Friday, July 16, 2010

Fever of the Bone-Val McDermid

Fever of the Bone
Val McDermid
Harper, Sep 7 2010, $14.99
ISBN: 9780061986482

In Bradfield, England someone is using the social networking website RigMarole to meet teens in person before killing them; two victims so far. The hot case police make little progress with their investigation. However, Cold Case team leader DCI Carol Jordan and her unit find clues. She asks her new boss to allow her to use profiling expert Tony Hill, but James Burke says he is too expensive so they use an in house profiler.

Tony recently inherited the large estate of his late father, who had abandoned him as a baby. He travels to Worcester to sort through what he was bequest. The Worcester police department hires him to profile a murderer who killed a teenager. Carol cannot discuss her case with Tony, but soon they realize that in all probability the same predator murdered the teens in Bradfield and Worcester.

Although the police procedural elements are superb, the strength of the latest Hill-Jordan thriller is in the personal lives of the parents of the victims and the profiler. The parents struggle with their loss as they are good people coping with a tragedy that they thought they could prevent by warning their children not to socially in person meet strangers who seem friendly online. Tony tries to understand the father he has spent a lifetime hating and encouraged by his mother to do so; fans will hope he moves on to the next level with Carol. With a strong Internet social network whodunit and personal subplots, Fever of the Bone is a winner.

Harriet Klausner

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