Still Life

Val McDermid. Atlantic Monthly, $26 (448p) ISBN 978-0-8021-5744-7
In Edgar finalist McDermid’s cunningly crafted fifth novel featuring Det. Chief Insp. Karen Pirie (after 2018’s Broken Ground), the Historic Cases Unit head is working to identify skeletal remains found in a Perth garage when Asst. Chief Constable Ann Markie of Police Scotland intervenes. After a decade on the lam, James Auld—a suspect in the disappearance of his older brother, senior civil servant Iain Auld—was fished from the Firth of Forth with his skull bashed in. Pirie is familiar with the elder Auld’s cold case, and the local cops are too inexperienced to run a high-profile homicide investigation, so Markie orders Pirie to reopen the former and commandeer the latter. Pirie grudgingly complies after delegating the skeleton to her protégé, Det. Constable Jason Murray, who promises frequent updates. Meanwhile, Pirie struggles to set relationship boundaries with her new boyfriend, Hamish Mackenzie. McDermid expertly balances the book’s multiple mysteries, giving none short shrift. Vividly sketched characters, a colorful narrative, and myriad twists keep the pages turning, despite a somewhat leisurely pace. McDermid continues her reign as queen of the police procedural. Agent: Jane Gregory, David Higham Assoc. (U.K.). (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/29/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Open Ebook - 250 pages - 978-0-8021-5746-1
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