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Still Life Reviews

Still Life by Val McDermid

Still Life

Val McDermid

4.00 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Little, Brown
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publication date: 20 Aug 2020
ISBN: 9781408712283

The breathtaking new DCI Karen Pirie thriller from number one bestseller and queen of crime, Val McDermid. When a body is pulled from the sea, Karen must reopen a case from a decade before, drawing her into a sinister world of betrayal and dark secrets.

4 stars out of 5
4 Feb 2021

"an elegant and richly satisfying read"

On a bleak February day, Billy Watson, the skipper of the fishing boat Bonnie Pearl, makes an unwelcome catch — the body of a drowned man...

With its engaging characters and intriguingly twisty plot, ranging from Perth to Paris, Val McDermid’s latest thriller is an elegant and richly satisfying read.


4 stars out of 5
23 Aug 2020

"some of McDermid’s best work"

Still Life (Little, Brown £20) is the latest novel in Val McDermid’s series featuring DCI Karen Pirie, who runs a cold case unit in Edinburgh. When a body is pulled from the sea, it turns out that the dead man was the chief suspect in the disappearance of his brother, a high-ranking Scottish civil servant, a decade ago. Set in a Scotland divided by the issue of independence, and with murmurs that a viral pandemic is on its way, it’s a reminder that the Pirie novels are developing into some of McDermid’s best work.

4 stars out of 5
Allan Massie
14 Aug 2020

"We read crime fiction for enjoyment, comfort and reassurance. McDermid provides all this"

McDermid in contrast weaves her plots spendidly. Here she manages to keep one’s interest in both investigations. She juggles them beautifully, and you don’t find yourself wishing she would leave one case and get back to the other. She is also expert at modulating the pace of her narrative. She knows that in a long novel there is a need for quiet patches when the tension is relaxed and her readers, like her characters, can pause to re-charge their batteries. She is good on meals (always important) and on place.