The Skeleton Road : Karen Pirie

  • by Val McDermid
  • Narrated by Davina Porter
  • Series: Karen Pirie
  • 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

International best-selling crime writer Val McDermid is one of the most dependable professionals in the mystery and thriller business, whose acutely suspenseful, seamlessly plotted novels have riveted millions of readers worldwide. In her latest, The Skeleton Road, she delivers a gripping standalone novel about a cold case that links to the Balkan Wars of the 1990s.
In the center of historic Edinburgh, builders are preparing to convert a disused Victorian Gothic building into luxury flats. They are understandably surprised to find skeletal remains hidden in a high pinnacle that hasn't been touched by maintenance for years. But who do the bones belong to, and how did they get there? Could the eccentric British pastime of free climbing the outside of buildings play a role? Enter cold case detective Karen Pirie, who gets to work trying to establish the corpse's identity. And when it turns out the bones may be from as far away as the former Yugoslavia, Karen will need to dig deeper than she ever imagined into the tragic history of the Balkans: to war crimes and their consequences, and ultimately to the notion of what justice is and who serves it. The Skeleton Road is an edge-of-your-seat, unforgettable read from one of our finest crime writers.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Slivers of Yugoslavia

What did you love best about The Skeleton Road?

The background subject was unique.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Skeleton Road?

Several, but spoilers

Did Davina Porter do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Fair enough. I usually enjoy the speech patterns from "across the pond" but this was a little thick for me.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

Too much analysis may punch gaps in the logic, but I enjoyed the story. I found the background of Yugoslavia fresh. Val McD always gives a good ride.

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- Music Makes the Difference

Didn't Change My Mind

I quit reading McDermid's Hill/Jordan series after the 2nd book in the series, because I thought there was simply too much gratuitous violence and gore that added nothing to the story, often actually interrupting the flow of the plot, and because the relationship between the two principals seemed forced and unnatural to me. They didn't seem like people that would ever connect on any level - professional or personal. And in a series, if I can't buy into the main characters, it is hard to keep me interested.

But despite the excessive gore and violence and the fact that I didn't like the main characters, I still recognized McDermid's talent. Her attention to detail is amazing. There are no slip ups in character or location detail. And sometimes her prose is quite lyrical. I just think that when she gets stuck in her plot and isn't sure how to move forward, she inserts unnecessary gore and violence.

So I decided to try this book, which is not part of the series. With Davina Porter narrating I figured that even if this book became mired down in violence and gore, her melodious and soothing narration would negate the impact.

And actually, McDermid didn't go too overboard on the violence detail. Plus, I found the discussion about the Balkan wars and Britian's role in mediating the peace and assuring justice very interesting. Unfortunately that is about all I found interesting. This is one of those stories that would have worked well if an editor had cut about a third out of it. It just moved too slow to keep my interest. And I found none of the characters interesting or sympathetic. Everyone either seemed crooked or weak. Porter's narration added nothing to the book, which may be a first, in my opinion.

If you are a McDermid fan I am sure you will appreciate this book. After reading it though I have unequivocally determined that I am not a McDermid fan.

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- Lulu "I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-02-2014
  • Publisher: Recorded Books