Val McDermid Books

Val McDermid is a Scottish author born in 1955. Born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Val attended Kirkcaldy High School and St. Hilda’s College in Oxford. She eventually graduated and became a journalist. She pursued the career for sixteen years before choosing to focus her efforts on her novels and finally becoming a full-time writer. Val has cited her interview with Jimmy Savile as an inspiration for one of her ideas.

Order of Austen Project Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Northanger Abbey 2014 Description / Buy

Order of Inspector Karen Pirie Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Distant Echo 2003 Description / Buy
2 A Darker Domain 2008 Description / Buy
3 The Skeleton Road 2014 Description / Buy
4 Out of Bounds 2016 Description / Buy

Order of Tony Hill/Carol Jordan Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Mermaids Singing 1995 Description / Buy
2 The Wire In The Blood 1997 Description / Buy
3 The Last Temptation 2002 Description / Buy
4 The Torment of Others 2004 Description / Buy
5 Beneath the Bleeding 2007 Description / Buy
6 Fever of the Bone 2009 Description / Buy
7 The Retribution 2011 Description / Buy
8 Cross and Burn 2013 Description / Buy
9 Splinter the Silence 2015 Description / Buy

Order of Lindsay Gordon Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Report For Murder 1987 Description / Buy
2 Common Murder 1989 Description / Buy
3 Final Edition 1991 Description / Buy
4 Conferences Are Murder 1993 Description / Buy
5 Booked For Murder 1996 Description / Buy
6 Hostage To Murder 2003 Description / Buy

Order of Kate Brannigan Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Dead Beat 1992 Description / Buy
2 Kick Back 1993 Description / Buy
3 Crack Down 1994 Description / Buy
4 Clean Break 1995 Description / Buy
5 Blue Genes 1996 Description / Buy
6 Star Struck 1998 Description / Buy

Order of Val McDermid Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 A Place of Execution 1999 Description / Buy
2 Killing The Shadows 2000 Description / Buy
3 The Grave Tattoo 2006 Description / Buy
4 Cleanskin (Short Story) 2006 Description / Buy
5 Trick of the Dark 2010 Description / Buy
6 The Vanishing Point 2012 Description / Buy
7 My Granny Is a Pirate 2012 Description / Buy

Order of Val McDermid Short Story Collections

# Read Title Published Details
1 Stranded 2004 Description / Buy

Order of Val McDermid Non-Fiction Books

# Read Title Published Details
1 A Suitable Job for a Woman 1994 Description / Buy
2 Forensics 2014 Description / Buy

Anthologies/Collaborations

# Read Title Published Details
1 Naked Came the Phoenix 2001 Description / Buy
2 Magnetic North 2005 Description / Buy
3 Criminal Tendencies 2009 Description / Buy
4 Life's Too Short 2010 Description / Buy
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An author of suspense novels, success for Val came after she published Report for Murder: The First Lindsay Gordon Mystery in 1987. She went on to gain recognition for her work, winning numerous awards and even receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Sutherland.

Val McDermid’s work revolves around five primary characters, namely: Kate Brannigan, Karen Pirie, Lindsay Gordon, Carol Jordan and Tony Hill. Each of these characters is a lead in their own series, though Tony Hill and Carol Jordan share a series.

A writer of suspense and mystery novels, Val is most commonly known for Doctor Tony Hill, a character that first appeared in The Mermaids Singing, the first novel in the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series, released in 1995.

Val and her partner Jo Sharp, a knitwear designer, were married in 2016.

Val McDermid Awards

The quality of Val’s work is such that she was been nominated for Dagger Awards, an Edgar Award and a BCA Crime Thriller of the Year Award. She has also had the pleasure of winning an actual Dagger Award, a Barry Award, an Anthony Award, a Dilys award and a Macavity Award.

Val McDermid Books into movies

Of all the adaptations that Val has seen of her work, the most prominent has to be Wire in the Blood. Broadcast between 2002 and 2008 on the ITV network, the show followed Doctor Anthony Hill, a psychologist played by Robson Green who had the uncanny ability to see into the minds of killers.

The show won Royal Television Society and Edgar Allen Poe Awards before its high production budget led to cancellation.

A lesser known adaptation is A Place of Execution, a three-part Television drama that was broadcast on ITV in 2008. The drama won a TV Dagger Award in 2009.

Best Val McDermid Books

Anyone looking to gain a better understanding of Val’s approach to storytelling will appreciate these books, some of the best she has written:

The Last Temptation: Chief Inspector Carol Jordan has finally come to terms with the fracturing of her relationship with Doctor Tony Hill. She soon immerses herself in an undercover sting that sees her try to gain the confidence of a European Drug Trafficker.

Her plans are complicated by the serial killer who is tracking her. While trying to escape the trauma of his past, Tony Hill’s quiet isolation is shattered when the criminal profiler is pulled into a difficult case.

A serial killer has been driven by psychosexual madness to hunt a sometimes lover of Tony. It doesn’t take long for Carol and Tony’s paths to cross as they face off against the twisted dreams of a killer.

Val McDermid makes this book every bit as tense and harrowing as any other Tony Hill novel. She is also able to keep readers engaged by delving into the police procedural elements that surrounding law enforcement in Europe, especially the jurisdiction aspects.

There are quite a few threads playing out in this story, all of which Val weaves together even while drawing engaging and well-developed characters.

A Place of Execution: George Bennett was just a young and newly promoted inspector when Myra Hindley and Ian Brady began their murderous careers. Following the disappearance of two children off the streets of Manchester, Bennett didn’t know what to expect when 13-year-old Alison Carter also vanished.

Without a body or any clues of note, Bennett’s investigation faced numerous dead ends. The final outcome of Bennett’s work would continue to haunt the community.

Having decided to finally tell his story several years later, journalist Catherine Heathcote is confused when Bennett tries to pull the plug on the book that might tell it all just when it is poised for publication.

Bennett suggests that he might have new information that could change everything, though he will not share it. Catherine gets down into the mud and begins to re-investigate the past, determined to find that secret that might turn the world upside down.

This is a standalone book. Val tells a story set in modern times and during the 1960s as her characters delve into a murder mystery with more angles than anyone had previously realized.

March 5, 2017BookSeries.org

BookSeries.org