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McDermid, Val - 'Trick of the Dark'
Paperback: 544 pages (Feb. 2011) Publisher: Sphere ISBN: 0751543225

Charlotte (Charlie) Flint, forensic psychiatrist is in turmoil, firstly she is currently suspended awaiting a hearing by the GMC which will decide whether she can be reinstated, and secondly because she is in love, normally a happy situation, but when you have a partner of seven years, whom you still love, not so good.

She receives through the post a bundle of photocopied sheets that refer to a murder at the Old Bailey, and against her better judgement, becomes interested in the case of a 28-year-old woman, Magda Newsam, whose husband was murdered on their wedding night, by his two business partners.

The main point of views of the story are related by Charlie Flint and Jay Stewart, the connection between these two characters being that both were undergraduates at St Scholastika's College, Oxford and that Corinna Newsam, mother of Magda Newsam, was their tutor.

As Jay Stewart, a successful business-woman currently writing her second memoir following the amazing success of the first, is now in a romantic relationship with Magna Newsam, Corinna suspects that the Jay may have had something to do with her son-in-law's murder, and so she asks Charlie to look into the death.

Whilst the mystery is intriguing, and brilliantly plotted, for me the strength of the book lies in the relationships of the characters. And while in some respects they bare their souls, the reader is aware that much is held back, or in some cases could memory be faulty, or do we remember things as we want to remember them not how they were, and in many instances we suppress the truth even to ourselves. Different from much of her earlier work this is Val McDermid at her best.

Read another review of TRICK OF THE DARK.

Lizzie Hayes, England
February 2011

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 22/01/2012 10:20