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There is one serial killer who has shaped and defined police profiler Tony Hill’s life. One serial killer whose evil surpasses all others. One serial killer who has the power to chill him to the bone: Jacko Vance.

And now Jacko is back in Tony’s life. Even more twisted and cunning than ever before, he is focused on wreaking revenge on Tony – and DCI Carol Jordan – for the years he has spent in prison.

Tony doesn’t know when Jacko willl strike, or where. All he knows is that Jacko will cause him to feel more fear than he has ever known, and devastate his life in ways he cannot imagine…

An utterly gripping and chilling tour-de-force, The Retribution is the ideal introduction or reintroduction to the world of Tony Hill and Carol Jordan. It is an unforgettable read.


‘Delivered with gleeful grisly panache that makes it chillingly persuasive’ Siobhan Murphy, The Metro, September 2011

‘If it’s a chilling thriller you’re after then Val McDermid delivers it’ Good Housekeeping, September 2011

‘Good to see McDermid still at the top of her game after a quarter of a century of scaring the hell out of us’ Carla McKay, The Daily Mail, September 2011

‘Mcdermid handles the multiple viewpoints of this complex narrative with assurance. She flicks from crisis to crisis, contantly misdirecting her readers. She is brilliant at sensational set pieces.’ Andrew Taylor, The Guardian, September 2011

‘Val Mcdermid’s 25th novel is stunningly good, but it comes with a health warning. It is truly disturbing.’ Marcel Berlins, The Times, September 2011

‘I loved this book. Unashamedly and whole-heartedly. I loved reading it not because of any particular character, setting, or plot development, but because it breaks all the rules of narrative storytelling, and comes out grinning on the other side. McDermid seems to have made it her mission to avoid the standard literary techniques beloved by most fiction writers, and does so with style – and a pace that will leave you gasping for breath… The Retribution will hook you from the first chapter, leading up to a climax that even the best psychics would be hard-pressed to predict.’ – Samantha Cook,

‘The return of serial killer Jacko Vance drives McDermid’s superb seventh novel featuring Dr. Tony Hill and Det. Chief Insp. Carol Jordan of the Bradfield police… The emotional wedge that the sadistic Jacko is able to drive between Tony and Carol makes this one of McDermid’s strongest efforts.’ – Publishers Weekly, 21/11/2011

‘It’s no big deal for an author to return to a beloved sleuth—but what about a beloved serial killer? That’s the trick Val McDermid pulls off in THE RETRIBUTION when she revives Jacko Vance…Hill and Jordan are two very bright detectives, but you still want to toss them under the bus when Jacko, who is every bit as charming as he thinks he is, flashes his come-hither smile.’ Marilyn Stasio, New York Times, 08/01/12

‘One of Britain’s top crime writers, McDermid matches well described characters with action and suspense in her gripping stories….Another winner from a brilliant writer.’ Nancy Schiefer, Toronto Sun, 26.02.12

‘Challenging as well as entertaining, this novel will resonate long after that last page is turned. An excellent read from one of our best writers.’ Victoria Brownworth, Lambda, 23.01.13