The Retribution (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan Series #7)

The Retribution (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan Series #7)

by Val McDermid


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Clinical psychologist Tony Hill has had a good run. He and police detective Carol Jordan have put away scores of dangerous criminals at a rate that colleagues envy. But there is one serial killer who has shaped and defined their careers, and whose evil surpasses all others: Jacko Vance, ex-celebrity and sociopath, whose brilliance and utter lack of remorse have never left Tony’s mind in the ten years since they put him behind bars. With a twisted and cunning mind honed by long years of planning, Jacko has now pulled off the perfect escape and is determined to wreak revenge on Tony and Carol for the years he has spent in prison. They don’t know when Jacko will strike, or where, or even who. All they know is that Jacko will cause them to feel fear like they’ve never known.

A chilling, utterly gripping tour de force, The Retribution is an unforgettable read.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802120441
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 09/11/2012
Series: Tony Hill and Carol Jordan Series , #7
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 5.62(w) x 8.08(h) x 1.14(d)

About the Author

A former journalist, Val McDermid is a Scottish mystery and suspense writer known for several popular mystery series centered around the characters Lindsay Gordon, Kate Brannigan, Tony Hill, and Carol Jordan. McDermid’s first Hill/Jordan novel, The Mermaids Singing, won the Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel of the Year, while her book A Place of Execution was nominated for the Edgar Award, among other honors.

Read an Excerpt


Escapology was like magic. The secret lay in misdirection. Some escapes were accomplished by creating an illusion through careful planning; others were genuine feats of strength, daring and flexibility, both mental and physical; and some were mixtures of both. But whatever the methods, the element of misdirection always played a crucial role. And when it came to misdirection, he called no man his master.

Best of all was the misdirection that the onlooker didn't even know was happening. To accomplish that you had to make your diversion blend into the spectrum of normal.

Some settings made that harder than others. Take an office where everything ran like clockwork. You'd struggle to camouflage a distraction there because anything out of the ordinary would stand out and stick in people's minds. But in prison there were so many unpredictable variables – volatile individuals; complex power structures; trivial disputes that could go nuclear in a matter of moments; and pent-up frustrations never far from bursting like a ripe zit. Almost anything could go off at any time, and who could say whether it was a calculated event or just one of a hundred little local difficulties getting out of hand? The very existence of those variables made some people uneasy. But not him. For him, every alternate scenario provided a fresh opportunity, another option to scrutinise till finally he hit on the perfect combination of circumstances and characters.

He'd considered faking it. Paying a couple of the lads to get into a ruck on the wing. But there were too many downsides to that. For one thing, the more people who knew about his plans, the more prospects there were for betrayal. For another, most of the people inside were there because their previous attempts at dissimulation had failed dismally. Probably not the best people to entrust with putting on a convincing performance, then. And you could never rule out plain stupidity, of course. So faking it was out.

However, the beauty of prison was that there was never a shortage of levers to pull. Men trapped on the inside were always prey to fears of what might be going down on the outside. They had lovers, wives, kids and parents who were vulnerable to violence or temptation. Or just the threat of those things.

So he'd watched and waited, gathering data and evaluating it, figuring out where the possibilities offered the best chance of success. It helped that he didn't have to rely on his own observations. His support system beyond the walls had provided the intelligence that plugged most of the gaps in his own knowledge. It really hadn't taken long to find the perfect pressure point.

And now he was ready. Tonight he would make his move. Tomorrow night, he'd be sleeping in a wide, comfortable bed with feather pillows. The perfect end to a perfect evening. A rare steak with a pile of garlic mushrooms and rösti potatoes, perfectly complemented by a bottle of claret that would have only improved in the dozen years he'd been away. A plate of crisp Bath Olivers and a Long Clawson stilton to take away the bad taste of what passed for cheese in prison. Then a long hot bath, a glass of cognac and a Cuban Cohiba. He'd savour every gradation on the spectrum of the senses.

A jagged cacophony of raised voices penetrated his visualisation, a routine argument about football crashing back and forth across the landing. An officer roared at them to keep the noise down and it subsided a little. The distant mutter of a radio filled the gaps between the insults and it occurred to him that even better than the steak, the booze and the cigar would be the freedom from other people's noise.

That was the one thing people never mentioned when they sounded off about how awful it must be to be in prison. They talked about the discomfort, the lack of freedom, the fear of your fellow inmates, the loss of your personal comforts. But even the most imaginative never commented on the nightmare of losing silence.

Tomorrow, that nightmare would be over. He could be as quiet or as loud as he chose. But it would be his noise.

Well, mostly his. There would be other noises. Ones that he was looking forward to. Ones he liked to imagine when he needed a spur to keep going. Ones he'd been dreaming about even longer than he'd been figuring out his escape route. The screams, the sobs, the stammering pleas for mercy that would never come. The soundtrack of payback.

Jacko Vance, killer of seventeen teenage girls, murderer of a serving police officer and a man once voted the sexiest man on British TV, could hardly wait.


The big man put two brimming pints of copper-coloured ale on the table. 'Piddle in the Hole,' he said, settling his broad frame on a stool that disappeared from sight beneath his thighs.

Dr Tony Hill raised his eyebrows. 'A challenge? Or is that what passes for wit in Worcester?'

Detective Sergeant Alvin Ambrose raised his glass in a salute. 'Neither. The brewery's in a village called Wyre Piddle, so they think they're entitled.'

Tony took a long draught of his beer, then gave it a considering look. 'Fair enough,' he said. 'It's a decent pint.'

Both men gave the beer a moment's respectful silence, then Ambrose spoke. 'She's pissed my guv'nor off royally, your Carol Jordan.'

Even after all these years, Tony still struggled to keep a poker face when Carol Jordan was mentioned. It was a struggle worth maintaining, though. For one thing, he believed in never giving hostages to fortune. But more importantly, he'd always found it impossible to define what Carol meant to him and he wasn't inclined to give others the chance to jump to mistaken conclusions. 'She's not my Carol Jordan,' he said mildly. 'She's not anyone's Carol Jordan, truth be told.'

'You said she'd be sharing your house down here, if she got the job,' Ambrose said, not hiding the reproach in his voice.

A revelation Tony wished now he'd never made. It had slipped out during one of the late-night conversations that had cemented this unlikely friendship between two wary men with little in common. Tony trusted Ambrose, but that still didn't mean he wanted to admit him into the labyrinth of contradictions and complications of what passed for his emotional life. 'She already rents my basement flat. It's not so different. It's a big house,' he said, his voice noncommittal but his hand rigid on the glass.

Ambrose's eyes tightened at the corners, the rest of his face impassive. Tony reckoned the instinctive copper in him was wondering whether it was worth pursuing. 'And she's a very attractive woman,' Ambrose said at last.

'She is.' Tony tipped his glass towards Ambrose in acknowledgement. 'So why is DI Patterson so pissed off with her?'

Ambrose raised one beefy shoulder in a shrug that strained the seam of his jacket. His brown eyes lost their watchfulness as he relaxed into safe territory. 'The usual kind of thing. He's served all his career in West Mercia, most of it here in Worcester. He thought when the DCI's job came up, his feet were already tucked under the desk. Then your — then DCI Jordan made it known that she was interested in a move from Bradfield.' His smile was as twisted as the lemon peel on the rim of a cocktail glass. 'And how could West Mercia say no to her?'

Tony shook his head. 'You tell me.'

'Track record like hers? First the Met, then something mysterious with Europol, then heading up her own major crimes unit in the fourth biggest force in the country and beating the counter-terrorism twats at their own game ... There's only a handful of coppers in the whole country with her experience who still want to be at the sharp end, rather than flying a desk. Patterson knew the minute the grapevine rustled that he was dead in the water.'

'Not necessarily,' Tony said. 'Some bosses might see Carol as a threat. The woman who knew too much. They might see her as the fox in the henhouse.'

Ambrose chuckled, a deep subterranean rumble. 'Not here. They think they're the bee's knees here. They look at those mucky bastards next door in West Midlands and strut like peacocks. They'd see DCI Jordan like a prize pigeon coming home to the loft where she belongs.'

'Very poetic.' Tony sipped his beer, savouring the bitter edge of the hops. 'But that's not how your DI Patterson sees it?'

Ambrose demolished most of his pint while he worked out his response. Tony was accustomed to waiting. It was a technique that worked equally well at work or at play. He'd never figured out why the people he dealt with were called 'patients' when he was the one who had to exert all the patience. Nobody who wanted to be a competent clinical psychologist could afford to show too much eagerness when it came to seeking answers.

'It's hard for him,' Ambrose said at last. 'It's harsh, knowing you've been passed over because you're second best. So he has to come up with something that makes him feel better about himself.'

