The Mermaids Singing

Val McDermid, Author HarperCollins Publishers $22 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-101174-0
McDermid (A Clean Break) enters new ground with a dark tale that is more complex, more carefully crafted and far more disturbing than her Kate Brannigan mysteries. By the time the police admit that Bradfield, a fictional city in northern England, has a serial killer, four men are already dead, each tortured in a different way and then abandoned outdoors in town. Baffled by a lack of physical evidence left by the meticulous sociopath, police bring in Tony Hill, a Home Office forensic psychologist who profiles criminals. Tony, who begins each day by ``selecting a persona,'' devours crime data with a fascination approaching admiration for the killer. The interest distracts him from obsessing over his own sexual impotence and over the ``exquisite torture'' of salacious phone calls he's been getting from a strange woman. DI Carol Jordan, a mercifully normal person who is Tony's liaison with the force, quickly grasps the profiling approach while keeping her policing instincts. Carol and Tony forge an uneasy relationship; but, as they pursue ``the Queer Killer,'' a cloddish policeman undermines them, a local reporter blows the case to get a byline and the murderer closes in on a new quarry. A warning: woven into this powerful story are journal entries in which the murder discusses torture in loving detail, an aspect that makes this graphic, psychologically terrifying tale almost as off-putting as it is impossible to put down. (Dec.) FYI: This novel won Britain's Gold Dagger Award for best crime novel of 1995.
Reviewed on: 12/02/1996
Release date: 12/01/1996
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FORMATS
Mass Market Paperbound - 400 pages - 978-0-06-101175-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 400 pages - 978-0-312-98360-4
Compact Disc - 978-0-7531-0710-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7531-0075-2
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-00-793059-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 400 pages - 978-0-312-93693-8
Book - 978-1-61120-535-0
Ebook - 416 pages - 978-1-4434-0179-1
Hardcover - 978-0-00-105248-2
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-0-00-649358-7
Hardcover - 978-0-00-639293-4
Hardcover - 978-0-00-787382-1
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4299-7766-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-61120-530-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-61120-534-3
Hardcover - 443 pages - 978-0-00-721711-3
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