The shadows hide a deadly story . . .
1979. It is the winter of discontent, and reporter Allie Burns is chasing her first big scoop. There are few women in the newsroom and she needs something explosive for the boys' club to take her seriously.
Soon Allie and fellow journalist Danny Sullivan are exposing the criminal underbelly of respectable Scotland. They risk making powerful enemies - and Allie won't stop there.
When she discovers a home-grown terrorist threat, Allie comes up with a plan to infiltrate the group and make her name. But she's a woman in a man's world . . . and putting a foot wrong could be fatal.
This is the atmospheric, heart-pounding first novel in a gripping new series by the Queen of Crime Val McDermid.
Praise for Val McDermid:
'Brilliant . . . Sensational . . . Unforgettable' Guardian
'No one can plot or tell a story like she can' Daily Express
'Compulsively readable' Irish Times
'One of today's most accomplished crime writers' Literary Review
'As good a psychological thriller as it is possible to get' Sunday Express
'It grabs the reader by the throat and never lets go' Daily Mail
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Val McDermid is a number one bestseller whose novels have been translated into forty languages, and have sold over seventeen 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, was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger in 2010 and received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award in 2011.
In 2016, Val received the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival and in 2017 received the DIVA Literary Prize for Crime, and was elected a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Val has served as a judge for the Women's Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize, and was Chair of the Wellcome Book Prize in 2017. She is the recipient of six honorary doctorates, is an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford and a Professor at the University of Otago in New Zealand. She writes full time and divides her time between Edinburgh and East Neuk of Fife.
Praise for 1979 * - * The Queen of Crime has done it again, this time with Allie Burns, a relentless investigative journalist who birddogs crime and terror back in the days of typewriters and smoke-filled newsrooms. Masterfully set in Edinburgh, 1979 transports us from the first page. Val McDermid's latest is more than just a compelling story. It's an irresistible and palpable journey that's especially gratifying in today's remote world -- Patricia Cornwell A brilliant novel by a supremo of the genre at the height of her powers. A cast of engaging new characters promise to make this an unmissable new series and a thrilling addition to the genre -- Peter James A tour-de-force by the amazing McDermid. From the very first pages she effortlessly transports us back in time . . . The plot and characters are remarkable and compelling. Hopefully, we will see the crackerjack Allie Burns back on the pages. The Queen of Crime has delivered another masterpiece -- David Baldacci Val McDermid is the absolute QUEEN. It's great that this is the first of a new series. Allie is a fabulous character, I'll go wherever she takes me and I'm dying to see what she does next -- Marian Keyes Packed full of Val McDermid's trademark brilliance, 1979 is a thrilling snapshot of a fascinating era -- Jane Harper McDermid is at her considerable best here . . . The good news is that this excellent novel marks the start of a new series * Guardian * A brilliant thriller, as well as a perfect snapshot of the social and political issues of the time. If there's a novel that better captures what working on a newspaper was like back in the day, I can't think of it -- Linwood Barclay Unrivalled. Unmissable. Unforgettable. 1979 is Val McDermid at her nail-biting, heart-rending best -- Chris Whitaker While "gripping" is an adjective over-used in book reviews, it's a fitting description of a sensational novel. A surefire bestseller from one of Britain's most accomplished writers * Sunday Express * A new series from Val McDermid promises to be an event - and 1979 delivers. It's full of wit, thrills and incisive social observation, and features, in Allie Burns, a marvellous new character to follow through the years to come -- Mick Herron Absolutely fantastic. I have been reading Val McDermid for twenty-five years, so I am really saying something when I tell you I enjoyed this novel the most. Immersive in its authenticity and pungently atmospheric . . . For someone who remembers the print newsrooms in their heyday, it was a trip into the past so realistic I could smell the fag smoke on my clothes -- Chris Brookmyre McDermid can do edge-of-seat suspense better than most novelists . . . An excellent opener to what promises to be an outstanding series * Spectator * Brilliant characters, masterful plotting and a pitch-perfect evocation of the heyday of newspapers. I loved it -- Chris Hammer A nail-biting new series * Observer * A fast-paced triple whammy of a thriller, with all three plots, each credible, running simultaneously. It uses all the crime-writing skills she has honed over the years, and adds something else - a pin-sharp portrait of tabloid journalism in its messy, misogynistic 1970s heyday. Allie Burns is off to a flying start, and well worth following down the decades * The Scotsman * A fast-paced triple whammy of a thriller, with all three plots, each credible, running simultaneously. It uses all the crime-writing skills she has honed over the years, and adds something else - a pin-sharp portrait of tabloid journalism in its messy, misogynistic 1970s heyday. Allie Burns is off to a flying start, and well worth following down the decades * The Scotsman * Val McDermid was a newshound at the time and it shows . . . This is her best book in years * The Times, Book of the Month * Allie is a gratifyingly multi-faceted character, and the sociopolitical elements here add a frisson * Financial Times * The work of a writer at the peak of her powers * Herald * The fast-paced storytelling flows irresistibly, and McDermid marshals a wide-ranging cast of characters with aplomb * Irish Times * Her evocation of the Winter of Discontent is spare and skilful . . . allowing the characters, not the period, to take centre stage * Scotland on Sunday * Captures the bleakness and misery of the era with pitch-perfect accuracy * Irish Independent * A superb evocation of the humiliations and triumphs of being a junior reporter, set against the backdrop of the broken Britain of 1979 . . . Riveting * Daily Express * A novel as touching as it is gripping * Big Issue * There are all sorts of reasons to love this book, from the unvarnished truth about newsrooms in the late 70s, to glimpses into social history . . . Engrossing * The i * An engrossing read * Sunday Post * A delightful throwback . . . McDermid looks back in anger - and with some measure of affection - at the vexed era she lived through that gave rise to her socially engaged mysteries * Washington Post *
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