The Skeleton Road

When a skeleton is discovered hidden at the top of a crumbling, gothic building in Edinburgh, Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie is faced with the unenviable task of identifying the bones. As Karen’s investigation gathers momentum, she is drawn deeper into a world of intrigue and betrayal, spanning the dark days of the Balkan Wars.

Karen’s search for answers brings her to a small village in Croatia, a place scarred by fear, where people have endured unspeakable acts of violence. Meanwhile, someone is taking the law into their own hands in the name of justice and revenge — but when present resentment collides with secrets of the past, the truth is more shocking than anyone could have imagined . . .

Atmospheric, spine-chilling and brimming with intrigue and suspense, this is Val McDermid’s richest and most

 

Reviews:

“The thriller queen is back with the eerie tale of detective Karen Pirie.” – Marie Claire, Must Reads

“Val McDermid hit the big time some years ago but if she hadn’t, this book would have done the trick. The book is gripping, thought-provoking and original – a tour de force.” – Jessica Mann, Literary Review

“A tense, intelligent and unusual thriller.” – Sunday Mirror Book Club

“The globe-trotting narrative is handled with rigour but the real coup of the book is the new detective Karen Pirie, who joins McDermid’s well-stocked gallery of distinctive characters.” – Daily Express

“An ingenious thriller with dark roots in the Balkan wars.” – The Independent

 “The Skeleton Road is McDermid back to doing what she does best: dispensing utterly riveting crime fiction” – Daily Express

“Atmospheric and chillingly disturbing” – Irish Independent

“Once again McDermid delivers a faultless performance” – The Times

“When Val McDermid is on form she is one of the best current crime writers, and I’m pleased to say that she’s on form in this one.” – FictionFan Blog

“This book has so much to offer. This narrative cleverly reveals that anyone is capable of brutality or revenge. This is a powerful read.” – Reading, Writing and Riesling

“The plot is nearly as complex as the historical Balkans’ enmities, but McDermid makes it accessible by shifting focus among the brilliantly sketched primary characters. The Skeleton Road is beautifully written, deeply intelligent, carefully researched, and thoroughly compelling.” — Thomas Gaughan, Booklist

“Author Val McDermid melds the political thriller with the police procedural for an intense novel that gives equal attention to each genre. McDermid pulls together a complicated tale of war and its aftermath for a plot that feels both intensely personal and global. “The Skeleton Road” moves at a brisk pace, giving attention to each of its myriad characters as the action moves from Scotland to England to Croatia.” – Associated Wire Press

“A tragedy embedded in a love story is vividly relived in the setting of the brutal Balkan wars in this gripping and expertly plotted thriller. Val McDermid a veteran crime writer, demonstrates just how good she is” – Washington Times

“Set in modern day Scotland with flashbacks to Croatia in the 1990s, it reads almost as a lesson in European history. A gripping read that explores themes of loss and revenge.” – Sunday Express

“In this moving crime novel, a skeleton with a bullet gike in its skull is discovered in a derelict Edinburgh building. DCI Karen Pirie’ investigation takes her from spires of Oxford to Croatia where war crimes from the Balkans conflict resonate. But is this a crime of politics or passions?” – Townswoman

“McDermid does a fine job recreating the brutal Balkan years.” – Publishers Weekly

Online Reviews

“When Val McDermid is on form she is one of the best current crime writers, and I’m pleased to say that she’s on form in this one.” – FictionFan Blog

“This book has so much to offer. This narrative cleverly reveals that anyone is capable of brutality or revenge. This is a powerful read.” – Reading, Writing and Riesling

“This novel is an excellent read, full of tension and intrigue and made all the more chilling by the real-life horrors of war underlying the fiction.” – indaily.com

“’The Skeleton Road’ does an excellent job of wrangling with these big ideas inside a tightly paced mystery with wonderful depictions of place, characters we come to care about and an ending that contains at least one unhappy surprise.” – Latimes.com

“I love strong women characters and more than once gasped aloud at shocking events in this story. She persuaded me to explore more of this genre of novel.” – maturetimes.co.uk

“A standalone psychological thriller in which seemingly unconnected threads are expertly drawn together. Throw in a death in Crete, an Oxford professor nad war crimes investigators and you some idea of the broad scope of this book.” – Sunday Post