newgen books for YA readers books of the month
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Trick of the Dark by Val McDermid

Good Housekeeping's view...

Shortlisted for the Galaxy Crime & Thriller of the Year Award 2011.

Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 4 November 2010.

October 2010 Good Housekeeping selection.

Fans of a good thriller will enjoy Trick Of The Dark by crime writer Val McDermid, in which a shamed psychiatrist find herself drawn into a murder case that has taken place at her old Oxford college.

If you like Val McDermid you might also like to read books by Mark Billingham, Jane Casey and Stuart MacBride.

What is Good Housekeeping

Win Books from the Manon Bradshaw Thriller Series!

Persons Unknown, the second book in Susie Steiner's crime thriller series, is now out in paperback and to mark the publication we are giving away paperback copies of both Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown to THREE lucky winners!

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 30 April 2018. The winners will be notified by 14 May 2018,

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 30/04/2018


Trick of the Dark by Val McDermid

'Death is a hollow drum whose beat has measured out my adult life.' So writes Jay Macallan Stewart in her latest volume of memoirs. But nobody has ever asked whether that has been by accident or design. Nobody, that is, until Jay turns her sights on newly-wed and freshly-widowed Magda Newsam. For Magda's mother Corinna is an Oxford don who knows enough of Jay's history to be very afraid indeed. Determined to protect her daughter, Corinna turns to clinical psychologist Charlie Flint. But it's not the best time for Charlie. Her career is in ruins. Pilloried by the press, under investigation by her peers, she's barred from the profiling work she loves. What Corinna's asking may be her last chance at redemption. But as Charlie digs into the past and its trail of bodies she starts to realise the price of truth may be more than she wants to pay.


Thoughtful, tender and always entertaining * Guardian * A broad, winding murder mystery * Sunday Telegraph * An accomplished thriller, jumping from the past to the present and back with ease, taking in a range of characters and their perspectives...Trick of the Dark had me ruminating for days * Sunday Tribune * Layered with emotional and psychological complexity, this outstanding page-turner has television success written all over it * Scottish Daily Record * Keeps you guessing till the last page * Bella * This standalone from the Scottish force of nature, and creator of Robson Green's Wire In The Blood TV series, is a brutally clever story * Daily Mirror * A workout for the grey cells, perfectly executed * Daily Telegraph * Wonderfully compelling stuff * Daily Mail *

About the Author

Val McDermid

Val McDermid is a No. 1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies. She has won many aw ards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and w as the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for 2010. In 2011 she received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award. She writes full time and divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh.

In 2016 Val was awarded the Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award. McDermid said: “It's an honour and a thrill to receive this award. The community of writers and readers at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is unlike any other in its warmth and generosity and so this means a huge amount to me. This year sees the publication of my 30th novel and I can't think of a better way to celebrate that.”

In 2010 she received the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award, which honours outstanding achievement in the field of crime writing. Margaret Murphy, then chair of the CWA, said: "The CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger award acknowledges the work of an author who has made an outstanding contribution to the genre. Val McDermid is a worthy winner whose work has entertained and thrilled millions of readers as well as many more who have enjoyed the TV adaptations her books have inspired."

Author photo © Charlie Hopkinson

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

17th February 2011


Val McDermid

More books by Val McDermid
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Website

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...
Loading twitter updates...


Little, Brown an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group


544 pages


Thriller / Suspense
Crime / Mystery
eBook Favourites

Crime & mystery



Lovereading is pitched at just the right level for all the various types of people who enjoy reading in its many forms.

Pam Woodburn

I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William

I read new, exciting writers and established authors before publication and there is a great website full of brilliant books and opinions.


My horizons have been broadened by some of the books I have been lucky to review and I expect it to be no different in the future.

Daran Bellingham

Their sending me my first book to review 18 months ago re-awakened my fondness for reading, since then I have purchased some real gems.

Barry Griffiths

As for why I'd recommend Lovereading, it's simple - it's a great place to get information and reviews about new books!

Margaret Freeman

Ever purchased a book, read a few pages & thought I'm not going to enjoy this? Honest book reviews mean you'll never have that problem again

Jill Peters

I recommend Lovereading because you get honest reviews on a whole range of genres-there's something for everyone. It's the only site I need.

Sian Spinney