Dark and gritty, this book is hard to put down. I love the tension between Tony and Carol. Lots of graphic violence but it suits the tone of the book. This is Val McDermid at her best.
As I've noted in other reviews, I think Val McDermid is a talented writer, her books surpassing much that is currently being produced in the crime/horror/procedural genre. The Wire in the Blood is also well written, with a compelling plot, credible characterization, and a smarmy, creepy narcissist for a villain. I enjoyed the book and read it quickly to reach the dramatic conclusion. There are descriptions of sadistic violence, but for the fairly squeamish reader that I am, they were bearable. The one problem I see, and this is just my opinion, is that the protagonist, Tony Hill, is just a bit too cool and too clever, in some ways just as plasticky smooth as the killer. Not a hero who's easy to warm up to, despite his post-traumatic sexual problems. Fortunately, Carol Jordan's persona is competent but still fallible, easier for the reader to relate with.
Wire in the Blood is a good, gripping psychological thriller and while Tony Hill could be more likeable, this doesn't detract from the value of the story.