what it was.

The Torment of Others kept me well and truely engaged and I didn't want to put it down once I'd started it. There's something about the characters that McDermid creates, as well as the mystery and suspense itself that just makes you want to keep reading.

Carol and Tony's relationship is the main thread linking the series together, and in this book they're probably the most honest they'd been with themselves about how they felt, but there was still more to it than that. Carol herself is still trying to move past the event of the previous book and that helps her grow as a character, whereas Tony has had his demons since the very beginning (but seems more at peace with them).

The murders are actually pretty gruesome (not sure what that says about McDermid's imagination!) and the events aren't sugar coated, just in case that would put anyone off. The whole book deals with the underground world of drugs, prositution and other crimes.

This was a really good read, the second time as well as the first, and I'm looking forward to reading on in the series, especially because now I have no idea what's coming at all!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
It's always a pleasure when I take a chance on a new novelist and it pays off as well as it did here. Val McDermid is, I now know, one of our best writers and I won't hesitate to buy any book in the future with her name on the cover. In The Torment of Others, you'll get everything you want from a thriller and more : intelligent characters, gripping imagery, a powerful plot, clever pacing and just entertainment all round. The lead characters Jordan and Hill are very much individuals whose personalities and concerns are so well described that we almost feel that we know them; the key point is that we can easily believe in them. The side-plot of their 'relationship' is actually intriguing, dealt with subtle aplomb by their creator and cleverly left unfinished within the context of this story so that we can carry on where they left off in the next one. The main story line of this book is quite daringly graphic in its description without being gory for its own sake. It just leaves you wondering "Jeez, what a way to go"...and I'm not a woman! This is a writer of high intellect, vivid imagination and the bringing together of those rare skills makes for very enjoyable reading. Call me a fan.
0Comment| 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 June 2013
I had tried a Val McDermid book before (Vanishing Point) and was unable to get beyond the first few chapters as it was just so unbelievable. I'm glad I gave this one a chance as I finished the whole thing and enjoyed it, but it wasn't without flaws. I'm sick to death of every crime novel ending in a dangerous confrontation between a lone officer and an armed and dangerous killer. It's just not realistic and I roll my eyes every time it happens. This one came complete with the other typical crime novel cliches - an officer in the middle of a divorce and one getting over personal issues with too much alcohol. Predictable and annoying. One irritant it did avoid, thankfully, was the officers referring to each other by their surnames.

The killer was completely unbelievable and I felt a bit cheated after sticking with the book for so long, to have such a stupid reveal at the end. Also unbelievable was the behavior of the other characters, such as Carol deciding everyone should go to bed instead of looking for a fellow officer that was in the clutches of a murderer thanks to them.

What saved this was the characters, who were interesting and mostly sympathetic. I liked the dynamics between Carol's new team. I wish Stacey had got some more "air time" as I found her intriguing, but she was a very minor character. I liked the relationship between Carol and Tony and I could appreciate it without having read any previous novels featuring them.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 July 2004
Val McDermid's Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series has never been for the squeamish, and The torment of others is no exception. This book resisted being left on the coffee table and so I carried it around with me for the 48 hours it took me to read it. Tony and Carol are the most unusual crime fighting duo around and McDermid has had the sense to keep the romantic aspects of their relationship unrequited, a la Mulder and Scully. (You'll have to read The torment of others to find out if this is still the case.) Fans of Val's other works might think this series is too 'straight' for them, but don't be put off because there is always plenty of interest, and to admire. In short, McDermid pulls off the most difficult thing for a writer in her position, pleasing all of the readers all of the time.
0Comment| 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 April 2005
I am young and new on the murder story scene and having only recently finished 'The da vinci code' I was not looking forward to searching for a book to match it. 'The torment of others',however, was recomended to me by a friend not long ago and this problem seems to be reoccurring! I find that many books suffer from an exciting and gripping first chapter only to be followed up by a really tedious 300/400 pages. Val's book isn't like this. A gripping first chapter, followed up by 552 pages of pure brilliance. Good murders, good plot, exciting twists.
As I said, I'm only young, but at only 15 I really can't recommend a more exciting, 'don't-speak-to-me-until-I'm-finished' thriller for all ages.
0Comment| 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I have read quite a lot of Val McDermid's work including all of the Tony Hill series. This is by far the best. A welcome return of Tony Hill and Carol Jordan.

McDermid surpassed all my expectations with this book. Carol Jordan's return to the British police force after her harrowing experiences abroad was brilliantly written. DCI Brandon offers her the chance to head her own squad and because of their previous working relationship Jordan accepted, although not without reservation. She then feels betrayed by Brandon when he wants one of her officers to try and set up a sting to catch the person torturing and killing prostitutes as he knows how much her own experience of doing just that went horrifically wrong for her.

Tony Hill was portrayed at his best in delving into the minds of the patients at the Psychiatric Facility where he worked and the mind of the killer, while still trying to conquer his own demons.

The sexual tension between Carol Jordan and Tony Hill was at a height and you were still kept wondering 'will they or won't they', especially with Hill offering Jordan his basement to live in as a totally self-contained flat.

This story had the usual twists and turns that McDermid is great at and as usual kept you guessing as to who the real culprit was.

The plot was expertly written and the characters were all extremely well rounded and of a great variety. The career minded policeman who didn't care who he had to step on to get glory, the policewoman hiding a secret lifestyle who wanted to do the best job she could even if it placed her in extreme danger to do so, the extremely ambitious head of the Psychiatriac Facility that Hill goes to work for who doesn't want anyone to be better than him at working out what is going on in the minds of the patients, the patient who killed his own children that you actually ended up having sympathy for and of course the psychopathic killer. Nobody seems to be better at getting into the mind of a psychopath than McDermid.

I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading Psychological Thrillers. In my personal opinion you are better to read the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series in order though as there are common elements running through the entire series.
11 comment| 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 March 2015
What a fab read - Carol Jordan and Tony Hill are back in Bradford - Carol is tempted back here after having break due to what happened to her in Berlin (Read the Last Temptation - Book 3 of the Series). There are two story lines that are tightly interwoven throughout the book.

Val McDermid has not written your typical murder mystery in this book, but there are some themes from previous books in the series carried on throughout this novel.

A must read!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 May 2014
great story.Featuring lovesick Dr.Tony Hill. an DCI. Carol Jordan in a hunt for a criminal called The Creeper. Who is able to control the minds of crimaly insane to commit murder of local prostitutes. as usual written by the brilliant Val McDermott. well written took 2 nights to read. great storyline well written and _don't miss it. one of best yet
. Loved it..
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 May 2004
Val Mcdermid just gets better all the time. If you're a fan of her Tony Hill stories then you won't be disappointed with the latest offering. I got the book delivered yesterday and was so gripped by the tension and suspense I just couldn't put it down. I was literally gasping in places, the suspense was so great! Pass the valium. I really hope Ms Mcdermid is busy on the next installment as I can't wait to see what dark forces Tony and Carol are up against in their next cases. Buy it ASAP, it's Brill, Trust me!!
0Comment| 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse