Insidious Intent by Val McDermid

2018 Limelight Reviews
Mystery and Crime

It’s been a long wait for Insidious Intent, Val McDermid’s 10th installment in the enthralling Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series. McDermid’s last novel Splinter the Silence was published in 2015 and left readers with a cliff hanger: the future of Carol after her near miss with a DUI charge.

As always, the story commences with an unsuspecting victim.  Kathryn is preparing to attend a wedding as a guest, solo but with hopes of meeting ‘someone special’. Before long, there are two female victims, both having attended a wedding, both having met their ‘someone special’, who may have killed them. Two victims means a serial killer on the loose, bringing in DCI Jordan and her new Regional crimes unit to investigate and solve before there’s another murder.

The pleasure of a Val McDermid novel is that the reader follows along with the thought pattern of the killer, whilst watching and waiting for Jordan’s team to catch up. There are always near misses, mistakes in policing made, and it sometimes takes forever for Dr Tony Hill to piece together a profile. The suspense is what makes this series so special and such compulsive reading. Jordan’s team hasn’t always been the same; previous novels shifted with team makeup, with some leaving the team voluntarily and one even being exposed as the clever killer.  This new team was tried and tested in Splinter the Silence, so it’s probably best to read that novel first before entering the world of Insidious Intent.

The final chapter is particularly harsh and the author’s afterword asks readers not to give away spoilers to other readers.  Suffice to say, for me the ending was like a train wreck coming.  Loathsome, but given Dr Hill’s complex character, undeniable.

Find Insidious Intent by Val McDermid in the SMSA Library Catalogue


Review by Belinda Coombs
Member of the SMSA Mystery & Crime Reading Group