Hostage to Murder by Val McDermid

Hostage to Murder is about the journalist Lindsay Gordon. Lindsay returns to Glasgow her wife after having spent several years in the U.S. Why? Sophie has been offered a professorship in obstetrics at the University of Glasgow.

Friction occurs right away since the couple moved to California for Sophie’s job. Lindsay had to leave her job as journalist and start over and look for a new job in the U.S. Now Lindsay has established herself and she sees the same thing happen all over again. She sees herself being unemployed in Glasgow while her wife gets another top position. She does not want to. She does not want to leave her beloved dog, and she does not want to leave her job!

Lindsay finally gives in and involuntarily becomes a stay-at-home wife and takes on the role of martyr. She looks down on herself.

Back to Work

The situation is slowly tearing on her and she is considering ending the relationship when she literally runs into a younger colleague – Rory McLaren – who suggests that they work together on dangerous, sometimes hopeless, but interesting investigating journalism. Lindsay hesitates but ends up accepting the offer, and soon she finds herself in the middle of a hostage situation, way more dangerous than anyone of them would have ever imagined.

Brilliant Depictions

The story is not a typical McDermid the way I have got to know her through the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan novels, but it is good! The novel surprises me, and I like that.

The depictions of the lesbian women and the frictions between them are brilliant. McDermid’s characterization of the “fair and selfless” Sophie who is controlling the relationship with an iron fist in a cotton glove is frightening. She presents her decisions in such a way that it looks like she is the victim. Emotional blackmail in its highest form, but Lindsay always feels a debt of gratitude and gives in every time since she loves Sophie.

This is a book club book! A book for discussion!


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