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Mermaids Singing Audio Cassette

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0001052489
  • ISBN-13: 978-0001052482
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 10.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 118 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,159,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AnonCan on Feb. 3 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Saw this on TV years ago and, while I couldn't get the images of Robson Green and Hermione Norris our of my head when I read it, the book surpasses the television portrayal. As it should. Nuanced and shocking in equal measure, Val McDermid leads the reader through the dark passages of a deranged killer's mind while making uneasy parallels with the workings of Tony Hill's damaged psyche.

A thinking person's thriller, going beyond the sensational aspects of the unfolding events to lay out the rationale behind the irrational nature of the acts.

Believable. Unsavoury and frightening, but believable.
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Format: Paperback
A few years ago I saw a few of the television shows based on the characters this novel introduces. I enjoyed the show and wanted to see more of them recently deciding to see if the shows were available on dvd. Reading the dvd details and reviews I discovered, like most good mystery shows, there were novels that came first. So I just picked up the first novel, and quickly read it.
(One caveat, I may be one of the few who watch or read mysteries who isn't trying to think ahead and figure out 'who the killer is' before the main characters do, I like the slow reveal and building of suspense at the author's or directer's pace.)
This is the first of four (so far) novels with main characters Dr Tony Hill and Detective Inspector Carol Jordan.
I enjoyed the first half to two thirds of the book immensely. Being introduced to the characters, including the villian (the book opens with notes from the killer), and reading how Dr Tony Hill, sets himself, does his research, and gets himself into the mind of the killer, even talking it out. That's well done.
On the police side of the story, none of the police officers are carboardy, each a distinct individual, and Carol Jordan is a female officer with ambitions and intellegence,and is a woman (not a male copper in drag). And there is the angle of some in the British police force not willing to accept a profiler, believing straight police work catches the criminals.
And a good balance is struck between different points of view making sense of the evidence, and possibly identifying the villian.
When the story moves into the last act it lost me a little, more because I had enjoyed the flow of the first two acts so much. The last act is the killer acting against his next chosen, the police moving in the right or wrong direction, and Dr Tony Hill in the middle of it... and the clock ticking... no answers til its time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Janelle Dennison on June 7 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
liked the title, bought the book, IAm glad i did. The characters are interesting and premise is good.. Maybe a little too much emphasis put on the whole masculine impotentancy issue....started to feel like Tony Hill was an old friend and I wanted to scream " get over it ".
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By Max on Oct. 28 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A slow start. But the end, although cliche, is satisfying. Nothing earth-shattering here, but certainly worth the read. I give it 3/5 stars.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 100 reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely first class July 3 2002
By RachelWalker - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As serial killer novels go, this one is first class. Certainly one of the best i have ever read, almost as good as "The Silence of the Lambs" and her very own "Killing the Shadows". In a genre in which originality is a rare commodity, this book really shines. IN many instances it does contain every aspect we would expect from a serial killer novel, but Val McDermid builds on that, giving us, as Thomas Harris did so many years ago now, an excellent all round novel, rather than just a piece of genre fiction.
The two lead characters are probably the best duo you will come across in all thriller-dom. The ... tension between the two just smoulders the pages beneath your eyes, and the rigid professionalism and determination of both adds a hard edge and hint of stubbornness to their relationship. They are both very human and very likeable. The reader warms to both Carol and Tony instantly. They are well drawn, characterised, and are immensely real.
The killer is chilling, and the murders come close to Mo Hayder's "Birdman" in terms of gruesomeness. The descriptons of the dead bodies, and how those bodies met their deaths, has great capability to turn stomachs.
The writing is packed with detail and grittiness. It is also enfused with quite a well evoked sense of place. High class prose, styled as only a master can, manipulates the reader, preparing them for a stuning final twist to the story, which has you kicking yourself whilst stunned at the same time. And the showdown between hunter and hunted is a brilliant climax to the entire book.
So, if you like good serial killer thrillers, this is definitely one of the best you could choose to read.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
THE absolute best serial murder book I've read in years! Dec 24 2000
By AnnaKarenina - Published on
Format: Paperback
A fantastically well-written, gritty drama that grabs you right in - I was scared by the end of the prologue!
All serial killer books compare themselves to Silence of the Lambs. I've read dozens of supposedly good ones since by all the major crime authors, and this is the first and only book that's been just as clever, creepy and well-characterized.
I just read Messiah, a similar blend of medieval torture with modern realism, and this is much better. It's not a gentle murder mystery by any means, but the gore and rough language fit right in with the story instead of being gratuitous, like they are in most murder books.
I'd only read one Val McDermid book before, one of the Kate Brannigan ones, which I didn't like at all, and got this book just to make up my library quota. It's hard to believe it's the same author - this is honestly one of the best crime books I've read.
It looks like this book is not available in the US, so it's probably not getting the readership it deserves. If you've been wanting a book as good as the early Thomas Harris ones, then this one's worth back-ordering - I can't recommend it highly enough.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Profiling In Its Infancy Jan. 23 2001
By Tim Smith - Published on
Format: Paperback
Another winner from Val McDermid! Building slowly but relentlessly, profiler Tony Hill uses psychological maxims now accepted but at the time of the story were innovative and a novelty in the forensic pursuit of a serial killer. This story is different from other serial killer novels. It traces the profiler and his own psychological problems as well as the killer and their thought processes prior to and after each murder.
While the police are split in their acceptance of profiling, some problems remain the same and never seem to change, especially intrusion from the media. Mistakes in the media occur and they are deadly.
In the final confrontation, Hill is forced to use all his training, skills and insights. He begins to realize the perp may be hunting the profiler. The way McDermid has inserted life into the usually predictable tales of death has once again made my skin crawl. Even as I write this and remember, the hair on the back of my neck stands up and I need to turn around to assure myself no one is there. Read "The Mermaids Singing". You won't be disappointed.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant, but gruesome, macabre, scary and unputdownable June 24 2005
By binnsie - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a brilliant piece of crime fiction that earned its 5 stars from the first chapter through to the last.

