While the subject of the loathsome Jimmy Saville is still creeping around, has anyone read a book called Wire in the Blood, by Val McDermid? It’s the first I’ve read by this author, and I picked it up largely because I heard her being interviewed on Woman’s Hour on Radio 4 and I thought she sounded fascinating. Her books are the most stolen volumes from UK libraries, apparently. I’ve read a ton of crime fiction, but never her – until now. Maybe I just haven’t seen her work on the library shelves because it’s been pinched?
Anyway, I finally got out her Wire in the Blood and am about halfway through. The book was made into a series years ago featuring Robson Green, which I haven’t seen. He’s rather implausibly cast as a psychological profiler. Hmmm. The novel, though, is very convincing – tautly plotted, scary and, at its heart, there is an evil TV presenter who has developed the perfect cover for his obscene habit of luring innocent teenage girls to their deaths.
While no one is suggesting (yet) that Saville was a pathological killer as well as a pathological abuser, it’s fascinating how McDermid builds up a portrait of a megolomanical, egotistical sadist, who seems beyond reproach and definitely beyond questioning, all because he presents a few rather rubbish TV series.
The book was written in 1997. What a shame no one saw the parallels sooner. But of course, as the book makes clear, some people have an amazing ability to remain above suspicion.