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Insidious Intent in Bradfield – Val McDermid

  • Submitted: 24th August 2017

Bloody crime in Scotland and Insidious Intent in Bradfield can only mean one thing – Val McDermid is on the case…Well in a morgue to be honest..the Val McDermid mortuary to be exact. Should I be nervous talking to a woman who kills people for fun and who has a mortuary named after her? No time, she’s hear, scalpel in hand, ready to dissect just my questions hopefully…

Val McDermid

Val McDermid

Why is location important to you in your novels. What  about Bradfield?

Sense of place really matters in crime fiction because it grounds the book very firmly in the reader’s mind. Even if it’s a fictitious city like Bradfield, I describe it in such a way that the reader can picture it in their mind. It strengthens the suspension of disbelief.

Bradfield is an amalgam of several Northern cities. It’s a bit like Brigadoon, it only appears when I publish another Tony & Carol novel! I imagine it situated somewhere on the Lancashire/West Yorkshire border on the moors, near Todmorden. The advantage of its unreality is that whenever I need the city to have a particular feature, I can drop it in where it suits me.

The Val McDermid Mortuary

The Val McDermid Mortuary

You’ve had a morgue named after you. Do you think Tony would be proud?

I think Tony would be completely unimpressed, if he were even to notice it. I, on the other hand, am very proud of it!


You are celebrating 30 years – Could Tony Hill and Carol Jordan ever gatecrash a Rebus novel or on his 30th, would Rebus gatecrash your setting?

No. I don’t think they’d work well together. The sound of egos clashing would be deafening!

The Question room...

The Question room…

You featured in a TV programme where you visited the crime lab and mortuary – that was fascinating to see the amount of research you do! What do you find the most fascinating when researching?

I never know till I stumble over it. I go looking for answers to particular questions, but the really interesting stuff is what comes up in the tangents.

Could you commit the perfect murder now do you think? What would you do and how?

You would never know it was a murder…

Ahem…moving swiftly on…

Val McDermid and Susan Booktrailer

Val McDermid & Susan Booktrailer – last known photo quite possibly..

..You must have so many highlights from your career so far. Too many to mention. So can I ask what has been the funniest incident/question from an audience member instead ?

Most bizarre was in Wroclaw in Poland. A big guy in double denim with a mullet that would have been remarkable even in the 1980s stood up and asked, ‘Why is there a blow job in this novel? There is no place for a blow job in a crime novel.’

The weird thing is that there wasn’t a blow job in the novel. Just a character in the shower thinking it would be nice if there was someone there to give him a blow job…




Raith_Rovers_F.C._Crest-1When you’re not writing, football is a great love of yours I believe?

I’m a lifelong fan of Raith Rovers, and I serve on the board as a director of the club. We are the mighty Raith. And we dance in the streets.

Have you ever had Insidious Intent following a match?

Too often to mention. Often during it as well.

Why people should go on a Val McDermid booktrail…

I think they might enjoy seeing the reality of what they’ve only imagined.

And finally, your publicist has the surname Sherlock….that has to be special doesn’t it?

She’s very special. Don’t mess with her.


You know you’ve had a cracking killer interview when those are the last words Val McDermid says to you! A dark room, mentions of scalpels, insidious intent and Polish men in double denim, it’s been a very memorable experience. Thanks Val! x


Booktrail Boarding Pass: Insidious Intent

Twitter:  @valmcdermid     Facebook:    /valmcdermid/    Website:  valmcdermid.com


Bloody Scotland panel: bloodyscotland.com/val-mcdermid-30-years-in-the-business-of-crime/      Saturday 9 September from 12:15 pm1:15 pm

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