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“One of my favorite authors, Val McDermid is an important writer—witty, never sentimental, taking us through mean streets with the dexterity of a Chandler.”—Sara Paretsky

“There is no one in contemporary crime fiction who has managed to combine the visceral and the humane as well as Val McDermid. . . . She’s the best we’ve got.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Val McDermid is one of the bright lights of the mystery field.”—The Washington Post

“McDermid’s a skillful writer—comparisons with such American novelists as Sara Paretsky and Sue Grafton are appropriate. Clever, absorbing and lots of fun.”—Chicago Tribune

Lindsay Gordon—investigative journalist, tenacious sleuth and unashamed lesbian—is facing a midlife crisis. Back in her native Scotland after a long absence, she has no job, no friends and no desire to even think about her girlfriend’s worrying preoccupations. A chance encounter with freelance reporter Rory McLaren offers her an irresistible invitation to open a new chapter in her life. From there it is just a short step to political corruption and other juicy stories—all welcome distractions from Lindsay’s problems at home. But when a local car dealer’s stepson is kidnapped, Lindsay and Rory trade journalism for detection. The trail leads them to St. Petersburg and a dangerous snatch-back operation that will test Lindsay to her absolute limits in every area of her life.

Val McDermid grew up in a Scottish mining community and read English at Oxford. After 16 years in journalism, she became a full-time writer in 1991. An international bestseller, she’s published over 20 books. Her many awards include the Gold Dagger, the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Anthony. Val McDermid lives in the north of England.

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