1979

Val McDermid. Atlantic Monthly, $27 (432p) ISBN 978-0-8021-5902-1
Set in 1979, this sterling series launch from McDermid (Still Life) introduces Allison “Allie” Burns, a new reporter for the Clarion newspaper in Glasgow. Fresh from Cambridge University, Allie impresses her colleague Danny Sullivan with her writing talent, and they become friends. The two share a desire to cover a big story rather than the lightweight pieces they’re assigned. Feminism has yet to make its mark on women in the workplace, and Allie is thwarted by men in the newsroom who don’t take her seriously. But Allie’s star rises after Danny discovers a national money laundering scheme and he enlists her help with the investigation. She then discovers a secret IRA cell in Belfast looking for weapons, and she and Danny are caught in a dangerous situation resulting in another lead story. The mutual attraction between Allie and Clarion editor Rona Dunsyre provides some romantic heat. McDermid does an excellent job capturing a time in Scotland’s history fraught with political unrest, IRA terrorism, and labor strikes that nearly paralyze the country. Fans will look forward to seeing more of the highly capable Allie. Agent: Jane Gregory, David Higham Assoc. (U.K.) (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/14/2021
Release date: 10/05/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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