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Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid (Review #2)

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

Fever of the Bone by Val McDermidThere’s a seriously twisted serial killer stalking his teen victims through an interpersonal meeting and blogging site, Rigmarole. He uses doubled initials as his alias, like ZZ, KK, and JJ, and threatens to reveal some dark secret about each of his victims, one that only he knows, and which would be devastating if the world knew about it. But, as Dr. Tony Hill and Detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan discover in Val McDermid’s sixth installment in her series featuring the duo, the murderer is not a pedophile out for kicks. He has other reasons, cold and twisted ones, despite his denial to the contrary:

Not that you take any pleasure in the killing itself. That would be twisted. And you’re not twisted. There’s a reason for what you’re doing. This is about healing your life. This is about you needing to do this so you can feel better.

Dr. Hill is a loner with a damaged past, raised by an uncaring, hostile mother, and seemingly abandoned by his rich father. His upbringing is the perfect recipe for becoming a serial killer, and he shares some of their traits–but he’s turned his talents at criminal profiling to tracking down serial killers, instead of potential victims. Carol, the ambitious and dedicated leader of the Bradfield Metropolitan Police’s Major Incident Team, rents Hill’s basement flat. There’s definite chemistry between the two, but Hill is afraid of commitment and he has told Carol of his problem with impotence. Still, the two are close, and Carol has used Dr. Hill’s considerable skills several times in the past to help catch murderers and to close cold cases.
Besides trying to catch a killer before he strikes again, the two are struggling with their own emotional baggage and psychological scars. Carol is becoming a little too reliant on using alcohol as a crutch to deal with the pressures of her job and the insecurities in her life. Tony’s childhood was a mess, as I’ve previously alluded to, and he’s hit with the news that his father’s passed away, leaving him a substantial sum of money and a mansion which he intends to sell. He’s become a wealthy man overnight, which should be enough to make most people happy; but, Carol’s new boss, Chief Constable James Blake, thinks Hill’s only gotten the job helping Carol solve cases because they’re banging boots with each other. Blake wants Carol’s Cold Case task force disbanded, and for policemen trained in forensic psychology to take over the brunt of the cases. The irony is that Hill is one of the main psychologists who has been training the very policemen whom Blake wants to use to replace him with. Read the rest of this entry »

Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid

Reviewed by Patricia Reid

Fever of the Bone by Val McDermidWhen teenager Jennifer Maidment is murdered and mutilated, Tony Hill, criminal profiler is called to Worcester to help with the case. It is revealed that Jennifer and her friends are fans of the social network Rigmarole. Jennifer left her friend to meet with someone she had connected with on Rigmarole and was not seen again alive. The person Jennifer went to meet is known as ZZ. Jennifer is the first teenager to disappear but she will not be the last.

Meanwhile back in Bradfield, Detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan is still heading up the Major Incident Unit but has been put on notice by the new Chief Constable that her team is on a three month trial and at the end of the three months, there might be major changes in the unit. The Chief Constable also informs Jordan that Tony Hill is too expensive and if a profiler is necessary, she needs to request one from the newly trained profiling unit.

A teen-aged boy is reported missing in Jordan’s district. The boy’s body is found and he has been victimized in the same manner of Jennifer Maidment. The boy also has a connection to Rigmarole and has a special friend on the network who goes by just initials. Tony and Carol are both investigating along the same lines but unable to share information with each other. Read the rest of this entry »