Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Distant Echo - Book #102

| Title | The Distant Echo |
| Author |Val McDermid |
| Genre |Mystery (Tartan Noir) |
| Pages |404 |
| Publisher |St. Martins |
| Copyright |2003 |

Synopsis (from web-site)
Four in the morning, mid-December, and snow is smothering St Andrews. Student Alex Gilbey and his three best friends are staggering home from a party when they stumble upon the body of a young woman. Rosie Duff has been raped, stabbed and left for dead in the ancient Pictish cemetery. And the only suspects are the four young students stained with her blood. Twenty-five years later, Fife police mount a cold case review. Among the unsolved murders they're examining is that of Rosie Duff. But someone else has their own idea of how justice should be done. One of the original quartet dies in a suspicious house fire. Soon after, a second is killed in what looks like a burglary gone sour. But Alex fears the worst. Someone is taking revenge for Rosie Duff. He has to find out who it is before he becomes the next victim. And it might just save his life if he can uncover who really killed Rosie all those years ago.

Why I read It
Was watching Masterpiece Mysteries Contemporary on PBS and saw it was based on a book by Val McDernid. I did a little research and ended up selecting this standalone mystery (as she also has 3 different series as well).

The Good
Excellent analysis of how any involvement in a crime (in this case just finding the body) can wreck havoc on your life. It also shows how false accusations and beliefs can have endless repercussions. The plot moves along nicely and I did figure out the mystery about halfway through, but that seems more like a lucky guess on my part rather than any weakness in the book. A more literary approach too many of the themes in this book can be found in Atonement by Ian McEwan.

The Bad
Nothing except my personal preferences. What I mean by that is I cannot point to anything in particular I did not like, it just wasn’t hitting with me say like Ian Rankin does. Anotherwords it was all that but sans the bag of chips.
The Ugly (my opinion)
Well worth the read. I will be reading the rest of her backlist as time permits.

The Truth? (other reviews)
Shots Magazine

Mormon Mentions

Author BiographyCrime writer Val McDermid grew up in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, and studied English at Oxford University. She trained as a journalist and worked on various national newspapers for 14 years before becoming a writer. Her first published book was Report for Murder (1987), and since then, she has written a large number of crime novels.

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