â€śThere is no one in contemporary crime fiction who has managed to combine the visceral and the humane as well as Val McDermid. . . . Sheâ€™s the best.â€ťâ€”The New York Times Book Review â€śMcDermid has a sharp ear for the dialogue and intrinsic humor of the Manchester dialect. . . . She manages, as always, to combine her wit and exuberant writing with a careful and clever plot and oodles of perceptive social observation.â€ťâ€”The Times (London)Bodyguarding had never made it to Manchester PI Kate Branniganâ€™s wish list. But somebodyâ€™s got to pay the bills at Brannigan & Co., and if the only earner on offer is playing nursemaid to a paranoid soap star, the fast-talking, computer-loving, white-collar-crime expert has to swallow her pride and slip into something more glam than her Thai-boxing kit.Soon, however, offstage dramas overshadow the fictional storylines, culminating in the unscripted murder of the self-styled â€śSeer to the Stars,â€ť and Kate finds herself with more questions than answers. Whatâ€™s more, her tame hacker has found virtual love, her process server keeps getting arrested, and the ever-reliable Dennis has had the temerity to get himself charged with murder.Nobody told her thereâ€™d be days like these . . .