Grove Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press


An Allie Burns Novel

by Val McDermid

Internationally bestselling author Val McDermid introduces her newest series in 1979, a propulsive new thriller that follows investigative journalist Allie Burns as she looks into the murder of a friend and fellow journalist during the upheaval of 1979

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 448
  • Publication Date October 11, 2022
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6034-8
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $17.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 432
  • Publication Date October 05, 2021
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-5902-1
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $27.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Publication Date October 05, 2021
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-5903-8
  • US List Price $27.00

Hailed as Britain’s Queen of Crime, Val McDermid’s award-winning, internationally bestselling novels have captivated readers for over three decades following the exploits of Tony Hill, Carol Jordan, and Karen Pirie, and have made her one of the best crime writers working today. In her new novel 1979, she kicks off her first new series in nearly twenty years with the story of Allie Burns, a young investigative journalist whose work leads her into a world of corruption, terror, and murder.

It’s only January, and the year 1979 has already brought blizzards, strikes, power cuts, and political unrest. For Allie Burns, however, someone else’s bad news is the unmistakable sound of opportunity knocking, a chance to escape the “women’s stories” to which her editors at the Scottish daily The Clarion have confined her. Striking up an alliance with budding investigative journalist Danny Sullivan, Allie begins covering international tax fraud and a group of Scottish ultranationalists aiming to cause mayhem ahead of a referendum on breaking away from the United Kingdom. Their stories quickly get attention and create enemies for the two young up-and-comers. As they get closer to the bleeding edge of breaking news, Allie and Danny may find their own lives on the line.

Drawing on McDermid’s own experiences as a young journalist, 1979 is redolent of the thundering presses, hammering typewriters, and wreaths of smoke of the Clarion newsroom. A journey to the past with much to say about the present, it is the latest pitch-perfect, suspenseful addition to Val McDermid’s crime pantheon.

Praise for 1979:

Amazon Editor’s Pick for “Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense”
One of the UK Spectator’s Best Reviewed Books of the Week
Seattle Times Pick for “Best Books of Fall 2021”
Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine Pick for Year’s Best 2021

“Val McDermid is a legend in the crime fiction world . . . So, it might seem strange to say that she may be embarking on her magnum opus with the release of her latest novel 1979, and yet that might just be the reality . . .[1979] is so much more than a crime novel—it is a testament to its time-period, a snapshot view of our history.”Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine

“McDermid, a writer who can cast a character like few others, has created the perfect circumstances into which to introduce a woman of intelligence and ambition living in a world that works to push her into the kitchen . . . This book has everything one expects from McDermid but offers a bit more; some history, some politics, and a peek at what came before.”—Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail

“A delightful throwback . . . McDermid has always packed her stories with a streetwise humor and a fierce impatience with how most institutions still favor the rich, the White, the male. And, the straight . . . 1979 is as much a female bildungsroman as it is a suspense story.” —Maureen Corrigan, Washington Post

“A supremo of the genre at the height of her powers . . . An unmissable new series.”—Peter James, author of Stop The Dead

“A tour-de-force . . . The Queen of Crime has delivered another masterpiece.”—David Baldacci, author of Simply Lies

“Doyenne of Scottish crime fiction . . . A standout in McDermid’s impressive body of work . . . The book is also a funny and affectionate farewell to the 70s, rendered so authentically it could have been written on a manual typewriter.” —Lisa Henricksson, Air Mail

“Modern-day Queen of Crime . . . 1979 is classic Val McDermid and great fun from start to finish.” —Ray Palen, Book Reporter 

“[A] remarkably vivid picture of the tabloid newsprint culture of 40 years ago . . . McDermid can do edge-of-seat suspense better than most novelists. But what really lingers in the mind is the world she has created in 1979, long before the internet and the end of the Cold War. Among other things, she reminds us how much newspapers mattered in those days . . . enjoy this excellent opener to what promises to be an outstanding series.”—Andrew Taylor, Spectator

“Masterful . . . 1979 is an enthralling novel and this series will, no doubt, be addictive.”—Oline H. Gogdill, South Florida Sun Sentinel  

“A sterling series launch from McDermid . . . McDermid does an excellent job capturing a time in Scotland’s history fraught with political unrest, IRA terrorism, and labor strikes that nearly paralyze the country. Fans will look forward to seeing more of the highly capable Allie.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[McDermid] does a great job of capturing the atmosphere of the time . . . She enlivens the narrative with much ‘tabloidese’ and her customary generous usage of Scottish idioms . . .  This absorbing tale ends with the promise of more about Allie from one of the UK’s masters of crime fiction.”—Jane Murphy, Booklist

“News of a new novel from Val McDermid is always cause for celebration, and 1979 is a series starter with an intriguing hook.”—Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Book Review

“McDermid does not hold back . . . With its retrospective feminist rage, its Glaswegian setting and a relatable central character, 1979 has all the ingredients for yet another successful McDermid series.”—Sue Turnbull, Sydney Morning Herald

“A queen of the genre in Britain . . . The plot is engrossing, the period atmosphere brilliant, and who can ever get enough of the way Scottish people talk?”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Not content with having written four other excellent crime series  . . . Val McDermid has spent lockdown formulating a fifth . . . A nail-biting account of the newsroom, and Allie is another character I’m looking forward to learning more about.”—Alison Flood, Guardian

“[A] time-capsule of a novel.”The Strand Magazine

“An atmospheric journey into the past with much to say about the present, it is the latest suspenseful, pitch-perfect addition to Val McDermid’s crime pantheon.”Murder and Mayhem

“A powerful portrayal by an author who has been revived by this first-rate series… One to enjoy.”—Jeremy Black, The Critic (UK)

“If you’re looking to hop into a series that’s as new and fresh as it is heart-pounding, you’ll want to jump onto this bandwagon now!”—Kelsey McConnell, Murder & Mayhem

Praise for Val McDermid:

“We read crime fiction for enjoyment, comfort and reassurance. McDermid provides all this . . . Still Life shows that she is still at the height of her powers; it is deeply enjoyable, one of her best.”—Scotsman (UK) on Still Life

“McDermid remains unrivalled . . . brilliant.”—Observer (UK) on How the Dead Speak

“McDermid is at the top of her game and readers will be highly rewarded for taking this new journey at her side.”—Crime Reads

“Further evidence that her ‘Queen of Crime’ status will not be challenged.”—Scotsman (UK) on How the Dead Speak

“There are few other crime writers in the same league as Val McDermid. Her stories are ingeniously plotted, moody . . . Absorbing . . . It’s Karen’s character that’s the enduring draw of this series . . . Out of Bounds is another terrific and intricate suspense novel by a writer who has given us 30 of them. As I said, there are few other crime writers in the same league as Val McDermid.”–Maureen Corrigan, Washington Post on Out of Bounds

“McDermid excels in putting the reader at the center of the action . . . When all is said and done, rough justice is achieved in The Skeleton Road, but my bones tell me we haven’t seen the last of Inspector Pirie–or at least I hope not.”—Janet Napolitano, Los Angeles Times

“McDermid’s books are relentlessly excellent, with sympathetically flawed characters, well-crafted storylines, a clever twist or two, and crisp dialogue. It’s no wonder she’s considered the queen of Scottish crime fiction.”—BookPage on Broken Ground