BOOKS

Review: Broken Ground by Val McDermid

Sarah Cohen reviews Broken Ground by Val McDermid
After having my eyes glued to the pages of Val McDermid’s latest novel, Broken Ground, I am amazed I have made it through so many years without having read one of McDermid’s books.
Furthermore, how has this novel not become an award-winning movie?
Set in Scotland, this multi-layered criminal mystery takes the reader through the search for buried treasure that ultimately leads to the unearthing of a body left behind from a crime committed years before.
The investigation at hand traces back to World War 2, as the main character, Karen Pirie, uncovers the cold case methodically, with intelligence and sound investigative practice.
Broken Ground shows that McDermid is not only a master of her craft but that she is able to seamlessly knit multiple plots together and successfully hold the reader’s intrigue and attention throughout.
While there is the crime involving the buried body, there are sub-plots including a rape case and a murder, all of which keep Pirie on her toes as head of the Historic Cases Unit.
Even though this is book five of a series featuring Pirie, I found it was easy to follow without having read any of the prior books, and it takes no time to realise she is a great character.
In the throes of the investigation, the reader also experiences Karen’s personal life, such as dealing with a new boss, as well as a potential love interest.
There is plenty to keep the reader turning the pages.
McDermid has written more than 30 novels and I certainly cannot wait to track them all down.
If they are half as well-written and gripping as Broken Ground I’ll be in for a treat. Broken Ground by Val McDermid is published by Little, Brown..

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