Most readers will know Stuart MacBride for his Logan McRae novels, a now long running series of police procedural thrillers set in Scotland, featuring the hapless and permanently harassed detective. The author has taken a break from that this year, and instead produced his first standalone novel in six years, and a hefty tome it is too.
However, MacBride has to a large extent stuck with what he knows. This book covers familiar ground for him – a number of bodies are discovered in grisly circumstances, a serial killer is on the loose, and the case ends up being investigated by a group of police officers who have, for various reasons, been shunted out of their own departments and effectively sidelined and forgotten about. As the body count rises, so too does the pressure on the overstretched and understaffed police.
The main character is, it has to be said, somewhat similar to Logan McRae, and at times you have to remind yourself that this is not one of the novels in that series. It is, however, an excellent and entertaining read. Even at over six hundred pages in length, it has no problem keeping up the suspense and action, and the pace of the story rarely flags, even if some of the plot twists do rather stretch credibility to the maximum. This is a very dark novel overall, albeit liberally laced with the author’s sometimes-gruesome trademark black humour. The multiple strands of the main story are cleverly brought together at the novel’s climax, and leave the reader hoping this will not be just a one-off appearance of these characters as they’ve surely earned a follow up tale!
Length of Read:Long
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Other MacBride novels, Rebus, Roy Grace, police based thrillers in general.
One thing you’ve learned
This is tartan noir at its best!
Fans of Logan McRae need not worry – he is due to reappear in 2018.