The personal and political effects of Scotland's 1980s coal mining strike underlie the gripping and intense A Darker Domain. Using as a starting point the union busting of Margaret Thatcher that plunged hardworking miners into poverty, Scottish author Val McDermid's 22nd novel is a strong, suspenseful psychological thriller about a betrayal, a community abandoned by a favorite son, and the struggle between parents and their children.
Scottish Dectective Inspector Karen Pirie's cold case unit is enmeshed with two crimes from the mid-1980s. In 1985, Mick Prentice, a respected, strongly pro-union member, left his wife and child in Fife to join a group of strikebreakers. Now some 23 years later, his grown daughter has filed a missing persons report on him. At the same time, clues surface in Italy relating to the death of a Scottish heiress killed during the 1985 botched kidnapping of her and her baby, who disappeared.
Pulling together these disparate cases with a skillful aplomb reminiscent of her masterpiece, A Place of Execution, McDermid takes us into the heart of a mining community where unity meant survival. A Darker Domain is a personal story for McDermid who grew up in the Fife area and whose family were coal miners.