Val McDermid- The Retribution

There is one serial killer who has shaped and defined police profiler Tony Hill’s life. One serial killer whose evil surpasses all others. One serial killer who has the power to chill him to the bone: Jacko Vance. And now Jacko is back in Tony’s life. Even more twisted and cunning than ever before, he is focused on wreaking revenge on Tony – and DCI Carol Jordan – for the years he has spent in prison. Tony doesn’t know when Jacko will strike, or where. All he knows is that Jacko will cause him to feel fear like he has never known before and devastate his life in ways he cannot imagine…

I’m always keen to read McDermid’s Tony and Carol in torment tales, and with the added hook of the reappearance of the dastardly Jacko Vance I was anticipating a good read. However, like some of the previous reviewers I felt the story reached a point of twisted brilliance in Jacko’s search for revenge but petered off from there with the ending feeling completely implausible and I mean implausible. Val was probably thinking “A-ha, they’ll never see that coming” whilst rubbing her hands together in pure silent movie villain fashion and no I didn’t, because it was totally improbable! However, just to balance the bad with the good, the parallel storyline of the budding serial killer allowed a nice amount of freedom for Carol’s sidekicks to shine and this plotline played out quite well whilst Tony and Carol thrashed about in the throes of their further deteriorating relationship and we all lost interest. Disappointing but enough to while away a couple of hours…

(Thanks to Little Brown for an advance reading copy)


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