Beneath the Bleeding by Val McDermid

bleedingReviewed by Patricia Reid

Criminal profiler and psychologist Dr. Tony Hill is attacked by an inmate and Tony receives a serious injury to his leg. Tony is confined to the hospital, Bradfield Cross. DCI Carol Jordan is not aware of Tony’s injury until she returns from a weekend visiting with her brother and her parents.

When Carol arrives at the hospital she finds that Tony’s mother is there visiting her son. Carol knows little to nothing about Tony’s family and is surprised to see his mother. Tony is not happy with his mother’s visit and is glad to see her leave. Beneath the Bleeding gives the reader some insight into Tony’s childhood and his relationship with his mother.

Dr. Thomas Denby, at Bradfield Cross, is puzzling over his patient Robbie Bishop. Robbie is a midfielder on Bradfield’s soccer team and a star player. Robbie is admitted to the hospital with what seems to be a chest infection but his condition is getting worse instead of better. Dr. Elinor Blessing confides in Dr. Denby that she has done research and feels that Robbie may be suffering from ricin poisoning. As far fetched as it seems, tests are run and Robbie has ricin in his system. Ricin is a poison derived from castor beans. When the doctors realize that the Ricin is in Robbie’s system, it is too late to save him.

Now Carol is faced with the task of trying to find out how the poisoning could have happened. Before she can even get her investigation under way, another tragedy happens. An explosion rips through the soccer stadium leaving many dead and wounded, The intelligence services is called in on the bombing investigation and the investigation team is trying to keep Carol on the outside of the investigation. Carol is determined to solve both crimes with the help of her own team.

Tony is looking at the two cases from a different angle. He feels a serial killer is involved but Carol doesn’t agree with him. Tony does his best to investigate from his hospital bed and on occasion goes AWOL from the hospital.

Beneath the Bleeding is an exciting and intriguing novel with an investigation that will keep the reader on the edge of the chair.

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