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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Val McDermid's Tony Hill novels

A couple of weeks ago, I got the latest instalment of this series on my Kindle, and I'm now almost finished reading Cross and Burn.

The series is set in the fictional town of Bradfield, which is supposed to be somewhere near to West Yorkshire. From what I can tell it looks a lot like Manchester and its surrounding neighborhood.

When a serial killer is on the loose, in the first instalment Wire in the Blood, the head of the police decides to create a special unit, headed by DCI Carol Jordan and her team. They are helped by Dr. Tony Hill, a clinical psychologist, who is great in profiling.

Throughout the series you can follow the relationship between Carol and Tony. Both are flawed characters and it looks like they'll have a hell of a time to get finally together. Tony is full of doubts and the effects of a childhood of abuse (by his mother, Vanessa, and his grandmother) and he also can't very well perform in bed. Carol is a career woman who has no time for romance and is estranged from her parents. She only has a good relation with her brother, who fall victim to another killer in the book before Cross and Burn.

Tony is great in getting into the head of serial killers - but his ability to catch Jacko Vance (the bad guy in Wire in the Blood) leads to the death of Carol's brother Michael and his wife, and results in maiming one of Carol's most trusted colleagues.

Now Tony himself is believed to be a serial killer. Of course he isn't, and although she wants nothing more to do with him, Carol will get to his defence. I believe I have guessed the identity of the killer and now I just have to read some more chapters to see if I'm right...

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