BOOKED CLUB DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

The Torment of Others by Val McDermid

Here are the discussion questions for this ValMcDermid novel featured on BOOKED. Be sure to check out the general Booked club questions posted on our web site.

  1. British police Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Carol Jordan and clinical psychologist/profiler Dr. Tony Hill find themselves working two murder investigations at the same time in the city of Bradfield. The first concerning the disappearance of two young boys and the second the brutal sex slayings of prostitutes in the city's red light district. What did you think of moving back and forth between the two cases? Was it well structured? Did you enjoy the author’s choice of story line?

  2. The author uses fairly graphic imagery and dialogue throughout the story. Did you like her style of writing? Did you find her approach gratuitous or appropriate for the telling of the story?

  3. Val McDermid's characters are vividly drawn, and none more so than her two principals - Dr. Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan. Both of them are very competent professionals but also flawed to some extent. What did you think of them?

  4. In reading this novel did you think about how society and the media view prostitutes as victims of crime?

  5. The prostitutes are murdered in a particularly gruesome manner. Do you think novels such as this inspire true crime and provide a "blueprint" for committing violence?

  6. Guardian Unlimited wrote, "no-one compares to McDermid when it comes to the deviant side of human nature". Do you agree? What does that say about our appetite for these types of stories?

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