Skip to content

Book Review – The Retribution by Val McDermid

SynopsisTony Hill has had a good run. He and detective Carol Jordan have put away scores of dangerous criminals at a rate that colleagues envy. But there is one serial killer who has shaped and defined their careers, and whose evil surpasses all others: Jacko Vance, ex-celebrity and sociopath whose brilliance and utter lack of remorse have never left Tonys mind in the ten years since his imprisonment. Now Jacko has escaped from prisoneven more twisted and cunning than before, he is focused on wreaking revenge on Tony and Carol for his years spent in prison.

Tony and Carol dont know when Jacko will strike, or where. All they know is that Jacko will cause them to feel fear like theyve never known.

First LineEscapology was like magic.

Random QuoteWhich incontrovertibly made Terry the man who knew too much.  For him to reveal what he had done, to lay out the knowledge he possessed would the end of everything.  That was something Vance couldn’t allow to happen.

ReviewVal McDermid is the mother of the British serial killer novel.  These are not American serial killers with the typical plot, Mr. Big Handsome and Damaged Sherriff/Police Officer driving around in fast cars to save the heroine at the last minute with everyone scarred, but deeper for their experience.  Not even close.

Val McDermid can write and has a bountiful imagination.  She writes fully fleshed characters, including evildoers who do evil that you wouldn’t imagine in your wildest nightmares.  Her stand-alones are excellent, as are her series, my favorite of which are the Tony and Carol Jordan books.  Beginning with The Mermaids Singing, there are seven in the series.  My favorite is The Wire in the Blood (which is also a pretty good British TV series), but they’re all excellent.

These books will shock you to your core, will keep you up reading late, and might give you nightmares.

St. Nicolas Church (1490) – High Bradfield, Yorkshire, UK (image source)

The Retribution is the latest in the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series and it is well worth the read.  Everything between everyone in the series has gained a deep level of complexity and the return of one of McDermid’s scariest villains – Jacko Vance – makes for a whopping good read.  If you haven’t read the series and you love this kind of fiction, I highly recommend you start at the beginning and work your way through – you won’t regret it.  If you’re already a fan, this one won’t disappoint.

As a sidenote for anyone interested in reading LGBT books, Ms. McDermid is an out lesbian and treats things like sexual preference as normal within the working environment.  Shocking, no?  It just makes me love her more.

Publication InformationAtlantic Monthly Press, January 3, 2012

FTC Disclosure:  Advance for review from Amazon Vine


Published inBooks

Comments are closed.