Crime Fiction at Its Finest: Val McDermid’s ‘The Torment Of Others’ Reviewed
When it comes to the world of crime fiction, few authors have left as indelible a mark as Val McDermid. With a career spanning several decades, McDermid has become a household name in the genre, known for her intricate plots, well-drawn characters, and unflinching exploration of the darkest corners of the human psyche. In “The Torment Of Others,” she once again proves her mastery of the craft, delivering a narrative that is as chilling as it is captivating.
For those unfamiliar with Val McDermid, she stands as a luminary in the realm of contemporary crime fiction. Her works have consistently topped bestseller lists, and she has amassed a dedicated following of readers who eagerly anticipate each new release. With a knack for weaving suspenseful tales that delve into the complexities of crime and its consequences, McDermid has earned her reputation as a storyteller who can send shivers down your spine while making you ponder the depths of the human condition.
In this review, we will journey into the pages of “The Torment Of Others” to explore McDermid’s narrative prowess. So, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for a thrilling dive into the world of crime fiction through the lens of Val McDermid’s exceptional work.
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This is the fourth novel in the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan Series. While some readers recommend you read them in order to fully understand the relationship between DCI Carol Jordan and criminal psychologist Dr. Tony Hill, I read this one first and I had no problem. I don’t feel I missed something important. Though, of course, if you want to have the whole background, then stick to the order of publication.
That being said, The Torment Of Others finds Carol Jordan trying to emotionally and physically recover and focus on work after a failed undercover operation that takes place at the end of book three.
The chief constable assigns Carol as head of a special crime unit. They have to investigate two cases: one of a second young boy who goes missing in Bradfield, the other one- a murder case. A prostitute is found grotesquely murdered in a cheap motel room. Her body left in a parody of ecstasy. Too much blood drained out of her.
What’s creepy is that it’s the exact MO of a series of four murders that took place two years before. What’s even creepier is that the forensic evidence from those cases indisputably led to the conviction of Derek Tyler. And Derek Tyler is still locked up in a secure mental institution.
Carol and her team, alongside Dr. Tony Hill, have to find this sadistic killer. We know from the beginning about a Voice that’s behind the killings. But when Tony starts to suspect someone else is the mastermind of these perverse acts, Carol rejects his theory.
Will a dangerous undercover police operation trap the murderer? Does Tony know who the Voice is? And what happens with the missing boys?
What stands out the most to me in this novel is the atmosphere. It’s a certain heavy feeling you have of something bad that’s going to happen. Or something dark and twisted that surrounds the people and city. Especially when the author describes the killings of the prostitutes and when you read what’s inside the Voice‘s head.
I like that McDermid takes the time to characterize her characters, outlining their flaws and strengths, and telling stories about their pasts. This way, the reader gets to know them well and relate. They are well-written and complex and you end up caring about them.
I actually read the next one in the series, Beneath The Bleeding, just because I wanted to know what happens with a certain character in this book.
She uses the right descriptions and tone to make you a part of her captivating and complex plot. The suspense is addictive. What happened to the missing boys, and who took them? Who’s killing the prostitutes? Is there someone else telling them to kill? And if so, who?
Like Find Her by Lisa Gardner, this has a strong psychological element. But this time it is the insightful look into the KILLER‘s mind, not the victim’s, that creates the psychological tension. Written with italic letters, his point of view is in the third person.
“Just because you hear voices, it doesn’t mean you’re mad. You don’t have to be well smart to know that. And even though you did all that stuff that made the jury look sick to their stomachs, at least you’re clever enough to know that doesn’t make you a nutter. All sorts of people have other voices in their heads, everybody knows that.”the torment of others, val mcdermid
Final Thoughts About The Torment Of Others
Without giving away spoilers, it’s safe to say that “The Torment Of Others” is replete with surprising plot twists that challenge readers’ assumptions and keep them guessing until the final pages. McDermid’s mastery of suspense shines through in these unexpected developments.
If you want to delve into McDermid’s work, click the button below to buy it on Amazon or read what other people think of it.
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