Monday, 31 October 2016

The Retribution by Val McDermid (#7 Tony Hill & Carol Jordan)

Title: The Retribution
Series: Tony Hill & Carol Jordan (#7)
Author: Val McDermid
From: Amazon
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Release Date: 1st September 2011
Challenges: 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): There is one serial killer who has shaped and defined police profiler Tony Hill's life. One serial killer whose evil surpasses all others. One serial killer who has the power to chill him to the bone: Jacko Vance. And now Jacko is back in Tony's life. Even more twisted and cunning than ever before, he is focused on wreaking revenge on Tony - and DCI Carol Jordan - for the years he has spent in prison. Tony doesn't know when Jacko will strike, or where. All he knows is that Jacko will cause him to feel fear like he has never known before - and devastate his life in ways he cannot imagine...

While The Retribution, the 7th book in the Tony Hill & Carol Jordan series could theoretically be read as a standalone I would highly recommend reading the other books first, most notably book 2, Wire in the Blood, as that deals with the same criminal and the events that led up to The Retribution. This review is spoiler free for books 1 and 3-6 but contains spoilers for book 2 (it is impossible to write this review without them I'm afraid). 

My feelings on The Retribution are very very mixed. As a thriller it works fantastically, and I imagine if you hadn't read the previous 6 books then there would be very little mixed feelings, however I also kind of felt that it was a little unnecessary. Carol and Tony have suffered enough in past books, the events of this one just seemed a little cruel. 

As normal there are two main crime arcs, a string of murdered prostitutes in Bradfield (the resolution of which was a little "what?!?" but worked at the end of the day) and the revenge of the newly escaped Jacko Vance (who was imprisoned at the end of Wire in the Blood, which I'm guessing is set about a dozen years before this one). 

Now...Vance's storyline is where I have the kind of issue. I bought into his plot for revenge, and the way he took revenge worked well with his character and how he wanted payback. My issue was actually just why it had to happen at all. I was on a bit of a high with this series after Fever of the Bone, and now I feel a little more wary and like no one is safe. Though definitely not enough to put me off. 

I liked seeing Carol's more human side. Normally she's quite closed off to anyone but Tony, but in this book things happened that meant she just couldn't hold it in like normal and it definitely made her seem more human. Tony on the other hand...I get that he's different and doesn't think "normally" but actually he seemed to lack a little empathy.

The Retribution was good if I look at it away from the rest of the series, but it does have me slightly worried about multiple characters going forward it must be said.