The Retribution by Val McDermid

In this, the seventh book in Val McDermid’s Tony Hill/ Carol Jordan series, there are two serial killers on the loose at the same time.

Carol Jordan’s team is being disbanded and they want to go out on a high note. When a series of murdered prostitutes are found, the murder method is different in each case, but all the victims have had the word ‘Mine’ tattooed on their wrist post-mortem. This is just the sort of case that the team likes to solve.

Meanwhile the psychopathic rapist and murderer of teenage girls, Jacko Vance, who Tony and Carol jailed 10 years earlier (see “Wire in the Blood’) has escaped from prison. Vance is intent on retribution against those who put him away and destroyed his life.

Vance’s first step on the outside is the murder of Carol Jordan’s brother. Carol’s devastation at the loss of her brother and her fury with Tony at not foreseeing that this would happen make her virtually incapable of working either case.

Tony applies his mind to trying, unsuccessfully to predict Vance’s next move. He’s already lost the most important thing in his life – Carol’s friendship.

Meanwhile one of Carol’s team asks Tony for his unofficial help on the prostitute murder case. As the deaths mount up, Tony’s esoteric mind dredges up an obscure memory that may lead to the murderer.

And Vance cleverly continues his attacks on Carol, Tony and Vance’s ex-wife. Tony knows that he needs to outthink Vance in order to catch him.


This is the first Val McDermid book that I’ve read although I have seen and enjoyed the ‘Wire in the Blood’ TV Series that is based on her books. Now I’m keen to go back and read the first six books in this series. This novel was absolutely riveting and I hope that Val McDermid plans to continue the series.


Book Published 2011



See a full list of books by Val McDermid

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