In a fictitious northern England town 4 young men have been found murdered with their bodies showing evidence of the most gruesome torture before death. All the broken bodies have been meticulously washed spotlessly clean of any obvious forensic evidence such as blood, skin, hair, fibres or the like which could provide a link to the killer. The police force is split between old-fashioned coppers with their traditional crime solving methods and the forward thinking university educated detectives who know that modern tools and techniques are what are required. The decision to bring in criminal psychologist Tony Hill to come up with a profile of the killer is thus a divisive one. The old-time detective leading the manhunt will not admit that there may be a serial killer on his patch, preferring to let the public think it is merely a wave or unrelated murders. The early conclusion by Tony Hill that it is certainly the work of a serial killer further alienates him from the chief investigator.

Author Val McDermid allows us to read the diary of the psychopath as an introduction to each chapter, keeping up a parallel story in the same time frame. We see how each victim is selected and stalked in the lead up to his capture. We also see how the killer selects the torture instrument of choice and designs, builds and tests it. McDermid cleverly researches these mediaeval instruments.

Hill's main support from within the crime squad is Detective Inspector Carol Jordan who campaigned successfully for the services of a criminal psychologist. A tenuous relationship gradually builds up between Carol and Tony, which despite their best efforts strays just beyond the professional. This relationship provides an element of relief and romance from the otherwise black storyline.

The whole story is beautifully written and each character comes to life with his or her foibles, weaknesses and strengths. The plot is well conceived, well developed and the tension allowed to build to breaking point as the climax is reached.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Just okay. Feb. 13 2011
By J. Lesley - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Maybe the best thing I realized when reading this book is that I like my mystery and police procedural novels to be much more sanitized than this one was. Because of specific mind sets within the police department in the town of Bradfield in northern England, it takes a long time for the connection to be made between three young men being murdered and a serial killer. Assistant Chief Constable John Brandon is in Manchester listening to the rationalization presented by Dr. Tony Hill for how he can help law enforcement in his role as a criminal profiler. The Home Office is setting up a network of forensic psychologists to help police solve crimes involving serial offenders. Just as the conference breaks up Brandon receives word that the fourth young, gay man has been found dead after being horribly tortured. Hill, Brandon and Detective Inspector Carol Jordan assemble a team to begin to understand this murderer and stop the killings.

The novel is written so that the chapters alternate between the point of view of the killer and the official investigation. That would have been interesting except the author went into extensive detail regarding how each of the men was tortured. Ultimately these became much too graphic for me, hence my learning that I need more sanitized descriptions of death. The other characters were interesting, but somehow none of them managed to interest me enough to actually begin to care for them. The novel was written in 1995, and has not held up very well. I enjoy reading novels published years ago, but this one just felt very dated and completely overcome by the advances made in computer and forensic technology. There is the aspect of a struggle between opposing sides within the police force for how the investigation should be handled and the press figures very prominently in the story with policemen providing information to the newspapers which affect the cases.

With a mixture of horrible descriptions of torture, almost constant anti-gay derogatory statements and name calling, a plot twist at the ending which came as no surprise, and not really forming any kind of connection with the principal characters involved I'm afraid this book was just okay. One other difficulty I had was that the author never convinced me that the murdered men were actually gay. That factor needed to be much stronger and crystal clear because it was purported to be the reason behind the killings. This book certainly did not make me want to rush out and buy something else in this series or, as a matter of fact, any novels written by this author. Sadly, not every book you pick up is going to be a favorite and not every author is going to light that spark within you which makes you eager to read more of their work. This was just such a book for me.