Wednesday , September 23 2020
If you've enjoyed the BBC Wire in the Blood series, you'll love the novels on the Sony eReader.

Sony Reader Adventure: Val McDermid’s Carol Jordan/Tony Hill Mysteries

Instant gratification. That’s really what technology has brought us. Fast email, faster Internet surfing, instant messaging. Everything is immediate and nothing requires (much) waiting. This is one of the greatest appeals of eReaders like the Sony Reader (Pocket Edition).

I’m a browser. I’ll venture into the local Borders or Barnes and Noble or independent bookseller, and I’ll walk the aisles glancing at the covers and spines, the new books and the backlisted offerings. I also like mystery series—English mystery series, to be exact. Nothing upsets me more than finding a new series, looking for the first book in the series at the store and finding it missing from the shelf.

So, what do you do? Order it, wait a few days and finally get your hands on it to read. Of course, by then I’ve already started another book. Sigh. This is one of the true beauties of eReaders. Open the downloadable library software (it works much like iTunes), search an author, a title or a keyword and your choices pop up in the window. Click and (just like using iTunes), the book downloads into your library. Connect the Reader and in a few seconds, the book is loaded onto the Reader.

Sony makes several eBook Readers, and the Pocket Edition (PRS-300) seems to be the most basic. But it’s more than enough for most reading. It hold lots of books, it’s easy to page through any novel of any size, it weighs next to nothing. But back to my mystery series.

I got hooked on Val McDermid’s Wire in the Blood novel series after watching the dramatized BBC a few years ago. The series ran for six seasons and I decided to get caught up on the novels upon which the series is (rather loosely based).

The novel series, beginning with The Mermaids Singing take place in Bradfield England, a fictional city with lots of very insane murderers running around. The first case concerns the murder of four young men found in Bradfield. The investigation is headed by Detective Inspector Carol Jordan. (In the television series, Carol leaves after three seasons and is replaced by Alex Fielding in season four.) Clinical psychologist Tony Hill, a brilliant psychological profiler has the unique ability to piece together motive and evidence identify the most heinous serial killers. Hill is engaged to hunt this particularly gruesome killer. But in capturing the murderer, Hill may fall prey himself. As the case goes on we learn more about both Hill and Jordan, and we are drawn to Hill's intensity and Jordan's resolute courage as they are drawn towards each other.

The socially awkward and eccentric psychologist forges an uneasy alliance with tough, smart Carol in the first novel that grows into deep affection as the novels go on (the sixth, Fever of the Bone has just been released in the UK), with the requisite sexual tension enough to drive any reader mad. The novels are as much psychological thriller as mystery, with Tony Hill getting scarily into the heads and hearts of the killers he pursues.

Each novel leaves the reader breathless and driving to read on even late into the night. And when you’ve finished, you’re left wanting more, on to the next book. The Sony Reader is a perfect companion for what will surely become obsessive reading. The instant gratification that comes free of charge with the Reader is something to appreciate with a mystery series like this. Finish one, and instantaneously order up the next; you’ll have it in moments. Unfortunately not all of the books of the series are yet available in eBook format for the Sony Reader, but several can be found in the Sony eBook store or through the online bookstore ebooks.com—enough to get you hooked.

About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books. Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."

Check Also

Cover Jar of Hearts

Book Review: ‘Jar of Hearts’ by Jennifer Hillier

'Jar of Hearts', a new thriller from Jennifer Hillier, is guaranteed to get and remain under your skin.