In the 30 years since her first novel was published, Val McDermid has written 30 books, both fiction and non-fiction. She shows no sign of slowing down, with her 10th novel featuring Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan hitting the shelves this week with their most bewildering case yet.
A car is on fire on a remote road. Inside is the body of a woman. The Regional Murder Investigation Team, a newly created unit headed by Jordan, is called in to solve the mystery. Unfortunately, the fire brigade reached the car first and washed away potential evidence while putting the blaze out.
Then another woman is found in similar circumstances. Forensically aware, the killer leaves no clues to his identity or his reasons for killing two very different women. With the press on their heels, and a disgruntled senior police officer willing her to fail, Jordan and her team are under pressure to solve the case.
OUTSIDE the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, crowds are gathering in anticipation of catching sight – or rather whiff – of the rotten, flesh-like smell of the famed corpse flower that is fleetingly in bloom beyond the gates.
As Val McDermid and I join the throng, it is corpses of a different kind that spring to mind. This month the Fife-born writer will publish her latest novel, Insidious Intent, which centres on a serial killer who stalks his victims at wedding receptions.
McDermid, 62, is often asked whether advances in forensic science have undone the job of the crime writer. The thriller, which sees DCI Carol Jordan and psychological profiler Tony Hill return for their 10th outing, cleverly turns that notion on its head.
MacLehose Press is reissuing books in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy to complement the jacket of The Girl in the Spider’s Web and has revealed ‘Queen of Crime’ Val McDermid is contributing an introduction to the new issue of The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo.
The new-look cover designs use colours from the original jackets but “apply them in a fresh way” by revisiting the image of the woman and her tattooed back, which adorns the cover of The Girl in the Spider’s Web. They will be available on 1st July.
McDermid is also contributing to the introduction to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo after her novel The Wire in the Blood was mentioned as being read by co-lead character Michael Blomkvist in it.
In McDermid’s introduction she will discuss her relationship with Larsson’s work, his literary influences and her take on his graphic and explicit descriptions of the exploitation of women in the novels.
The second Millennium novel by David Lagercrantz, The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye will be published worldwide on 7th September.