A new novel by Val McDermid: shocking discoveries in a former monastery

The talented and popular novelistScotsman Val McDermid She explores difficult social issues in her new novel, This is how the dead spoke. The authorities, who discover the bodies on the grounds of a former monastery to be demolished, must determine what happened. They suspect a serial killer and embark on a complex and dangerous investigation.

When a promoter performing demolitions at the site of a former monastery exhumes children’s bodies, Paula McIntyre’s team, in charge of the investigation, begins questioning former residents who are victims of the nuns’ extreme danger.

Other shocking discoveries await the police and then a gardener convicts a priest who convinced him to bury the homeless in a consecrated grounds.

This path, like the previous one, leads to a dead end. It will be necessary to “make the dead speak”, whose annoying number leaves the shadow of a serial killer. The regional brigade that he is not used to cold boxhe joins Carol Jordan, who is excluded from the police, and her owner Tony Hill, an expert in psychological profiling.

to the source

Val MacDiarmid, a famous Scottish writer, is an expert in the art of conveying too much information, keeping a steady pace while telling a thrilling story.

“When I try to find information, I don’t just go to the library or the internet: I try to talk to people who do for real. So, I have the stories and the facts. I can add a lot of material to my scripts,” she explains in a phone interview from her home in Scotland.

That’s what I did with psychoanalyst Tony Hill in this novel.

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“I didn’t know a psychoanalyst or a clinical psychologist, and by chance, while watching local TV, I saw this gentleman who was working as a profiler for the police. I convinced him to talk to me and we became friends. He told me what he was doing. His methods are those used by Tony Hill In the book. The anecdotes he told me, every detail, is not information one can find in a book. We understand this when we take the time to meet these people.”

real facts

genesisThis is how the dead spoke It is associated with the very real discovery of a place where children born to single mothers were buried, while they were cared for by a religious organization.

“A few years ago I listened to a great BBC podcast about Twin City, Ireland, where there was a huge scandal. Children were buried in the Abbey grounds. I found this brutal. But I thought it was an interesting idea to explore a novel.”

Then I engaged in research and writing in a systematic way.

Then I had to figure out how to incorporate the characters into this story. »

Fully aware of the news, feminist writer Val McDermid remembers that women have been victims of oppression.

“The attitude of society and the Church was ruthless and intolerant. Women were so oppressed… they never had the opportunity to stand up as they can today,” she notes.

“It is not surprising to anyone. »

The response of her readers was extraordinary when the book was released in its original English version.

Readers were very fascinated by the idea of ​​​​the novel. The story is fictional, but what happened in Catholic monasteries and schools resonated with the culture of the time. »

  • Scottish writer Val MacDiarmid is the author of nearly thirty novels that have been translated and sold more than 15 million copies.
  • She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Letters.
  • She has won several prestigious international awards, including the Diamond Dagger Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • In Flammarion, I recently posted Out of boundsAnd the honeymoon And the rough terrain.
  • She sings in rock band, The Fun Lovin’ Cream Writers.
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extract

Despite being programmed into her GPS, Carol Jordan had trouble finding Melissa Rintoul’s address. She had only visited Edinburgh twice before, and had a vague memory of the new city, its wide streets, tall Georgian buildings, and private gardens surrounded by a kind of iron fences designed to trap intruders. But behind these stern facades seemingly hidden labyrinths of small alleys and alleys, where the old carriage sheds were turned into beautiful apartments. »

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