Friday, 23 April 2010

My Dad Reviews...Blue Genes - Val McDermid

The usual reminder first of all of my Dad's tastes:

DISLIKES: romance, books that have too much swearing in (I guess that's my Dad not going to read my next book either, then - I thought it was just my Mum I had to keep away from it). Also doesn't like horror, and books with vampires, pterodactyls and the living dead in them. Also, something called an ungoliant. No, I have no idea either - I think my Dad has been at the sherry.

: thrillers, spy novels, war stories and books with elves in (the elves can swear their little heads off as far as he's concerned). Oh, and maps. He bloody loves maps. If you ever meet him, for goodness' sake don't ask him for directions. Not even to the bathroom.

PREFERS: Philip Marlowe to Miss Marple, Inspector Morse to Homicide.

BLUE GENES - Val McDermid
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: March 1999
First Lines: '
The day Richard's death announcement appeared in The Manchester Evening Chronicle I knew I could not postpone clearing the mess any longer.' *

The story involves Kate Brannigan, a female private investigator. Set mainly in Manchester, with side trips to Leeds, it tells of three investigations. Two con artists are ripping off Joe public in a memorial scam, Kate's boyfriend - who is an agent for a rock group - gets her to look into a problem his band is having, and her best friend Alexis who is a lesbian is worried that a murdered doctor has set her and her partner up as blackmail targets.

Kate's investigations into all three cases uncover a web of intrigue and deception second to none. The characterisations in all cases are believable, the plots are realistic and what could be expected in any city or town, and are believable. There are a few medical references, but not too involved.

I enjoyed the story and how the characters developed as I read further, there was not a dislikeable one in the main thread, however the two side threads contained people of very questionable morals. All told, a very readable book. I shall look for other books by Val McDermid especially those which feature Kate Brannigan.

A note to my Dad: Can I also suggest that you check out her standalones - I think you'll really like those (especially A DARKER DOMAIN, A PLACE OF EXECUTION and THE DISTANT ECHO.

* By the way, when I asked my Dad what the first lines were, this was his response: 'The first lines are---" The day Richard's death announcement appeared in The Manchester Evening Chronicle I knew I could not postpone clearing the mess any longer". Get the book if you want to read any further.' Cheers Dad (stroppy git :o) )

And now, I am off to the Isle of Man for the weekend for this. So have a lovely weekend, and feel sorry for me as I vomit nervously before the event. Oh, sometimes I wish I was articulate and scintillating.


  1. Can't you at least vomit confidently? You'll be fine.

  2. I had a look in the racks here, and managed to find two more by Val McDermid. The mermaids singing and The distant echo, both which I shall read when I have finished the current book about the SAS.

  3. You are articulate and...that other thing you said. BEEELIEVE it.

  4. Have fun at the Isle of Man, I'm sure you'll be great. And now I'm off to Amazon to find your novel...

  5. Bookwitch - I have no idea whether it's confident, but I think I may get a chance for a lot of practice today!

    Dad - good - you can review them for me!

    Michael - thank you, but you've only met me for 10 seconds. I can do a quite scintillating "Hello! Lovely to meet you." After that, I'm stuck :o)

    Heath - thank you so much. I hope you enjoy it.

  6. Donna - Please stop by my blog. Something awaits you there : ).

  7. Margot - how lovely of you! Thank you very much.