Recommended Reads: Thriller explores psychological impacts of online attacks

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Splinter the Silence, by Val McDermid

Here’s a thriller mystery novel that could easily be tomorrow’s news headline. How dangerous are these internet trolls? See what could possibly happen when some of your worst imagined fears about venomous, online attackers come true in fiction. This plot is a timely look at the psychological impacts on human nature from the loud and broad reach of the internet.

In this case, women broadcast on the internet adamant stands on different issues they are passionate about, and as a result they become targets, and later end up dead. But is it suicide, or murder? Is the antagonism they experience on the Web so harsh they can no longer live with themselves? It looks like that. Or is there a stalker who is a serial killer, lurking online looking for his victims.

This tense thriller will have you white-knuckled when you’re typing your next social media update. It’s part of the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan award-winning thriller series. This is a police procedural that includes fascinating details and professional acumen of the British police team.

At the onset of this novel, Carol Jordan has really hit bottom in her personal life. She’s recovering from a deep grief, and searching for some kind of purpose to her life after shattering changes. As she reunites with psychologist Tony Hill and gains an unexpected second chance, she’ll be sorely tested because the stakes are high.

There’s no certainty that Carol can pull herself together. The other detectives on her team are impressive, but each has a different and interesting Achilles heel. You’ll enjoy getting to know each of these characters and how they work through their individual flaws to bring a contribution to the investigative team.

This author, Val McDermid, is known as Britain’s Queen of Crime. The suspense that she builds in her books is phenomenal. The characters she creates, including the villain, arouse your curiosity about what your own reaction would be in their situation? Then, what will they do next? Nothing is predictable, in any way. Val McDermid is the bestselling author of more than 30 novels, translated into 40 languages. Her individual books have won many prizes and awards. She lives in Scotland.

And if the secrets of real forensic science fascinate you, I also recommend Val McDermid’s non-fiction book Forensics What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime. It’s incredible to read about how far science has come to produce reliable evidence. The scientific improvements are explained so that a reader can appreciate the work. Also highlighted is the unwavering commitment of specific people through history who were determined to improve truth in evidence. They recognized that justice is at stake.

And if you want to hear more from the author, tune into Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with Val McDermid.

— By Wendy Kendall

Wendy Kendall is a writer, project manager and volunteer at the Edmonds Library. She’s enjoyed living in Edmonds for over 20 years. Follow her via her blog here or on Twitter @wendywrites1.

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