How the dead speak

Val McDermid

Book - 2019

"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 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"--

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Review by Booklist Review

After decades of personal and professional partnership, criminal profiler Tony Hill and former police detective Carol Jordan are separated. Tony is in prison and refuses to see Carol unless she addresses her destructive PTSD. Ousted from the police force, Carol focuses on honing her carpentry skills until she's drawn into doing dirty work for Tony's diabolical mother and investigating a possible wrongful conviction for his defense attorney, Bronwen Scott. Their friends, coppers Paula McIntyre and Stacey Chen, are chafing under an ambitious new boss and jurisdictional battling over the high-profile investigation of unmarked graves discovered at a former convent school. That is, until their search of the convent's grounds reveals a separate case centered on a serial killer's cache of young men's bodies. Stonewalled by the convent's former staff, Paula follows her gut toward a cleverly masked killer and a connection to Carol's wrongful-conviction investigation. Without Tony's expertise, the dive into murderous psyches isn't as deep as in previous cases, but McDermid's procedural detail and character evolution are as pitch-perfect as ever.--Christine Tran Copyright 2019 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In Edgar-finalist McDermid's riveting 11th Tony Hill and Carol Jordan novel (after 2017's Insidious Intent), developers digging on the grounds of the shuttered Order of the Blessed Pearl convent, near Bradfield, England, uncover more than 30 children's skeletons, triggering an investigation by the regional major incident team. With Carol off the force and afflicted with PTSD, and Tony in prison for manslaughter, the team members suffer under the new leadership of Detective Chief Inspector Rutherford, who's hostile toward them. The stakes rise after the discovery of the murdered bodies of young men in a different area of the convent grounds. Interviews with an elderly retired priest, Fr. Michael Keenan, and Mother Benedict, who ran the convent, reveal a disturbing pattern of abuse at the hands of the nuns. Carol is lured out of isolation by a defense attorney, who persuades her to sign on to a new organization that helps wrongly convicted felons find justice. Series fans will be pleased to see Tony and Carol reunite after a long separation, despite the uncertainty of their complicated relationship's future. McDermid is writing at the top of her game. Agent: Jane Gregory, David Higham Assoc. (Dec.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

Five years after a Catholic convent and children's home closes, the property's new owners begin to tear up the lawn. Along with soil and grass, skeletons are unearthed, and it doesn't take long to discern that the unmarked graves contain the remains of children. On the surface, this looks like a cold case job best handled by the local police, but Ian Rutherford, the new DCI of ReMIT, is determined to make a name for himself and takes over. Before long, a cadaver dog discovers fresher graves, and the case changes course. The team yearns for the direction of their former head, Carol Jordan, as they grapple with religious professionals intent on keeping the secrets that the bodies may divulge. Meanwhile, Carol is dealing with her own demons and working with a group investigating miscarriages of justice, and trying to get by while profiler Tony Hill is in jail. VERDICT The 11th in McDermid's series (Insidious Intent) is chock-full of crime and yet not as compelling as past installments. Regardless, fans and newcomers to the series will enjoy the twists and turns.--Susan Santa, Shelter Rock P. L., Albertson, NY

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

Sidelined in very different ways since their last collaboration ended so disastrously for them both, DCI Carol Jordan and psychological profiler Dr. Tony Hill are reduced to subplots as the Regional Major Incident Team founded by Carol plows on under DI Paula McIntyre.To bring readers who skipped Insidious Intent (2017) up to speed: Tony's now in prison for manslaughter, and Carol's no longer with the Bradfield Metropolitan Police. Tony, who refuses to see Carol because he wants to spare her more anguish, is pressured by Vanessa Hill, his monstrous mother, to get Carol to hunt down Harrison Gardner, the Ponzi artist who made off with her life savings. Vanessa doesn't want anything as old-fashioned as justice; she just wants her money back. But even though she's unemployed and barely holding things together, Carol's time turns out to be unexpectedly valuable. Defense solicitor Bronwen Scott, with whom she's crossed swords many times before, wants her to work with After Proved Guilty, an innocence project Bronwen's launched, to exonerate Saul Neilson, who's three years into a sentence for murdering Lyle Tate, a gay sex worker who vanished after his last appointment with Saul and is presumed dead. Such is McDermid's generosity in plotting that neither of these cases is the main course here. That would be the discovery of some 30 unmarked graves on the grounds of the former St. Margaret Clitherow Refuge and School, which, until it closed five years ago, was under the iron control of Sister Mary Patrick of the Order of the Blessed Pearl. As Paula and her ReMIT squad work the case, they confront layer upon layer of unctuous professionals and religious whose sole emotion seems to be abstracted annoyance that their coverup is coming undone. Little does the squad know that there's even more to cover up than they've bargained for.A vast, absorbing smorgasbord of crime, malfeasance, and corruption that ultimately has no more momentum than most bountiful buffets. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.