'And what's he come up with?'

Ambrose lowered his head. In the dim light of the pub, his dark skin turned him into a pool of shadow. 'He's mouthing off about her motives for moving. Like, she doesn't give a toss about West Mercia. She's just following you now you've inherited your big house and decided to shake the dust of Bradfield from your heels ...'

It wasn't his place to defend Carol Jordan's choices, but saying nothing wasn't an option either. Silence would reinforce Patterson's bitter analysis. The least Tony could do was to give Ambrose an alternative to put forward in the canteen and the squad room. 'Maybe. But I'm not the reason she's leaving Bradfield. That's office politics, nothing to do with me. She got a new boss and he didn't think her team was good value for money. She had three months to prove him wrong.' Tony shook his head, a rueful smile on his face. 'Hard to see what more she could have done. Nailed a serial killer, cleared up two cold-case murders and busted a people-trafficking operation that was bringing in kids for the sex trade.'

'I'd call that a serious clear-up rate,' Ambrose said.

'Not serious enough for James Blake. The three months is up and he's announced that he's breaking up the unit at the end of the month and scattering them through the general CID. She'd already decided she didn't want to be deployed like that. So, she knew she was leaving Bradfield. She just didn't know where she was headed. Then this West Mercia job came up, and she didn't even have to change landlords.'

Ambrose gave him an amused look and drained his glass. 'You ready for another?'

'I'm still working on this one. But it's my shout,' Tony protested as Ambrose headed back to the bar. He caught the glance the young barmaid threw in their direction, a faint frown on her soft features. He imagined they made an odd couple, him and Ambrose. A burly black man with a shaven head and a face like a heavyweight boxer, tie loosened, black suit tight over heavy muscles, Ambrose's formidable presence would have fitted most people's idea of a serious bodyguard. Whereas Tony reckoned he didn't even look capable of guarding his own body, never mind anyone else's. Medium height; slight of build; wirier than he deserved to be, given that his principal exercise came from playing Rayman's Raving Rabbids on his Wii; leather jacket, hooded sweatshirt, black jeans. Over the years, he'd learned that the only thing people remembered about him were his eyes, a startling sparkling blue, shocking against the paleness of his skin. Ambrose's eyes were memorable too, but only because they hinted at a gentleness apparent nowhere else in his demeanour. Most people missed that, Tony thought. Too taken up with the superficial image. He wondered if the barmaid had noticed.

Ambrose returned with a fresh pint. 'You off your ale tonight?'

Tony shook his head. 'I'm heading back to Bradfield.'

Ambrose looked at his watch. 'At this time? It's already gone ten o'clock.'

'I know. But there's no traffic this time of night. I can be home in less than two hours. I've got patients tomorrow at Bradfield Moor. Last appointments before I hand them over to someone I hope will treat them like the damaged messes they are. Going at night's a lot less stressful. Late-night music and empty roads.'

Ambrose chuckled. 'Sounds like a country music song.'

'I sometimes feel like my whole life is a country music song,' Tony grumbled. 'And not one of the upbeat ones.' As he spoke, his phone began to ring. He frantically patted his pockets, finally tracking it down in the front pocket of his jeans. He didn't recognise the mobile number on the screen, but gave it the benefit of the doubt. If the staff at Bradfield Moor were having problems with one of his nutters, they sometimes used their own phones to call him. 'Hello?' he said, cautious.

'Is that Dr Hill? Dr Tony Hill?' It was a woman's voice, tickling at the edge of his memory but not quite falling into place.

'Who is this?'

'It's Penny Burgess, Dr Hill. From the Evening Sentinel Times. We've spoken before.'

Penny Burgess. He recalled a woman in a trench coat, collar turned up against the rain, face arranged in a tough expression, long dark hair escaping from its confines. He also recalled how he'd been variously transformed in the stories under her byline, from omniscient sage to idiot scapegoat. 'Rather less than you'd have your readers believe,' he said.

'Just doing my job, Dr Hill.' Her voice was a lot warmer than their history merited. 'There's been another woman murdered in Bradfield,' she continued. She was about as good at small talk as he was, Tony thought, trying to avoid the wider implications of her words. When he failed to respond, she said, 'A sex worker. Like the two last month.'

'I'm sorry to hear that,' Tony said, choosing his words like steps in a minefield.

'Why I'm ringing you ... My source tells me this one has the same signature as the previous two. I'm wondering what you make of that?'

'I've no idea what you're talking about. I've currently got no operational involvement with Bradfield CID.'

Penny Burgess made a low sound in her throat, almost a chuckle but not quite. 'I'm sure your sources are at least as good as mine,' she said. 'I can't believe DCI Jordan is out of the loop on this one, and if she knows, you know.'

'You've got a very strange notion of my world,' Tony said firmly. 'I have no idea what you're talking about.'

'I'm talking about a serial killer, Dr Hill. And when it comes to serial killers, you're the man.'

Abruptly, Tony ended the call, shoving his phone back in his pocket. He raised his eyes to meet Ambrose's assessing gaze. 'Hack,' he said. He swallowed a mouthful of beer. 'Actually, no. She's better than that. Carol's crew have left her with egg all over her face more than once, but she just acts like that's an occupational hazard.'

'All the same ...' Ambrose said.

Tony nodded. 'Right. You can respect them without being willing to give them anything.'

'What was she after?'

'She was fishing. We've had two street prostitutes killed in Bradfield over the last few weeks. Now there's a third. As far as I was aware, there was no reason to connect the first two – completely different MO.' He shrugged. 'Well, I say that, but I know nothing officially. Not Carol's cases, and even if they were, she doesn't share.'

'But your hack's saying something different?'

'She says there's a signature connection. But it's still nothing to do with me. Even if they decide they need a profile, it won't be me they come to.'

'Stupid bastards. You're the best there is.'

Tony finished his drink. 'That may well be true. But as far as James Blake is concerned, staying in-house is cheaper and it means he keeps control.' A wry smile. 'I can see his point. If I was him, I probably wouldn't employ me either. More trouble than it's worth.' He pushed back from the table and stood up. 'And on that cheerful note, I'm off up the motorway.'

'Is there not a part of you that wishes you were out there at that crime scene?' Ambrose drained his second pint and got to his feet, deliberately standing back so he didn't loom over his friend.

Tony considered. 'I won't deny that the people who do this kind of thing fascinate me. The more disturbed they are, the more I want to figure out what makes them tick. And how I can help them to make the mechanism function a bit better.' He sighed. 'But I am weary of looking at the end results. Tonight, Alvin, I'm going home to bed, and believe me, there's nowhere I'd rather be.'


