A Darker Domain (Karen Pirie Series #1)

A Darker Domain (Karen Pirie Series #1)

by Val McDermid
4.1 10

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Darker Domain 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
You need a scorecard to keep up with all the players in this convoluted novel. Things get so complicated that the author resorts to a character writing a lengthy letter trying to sort it all out for the reader. But then it all unwinds again. The resolution may seem clever, but there is just nothing left to believe at the end of this very wobbly story.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Blend crime, historic social commentary, mysterious doings and place them in Scotland. That's a recipe for an intriguing story which is precisely what acclaimed writer Val McDermid serves up in A Darker Domain. Those familiar with McDermid's work know that her novels are multi-layered, carefully plotted and forcefully written.
A young woman, Misha, goes to report a missing person. When she is asked how long the person has been missing her reply is "Twenty-two and a half years. Since Friday the fourteenth of December 1984, to be precise. Is that long enough for you to take it seriously?"
Why now, why wait so long to try to find someone? McDermid's story begins with a mystery and more follow in quick succession, all leading inexorably to a startling conclusion. Ah, but the fun for a reader is in getting there as the past and the present are woven together and related from various viewpoints.
The missing person is Misha's father, Mike Prentice, who left his family and home in 1984 during the national miner's strike to join other strikebreakers in Nottingham. Or, so it is believed. DI Karen Pirie, head of the Cold Case Review Team, wants to know what really happened to Prentice.
In 1985 an heiress, Catriona Maclennan Grant and Adam, her small son, were kidnaped. In the worst of all possible scenarios she is killed and Adam disappears. Leap frog from Scotland and to a quarter century later - a journalist vacationing in Tuscany discovers what may be of import to that case. Pirie is summoned to Catriona's father's home. He is wealthy almost beyond measure and one of the most powerful men in Scotland.
Too many switches in time and narrative voices were disconcerting for this reader as well as a cloudy relationship between the cases Pirie faces. Nonetheless, few can match the setting recreated by McDermid and the authenticity she brings to a Scottish police mystery. In this, her 25th book, descriptions of the miners and their families are particularly moving as McDermid comes from a mining family, and spent time with her grandparents in East Wemyss where much of the book's action takes place. She has well described the plight of the miners in 1984 in passages ringing with intensity and passion.
- Gail Cooke
ANONWZAWMN More than 1 year ago
Geography, pathology, archeology, anthropology mingled with common sense, intuition and the brain power of the two women investigating two cold cases afford readers a fascinating history of what the powers that were, did to an entire industry and the people they crushed. Murders are uncovered and disappearances put to rest. Fans and new readers should find A DARKER DOMAIN, a masterful novel that will challenge their armchair detective skills. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
Anonymous 5 days ago
If you like McDermid’s darker series, this might leave you disappointed. I found the story interesting and twisty but not with the dark overtones of many of her other books. I also found the way POV and time was handled clever. Definitively a good read.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Igave it 3 because of the way it ended. It was like being dropped of the edge of a cliff......... Adrupt.