2016, Book review

Out of Bounds (Inspector Karen Pirie #4) by Val McDermid *Review*


Description –

‘There were a lot of things that ran in families, but murder wasn’t one of them . . .’

When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car, a routine DNA test could be the key to unlocking the mystery of a twenty-year-old murder inquiry. Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie is an expert at solving the unsolvable. With each cold case closed, justice is served. So, finding the answer should be straightforward, but it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself.

Meanwhile, Karen finds herself irresistibly drawn to another case, one that she has no business investigating. And as she pieces together decades-old evidence, Karen discovers the most dangerous kind of secrets. Secrets that someone is willing to kill for . . .

My thoughts – Confession time………. this is the first Val McDermid book I have read. I know, I know, where have I been, but in all fairness I do have six McDermid books sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read and I will definitely be making time to read them now.

Out Of Bounds is the fourth book in the series but it can be read as a standalone. I normally like to read books in order and I didn’t realise this was part of a series, but it didn’t spoil the enjoyment of the book what so ever. There is enough background history mentioned so I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.

Set in Edinburgh DCI Karen Pirie works on the Historic Crimes Unit, when a Land rover crashes which is driven by teenagers a DNA sample reveals a connection to a cold case murder twenty years ago.  What should be a simple case, isn’t and Karen also finds herself investigating a different mystery, one that isn’t her case but also has leads in the past. Sounds complicated? It really isn’t and McDermid has done a fabulous job of bringing everything together.

I felt I instantly connected with DCI Karen Pirie. She was a very believable character, kind and caring yet strong and very focussed. Having gone through a loss there’s a vulnerable side to her which made her feel even more real. Jason Murray, Karen’s colleague in HCU was a great character too, he’s still learning and Karen has to guide him along the way and it was nice to see him progress though out the book.

This isn’t a fast paced book but it draws you in and keeps you reading. I often found myself along with Karen thinking I’d solved the case and boom, McDermid chucks in another twist or turn and I found I was wrong, again.

This being my first Val McDermid book, I have to say I am blown away by her writing and plotline. I will be giving myself a good slap for not reading any of these books before now. I highly recommend this book and can’t wait to catch up with McDermids  others, only 29 to go.

*Many thanks go to Grove Atlantic and Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest and voluntary review*

2 thoughts on “Out of Bounds (Inspector Karen Pirie #4) by Val McDermid *Review*”

  1. Yaaaay! So glad you liked this one, been a huge fan of Val McDermid for years and it’s always so nice when someone new to her books loves them too 🙂


  2. Totally agree with your review and I was in the same boat when I read this in Dec. I’d been meaning to get to one of her books and just hadn’t until this one. I really liked it and was very happy I could jump right in and it read like a standalone. Karen was such a great character to get to know

    Liked by 1 person

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