Out of Bounds
By Val McDermid
Little, Brown

Out of Bounds is Val McDermid’s 30th novel, a reason to celebrate one of crime fiction’s most consistent authors. Still best known for her series starring Tony Hill and Carol Jordan that inspired the television adaptation Wire in the Blood, she has branched out into non-fiction, children’s books and several alternative long-runners, including Out of Bounds’ heroine, Inspector Karen Pirie. The head of Scotland’s historic crime unit, Pirie is handed the sort of case that makes for compelling crime fiction. A teenage boy is arrested after joyriding drunk in Dundee. So far, so routine. Pirie is consulted when the boy’s DNA matches that of the perpetrator of an unsolved rape and murder in Glasgow two decades before. The smart twist is that the boy is adopted. Pirie, who is in mourning for her dead partner, Phil, is in desperate need of distraction and is only too happy to insert herself into a second case – an apparent suicide handled by a social-worker friend – which leads to another cold case involving a terrorist attack. Out of Bounds is thrilling, humane and oddly grown-up crime fiction.