Grove Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press


An Allie Burns Novel

by Val McDermid

In the new installment to her historical crime series that began with 1979, internationally bestselling author Val McDermid delivers a propulsive new thriller that finds journalist Allie Burns has become an editor, and as the Cold War and AIDS crisis deliver a nonstop tide of news, most of it bad, a story falls into her lap. And then there’s a murder.

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 432
  • Publication Date September 12, 2023
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6121-5
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $17.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 432
  • Publication Date October 11, 2022
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6010-2
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $27.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Publication Date October 11, 2022
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6011-9
  • US List Price $27.00

Hailed as Britain’s Queen of Crime, Val McDermid’s award-winning, internationally bestselling novels have captivated readers for more than thirty years. In her Allie Burns series, she returns to the past—both ours and in some ways her own—with the story of a female journalist whose stories lead her into world of corruption, terror, and murder.

It’s 1989 and Allie Burns is back. Older and maybe wiser, she’s running the northern news operation of the Sunday Globe, chafing at losing her role in investigative journalism and at the descent into the gutter of the UK tabloid media. But there’s plenty to keep her occupied. The year begins with the memorial service for the victims of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, but Allie has barely filed her copy when she stumbles over a story about HIV/AIDS that will shock her into a major change of direction. The world of newspapers is undergoing a revolution, there’s skullduggery in the medical research labs and there are seismic rumblings behind the Iron Curtain. When murder is added to this potent mix, Allie is forced to question all her old certainties.

Readers are having a great time time-traveling with Val, and 1989 is a seamless, riveting novel that brings us once again face to face with how very much past is prologue, and how history’s sins stay with us.

Praise for 1989:

“Stellar sequel . . . McDermid is writing at the top of her game.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Ms. McDermid, a skillful plotter, thus builds the framework for an even more elaborate story. Sharp characterizations and startling revelations mark this outstanding work, which is by turns a murder mystery and a chilling tale of historical retribution.”—Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal

“McDermid has fired up her time machine again and is taking us back to 1989 . . . A riveting look backward from Scotland’s Queen of Crime.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Studded with a wealth of period detail . . . It whips along like bushfire.”Herald (UK)

“[McDermid is] subverting the crime genre to her own ends. How the remaining three volumes will turn out is anyone’s guess.”The Times (UK)

1989 is a great snapshot of a now-bygone era that is still eerily familiar. Allie Burns is a no-nonsense character, in much the same way as her creator, and the book pulls no punches whatsoever.”—Ray Palen, Bookreporter

“Genius . . . It’s hard not to like a McDermid book, and she’s made Burns much more likeable and complex in this outing. Bring on 1989!”—CrimeReads

“There is a great deal to enjoy in this novel . . . McDermid remains a masterly setter of a scene and developer of a storyline.”Scotsman (UK)

“McDermid convincingly recreates the grim era of AIDS, Lockerbie and Hillsborough while providing several juicy mysteries for the reader to gnaw on.”Daily Mirror (UK)

“One of Britain’s most successful crime novelists . . . The novel evokes glorious nostalgia for those who recall mobile phones like house bricks and laptops the size of suitcases.”Sunday Times (UK)

“Readers are mired with Allie in the late ’80s, when mobile phones were the size of lunchboxes, when AIDS was ravaging the U.K., when a jetliner was bombed out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland, and when the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse. All in all, not a time to be nostalgic for, and true to form, McDermid spins the tale without a whiff of sentimentality . . . You don’t need to read 1979 to hit the ground running with 1989, but you will want to have Wikipedia open to look up all the fascinating historical and cultural moments McDermid references along the way.”—BookPage

“Val McDermid’s ambitious project of chronicling each decade’s highlights, showing how big and small events relate to individuals, takes another leap forward with the enthralling 1989 . . . A playlist of McDermid’s personal top 40 music enhances 1989, a novel that accentuates the decade’s advances and failures.”—Oline H. CogdillShelf Awareness

“Compelling, eye-opening, and utterly suspenseful, we love this series.”—Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Book Review

“A propulsive new thriller . . . [1989] is a tour de force from Val McDermid—bring on 1999.”—Janet Webb, Criminal Element

“In 1989, McDermid creates a vivid sense of memory . . . [and] addresses [powerful themes] in detail while weaving genuine history through a fictional story.”—Cara DiCostanzo, Mystery & Suspense

1989 is a full-body immersion in a world gone by, and a constant reminder of how history determines the present.”—Angela Bauer, Jacksonville Journal-Courier

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 unrivaled . . . 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