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McCrery, Nigel - 'Scream'
Paperback: 352 pages (June 2011) Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc ISBN: 1849161178

SCREAM is the latest novel by successful author Nigel McCrery, and the third in his series about DCI Mark Lapslie. Amongst other things, McCrery is known for his TV series Silent Witness. His latest work certainly lives up to his excellent reputation.

The book opens with a chilling description of a masked killer torturing a young female victim, who has been tied to a chair. McCrery's excellent use of very vivid vocabulary leaves the reader in no doubt that not only is the torture, drilling through the victims knee and elbow joints to the bone marrow, excruciatingly painful but the victim is beyond terrified and realises there is nothing she can do to avoid her fate.

Action then switches to Mark Lapslie at a conference about security in Islamabad, Pakistan. He is scheduled to give a presentation but isn't looking forward to it that much. Thanks to his timely receipt of a sound file, containing the loud and terrified screaming of an unknown woman, he is saved from his presentation and races back to the UK to start the investigation. Such is McCrery's skill with words that what Lapslie is to discover during the course of the book will make your blood run cold. There is one particularly Hellraiser-esque scene, involving tightly-strung piano-wire, that is especially nasty.

In short, this book is fantastic! It meets all of my criteria for a good read (well written, interesting and with an unexpected twist) and is all the more interesting for me as it is rare to read a book set in Chelmsford, Canvey Island and the surrounding area - my home turf.

Mark Lapslie is a very interesting character. Like all excellent fictional detectives, he gets results by breaking the rules and is threatened to be removed from the case after a complaint is made about him. His fight against synaesthesia, a neurological condition that mixes up sensory input and output, so he can taste things in response to sounds, makes him even more likeable, as he just doesn't let it get the better of him.

Very highly recommended.

Read another review of SCREAM.

Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland
October 2011

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 30/10/2011 08:59