Excerpted from "The Retribution"
by .
Copyright © 2011 Val McDermid.
Excerpted by permission of Grove Atlantic, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Retribution 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 221 reviews.
none0 More than 1 year ago
I only recently discovered the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series and Val McDermid. While I really like the police work and investigative aspects of the story, I get really tired of reading about main characters who are so flawed and damaged. There's enough of that sort of thing in real life, and like most people, I read to escape, not to be thrown into the mindset of a damaged character who's creator is about to inflict even more damage on them as happens in this book. Will I read another Tony Hill book? Very likely. Will the aforementioned problems affect my enjoyment of same? Absolutely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Two Things: B&N has no say in what's free, or not; that is left to the publisher to decide. #2: THANKS to those Reviewers who give details; that's what a good review does. Third thing: Our complaints to each other or to B&N are also *NOT* good reviews, either. (Guilty as charged.) We must stop this bad habit and leave these spaces for the TRUE reviewers to post their helpful reviews for us.
ritaink13 More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of Val McDermid. I have read this entire series, her stand alones and other series. I read many different genres and enjoy crime/mystery novels for entertainment. However, I still like a well written book with interesting characters. Val McDermid's writing is top shelf and her character development is second to none. The only downside is that since I just finished this particular book I am wanting more but, alas, I will have to wait.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am amazed that in this day and tech age that readers have yet to find the delete button! This is a free book. You have not invested any money. You don't like the language, delete it. You realize it is part of a series, delete it. If you don't like the character (the only review worth reading, IMHO) thank you for letting us know. The other reviews could have been a "heads up" notice instead of griping about a free book! Thank you to B&N for the free fridays. If there is something about a FREE book that you give me, I will give a heads up to my fellow " Nooker's", but I will still be grateful to you for giving me a book. The was a time in my life when I could not affordnew books, so even today when I recieve a book, I am eternally grateful. M. Lema
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just discovered this series. I've totally enjoyed it. Thanks for evolving, non-static characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you dont like cusswords then delete the book. No point in whining about it
Camsgrand2001 More than 1 year ago
I am probably one of McDermid's biggest US fans. Her book are so involved in the plot, you can't put them down without thinking about it. I can't wait for the next one. Keep up the good work Val. You know who-dun-it, you just want to know what you can do to stop it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first time that I have read anything from this author and I was pleasantly surprised. The plot is fast paced, with interesting characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A bit slow to start then it got really interesting and exciting then it rushed through everything and just ended. I'm disappointed that two promising mysteries ended the way they did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to skip so many pages while reading this book. It was a slog to get through. It had a late plot line development that felt like an afterthought and an unsatisfying end . Waste of time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It just happens that the only other book I have read in this series was The Wire in the Blood, which introduced the villain from this installment. This book was certainly well written, and I was surprised by the final twist. However, I found the ending quite lackluster and anticlimactic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept me guessing the whole time. It is a little horrific in parts of the book, but the plot is very good. Even though this book is part of a series, it isn't necessary to have read the first few books to follow allong.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best free friday books I have had the pleasure of reading. The story lines were quick moving and therefore easily held my interest. The ending was abrupt, but overall this was a novel worthy of a warm blanket, and hot chocolate evening
Anonymous 6 months ago
juliebutterfly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great read that made me want to turn the page long afte bedtime. Jacko Vance a master criminal who Tony and Carol helped put behind bars, has manipulated the world of prisons to escape. His aim is to bring down the people who jailed him in the most personal and intense way. He brutally murders members of Carol's family as a start. Tony fails to profile Jacko leaving Carol to question his friendship stripping away the most intense relationship which potentially shatters Tony. The story races to a rather unsatisfactory conclusion with Tony's mother putting in an unlikely appearance. leaves you wanting the next in the series to see if Carol and Tony's relationship is beyond repair and whether the team solving crimes is indeed to be dispearsed
lostinalibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In The Retribution , Jacko Vance, who had murdered 17 teenaged girls in an earlier book, has broken out of prison and is seeking retribution against the people who put him there. His main targets are psychologist and profiler Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, who led the police unit who captured Vance. Tony and Carol are two damaged souls who have a long-standing but troubled relationship.At the same time that the team are trying to recapture Vance, they are investigating a string of prostitute murders. Each murder is different but the killer marks each victim with the word 'mine'.Overall, although I am not a huge fan of thrillers, I enjoyed The Retribution. I have only two criticisms: I would have liked a little more story about the prostitute murders as it got somewhat shortchanged against the Vance narrative and, second, the end of both plots seemed a bit rushed and, in the case of Vance, it seemed to come, well, a little out of left field.Still, I would highly recommend this book to fans of McDermid and to readers of mysteries and thrillers in general. Author McDermid is a real wordsmith and knows how to keep a plot moving while introducing new characters and storylines. If you have never read any of the other books in the series (this is the seventh), don't worry, even though The Retribution revives an old villain, it can be read as a standalone.
