The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid. Read September 2014.

A stonking story interwoven with a lesson in modern European history that pulls no punches.
“When a skeleton is discovered hidden at the top of a crumbling, gothic building in Edinburgh, Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie is faced with the unenviable task of identifying the bones. As Karen’s investigation gathers momentum, she is drawn deeper into a world of intrigue and betrayal, spanning the dark days of the Balkan Wars.”
My overriding feeling on finishing was guilt. The events described took place in Croatia well into my adulthood but at that time I chose not to be aware of the scale of the horror. This novel explains the human suffering in a moving and deeply affecting way with descriptions that will stay with me for a long time.
There’s a lot going on in this book. As well as the flashbacks to the 90s there are investigations into the murder in Edinburgh as well as some civil service types chasing up connections between a series of assassinations internationally. As if that weren’t enough there are some fascinatingly entwined relationships between characters and some almost farcical journeys between Scotland, England and Eastern Europe.
All in all this was an interesting, though occasionally harrowing, read and I’d be happy to recommend it to all crime fiction lovers.
Thank you to the author and publisher for the advance review copy e-book via Netgalley.



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