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Broken Ground

Written by: Val McDermid
Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron
Length: 12 hrs and 59 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Internationally best-selling author Val McDermid is one of our finest crime writers, and her gripping, masterfully plotted novels have garnered millions of readers from around the globe. 

In Broken Ground, cold-case Detective Karen Pirie faces her hardest challenge yet. Six feet under in a Highland peat bog lies Alice Somerville’s inheritance, buried by her grandfather at the end of World War II. But when Alice finally uncovers it, she finds an unwanted surprise - a body with a bullet hole between the eyes. 

Meanwhile, DCI Pirie is called in to unravel a case where nothing is quite as it seems. And as she gets closer to the truth, it becomes clear that not everyone shares her desire for justice. Or even the idea of what justice is. 

An engrossing, twisty thriller, Broken Ground reaffirms Val McDermid’s place as one of the best crime writers of her generation.

©2018 Val McDermid (P)2018 WF Howes

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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When Enough Is Enough?<br />

This is addressed Not just to the author but to all authors out there....you Know Who You Are. What has happened to world class writers? Have their computers been virused by Marathon-minded bugs? Are they being paid by their publishers By the Pound (and I do Not mean GBP)?
The length of the average novel seems to have escalated from 5-8 hours audio time to a mind boggling (quite literally) 10-21 hours. Look at any series by a well- known author if you doubt this : what you'll see over the years is a climb in the volume of each new volume. Unfortunately there are only a handful of exceptions in this race for the Tonnage Gold. Sad to observe, Val McDermid's latest Karen Piri novel isn't among these valiant verbosity holdouts.
At the 9 hour mark, one's mind starts to freewheel down the road of "Is this Ever going to end?" Then, you begin thinking of ways an editor Should have tightened the writing up Rather than "what happens next". At the 11 hour mark, oxygen deprivation sets in as your brain fights off sleep or literary narcolepsy. You have hallucinations of the author stuffing words into the book binding like Baldric ramming stuffing into the infamous Black Adder goose.
Great writing , interesting characters and plot etc etc: all done in by Too Much Stuffing!
As a beleaguered reader who Wants to Enjoy books, not Drown in their repetitive minutia PLEASE cut back, cut down and cut Out the verbiage!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bob Henderson
  • 2019-01-05

Cannot understand narrator.

Cannot understand the narrator. Why did they do away with the option to return thr previous purchase?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Joshua
  • 2018-12-25

This can't be the real Val Mcdermid!

I can't believe this is the same author who created Carol Jordan and Tony Hill. This is little more than a bodice ripper. The story is dull, no real plot, no suspense, a flat out dull ending. But!...It does include a well muscled 'crofter' in a kilt. All it lacks is a couple lines about 'hungry mouths seeking each other', and people being 'pressed to loins' and it could be a best seller destined for the back shelf of any Goodwill Industries bargain section. What happened to the writing that could keep one riveted, with quirky characters, suspense and intriguing details? I loved the Tony Hill series, but it's hard to believe this is the same author. A deep disappointment.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Donna
  • 2018-12-10

5

Val Mcdermid's books have just come to my attention, I've been reading the older books. And what fun they all are. In this book I was pleased to see how our detective's Syrian friends are doing. And I wondered how the rest of the book would go as I agreed with our star detective that each of her cases crashed suddenly and seriously. There was one case that ended the book just fine. Whew. What a ride.! If you enjoy a thinking read, this series will be a pleasure for you. How long will I have to wait for the next book?+ Oh, the books stand alone, no need to
read back volumes first. read/ listen.... The narrator reads beautifully and I do enjoy the Scotland sounds as our shared English rolls off her tongue.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda
  • 2018-12-19

Karen Seemed Out Of Sorts—Missing Phil

A good read but not as good as first 4 books. The story seemed disjointed with lots of back to the past and then to the current time. I liked the descriptions around Edinburgh and the patience Karen showed with Jason, her right hand man. Not sure why her boss took such a dislike to her but then it was revealed. Glad Karen stood up for herself and is speaking for the dead by solving the cold cases. There is always lots of tense moments where she is concerned. She is strong and independent. The way the book ended, I’m expecting to revisit some of the characters and actions. I listened in Audible. The narrator, Cathleen McCarron, had a good voice for the characters.

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  • Maine Knitter
  • 2018-12-15

Well worth waiting for

This is a must-read series for me.

There were multiple stories going on here. Karen and the Mint make a great team. He is growing in his job as a DC. Karen is still ruffling feathers.

The ending (before the epilogue) was a tad disappointing. I found the narrator to be confusing. Too many people sounded like Jason. Even Karen at times.

But this is a great book from a fabulous author. I anxiously await the next book since much was left hanging.

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  • Knaveheartt
  • 2019-03-27

Excellent on all counts but for the unfathomable brogue of the narrator

Excellent on all counts but for the unfathomable brogue of the narrator. McCarron excels at her narrative craft but her delivery is difficult to follow for my ears. Story is excellent as well.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful