The sixth installment of Val McDermid's Tony Hill/Carol Jordan police procedural series FEVER OF THE BONE is a very exciting and page-turning hunt for the serial killer of fourteen-year olds who've been tortured and sexually mutiliated in northern England. All the victims are enticed through emails on RIGmarole, a British social network. Tony Hill is a famous psychologist and criminal profiler. Carol Jordan is, at the time of this story, DCI of the Murder Squad at the Bradfield Metropolitan Police.
McDermid is no slouch to modern police investigative methods. The hunt for Bradfield's latest serial killer involves excessive internet search (by a member of Jordan's squad, Stacey, who's hand-wired to her computer), an excursion into the world of artificial insemination (whose data sources are harder to get into than a Swiss bank account), and a geographical profile gadget called the Landsat Enchanced Thematic Map Planner.
And quickly becoming an iconic trademark, the author introduces a few new and interesting characters into the story:
James Blake, the new Chief Constable of the Bradfield Metropolitan Police
Angela Forsythe, an svelte attorney, with a desirable Bradfield address - a converted 1920's cigarette factory
Derek Baron, an illegal egg collector, who searches for valuable red kite eggs
Alvin Ambrose, a young policeman with ambitions from the neighboring Worchester Police Department
Warren Daly, a cyber-know who's a software security expert and owns his own company
Tim Parker, the young and green profiler, chosen by Blake to assist the investigation..."cheap over good"
and, of course, the teen victims: Jennifer, Seth, Daniel and Niall
The author also more fully explores the personalities of her main protagonists. Tony Hill finds his father when he acquires his estate. The relationship between Hill and Jordan in solving crime has always been more successful than their great friendship. A British newspaper states that McDermid pushes our pleasure buttons with this duo. "Hill and Jordan's 'will they, won't they' is one of the most intriguing in the crime field..."
Faithful readers from THE SINGING MERMAIDS forward will discover some nice dialogue about this relationship! It's about time but it's still not enough!