EXCERPT: I was about to close the conservatory door behind me as I returned to Richard’s house when his doorbell belted out an inappropriate blast of the guitar riff from Eric Clapton’s ‘Layla’. ‘Shit,’ I muttered. No matter how careful you are, there’s always something you forget. I couldn’t remember what the other choices were on Richard’s ‘Twenty Great Rock Riffs’ doorbell, but I was sure there must be something more fitting than Clapton’s wailing guitar. Maybe something by the Smiths, I thought vaguely as I tried to compose my face into a suitable expression for a woman who has just lost her partner. Just how was I supposed to look, I found a second to wonder. What’s the well-bereft woman wearing on her face this season? You can’t even go for the mascara tracks down the cheeks in these days of lash tints.
ABOUT ‘BLUE GENES’: Kate Brannigan, Manchester’s tough-talking crime-stalking PI, isn’t just having a bad day. She’s having a bad week. The worst week of her life, in fact. Her boyfriend’s obituary is in the newspaper, her plans to capture a team of heartless crooks are in disarray, and a Celtic neo-punk band under siege wants her to rescue them from the saboteurs who are trashing their posters and gigs. Kate can’t even cry on her best friend’s shoulder because ace crime reporter Alexis has a few worries of her own. Her girlfriend Chris is pregnant, and when someone involved in pioneering illegal fertility treatment is murdered, Alexis needs Kate as she’s never needed her before. Delving into the alien world of medical experimentation and the underbelly of the rock music business, Kate confronts betrayal and cold-blooded greed as she fights to save not only her livelihood but her life.
MY THOUGHTS: This is #5 in Val McDermid’s Kate Brannigan series. I haven’t read/listened to any of the previous books, but it didn’t matter at all.
There’s plenty going on as Kate juggles multiple investigations, the main one being the murder of a doctor involved in illegal and groundbreaking IVF treatment for lesbian couples.
Kate thinks outside the box, coming up with logical but off-the-wall ways to get the information she needs to solve her cases. She, and all the other characters featured in Blue Genes, are realistic, consistent and totally believable, as is the dialogue.
McDermid’s plotting is precise and plausible, well executed, and paced to keep the reader turning pages long into the night. I have long been a fan of this author’s Tony Hill series. This is totally different. It is lighter with a little dry humour thrown in. I enjoyed Blue Genes and will certainly be reading more of this series.
And I want Richard’s doorbell!
THE AUTHOR: Val McDermid writes full time and divides her life between Cheshire and Edinburgh.
DISCLOSURE: I listened to Blue Genes, written by Val McDermid, narrated by Chloe Massey, and published by Avid Audiobooks, via Overdrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
This review and others are also published on Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads.com