"An absolutely cracking police procedural from the hands of the Queen of Crime, set in Edinburgh during April 2020 and the first Covid-19 lockdown."
I warmly welcomed the return of the cold case team in the seventh Karen Pirie thriller. Karen, Daisy, and Jason begin to work on an unsolved disappearance after a manuscript with chilling similarity to the case turns up in a dead author’s possessions. Val McDermid turns her hand to the tricky book within a book, in fact a manuscript and notes within a book, and does so beautifully. I imagine it was hugely entertaining for her to write about her own craft and the crime writing community, and I smiled and smirked as certain aspects and authors turned up. Crime fiction fans (in particular those who enjoy the festivals) will delight in recognising certain aspects and perhaps behaviours.
It must have been incredibly difficult to return to the beginning of covid, which ensured the tone was serious and on occasion grim. The writing around covid is full of empathy, care and consideration. Covid means a more contained novel in terms of characters, which in turn means a more in-depth behind the scenes look at the team. The plot itself doesn’t feel contained though, in fact multiple layers build and shift and while I was allowed to step ahead in some areas, I found myself bustling to keep up in others. For the way in which covid is written about, as well as the crime-writing community, I just had to hand out a LoveReading Star Book award. Past Lying is smart as heck, and throughly entertaining while remaining observant of the horrors of Covid-19 and the first lockdown.
|Crime and Mystery