How the Dead Speak

How the Dead Speak

Book - 2019
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"Crime-writing powerhouse Val McDermid is back with an explosive new thriller that sees psychological profiler Tony Hill and ex-detective Carol Jordan grappling with the consequences of their actions and the legacy of abuse in the Catholic Church. Construction is halted on the redevelopment of an orphanage after dozens of skeletons are found buried on the grounds dating from between twenty and forty years ago. Then a different set of skeletons are discovered in a far corner, young men from as recently as ten years ago. Meanwhile, Tony is behind bars for murder, and Carol has finally run out of road as a cop. While he's finding unexpected outlets for his talents in jail, she's looking into suspected miscarriages of justice. But they're doing it without each other; being together at visiting hour is too painful. When newly promoted DI Paula McIntyre discovers that one of the male skeletons belongs to a murder victim whose killer is supposedly behind bars--and the subject of one of Carol's investigations--it brings Tony and Carol irresistibly into each other's orbit once again"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, 2019
Edition: First Grove Atlantic hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780802147615
Characteristics: 410 pages ; 24 cm


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Jan 04, 2021

4 star read. The latest book in McDermid's Carol Jordan and Tony Hill series is #11. It's been several years since the book before this and a lot has changed for them. Tony is in jail on a murder charge and trying to keep himself alive and sane there. Carol is no longer a police officer and has been seeking a treatment for her PTSD that works for her, a condition Tony gave her before he would see her again. The old team has a new boss and he is quick to put the team on a case when a developer's contractors discover bodies buried in the front lawn of an old convent Orphanage. Dozens of skeletons of young girls are found with no idea of why they were buried there and who they were. A cadaver dog discovers more bodies under the garden of the handyman and these are very different from the girls' bodies. Could there have been two serial killers operating and burying bodies there at the same time? As Paula and the team investigate, Carol becomes involved peripherally. This was a very interesting read, as all her books are.

Apr 27, 2020

In my review of the previous book in this Tony Hill series, I said the next one will show us if McDermid has jumped the shark. As you may know, McDermid also writes two other series of books featuring female leads and they're both B-novels, carelessly plotted, often illogical, and simply written. Well, the previously great Tony Hill series has now joined them.

The last novel featured momentous changes in the characters and a shift from books about detecting serial killers to books chronicling the soap opera that is the main characters' lives. Everyone is dirty in the last book, and everyone does illegal things despite being police.

This book barely acknowledges the crimes committed in the last one. It has a serial murderer whose story is dismissed before the end of the novel. There's something about bad Irish nuns because McDermid is a feminist but it goes nowhere. The writing is simple and no longer the convoluted, rich, thick sentences McDermid used to craft.

McDermid's interest is clearly on the characters but they seem to lose dimension by the page. The heroine and lead in this novel seems on her way out of the story line by the end.

It's difficult, I'm sure, to let go of a series that made your name. But McDermid doesn't seem to have much enthusiasm for Tony Hill and his team any more. And neither does this reader.

Feb 22, 2020

I've read several of her other books & enjoyed them. But this book is a tedious, disjointed story with little to recommend it. Couldn't finish it.

Feb 15, 2020

Hugely disappointing. Just a showcase for Tony Hill and Carol Jordan. Not fans of either and skipped passages relating to his prison life. Her non-TH and CJ books are so much better. Worth reading more than once.

Jan 04, 2020

this left me... strangely unsatisfied though some progress was made from 'insidious intent' with regard to hill & jordan. i'm not saying anything else because i abhor spoilers.

debwalker Jan 04, 2020

When the graves of children surface...

Dec 25, 2019

Worth the wait to be back again with Carol Jordan and Tony Hill. I wanted to find out where their story would lead after the end of the previous book. (No spoilers here, for those of you who haven’t read “Insidious Intent.”

Nov 29, 2019

I have been reading the psychological profiler Tony Hill and detective Carol Jordan series for 25 years. This was by far the strangest and least favorite of the mysteries. First of all Tony is in prison for murder and Carol is no longer a detective. The multiple investigations involve minor characters or are run as a "rogue" assignment. I was not very satisfied with the resolutions. Ms. McDermid needs to go back to the old formula. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Sep 09, 2019

Not my favourite in this otherwise excellent series. One plot line highlights an investigation by the newly reformed ReMIT unit but the rest deals more with the personal lives of the regular cast. The story unfolds through the eyes of 6-7 characters in short chapters & the constantly alternating POV's make it a challenge to engage with multiple story lines as it takes a while for each to develop. It reads like a transitional book, perhaps heralding a new direction for this long running series. Not a good place to start but fans will want to grab it to catch up with these much loved characters.


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