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Kat's Review of Out of Bounds by Val McDermid

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Synopsis: 'There were a lot of things that ran in families, but murder wasn't one of them . . .'

When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car, a routine DNA test could be the key to unlocking the mystery of a twenty-year-old murder inquiry. Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie is an expert at solving the unsolvable. With each cold case closed, justice is served. So, finding the answer should be straightforward, but it's as twisted as the DNA helix itself.

Meanwhile, Karen finds herself irresistibly drawn to another case, one that she has no business investigating. And as she pieces together decades-old evidence, Karen discovers the most dangerous kind of secrets. Secrets that someone is willing to kill for . . .

Kat's Rating: 5/5 

*If you plan to read this series from book 1, please do not read the review as it will inevitably contain spoilers*

Kat's Review: I realised late that this was part of the Karen Pirie series which I have only read one book of (book 3) but for people starting off at this point it makes no difference as there is enough background history with Karen that you don't miss anything major. The first thing that struck me is how immediately I connected with Karen Pirie, certainly more than I did in book 3. She is working as part of the Historical Crimes Unit alongside her colleague Jason. When a joyriding teenager crashes his car, a routine DNA test shows something linked to a twenty year old case, so Karen and Jason immediately get digging.

In addition to Karen's current enquiry her sleepless nights are seeing her up and wandering the streets in a bid to make herself tired. She is still struggling to come to terms with the death of her husband and partner Phil. Her late night walks to battle her insomnia leads us to another thread of the story which is just as absorbing as the first. Some of Karen's friends are involved in the story line and they all added to the depth of this story. Karen also decides to do her own investigation on another case which is nothing to do with her. This has a two-fold effect of allowing her to sink her teeth into a mysterious case involving the death of 4 people in a suspected air plane bombing, as well as annoying her colleague who she doesn't get along with Assistant Chief Constable Simon Lees . All of these threads combined seem like too much when read aloud, but in reality they have made for an outstanding book which had me thoroughly surrendered to my every  day tasks such as dinner!

Both Karen and Jason plough their all into both cases, which results on Karen putting herself into some precarious positions and although the threads run alongside each other they are easy to distinguish. What is strange about this book is that it's not terribly fast paced, but it fits the book perfectly. The various threads of the story make for a compelling read, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. Towards the end when I thought I had it all figured out, turned out I was wrong and when the pieces did fit into place I felt terribly stupid! An outstandingly good read which I would highly recommend. 

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