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The Skeleton Road

When a skeleton is discovered hidden at the top of a gothic Victorian building in Edinburgh, which is scheduled for renovation, Cold Case Squad detective Karen Pirie is given the task of identifying the decades-old bones. Her investigation leads her back to past conflicts, false identities and buried secrets...
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PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: The Skeleton Road
  • Author: Val McDermid
  • Publisher: Hachette Australia
  • ISBN: 9780751551280
  • Length: 3.0 centimetre
  • Width: 13.2 centimetre
  • Format: PaperBack
  • Category: Mystery & Thriller
  • Publication Date: 09/06/2015
  • Pages: 464
  • Height: 20.1 centimetre
  • Weight: 0.32 keg

RATINGS & REVIEW

10/12/2016 5:09:24 PM - John
A 'Two-For-One' Review
In the prologue to Val McDermid’s thriller, The Skeleton Road, a handsome older man sits, spending his evening watching the tourists in the Cretan port, Chania. Finishing his Metaxa, he slips quietly away to his apartment. As he opens his door, he hears a voice speak a name he hasn’t heard for many a year. Turning, he dies as a razor sharp knife flashes out, “…a single death that doesn’t begin to atone for all those other deaths.” In Edinburgh, Scottish DCI Karen Pirie is head of the Historic Cases Unit. When a skeleton of a man dead between five and ten years is discovered, she and her team are called in. A single bullet hole in the forehead, slightly one side of centre, bears mute testimony to how he died. Execution, not suicide. The location of the body, within one of four ornamental turrets on the corners of a crenellated Gothic tower, generates an amount of dialogue among the investigators, not least due to the commanding height above ground and how it got there. There are links to the Balkans, with mention of a member of Radovan Karadzic’s legal team, “…up to his armpits in the dead of Srebrenica”; the skeleton’s dental work is Eastern European in origin; we are taken back to the killing fields of the former Yugoslavia; we read detail of ‘ethnic cleansing’; plus a great deal more. And what of Oxford Professor Maggie Blake or, especially, her ex-lover Dimitar Petrovic, ‘Mitja,’ who followed her home from the Balkans before again leaving without a word. Meanwhile, a new head of department admonishes a couple of Foreign Office lawyers to renew their efforts into investigation of a series of deaths among the ‘evil butchers of Kosovo’, men who had changed their names and rewritten their identities and disappeared into the world at large. The more they investigate, the more certain they are that the man they seek is ex-General Dimitar Petrovic, Croatian Army. It is here that the author’s interest in and depth of research into matters about which she writes becomes important. An explanation of this dedication to her work is immediately evident on reading another of her books, Forensics, The Anatomy Of Crime. Both books, The Skeleton Road and Forensics, were published in 2014. One is fiction, the other a look into the scientific world. We know a little about its operation from shows such as Silent Witness or even CSI, with people in spotless white coats in bright, clean new laboratories – an essential part of the work, as is the field work portrayed on the screen – but the reality is generally not a ‘eureka’ moment so much as grinding out the hard yards. No matter how convincing it may seem, all such evidence must be tested in court, argued by barristers for both sides. The prime bastion of British justice, like ours, is that the prosecution must present a case that is watertight, prove the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. On the other hand, “Unlike the prosecution…the defence only has to introduce doubt to win.” Forensics, although dealing with some gruesome aspects of the work, should not be considered a heavy read although it alternates between historical references, actual cases, the introduction of theories (many of which were developed into the science used in the real world today), scientific experiments and the many dedicated – often fanatical – people who developed concept into irrefutable evidence. Or is it ever that? The book explains this very well. So interested in forensics is McDermid she established an online course in 2015 available to participants worldwide to provide education in the subject. Set up and run in conjunction with Professor Sue Black, forensic anthropologist at Dundee University, it gave entrants the opportunity to solve a murder written by the author specifically for the course. The project was a resounding success. I especially enjoy another aspect of Val McDermid’s work, the way she draws her characters. As an example, her accuracy is summed up to colloquial perfection in the words of an antipodean digital forensics expert in The Skeleton Road. I laughed aloud at the character Tamsin Martineau’s perfectly contextual use of a great Australian integrated adjective, “Anyway, all this is acaf*ckingdemic.” It is a prime example of how believeable are her people. To be credible, crime fiction has to be set as close to real life as a writer can make it (although there is a case, too, that real life is often stranger than fiction). Whatever, it can be stated with utter conviction that a book by Val McDermid is absorbing and has an entirely plausible storyline. Oh, just one thing more, don’t try to double-guess her, rarely will you succeed.
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SHIPPING AND RETURNS

