Sergeant Logan McRae is in trouble.... His missing-persons investigation has just turned up a body in the woods - naked, hands tied behind its back, and a bin bag duct taped over its head. The Major Investigation Team charges up from Aberdeen under the beady eye of Logan's ex-boss, Detective Chief Inspector Steel. And, as usual, she wants him to do her job for her.
But it's not going to be easy: a new superintendent is on her way up from the Serious Organised Crime Task Force, hell-bent on making Logan's life miserable; Professional Standards are gunning for Steel; and Wee Hamish Mowat, head of Aberdeen's criminal underbelly, is dying - leaving rival gangs from all over the UK eying his territory.
There's a war brewing, and Logan's trapped right in the middle, whether he likes it or not.
"Exciting...a guaranteed best-seller." (Literary Review)
"New Logan McRae novels are close to the top of my unmissable list, and yet again MacBride delivers. His chaotic cop hero is at his best. Superb storytelling." (Sun)
"Another from MacBride's fantastic series of Logan McRae novels." (Sunday Mirror)
"Stuart's meticulous research shows. At times it feels like you are sitting in the back of a police car overhearing conversations between real policemen." (Sunday Sport)
"Skilful storytelling...strong characterization...both intriguing and engrossing." (Laura Wilson, Guardian)
"The multiple plots move fast." (Independent)
"MacBride is the natural heir to the late and much lamented Reginald Hill." (Andrew Taylor, Spectator)
"MacBride is a damned fine writer - no one does dark and gritty like him." (Peter James)
"Fierce, unflinching and shot through with the blackest of humour; this is crime fiction of the highest order." (Mark Billingham)
"Some of the grittiest crime-writing in the field." (Independent)
"Admirers of tough, modern crime novels will be in seventh heaven - or should that be hell?" (Express)
"Ferocious and funny." (Val McDermid)
"Hard-hitting prose with a bone-dry humour and characters you can genuinely believe in, Stuart MacBride's novels are a real treat." (Simon Kernick)
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Wendy A Whitaker on 02-08-2018
I love Roberta!
Great books & characters - I care about the characters and this is down not just to the writing but the narrator. Don't always agree with how the main characters act in some of the trickier situations but in all honesty that probably makes it more lifelike and human.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Sires on 05-02-2016
MacBride Wraps Up Some Major Story Arcs
While MacBrides books can be at times painfully violent, if you can listen to the first scene then you too can become a McRae fan. In this book a lot of story arcs that had been going on for several books in the series get a wrap up-- and some others are introduced. That means it may not be the best place to start the series. However, I'm not sure if Audible has all of the unabridged books on the US site. You have to listen to them unabridged if you really want to appreciate MacBride's tartan noir.
There's a shake up in how characters are presented-- who would have guessed that Napier of Internal Affairs-- well, I'm not going to spoil this, but it's a surprise.
DI Roberta Steele has a very rough time in this book. But not as rough as crime boss Wee Hamish, who keeps trying to stave off a bloody struggle for his empire. Then there is McRae's girlfriend who has been in a vegetative state for the last few books. And poor old McRae as usual, who seems to rarely catch a break.
The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger-- but the type that whets your appetite about where the series is going next rather than the type that makes me want to jump up and down on my Kindle Fire.
Narration is excellent and adds to the story.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By William Michael Dunn on 24-07-2016
A rather solid four stars
I read the reviews of one star and the five stars and tried to listen to the novel with an open mind. Some of the extreme criticism of the one star review seemed to be warranted, but not to the emotional degree indicated . The violence was borderline but the narrative was sound and the characters were first rate. I found the story to be a little too long. This is my first MacBride novel, I'll probably listen to others but not right away. I will need a little time before I tackle another one. I suggest the book be read if your looking for an in depth emotional roller coaster ride . Mike Dunn
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Sarah on 18-01-2016
Darker, Colder, more conflicted - very Aberdeen.
Logan and DCI Steel are back to stop Aberdeenshire's next big crime wave. Logan's loyalty to his family, his conscience, and the law is truly tested whilst the snow falls, butties are eaten and smelly criminals are apprehended - all a cold February in Banff. This novel is lighter on gore than some of the previous ones, but heavier on the stuff that makes you really feel for the characters: it's quite dark. The pacing is excellent, and Steve Worsley's Doric is top-notch as always, ye ken.
It's refreshing read a series that shows the mental toll that being at the centre of all the horror, pain, and compromise of Logan's life have had on his character. Often by this stage in a long-running series the main character has built a wall of cynicism around himself, just to survive being the protagonist, that his development is either paused or re-set each novel. Stuart Macbride avoids making Logan a mental superman, rather than just a character that's luckier than most. Consequently it is psychologically darker than his previous novels - and since you should probably not start with book ten (there are a few in-jokes that have built up as the series has gone on) you'll know that it's really rather dark.
Stuart Macbride even lampshades Logan's protagonist nature by pointing out that he's still a DS, with his feet on the ground, despite having been at the centre of every single high-profile crime in Aberdeen. I'm glad that Macbride has managed to keep Logan's career 'realistic' without having to read about organisational management and policy in Police Scotland - and I love where the next book is potentially headed. Ther humour that stems from the real front-line of policing keeps the tone readable.
Through the series of novels, Macbride has shown that real terror stems not only from the psychopath with the knife as with his first novel, but also from facing yourself in the mirror after the consequences of your own compromises have exposed your loved ones to suffering. It's definitely a cold, dark day for our Logan McCrae.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
By Colette on 22-01-2016
Another fantastic addition to the series. These books have everything. Genuine characters, exciting storylines and a great setting. I particularly like the way that everything that Logan has to endure is reflected in his developing character. He's a fully fleshed out person with believable and conflicted thought processes.
The narration by Steve Worsely is wonderful.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful