CTG Reviews: OUT OF BOUNDS by Val McDermid

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I’m delighted to be hosting a stop on the OUT OF BOUNDS blog tour today and reviewing the fantastic new book by Val McDermid.

What the blurb says: “A teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to an unsolved murder from twenty-two years before. Finding the answer to the cold case should be straightforward. But it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself. Meanwhile, Karen Pirie finds herself irresistibly drawn to another mystery that she has no business investigating, a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems.”

Still grieving over the death of her partner, DCI Karen Pirie, head of Police Scotland’s Historic Cases Unit, finds throwing herself into work is the only way to cope. By day she hunts down leads and looks for evidence to find justice for those victims whose murderers have gone unfound, and by night she walks the streets of Edinburgh hoping to exhaust herself physically so that she will finally sleep. She’s a compelling lead character – damaged yet determined to get justice for those who can’t get it for themselves, and principled yet willing to flex the rules in order to do the right thing or find the truth. Brave and dynamic, she’s exactly the kind of person you want in your corner, and also the kind of person you could have a laugh with in the pub or over a meal.

In OUT OF BOUNDS she’s working two cold cases. Both involve complicated, fractured family situations. Both have gone unsolved for many years. To succeed in finding the truth, they require a tenacious and creative approach, and that’s what Karen has in spades.

Her sidekick, DC Jason Murray aka “The Mint”, isn’t overly bright but he makes up for that with his easy going nature and willingness to do whatever Karen says. And it’s good she’s got an ally, because her boss, Assistant Chief Constable Simon Lees aka “The Macaroon”, isn’t a fan of Karen and is always looking for a reason to give her a bollocking or, if he can, get rid of her. Karen isn’t fazed though. She follows the evidence, using her honed investigation skills and her ability to get people to trust and confide in her, in order to find leads that others have missed.

OUT OF BOUNDS has all the twisty-turny suspense that you’d expect from a writer at the top of her game. And it has all the procedural complexity – criminal and family law – combined with the forensic details that give a real authenticity to the story. But it also delivers more than this. It engages the reader in some of the big social questions of our time, not in a preachy way, but in a way that makes you stop and consider how life is changing (or not) and how we are all part of that – either through our action or in-action. It’s a compelling, page turner of a read, and one that stays with you long after the final page has been turned.

OUT OF BOUNDS is out now. You can buy it here from Waterstones or from Amazon here

To find out more about Val McDermid and her books visit her website here and follow her on Twitter @valmcdermid

And be sure to check out all the stops on the OUT OF BOUNDS blog tour …

blog tour

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