The Skeleton Road

The Skeleton Road

Book - 2014
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"In the center of historic Edinburgh, builders are preparing to convert a disused Victorian Gothic building into luxury flats. They are understandably surprised to find skeletal remains hidden in a high pinnacle that hasn't been touched by maintenance for years. But who do the bones belong to, and how did they get there? Could the eccentric British pastime of free climbing the outside of buildings play a role? Enter cold case detective Karen Pirie, who gets to work trying to establish the corpse's identity. And when it turns out that the bones may be from as far away as former Yugoslavia, Karen will need to dig deeper than she ever imagined into the tragic history of the Balkans: to war crimes and their consequences, and ultimately to the notion of what justice is and who serves it"-- from publisher's web site.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, [2014]
New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, [2014]
ISBN: 9780802123091
0802123090
Branch Call Number: M MCDERMID 2014
Characteristics: 406 pages ; 24 cm

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rebmartin31
Jun 01, 2016

I wish I knew more about the history of the Balkan conflicts...that really would have enriched my experience reading this novel, but I enjoy reading Val McDermid so I guess that's really a secondary point. I am not a great reader of crime/mysery fiction, but I like Val McDermid because with her, you always get good solid characters, and a logical process of investigation and resolution. This may not have been her best, or most stand-out book, but I am happy with it. Satisfying and well-executed.

h
htliang
Feb 04, 2016

This was one of the most depressing novels I have ever read! There were numerous times I almost gave up on it. One of the reasons I kept reading was to find out more about the history of the conflicts in the Balkans (of which I was sadly ignorant). To be honest, I would have been better off reading a non-fiction book to find out that information. I thought this novel portrays only the worst of humankind. Depressing, depressing, and depressing.

The actual murder investigation was entirely predictable. I knew with certainty who the murderer was very early in the story. I only needed to find out the "why". I will acknowledge that Val McDermid writes well technically - perhaps one day I will try another of her stories to give them a second chance.

p
pitkerro
Mar 02, 2015

Not your typical McDermid offering which may disappoint some. Writing more low key and character-driven. Good to see a favourite author evolving. Definitely not same old. Interesting..........

n
nannerl
Feb 24, 2015

I didn't enjoy this nearly as much as I've enjoyed her novels about Tony Hill the psychologist. This had an interesting plot, but for me it wasn't a real page-turner.

j
jazpur
Jan 25, 2015

The Skeleton Road is an impressive read. I learned a great deal along the way with all the ins and outs between detecting,spooks, diplomacy and academia from Scotland to Eastern Europe via Oxford and back.Fascinating.

c
csut2
Dec 16, 2014

May want to review A darker domain-first Pirie novel by McDermid

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Gentowl
May 17, 2016

McDermid seems to reserve her best writing for the Tony Hill series of detective profiling books. She's capable of intricate sentences that control the pace of reading, and deeply felt, thrilling plots.

Not so with her other series and one-off books (although a few are excellent).

Skeleton Road could be described as a lazy effort. There is little plot here, and lots and lots of ponderous exposition through unconvincing dialog. The reader is told what to think. There is little narration, character development, or situations that support the themes.

The historic Serbo-Croatian conflict is given short shrift here, treated as a shallow background that's almost unnecessary since the killer could have done it out of jealousy. Too bad because I suspect something deeper could have been written if McDermid had made more of an effort.

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