Val McDermid is one of the best in the business. Her novels are not the skim-the-surface style of many more recent crime writers, but character driven plots with depth and multiple intertwining threads and themes.
How the Dead Speak is the 11th in the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series and an uncomfortable one in some ways, because after their last outing Tony Hill, psychiatrist and forensic profiler, is in jail for manslaughter and Carol has resigned from active police duty.
How is Tony managing life in prison? He is writing a book and we get to see snippets as epigraphs to chapters. Surviving in a prison population is crucial, and Tony does what he can to aid fellow prisoners and to protect himself at the same time.
Carol, who has been trying to keep busy, suddenly finds herself involved with a couple of situations that require her expertise. Tony's vile mother has asked for Carol's help and a request to investigate a possible miscarriage of justice for the Innocence Project give Carol an outlet for her skills.
The former ReMIT team has a case in which hundreds of bones have turned up when a new development on the grounds of a former convent/girls school. The bodies date from the time the nuns were running the school some 20-40 years ago, and if that isn't enough, more recent bodies of young men turn up as well. Paula McIntire and other familiar characters take the lead in this plot thread. I'm wondering if they will be mostly on their own in future books.
A lot going on in McDermid's latest Tony Hill/Carol Jordan installment!
Read in July; blog review scheduled for Nov. 11.
Police Procedura/Crime. Dec. 3, 2019. Print length: 480 pages.