Karen leaned back in her chair, not liking the answer she came up with, but knowing there would be nothing better coming from the man opposite her. ‘You were a right bunch of fucking cowboys in the old days, weren’t you?’ There was no admiration in her tone.
I don't know what I expected but I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. I gather from a lot of comments and other reviews that this is one of McDermid's weaker offerings but I actually really enjoyed the mix of interlinking stories, each of which had it's own element of suspense:
The search for a donor that is compatible with a sick child.
The disappearance of a man who seemingly one day walks out on his family in the midst of the 1984 miners' strikes.
The journalist in search of a story.
The business oligarch in search of his peace of mind.
And DI Karen Pirie searching for the solutions to all of these puzzles.
As mentioned before, I'm not keen on reading gory tales or scary thrillers, and I was pleasantly surprised that the suspense - and there are oodles of suspense in this - was built not on gory facts but on characters and atmosphere. The elements of forensic detail just helped piece the clues together and follow the investigation.
So, yes, my apprehension of reading this was totally unwarranted - and yes, it was all in my head. Just as well, because having read this one I look forward to reading more by McDermid. It's is not just her writing style that made me hungry for more but also the setting - Kingdom of Fife - and the historical snippets.