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Past Lying: A Karen Pirie Novel

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by Val McDermid (Author)

In this superb new addition to Val McDermid’s masterful crime series, DCI Karen Pirie returns in a propulsive thriller of deceit and vengeance, set against the disquiet of a global pandemic

Britain’s reigning “Queen of Crime” (The Scotsman), Val McDermid is the award-winning, internationally bestselling author of over thirty novels. The long-awaited seventh novel in the acclaimed series that has captivated audiences for twenty years, both on the page and now in the Edgar Award–nominated ITV/BritBox show, Past Lying is a full tilt novel of ego, retribution, deceit, and just how far one will go to settle the score.

It’s April 2020 and Edinburgh is in lockdown. It would seem like a strange time for a cold case to go hot—the streets all but empty, an hour’s outdoor exercise the maximum allowed—but a mere pandemic doesn’t mean crime takes a holiday. When a source at the National Library contacts DCI Karen Pirie’s team about documents in the archive of a recently deceased crime novelist, it seems it’s game on again. At the center of it, a novel: two crime novelists facing off over a chessboard. But it quickly emerges that their real-life competition is drawing blood. What unspools is a twisted game of betrayal and revenge, and as Karen and her team attempt to disentangle fact from fiction, it becomes clear that their investigation is more complicated than they ever imagined.

A tense, atmospheric page-turner, Past Lying reaffirms McDermid as one of the most talented crime writers of her generation.


“No one writes sturdier mysteries than Val McDermid.”Chicago Tribune on Out of Bounds

“Riveting . . . McDermid keeps the twists coming hard and fast, and she bolsters them with sharp observations about the toll of Covid on the public psyche. This page-turner grips from the outset and doesn’t let go.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Pirie is [McDermid’s] most sympathetic protagonist and Past Lying one of her most devious and delightful cases.”The Times (UK)

“Truly chilling . . . Ingenious, humane, and all too telling as a reminder of the costs of the pandemic even on its survivors.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Atmospheric . . . The novel-within-a-novel is not a new device, but McDermid uses it to memorable effect in a piece of fiction that vividly recreates the anxious early months of the Covid pandemic.”Sunday Times (UK)

“A twisty plot of murder and vengeance . . . set against the dramatic backdrop of a global pandemic. By the novel’s end, no one has been left unscathed.”—First Clue Reviews

“McDermid’s fans know better than to trust . . . a simple solution. She ingeniously flips over the rug and examines the pattern in reverse. Karen and her supporting cast are absorbing, providing insight into the restrictions on police work during the pandemic and plenty of Scottish flavor . . . Fans of the Karen Pirie television series . . . will be eager to read.”—Booklist

“McDermid [has] fun describing the inner workings of the crime-fiction profession, including the creation of stories and the politics, favouritism, resentment, jealousy and score-settling found behind the scenes . . . The two imaginary chess-playing novelists are masterpieces of nastiness.”—Literary Review (UK)

“A writer at the top of her game . . . With an intricate plot, authentic dialogue, rich details, and masterly McDermid twists and turns, this book will delight Pirie fans, existing and new.”Library Journal, starred review

“The Queen of Crime shows no sign of abdicating. Past Lying is as complex, as satisfying and as readable as anything she’s written – which makes it another jewel in Val McDermid's crown.”—Mick Herron, author of The Secret Hours

“A chilling, twisting triumph. Past Lying is a classic mystery, brilliant, heart-stopping and seamless. No one does it better than Val McDermid.”—Chris Whitaker, author of We Begin at the End

Categories : International Mystery & Crime

ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BZ5Z4VY5

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Atlantic Monthly Press (November 14, 2023)

Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 14, 2023

Language ‏ : ‎ English

File‏ : ‎ EPUB, 1.23 MB

Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled

Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported

Print length ‏ : ‎ 411 pages

You will get a EPUB (1MB) file

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