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PLEASE NOTE: ANY ORDERS PLACED AFTER DECEMBER 15TH ARE UNLIKELY TO SHIP PRIOR TO CHRISTMAS. 

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Dispatches Next
Business Day

Usually Dispatches
in 4-5 Days

Usually Dispatches
in 5-14 Days

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Order as many items as you want for one low delivery fee per order to an address in Australia. Sometimes not all items in your order are available for shipment at the same time, and items may be delivered separately. If we need to do this there is no extra charge to you.

  Service Price per order
Flat rate Australia wide
Delivery time^
After dispatch
  Shipping - Saver Delivery Saver Delivery (Tracked)
via Australia post
$5.99 2-10 days
  Shipping - Express Delivery Express Delivery#~ (Tracked)
via StarTrack Express
$9.99 1-2 days
 

The expected delivery time period after the order has been dispatched via your chosen delivery method.
+ All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.
# Express is not available on all items.
~ Please note this service does not override the status timeframe "Dispatches in", and that the "Usually Dispatches In” timeframe still applies to all orders.

 

When will my book be dispatched from your warehouse?

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You will notice that each product page on the Web site includes an estimated delivery date range for Saver Delivery, as well as for Express Delivery if it is available for that product.

This Estimated Delivery date range is a combination of:

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In addition to the estimated delivery date range, on the product page you will find how long an item will take to be dispatched.

  Dispatch time
The time it takes to verify the order, complete invoicing, prepare your item(s) and dispatch.  
Explanation
The dispatch time will depend on the status of your item(s) at our warehouse.  
Immediate download

Usually dispatches in Minutes

Digital downloads only

Dispatches next business day

Usually dispatches next business day+

In stock at our warehouse.

Dispatches in 4-5 business days

Usually dispatches in 4-5 business days+

Order ships directly from our supplier. Please Note: Deliveries of items with this status cannot be tracked. 

Dispatches in 5-14 business days

Usually dispatches in 5-14 business days+

Order placed with supplier, estimated arrival time to warehouse is 5-14 business days.


+ All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.

 

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The Estimate Delivery Date is when your order is expected to arrive at your chosen delivery location.

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All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.

 

Tracking delivery

Saver Delivery: Australia post

Australia Post deliveries can be tracked on route with eParcel. You can track your delivery by going to AusPost tracking and entering your tracking number - your Order Shipped email will contain this information for each parcel.

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Express Delivery via StarTrack Express

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International delivery

To track orders sent by DHL, go to DHL tracking

 

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Parcel Weight New Zealand Hong Kong US & Canada United Kingdom

Up to 1kg

$30

$35

$40

$45

1.5kgs

$35

$45

$50

$60

2kgs

$40

$50

$60

$70

2.5kgs

$45

$60

$70

$80

3kgs

$50

$65

$75

$90

3.5kgs

$55

$75

$85

$100

4kgs

$60

$80

$95

$105

4.5kgs

$65

$85

$100

$115

5kgs

$70

$95

$110

$125

 

If your order weighs more than 1.0kg (2.2lb, roughly equivalent to 1 or 2 paperbacks), we'll let you know what your delivery charge will be, and seek your approval before sending your order.

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Delivery restrictions

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