Book Review: Broken Ground by Val McDermid- Cold case crimes, charisma and controversy. What more could you want.

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Val McDermid's Karen Pirie novels are fast becoming my favourite series of hers.  The cold case element is intriguing and the reader is secure in the knowledge that Val has done her research. I love to pick up the little techie details that help to solve the crime and am constantly in awe of the progress made in forensic anthropology.



So, in Broken Bones we are transported to the highlands of Scotland during WW2 where elite training camps were set up for reconnaissance and sabotage purposes. To find out more about these elite training camps click here . What I loved about Broken Bones was the two concurrent  narratives - the one exploring Pirie's ongoing investigation and the one detailing the the series of events that lead to a body being discovered, buried, beside two vintage motorbikes. She paints a very realistic picture of the highlandsboth historically and contemporary. 
Her plotting is flawless - never too much detail, never too little, but always with little tantlising titbits that eventually  elicit an 'aw, so that's what happened.'

One of the things I enjoy most about this series though is Karen Pirie herself. Her personal journey has been challenging, poignant and sometimes downright brutal. In Broken Ground she has evolved yet again and is in a different place. It is this relatability that keeps me hooked. Karen isn't just a great detective - we already knew that - her capacity to renew herself and open herself personally has been a delight to read.
Can't wait for the next  Pirie novel. 

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