Thursday 9 February 2023

πŸ“– Book Review ~ 1989 by Val McDermid


August 2022

#AllieBurns #2

My thanks to the publisher and Laura Sherlock PR for my copy of this book

It's 1989 and Allie Burns is back.

Older and maybe wiser, she's running the northern news operation of the Sunday Globe, chafing at losing her role in investigative journalism and at the descent into the gutter of the UK tabloid media.

But there's plenty to keep her occupied. The year begins with the memorial service to the victims of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, but Allie has barely filed her copy when she stumbles over a story about HIV/AIDS that will shock her into a major change of direction.

The world of newspapers is undergoing a revolution, there's skulduggery in the medical research labs and there are seismic rumblings behind the Iron Curtain. When kidnap and murder are added to this potent mix, Allie is forced to question all her old certainties.

πŸ“– My Review...

Ten years on we meet again with journalist Allie Burns as she heads up the northern operation of the Sunday Globe, however, all is not well with the global news empire run by media tycoon Ace Lockhart and Allie is about to discover just what deadly secrets are lurking in the shadows

The background of the novel brings into focus the historical events of 1989 where there is not only a downturn in tabloid journalism but there is also the deadly spectre of HIV/AIDS which is threatening the most vulnerable in society. Allie soon discovers that there is more going on in the cut throat world of pharmaceuticals than she could ever have imagined.

With this author’s fine eye for detail and her unquestioned ability to bring people and places alive, a complicated story emerges which is as sharp as ever and so beautifully detailed, that 1989 comes to life so clearly you can hear the soundtrack of the late eighties running in the background. All the strands of this complicated story are woven tightly together and the multi-layers of the plot, which I’m not going to spoil, kept me guessing and which tell an altogether sinister tale.

I have really enjoyed following Allie’s exploits as she chases down the bad guys, getting to know how she operates has been fascinating. I like her maverick nature which is altogether softened by her relationship with her long term partner, Rona, who brings out the best in her. Whilst it is perfectly possible to read 1989 as a standalone those who have read 1979 will be familiar with Allie Burns and will, no doubt, enjoy seeing just what she has achieved in the intervening years, she’s older, and maybe just a little wiser, but no less courageous in the face of adversity.

Val McDermid is a No. 1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies.

She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for 2010. In 2011 she received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award.

She writes full time and divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh.

Twitter @valmcdermid 


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