cover image Splinter the Silence

Splinter the Silence

Val McDermid. Atlantic Monthly, $25 (416p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2408-1

Dr. Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, a former detective chief constable, still aren’t on speaking terms in their solid ninth outing (after 2013’s Cross and Burn), despite the closeness they once shared. Tony continues his clinical psychological work in Bradfield, England, while Carol is busy drinking herself into oblivion. Meanwhile, the top brass desire to create a new Major Incident Team that would serve an area beyond Bradford. Strings are pulled to get Carol back in charge, with Tony as her unofficial sobriety coach, much to her annoyance. The new team’s first case involves several outspoken women who have run afoul of Internet trolls after taking strong feminist stances; though the women and their causes seem unrelated, they all go on to commit suicide. Tony sees a pattern and warns Carol that there could something more sinister at work. Diamond Dagger Award–winner McDermid handles the delicate dance that is the slow reunion of her two heroes with as much grace as she affords the novel’s victims. Agent: Jane Gregory, Gregory & Company. (Dec.)