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42. Val McDermid, "Fever of the Bone"
teapot
el_staplador wrote in queerlit50
With McDermid, I keep getting the impression that I've wandered in mid-series and missed a whole chunk of back-story. I think I may actually have done so with this one, though it's difficult to tell, as there's no list of 'also in this series' inside the cover. Also, this is connected with a TV programme I don't watch, so I've probably missed stuff there, too.

However. References to past trauma aside, this was pretty easy to follow, and interesting enough to keep me reading until well past midnight (which doesn't happen much these days!) - despite pretty much every typographical irritation that would normally have me throw a book aside with great force. (Far too many typefaces. Characters' thoughts, first person, in italics, in the middle of a chunk of third person narrative.) It was a good, coherent mystery with enough suspense to keep it interesting. It's set in Bradfield, a fictional northern (Lancashire?) city, with excursions to Worcester and the Lake District. Interesting twist on the average serial killer story, but I didn't think it was nearly as dark as I'd seen it described.

I found profiler Dr Tony Hill mighty irritating, though, mainly because of McDermid's insistence on his being Damaged and Special. (Actually, I recognised a lot of that in myself, and it probably only annoyed me because I'd rather not see it validated by authorial approval.) The rest of the team were OK though - nice to see a good racial mix, and a promising f/f relationship.

Having said that, I was left with a nasty taste in my mouth. The whole thing turned on a trope that makes me very uncomfortable: the woman who wants babies desperately and will do anything to get them or stop others having them. This wasn't helped by the revelation - in the next chapter - that Dr Hill's mother had attempted to murder his father. Misogyny city - which surprised me, and not in a good way. I was expecting better. I'm hoping that now that's out of the way the next one I try will be less failly.

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