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Out of Bounds by Val McDermid

Out of Bounds (2016)

by Val McDermid

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consistent, enjoyable series. admittedly, i am mostly taken by the scottish settings. but i enjoy mcdermid's characters and the mysteries she creates, even if they aren't total brain twisters. ( )
  Booktrovert | Oct 8, 2017 |
Val McDermid is an excellent writer, but at times her murders have been seen as excessively violent, and despite her vow not to write only lesbian thrillers, heterosexuals are in alarmingly short supply in some of her books.

Neither too gory or ‘too gay’, Out of Bounds shows Val at her best: a teenage thief is in a coma, and DNA analysis shows he is the son of a murderer from a 20-year-old cold case. Simple, yes? No, the boy was adopted, and Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie of Scotland’s Historic Cases Unit is battling to find his real father.

She is also investigating a suicide she is convinced is a murder, with the answer in an explosion from 1994 – allegedly a terrorist bomb. Karen is not convinced, and soon realises the killer is still out there, and she may be his next target… ( )
  adpaton | Aug 10, 2017 |
Val McDermid never fails to amaze me with her seemingly endless capacity to write well-plotted, page-turning stories, with characters who are convincing and whose main characters, however flawed, always strive to deliver justice. Having read the previous three books in this series I was delighted to yet again spend time in the company of DCI Karen Pirie and her side-kick in the Historic Cases Unit, DC Jason "the Mint" Murray. I love the way in which the author develops her characters over a series of books and I particularly liked the fact that she is allowing Jason, not the brightest of characters, to slowly show a different side of himself in this latest story he showed he has potential!
Not only are all the trademark twists and turns of McDermid's stories, as well as her credible integration of police procedural aspects of investigations evident in this book, but she managed to
introduce current social and political issues (refugees and immigration legislation) in a way which felt integral to the story in so far as these are situations which face police officers in today's society.She always manages to introduce notes of humour and lightness in even the most disturbing of her novels - in this one I particularly enjoyed being introduced to the vast selection of gins available in the UK!
I hope it won't be too long before the next investigation for Karen Pirie! ( )
1 vote linda.a. | Apr 24, 2017 |
Val McDermid is simply one of the best crime writers around. I have loved every book she's written. She has a number of series. Out of Bounds is the fourth novel featuring Inspector Karen Pirie. But you could absolutely read this as a stand alone.

Pirie is working cold cases. When a DNA sample from an accident victim turns up a match with a twenty two year old unsolved murder, Karen hopes for a quick solve to an old case. But it's not as straight forward as she hoped. And being Karen, she can't help but follow a case that interests her. Even when it's not hers. A terrorist bombing, also from twenty plus years ago is one she can't let go.

Karen is a wonderfully flawed character, struggling to overcome her own tragedies and doubts, while still maintaining a professional demeanor. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But you can't help but be in her corner. She's fierce and driven to find answers. The mental and verbal sparring between her and her superior is such fun to read. Her partner Jason is not as quick, but they make a good team. And it's impossible not to like him.

Where McDermid's books shine are in the plotting. Complex and not easily sussed out. I enjoy following the police work needed to unravel the answers, discovering the connections along with the characters. McDermid adds a nice (and timely) piece of social commentary with Karen befriending some Syrian refugees.

Absolutely recommended. (As are the previous twenty nine books she's written!) ( )
1 vote Twink | Mar 25, 2017 |
DCI Karen Pirie is the head (and 50%) of Police Scotland's Historic Crimes Unit: the cold case squad. She gets a lead on a decades-old case thanks to a DNA sample from a very recent incident, and at the same time becomes interested in finding out the truth behind a terrorist bombing of a plane. The plane bombing was assumed to be the work of the IRA, but nobody took credit for it at the time, which seemed odd.

This was a properly twisty novel, with short-but-not-too-short chapters to propel the story forward. McDermid also made careful but effective use of different page layouts to illustrate key news articles and online sources that Pirie consulted in the course of her work. I also enjoyed seeing Edinburgh from a slightly different perspective to Ian Rankin's -- when the book mentioned St. Leonard's and Fettes, I half-expected Rebus to make an appearance.

For those who prefer to read series in order, this is the fourth Karen Pirie book. I haven't been reading the series in order but didn't feel I was missing out, even with the backstory. Granted, I may have been spoilered for the major event that Pirie is dealing with as part of her personal storyline in this book, but I enjoyed the main storyline enough that it didn't matter. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Mar 12, 2017 |
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This is my 30th novel. And it's for the indestructible, indefatigable, implacable Jane Gregory who has been my agent and my friend from the very beginning. Respected, feared and beloved in the literary world, she has fought my corner, had my back and through it all, her laughter has rocked my world.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 140870692X, Paperback)

When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to a twisted unsolved murder from twenty-two years before. Meanwhile, Karen Pirie finds herself irresistibly drawn into another mystery that she has no business investigating; a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems...

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 28 Aug 2016 17:22:58 -0400)

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