The Mermaids Singing : Tony Hill & Carol Jordan

  • by Val McDermid
  • Narrated by Graham Roberts
  • Series: Tony Hill & Carol Jordan
  • 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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....


What the Critics Say

"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

I'm too squeamish

Other reviewers said this, but I didn't listen, so I add my 2 cents:

This seems to be above average crime fiction, but I deleted it after hour 2 because of the graphic violence. Smart cozies are my preference for distraction reading -- I can stretch to Ian Rankin or even Stuart Neville for good storytelling -- but I can't handle this novel in audio.

I think it is because McDermid is such a good writer more than the content itself - there is something particularly chilling about the dispassionate way she portrays the killer's mind. And the novel (as far as I got) is not so formulaic that you can have your finger on the speed control. Roberts' narration adds extra chill to killer's inner dialogue. The novel is erased from my iPhone, but sticks in my mind. If you can handle that kind of realism in a crime fiction, this is probably excellent. I need a good dose of Charlotte MacLeod or Ruth Dudley Edwards as an antidote. I may need to visit Rabbi Small or Father Brown.
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- connie "Narrative makes the world go round."

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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- Nancy J "Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-29-2012
  • Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC