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Publisher's Summary

Hailed as the UK's Queen of Crime, Val McDermid is the award-winning, internationally best-selling author of more than 30 novels and one of the best crime writers working today. With Still Life, McDermid returns to her propulsive series featuring cold-case Detective Karen Pirie, who finds herself investigating the shadowy world of forgery, where things are never what they seem.  

When a lobster fisherman on an early morning run pulls in his traps, he finds something he wasn't expecting to catch - a body. When police discover the dead man was the brother of a senior Scottish government official who vanished without a trace, Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie takes over the investigation.  

At the same time, a woman in the wealthy enclave of Perth is clearing out her sister's home after a fatal road accident and finds a mysterious camper van in the garage containing a skeletonized body. But who is it? And how long has it been there? The two cases will draw DCI Pirie into the world of imposters, identity theft, and art forgery. Meanwhile, the man responsible for the death of the love of Karen's life is being released from prison, just as Karen was getting back on her feet.  

Intensely gripping from the first moment, Still Life is further proof that McDermid is writing at the top of her game. Longtime fans and new listeners alike will find it hard to pause this tightly plotted thriller.

©2020 Val McDermid (P)2020 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Still Life

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Karen Pirie Is Busy With 2 Cases

This book has Karen solving two cold cases which end up totally different than you might expect. There are lots of threads that meander through the book. Each chapter continues one story about a skeleton found in a garage. The other story is about the murder of the brother of a high level government employee who disappeared ten years earlier. There is no connection between the two cases but Karen is involved as lead detective in both. Karen is still grieving over the death of her partner, Phil, and is tracking the release of the man responsible for his death. She can’t seem to get over it. Like most of Val McDermid’s books, there is considerable description of the characters and what they like to eat. Karen has quite a group of people she can contact to get information about her cases. Sometimes it seems that she is her own police force. These are very good books. Best to read in order so you know the back stories. I listened in Audible. The narrator, Cathleen McCarron, is terrific.

3 people found this helpful

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5

An easy 5, this author still fascinates me after after listening to
several of her books. It starts low key, ho hum, then I get sucked in to the unfolding depths of character while gradually hearing the arcitecture
of a well plotted mystery. Val is simply a wonderful writer.

1 person found this helpful

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Wrong Narrator

I usually enjoy Val McDermid's stories, but the narrator on this one sounded silly to me, like someone trying to imitate an over the top Scots accent. There were odd cadences and odd words emphasized. It just did not seem to fit the story at all. I found it very distracting and will not be finishing the book.

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A real humdinger

this is the meaty and substantial Val mcdermid and a real pleasure to listen to. Thanks for the great work. Sometimes her endings fall flat and while I liked the way this one ended, I wished there would have been a confrontation between the main villain and Karen.

1 person found this helpful

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Twice as long as necessary.

Halfway through the book it was obvious what happened when Ian disappeared although it took another ten or fifteen chapters for the detectives to get a clue. The secondary mystery with the skeleton in the garage took slightly longer to come to full clarity but there wasn’t enough that was unique in determining the details of each crime to make the last half of the book that interesting.

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Too confusing

Too many unconnected characters —- I will probably read again for more clarity… Loved the writing of course as well as the narration but for my 75 yr old brain, it was really hard to follow..

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Karen Pirie Is Back

I am a fan of Val McDermid in general, and Karen Pirie in particular. She is written as a woman I would want to know. Both cases in this book were really interesting and I hope we will see more of new addition Amy in future books.