Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

The Distant Echo by Val McDermid – Karen Pirie Series #1

Sometimes, authors aren’t always clear about whether their novels are part of a series or even what the order of books should be. This was the case with Val McDermid. At first, I had borrowed one of her books, only to discover that it was part of a series and  required me to have read the first book. So I went hunting to find the first novel. It took me quite a long time to find it and then I had to wait in order to read it! Finally, I got my hands on a copy and was able to finish it for this review:

In 1978, four male students are coming back to their residence from a party when they discover the body of Rosie Duff, half-buried in the snow. They rush to try and save her and contact the police in an effort to get her help. However, the tables soon turn against them as they go from being witnesses to suspects. Since all the police have is circumstantial evidence, they are forced to let the boys go free – but the boys find that life as they knew it has changed forever. 25 years later, the police begin to open cold-case files in an attempt to use new genetic technology to solve old crimes and the boys – now men – find themselves caught up in the mystery again, especially as someone is targeting and killing them one by one.

This novel was well worth the struggle I had to go through in order to get it. The plight of the quartet induced a great deal of sympathy from me and I found myself connecting with each one of them. I also really enjoyed the depictions of Scotland, which I know absolutely nothing about; it is refreshing to read a story that takes place somewhere new and different (aka not North America)! The novel itself kept me guessing throughout about the truth behind it all. I managed to figure out who the perpetrator of the crime was before the ending (which is an accomplishment for me, as it rarely ever happens) and I liked the way the story closed off. Although this novel is part of the Karen Pirie series, there was not a ton of action from the character of Karen Pirie. Either way, this was a great start to a series and I am expecting the next book to be even greater!

Happy reading ~

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