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Publisher's Summary

The bodies of four men have been discovered in the town of Bradfield. Enlisted to investigate is criminal psychologist Tony Hill. Even for a seasoned professional, the series of mutilation sex murders is unlike anything he's encountered before. But profiling the psychopath is not beyond him. Hill's own past has made him the perfect man to comprehend the killer's motives. It's also made him the perfect victim. A game has begun for the hunter and the hunted. But as Hill confronts his own hidden demons, he must also come face-to-face with an evil so profound he may not have the courage - or the power - to stop it....
©1995 Val McDermid (P)1996 ISIS Publishing Ltd.
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Critic Reviews

"Complex...powerful...psychologically terrifying...impossible to put down." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Exciting, rapid-fire...a satisfying descent into the territory of a twisted mind." ( Booklist )
"Compelling and shocking…." (Minette Walters)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Nancy J on 04-08-13

The First of a Superior Series

I purchased The Mermaids Singing partially because of the reviews I read on Audible, but probably more because Val McDermid seemed to be the favorite mystery author of Mikael Blomqvist in The Millenium Trilogy (The Girl With .....). Now that I have read all of the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan books to date (a new one is due later this year), I felt it was time to write a review of the first book.

McDermid writes wonderful prose that makes her characters come alive -- all of them, not just the two major characters. I won't try to tell you about the plot, since many other reviews do that. But the development of the plot, along with the minutiae of each character's life and personality, make for excellent reading. McDermid creates a tight, incredibly tense story that keeps you reading, sometimes even when you don't want to.

If you are averse to graphic depictions of violence and perversion, you may want to skip this series. But if that's not a problem, I highly recommend these books. In Tony Hill, McDermid has created a flawed and damaged character who still manages to live in the world and work for the forces of good as a Profiler, expert at his work because of his scarred past. The relationship of Tony and Carol Jordan, police inspector, is so tentative and slow moving that you sometimes could scream, but you keep waiting for it to progress. The pair pursues serial killers in plots that will keep you on the edge of your seat with your jaw clenched.

It is important that you read the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan books in the order in which they were published, since these are not stand alone novels. The characters and their relationships and pasts are developed over the course of the series, and reading out of order makes it more difficult to follow some developments.

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44 of 46 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Barbara on 12-23-12

Not for the squeamish

Would you listen to The Mermaids Singing again? Why?

My brother-in-law recommended Val McDermid to me, so I downloaded this, the first in the Hill-Jordan series. I almost stopped reading it because of the graphic descriptions of gruesome and sadistic tortures. I did finish the book, though, and even bought another, in the hope that maybe the author would realize that she didn't need to make her murders so graphic in order to write a gripping thriller. Overall, I enjoyed the book, and am looking forward to seeing whether the author gets better.

What about Graham Roberts’s performance did you like?

Very skillful performance -- almost too much so. Hopefully without giving too much away,...the performance made it easy to guess at the identity of the villain.

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22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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