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Fever of the Bone


Meet Tony Hill’s most twisted adversary – a killer with a shopping list of victims, a killer unmoved by youth and innocence, a killer driven by the most perverted desires…

When teenager Jennifer Maidment’s murdered and mutilated body is discovered, it is clear that there is a dangerous psychopath on the loose. But it’s not long before Tony and DCI Carol Jordan realise it’s just the start of the brutal and ruthless campaign targeting an apparently unconnected group of young people. Their chameleon-like killer is chatting with them online, pretending to share their interests and beliefs – and then luring them to their deaths.

But just when Tony should be at the heart of the hunt, he’s pushed to the margins by Carol’s cost-cutting boss and replaced by a dangerously inexperienced profiler. Struggling with the newly awakened ghosts of his own past and desperate for distraction in his work, Tony battles to find the answers that will give him personal and professional satisfaction in his most nerve-shattering investigation yet.  



“It takes great skill to handle so many narrative strands with clarity without sacrificing the suspense – but McDermid does so with apparent ease”   Mark Sanderson, Evening Standard

 “McDermid is especially good at serving up a mix of hi-tech and old-fashioned coppering, as well as showing how proximity to extreme brutality can take its toll on even the toughest police officer.”  Laura Wilson, The Guardian

“Fever Of The Bone is everything a great detective novel should be: pacey, gripping, clever and stylish and, most of all, a fantastic read.” Angela McGee, Sunday Express

“Another cracker in the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series from the most imaginative creator of serial killers we have.” Carla McKayThe Daily Mail

“McDermid remains unrivalled at yoking chilling scenarios to a pulsing narrative; and Hill’s torment is palpable in this scary, dark thriller. Horrible and brilliant.”

Peter Guttridge, The Observer

“In a book that takes in social networking and teenage angst, it would be easy for the average author to slip up on technicality or tone, but McDermid treads the technological – and teen – paths with ease.” Rebecca Armstrong, The Independent

“Val McDermid’s latest offering is an excellent book… This has to be her finest offering to date. Which, considering her previous novels, is no mean feat! Fever of the Bone reinforces her standing as the mistress of the psychological crime thriller.”

 “Classic McDermid at her Blood Chilling Best” Paul Blezard, The Lady

 “It is written with multi award-winning Val McDermid’s usual professionalism, dependability, style and apparent effortlessness.”   Maxine Clark,

“The reader is drawn into a tightly-woven plot which keeps you guessing from the get-go. If you’re already a fan of McDermid, then this is a must-read. If you are new to her work, it is a fine introduction. Highly recommended.”   Sandra Mangan, Coventry Telegraph


“A moving novel.”      N.J. Cooper, Financial Times

“Fast-paced and psychologically compelling.” Women & Home


“Throughout, McDermid effortlessly finesses the accelerating tension as authoritatively as she as she characterises her large cast. McDermid is a first rate writer as Fever of The Bone resoundingly reminds us.”  Barry Forshaw, The Express

“McDermid’s books are getting better and better…this is less a gruessable puzzle than an absorbing novel of character. Highly recommended.”   Jessica Mann, Literary Review

“Those who are new to McDermid won’t believe they left it so long. Fever of the Bone is gripping, well written, nail biting stuff, with a sure sense of human frailty and foibles.”  Cathy Rentzenbrink, Waterstones Quarterly

 “Another page-turner from the mistress of crime”  Jane Gzyzselska, Diva

“McDermid’s seemingly effortless and complex plotting is a clever mixture of high-tech and conventional police detection…Unrivalled in creating complex characters and taking them “into uncharted waters”, McDermid creates evocative, contemporary and disturbing settings” Jan Lee, Oxford Times

The Internet as a means of targeting and tormenting victims forms the backdrop of McDermid’s twentyfourth mystery. First published in the UK in 2009, this thriller features RigMarole (the British equivalent of Facebook) as an effective social networking site for serial killers. Criminal profiler and clinical psychologist Tony Hill and Detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan join forces once again (this is the fifth in the Tony Hill series) when a young teenage girl is found brutally murdered. This wasn’t a teen likely become a victim in the usual way, from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This was a girl whose only excitement came from RigMarole.  Another teen death follows, the victim another RigMarole user, pointing Hill and Jordan to a serial killer who knows how to seduce and disappear. McDermid is both a fiendish plot strategist and a highly skilled writer, deftly delivering shocks, sometimes with no more than an out-of-place word.— Connie Fletcher, Booklist

 “The increasingly complex and indefinable relationship between Tony and Carol provides a strong emotional undercurrent. McDermid demonstrates once again that she’s as adept with matters of the heart as she is with murder.” PW

 “Fever of the Bone is the best Val McDermid novel I’ve read to date” Patricia Reid, and

“Ms McDermid manages to find just the right turn of the phrase to perfectly capture a mood, or an emotion, often bringing a smile or a nod in the process.” Gloria Feit, Mystery Women, July 2010

And so it is with Val McDermid’s Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series, of which “Fever of the Bone” is the sixth book. (Readers unfamiliar with the series might know the BBC’s “Wire in the Blood,” which is based on these novels.)”.Michelle Wiener, Associated Press, Sept 2010

 “One of the things that makes Val McDermid one of the best mystery writers on the planet—in the company of greats like Ruth Rendell and P.D. James—is how seamlessly she weaves current issues into her novels. McDermid has written more than 20 mysteries—all meaty, multi-layered 500-page books that like those of her fellow Brits (McDermid is Scottish, but lives in England), Rendell and James meld the formulaic mystery with the serious literary novel… McDermid’s mysteries never disappoint. Fever of the Bone is incredibly gruesome; McDermid doesn’t shy away from the true horror of murder and the passion and perversity that often lead to it. This is a satisfying mystery as well as a well-written and deeply moving and thought-provoking literary novel—one of McDermid’s best.” VictoriaBrownworth, Lambda Lliterary, Dec 2010

“Lesbian author Val McDermid’s Fever of the Bone was her 23rd novel and it did just as well as her previous 22. It became one of the top mystery novels of the year, putting her next to Patricia Cornwell as a dominator in the genre.”

 McDermid has been criticised for her unblinking treatment of the depths of human psychopathology. These indictments may be levelled at her for Fever of the Bone, but it is a sine qua non of her writing that — however gruesome her subject matter (here, genital mutilation) — she addresses such material with total rigour. The serial killer scenario today is perhaps in need of a moratorium, but McDermid is a writer who still shakes every possibility out of it like loose nails.” The Times, Feb 2010