The Distant Echo by Val McDermid

 
 
The distant echo of faraway voices boarding faraway trains,’ Down In The Tube Station At Midnight, The Jam.
 
The Jam’s best song is a brutal piece of urban noir written to strike fear into the hearts of Britain’s Daily Mail Island. Or something.
 
In Val McDermid’s brilliantly written  novel the echo is the past. A guilty past.
 
It’s 1978 and a bunch of students a- life long friends- are on their way home after a night on the razz when find the body of a  young woman.
 
Cut to a quarter of a century later and the murder is still unsolved and  so the police cold case squad re-open the inquiry.
 
This is a cracking story of guilt, regrets and secrets but also a great examination of friendship and its ties that bind and sometimes throttle.The investigation looks at what it means to grow up. What you gain and what you lose.
 
The  first part of the story is a spot-on look at being young in the late ‘70s with perfect music and fashion references.
 
I’m sure my age gave The Distant Echo  a particular resonance for me – I read it because of the title -but I loved it. I bumped into the book by accident in Warsaw a few years ago and it’s stayed with me since then.
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