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Glimpse into the dark; The Retribution Val Mcdermid (Little, Brown, pounds 18.99).

Byline: Linda MacFadyen

LOCK your doors and windows. Jacko Vance is back with a vengeance.

Appearing first in 1997 in Val McDermid's critically acclaimed Wire in the Blood, Jacko has had over 12 years to plan the retribution he believes is due to those who put him behind bars.

DCI Carol Jordan and clinical psychologist Tony Hill are at the top of Jacko's revenge list. Although they were convinced Jacko had murdered 17 teenage girls and a police officer, the courts only convicted him on one charge of murder.

The outwardly charming ex-TV personality's fortune could never be traced and using this and his ability to convince people of his innocence, Jacko escapes.

One of the most twisted serial killers in recent crime fiction, Jacko Vance leaves bloody destruction in his wake, not just in terms of bodies, but in the fissures he causes to appear in the complex relationship between Jordan and Hill.

McDermid explores the dark recesses of the mind, not only those of her criminals but also her protagonists. In this, their seventh outing (and McDermid's 25th novel) Jordan and Hill are showing the signs that come with a working environment most of us would run screaming from.

Caught up in the desperate hunt for Jacko, Jordan is forced to leave her Bradfield team of detectives and they want to pull out all the stops for her.

McDermid's reputation as a grande dame of the psychological thriller is justified. She writes with the confidence of one at ease with her characters, always happy to take them to the brink and leave you wondering if they will survive.

The Retribution will be launched at the Lit & Phil, Newcastle, at 7pm on October 21. Tel. 0191 232 0192 or visit Linda MacFadyen
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 8, 2011
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