This was my first novel by Val McDermid (other than her retelling of ‘Northanger Abbey’) and I am very thankful to have been gifted a copy to read and discuss.
Immediately, I was sucked in, because I absolutely love a good crime novel. The book was atmospheric from the start, and I needed to know what was going to happen next and where this whole tale was going.
McDermid also creates excellent characters. I was a big fan of DCI Pirie. Do no get me wrong, she has character flaws as all good fictional detectives do. But she is someone that you can imagine sitting down with to have a G&T and a chat. McDermid’s villains in this tale are fabulous, too, as you could easily believe that they could commit the crimes of the story.
Yet, the thing I really like about this book is so simple – the title. There is so much meaning about the phrase ‘Still Life’. Not only could it point to the theme of art and a styl, but it points to the ideas of life ending – and the idea that life returns and continues. There is, in fact, so much of the book in that two-word title.
Val McDermid’s writing is charming and creates a real page-turner. I am really keen to read more of her work. Especially to find out more Karen Pirie’s earlier life.