“McDermid excels in putting the reader at the center of the action . . . A tightly paced mystery . . . My bones tell me we haven’t seen the last of Inspector Pirieor at least I hope not.” Janet Napolitano, Los Angeles Times on The Skeleton Road
Internationally bestselling author Val McDermid is one of our finest crime writers, whose gripping, impeccably plotted novels have garnered millions of readers worldwide. In her latest, Out of Bounds , she delivers a riveting cold case novel featuring detective Karen Pirie.
When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to an unsolved murder from twenty-two years before. Finding the answer to the cold case should be straightforward. But it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself.
Meanwhile, Karen finds herself irresistibly drawn to another mystery that she has no business investigating, a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems.
An enthralling, twisty read, Out of Bounds reaffirms Val McDermid’s place as one of the most dependable professionals in the mystery and thriller business.
“McDermid melds the political thriller with the police procedural for an intense novel that . . . feels both intensely personal and global . . . Karen . . . once again proves herself a formidable character worthy of her own series.” Associated Press on The Skeleton Road
About the Author
Val McDermid is a world-class crime writer, whose best-selling novels have won the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year Award, and the Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger and Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for outstanding achievement. She is also a multiple finalist for the Edgar Award and author of the Edgar Nominee for Fact Crime Forensics. She lives in Scotland.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"Out of Bounds" was a really fantastic police procedural following Inspector Karen Pirie, a no-nonsense detective, who is intensely good at her job (much to the chagrin of many of the males who work around her). The book begins with some teenage joyriders who get into an accident when the police begin following them. The driver ends up in a coma and his DNA matches to a 20-year-old cold case. Cue Inspector Pirie who works in the historic cases unit. Although it seems like it should be an open and shut case, it becomes much more difficult than at first appearance. At the same time, we get peeks into Karen's personal life. She is still grieving the death of her partner Phil, which makes her even more focused on her job. When she can't sleep, she wanders around the neighborhood and thinks about her cases. She hears about another case of a man who was shot (not a cold case), but it turns out his mother had also been murdered about 20 years before. And as they say, murder does not run in families- unless there is a link. This other cold case pulls at her mind while she is waiting for evidence/information from her DNA cold case. The two cases keep the book intense and full of investigations. It's really artful how McDermid has intertwined the two stories, making both really interesting and equally important/intriguing. I was absolutely caught up in both, and there was never a dull moment between them! It's a really fascinating book, and I loved every minute of it, as it kept me on my toes guessing about all three crimes (the two cold cases and one current case). Karen was a really great lead, and I definitely want to check out the other books in this series- I imagine they are all really fantastic and I would love to read them! I also enjoyed the articles and web tidbits that popped up here and there, giving us some harder evidence/more information that isn't filtered through the main characters. It really added something extra to an already enthralling story. I really enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it to mystery lovers everywhere! Please note that I received a copy through a goodreads giveaway. All opinions are my own.
Murder mystery set in Edinburgh, Scotland This mystery thriller starts with the discovery that a boy injured in a car crash has familial DNA relating to an unsolved crime of 20+ years ago. Whilst trying to solve that case, DCI Karen Pirie of the Historic Cases Unit, along with her food loving assistant Jason 'the Mint' Murray, gets herself involved in the current case of a man found dead in a park. A web of intrigue follows, cleverly woven into an easy to follow story which builds in momentum as DCI Pirie refuses to be told what she can and can't investigate and goes well outside of her remit in order to seek justice for those unable to speak for themselves. In addition to a great story, there is lots of information about Edinburgh, and a multitude of fascinating detail into matters such as DNA, the IRA bombings and other areas that I can't mention without giving some of the plot away! The book is set very much in the current time; Donald Trump and Nicola Sturgeon both get a mention, and there is an thought provoking sub-story about a group of Syrian refugees. This is the first novel I've read by Val McDermid (I loved her non-fiction book Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime), and it should have been deserving of a 5* rating for the quality of the story, the writing and all the interesting peripheral details. However I've rated it as a 4* as it wasn't until pretty late in the book that I started to really care about the outcome of DCI Pirie's investigations. There was no gore, and the murders happened "off scene" so suitable for everyone who loves crime thrillers. I understand that this is the 4th book in the DCI Karen Pirie series (and Val McDermid's 30th novel). It works very well as a stand alone book, and DCI Pirie is an interesting character that may well draw me back to find out more about her past by reading previous books in the series.