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The Retribution [Kindle Edition]

Val McDermid
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Val McDermid is a world-class crime writer whose books have sold millions worldwide. Now joining the Atlantic Monthly Press list for the first time, she is back with a chilling, high-velocity thriller featuring her immensely popular creations, clinical psychologist Dr. Tony Hill and detective Carol Jordan.

Tony Hill has had a good run. He and detective Carol Jordan have put away scores of dangerous criminals at a rate that colleagues envy. But there is one serial killer who has shaped and defined their careers, and whose evil surpasses all others: Jacko Vance, ex-celebrity and sociopath whose brilliance and utter lack of remorse have never left Tony’s mind in the ten years since his imprisonment. Now Jacko has escaped from prison—even more twisted and cunning than before, he is focused on wreaking revenge on Tony and Carol for his years spent in prison.

Tony and Carol don’t know when Jacko will strike, or where. All they know is that Jacko will cause them to feel fear like they’ve never known. A chilling, utterly gripping tour de force, The Retribution is the ideal introduction or re-introduction to the world of Tony Hill and Carol Jordan. It is an unforgettable read.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Retribution

“Val McDermid’s 25th novel is stunningly good, but it comes with a health warning. Not in the sense of too many detailed descriptions of violence or post mortem examinations, but in what she does in entering the mind of a wholly evil, exceptionally inventive serial killer of teenage girls. . . . Vance is a character in the exaggerated mould of the likes of Hannibal Lector and Lisbeth Salander, and his tussle with Hill and Jordan achieves grotesque, frightening proportions.”—The Times (UK)

“A gripping and well-written crime thriller. If you've been following McDermid's Hill/Jordon series, this new addition won't disappoint you. And if, like me, you're new to Val McDermid's work, The Retribution is a good introduction.”—Paul Davis, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“The novel’s deft prose, sprinkled with psychological insight and sparks of wit, makes it hard to turn away.”—Shelf-Awareness (online)

“[McDermid’s] writing…remains taut and unflinching. . . . As in all her novels, McDermid creates a brooding tension that allows readers to get close to characters whose lives are about to be ripped apart.”—Danuta Kean, The Independent (UK)

“Superb. . . . The emotional wedge that the sadistic Jacko is able to drive between Tony and Carol makes this one of McDermid’s strongest efforts.”—Publishers Weekly

“Val McDermid . . . has done more to establish the British variant of the serial killer than anyone else—so successfully, indeed, that everyone else’s serial killers seem pale imitations . . . . McDermid handles the multiple viewpoints of this complex narrative with assurance. She flicks from crisis to crisis, constantly misdirecting her readers. She is brilliant at sensational set-pieces . . . and Hill and Jordan have a psychological depth that's rare in crime fiction. . . . She also has the ruthless psychological scalpel that forms part of the equipment of all good novelists, whatever their genre. And, fortunately for us, she knows just how to use it.”—Andrew Taylor, The Guardian (UK)

“The villain in the seventh thriller in the Tony Hill series . . . is like a slowly growing tsunami that finally spends its fury on the inhabitants of the shore. . . . As usual, McDermid shifts point-of-view deftly, moving from Jacko’s plans for escape and then retribution to Hill’s and Carol’s thoughts on how to outwit and outrun him. . . . For those who like script-like prose with shock after shock . . . McDermid is perfect.”—Connie Fletcher, Booklist

“It’s perhaps fitting that for McDermid’s 25th novel she’s revisited her most thrillingly murderous creation, Jacko Vance. . . . Put away by McDermid’s crime-cracking dream team—psychological profiler Dr. Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan—Vance never stopped plotting his escape. Finally, and brilliantly, in The Retribution he achieves his aim, then sets about exacting revenge on Hill and Jordan.”—Henry Sutton, The Daily Mirror (UK) (four-star review)

“McDermid is such a central figure in British crime fiction that it is hard to imagine a time when she was not.”—David Robinson, The Scotsman (UK)

“British author Val McDermid’s psychological thrillers are richly layered with palpable suspense and intense emotion. . . . In the strongly plotted The Retribution, McDermid returns to the partnership of crime profiler Tony Hill and detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan. . . . The Retribution moves at a brisk pace as McDermid keeps the taut plot frighteningly believable.”—Oline H. Cogdill, South Florida Sun Sentinel

“McDermid has made the transition from enfant terrible to grande dame.”—Nicholas Wroe, The Guardian (UK)

About the Author

Award-winning crime writer Val McDermid is a top 10 bestseller, translated into more than 30 languages, with over two million copies sold in the UK and over 10 million worldwide. She has written 24 bestselling novels. The Retribution, due to be published in September 2011, will be her 25th. In 2011, Val was the recipient of the Pioneer Award at the 23rd Annual Lambda Literary Awards. In 2010, she was awarded the prestigious CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger. This followed her induction into the Hall of Fame at the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards in 2009, the same year in which she was elected to an Honorary Fellowship at St Hilda's College, Oxford. She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. In 2007, she won The Stonewall Writer of the Year Award. The popular ITV series Wire in the Blood based on McDermid's books and starring Robson Green as Tony Hill ran for an impressive six series. A 3-part ITV drama of Val's A Place of Execution was broadcast in the autumn of 2007 to great critical acclaim and won the 2010 Edgar Award for Best Screenplay.

Product Details

  • File Size: 553 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (January 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006T9I0SU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,960 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Usual Excellent Writing, But Now What??? March 4, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Val McDermid is an outstanding writer. She has the awards, bestsellers and devoted readers to prove it. I'm one of the latter and looked forward to another chapter in the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan saga. Other reviewers have done a good job of describing the plot -- Jordan's team spends its final weeks together trying to capture one serial killer, while trying to prevent an escaped villain from claiming another victim as he plots to avenge himself on those who got him convicted. It's hard to describe why I found the novel deflating. The plot is masterful and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. The familiar characters are there, fully drawn and explored in continued depth. There is a very real sense of impending loss that is magnified by the scheduled dismantling of Jordan's crack team, but painful as that was as a reader, it's not what troubled me about the novel. The ending didn't ring true to me. I simply didn't believe the characters would come to that conclusion. I didn't believe they would do or think what was described. I don't want to ruin the conclusion for other readers, but McDermid's characters always ring true, so whether you like their behavior or not, you believe it. The characters are so fully and deeply drawn that you invest in them emotionally. You sympathize with their struggles and quietly hope they can find their way. It was jarring to not believe, in the end, what some of the characters did -- characters you thought you knew, for better or worse. It will be interesting to see what happens next in the series, but it will be more difficult to fully engage again with characters one can no longer entirely trust. I read all of McDermid novels. She's too good a writer to miss any of her work. At it's conclusion, this one doesn't achieve the gold standard she has set in others.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing June 23, 2013
Format:Hardcover
The show was much better than the book series. McDermid thinks she has to write about nonverbal communication endlessly, for one. Her earlier books in the series mention "throwing down the gauntlet" frequently. Even now, the characters often grin instead of talk.

Then this one ... my word. Does McDermid want to show off how brutal her plots can be? It seems that she wants to kill characters for no reason whatsoever, not to mention having other characters experience unendurable pain. The character of Carol Jordan has lost all my sympathy. She's an alcoholic who refuses to admit she has a problem; she blames her closest friend for the fact that her life has fallen apart; she's a sad, soppy, mess. I can't find anything to relate to in this Carol. Tony is absolutely devoted to her still, which begs the question: Why? Why on earth would he want to have this horrible, toxic woman in his life?

As for the Jacko plot, I agree wholeheartedly with another reviewer who pointed out that he could not possibly have wreaked all that havoc. He would have had to enlist the help of a small army to get so much revenge in such a short time - and he didn't. One man could not have caused so much destruction, especially with the entire country on the lookout for him.

McDermid writes a nice lesbian relationship, but I think she's incapable of writing a heterosexual relationship that doesn't involve immense pain, game-playing, and enormous personal issues. She needs to either (to be crude) take a dump or get off the pot, as far as Tony and Carol are concerned. This "Tee-hee, I'm going to bring them together, then break them apart" approach is tiresome.

The TV series, with Robson Green bringing Tony Hill to vivid life, is fascinating, and written much better than the books. I've read fanfics that are written better. Ms. McDermid, please try thinking outside this narrow box you've created.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A friend recommended Val McDermid's books to me several years ago, and I've enjoyed some of her stand-alone thrillers as well as the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series. "The Retribution" is the seventh installment in this series, featuring the mismatched pair of Hill and Jordan. Tony Hill is the bumbling, asperger-esque yet extremely intelligent psychology professor befriended by capable, no-nonsense police inspector Carol Jordan. Jordan uses Hill's understanding of criminal psychology and the human psyche to profile criminals and help direct her investigations. Hill and Jordan have solved many bizarre and gory cases in the past, and "The Retribution" refers back to Jacko Vance, the psychopath that Hill and Jordan captured in "The Wire in the Blood." As the book begins, Vance is in prison and after years of careful planning and preparation, he manages to break out of his prison by switching places with another prisoner who is about to begin a work-release program. Vance plans to leave Britain but in best sociopath fashion first wants to exact revenge on the people who put him away.

The suspense and tension in "The Retribution" thus comes from the certainty that Vance is out there and at some point, in some unknown way, will come after Carol Jordan and Tony Hill. A second plot line concerns the multiple murders of prostitutes, probably at the hands of another serial killer. Jordan is asked to investigate, the last case her task force will handle before the team is broken up and scattered to different offices due to budget cuts.

It would be a shame to give away any of the twisting plot developments, but suffice it to say that the book was gripping, combining the suspense of both the search for Vance and the investigation of the serial killings.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good
Published 2 days ago by James lakin
5.0 out of 5 stars I hadn't read any Tony Hill books for a while ...
I hadn't read any Tony Hill books for a while and was totally engrossed in the story,...so much so that I downloaded the next
book and am enjoying the next instalment.
Published 5 days ago by Jane Gilbert
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good
Published 21 days ago by h k.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another good Tony Hill book. I hope she keeps the series going for a long time.
Published 24 days ago by Agnes F. Beadle
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Edge of the seat read to the very last page.
Published 1 month ago by Janet Mace
5.0 out of 5 stars enjoy!
have you tried books by Val McDermid yet? well what are you waiting for. mysteries in a very dark place. enjoy!
Published 1 month ago by bearwolfmoose in Bozeman Montana
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It!
These books with Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan, are the basis for a BBC tv series, Wire in the Blood, which is available on Netflix. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Andrea A.
3.0 out of 5 stars book read
my husband read this book and liked it ok. I did not read it so I have no opinion period
Published 2 months ago by rosalie m. johnston
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Lead IN
I just finished Cross and Burn. This novel and Retribution are as tied together as the millennium trilogy does with its books. Read more
Published 4 months ago by porthos
4.0 out of 5 stars Characters are fully deveoped, believably flawed, and engaging
This was my first reading of a novel by this author, and she is now on my short list of writers I'd like to continue following.
Published 4 months ago by Rider
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