kraaivrouw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Val McDermid is the mother of the British serial killer novel. These are not American serial killers with the typical plot, Mr. Big Handsome and Damaged Sherriff/Police Officer driving around in fast cars to save the heroine at the last minute with everyone scarred, but deeper for their experience. Not even close.Val McDermid can write and has a bountiful imagination. She writes fully fleshed characters, including evildoers who do evil that you wouldn't imagine in your wildest nightmares. Her stand-alones are excellent, as are her series, my favorite of which are the Tony and Carol Jordan books. Beginning with The Mermaids Singing, there are seven in the series. My favorite is The Wire in the Blood (which is also a pretty good British TV series), but they're all excellent.These books will shock you to your core, will keep you up reading late, and might give you nightmares.The Retribution is the latest in the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series and it is well worth the read. Everything between everyone in the series has gained a deep level of complexity and the return of one of McDermid's scariest villains - Jacko Vance - makes for a whopping good read. If you haven't read the series and you love this kind of fiction, I highly recommend you start at the beginning and work your way through - you won't regret it. If you're already a fan, this one won't disappoint.As a sidenote for anyone interested in reading LGBT books, Ms. McDermid is an out lesbian and treats things like sexual preference as normal within the working environment. Shocking, no? It just makes me love her more.
Twink on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow...Val McDermid's latest book, The Retribution, was literally a non-stop read for me. Picked it up in the morning and finished late that night.Now, I don't know if you're familiar with this fantastic Scottish author, but if you love crime novels, she's an author you want to read. She has written three series, but my favourites are the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan books. A television series - Wire in the Blood - is also based on these characters.In The Retribution, Hill, a psychological profiler and Jordan, a Detective Inspector with the MIT - major incident team - are stunned to learn that Jacko Vance, a charismatic serial killer they imprisoned, has escaped. Jacko - "killer of seventeen teenage girls, murderer of a serving police officer and a man once voted the sexiest man on British TV", promised he would seek retribution against those who put him away. At the same time, the MIT is working to solve the gruesome murders of local prostitutes. All this while the higher ups have decided to dismantle the crack team Carol has put together, due to budget constraints.These two characters have always fascinated me. Neither one of them completely 'fits' into society, especially Tony. "When he interviewed the psychopaths that became his patients, he heard so many echoes of his own empty childhood. It was, he thought, the reason he was so good at what he did. He understood them because he had come within a hair's breadth of being them." The tenuous building of the relationship between Carol and Tony has been building over the course of the series. We get to know more of what makes Tony tick in this offering. My opinion of Carol changes from book to book - still no final opinion. The MIT team is filled with interesting support characters with their own stories.Vance is a diabolical character. We are privy to his plans and thoughts and they are truly disturbing. The second case involving the prostitutes was good but had a bit of a 'filler' feel to it. That being said, McDermid's plotlines are always ingenious, complex and gritty. I was caught a bit off guard by the ending of the book, but then again, I like it when an author can keep me on my toes.Definitely recommended.
shelleyraec on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿ve read more of Val McDermids Kate Brannigan series than this series featuring Tony Hill and Carol Jordan but I have also watched a dozen episodes of Wire in The Blood which is based on the pair and it is the book of the same name that first introduces the terrifying killer who is seeking revenge in The Retribution.Jacko Vance, celebrity and hero was incarcerated for just a single murder of a teenage girl despite the police being convinced he was responsible for at least seventeen, as well as the brutal killing of a colleague who got too close. For the last ten years Jacko has focused his considerable resources of intelligence, patience and money, towards escaping jail and making everyone responsible pay before fleeing the country. His escape leaves clinical psychologist, Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan, who have just managed to find some sort of equilibrium in their difficult lives, reeling, especially when it becomes obvious Vance isn¿t targeting them directly, but the ones they love.The Retribution is a gritty crime novel that delves into the darkness of human nature. While the main plot involves the sadistic behaviour of Vance and the desperate desire to recapture him, DCI Jordan¿s team is also searching for a serial killer murdering young street prostitutes ¿ a last case before the Major Incident Team is disbanded due to budget cuts. McDermid doesn¿t spare us the details of the depravity committed by these two very different killers but it is the psychological tension that is so engrossing.The murdered prostitutes are slow to be linked, changes in the method used by the killer confusing the team until the manner of deaths are attributed to a cancelled television show.Vance is playing a cat and mouse game with Carol, Tony and Vance¿s ex wife, wounding them in ways certain to inflict psychological suffering. That his brilliant plan is eventually thwarted can be no surprise, but exactly who takes down Vance and how is a twist you won¿t see coming.McDermid¿s protagonists, Hill and Jordan, are almost as tortured and flawed as the criminals they hunt. Their relationship is complicated, both carry unimaginable burdens that they have struggled to share. Vance shatters their fragile connection and for fans of the series this might be a blow.Though the seventh of the series, The Retribution can be read as a stand alone but readers would benefit from having gotten to know the characters in previous books. The Retribution is a page turning psychological thriller with plenty of twists and turns by Scottish author, Val McDermid.
dsdmd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Psychologist Tony Hill and Detective Carol Jordan have had a long, dysfunctional relationship but join together again when Jacko Vance, a psychopath and serial killer, escapes from prison. He was a celebrity and hero prior to his incarceration. He is highly intelligent and has spent his time in prison planning his retribution against those he feels are responsible for his imprisonment. Tony and Carol head his list. At the same time, there have been a series of murders of prostitutes occurring. Each one is murdered in a different way but the murderer leaves the word "mine" on each of them.There were a lot of twists and turns in this book. It was interesting to see when and where Jacko was going to strike next. He was always one step ahead of those hunting him. The prostitution murders could have been developed more, and in fact could have been developed into a great book on its own. I almost enjoyed that part more than the story of Jacko, although it seemed rushed and held too small a part in this book. Overall, it was an enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy to read story. The resolution really was a giggle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sometimes the British words or phrases got in the way of understanding some things. Usually I know some words but there were plenty in this book. 370 Nook pages. (dw)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago