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review 2017-10-14 15:22
"Dying Light - Logan McRae #2" by Stuart MacBride - grim, violent crime in Aberdeen
Dying Light - Stuart MacBride

I didn't enjoy "Dying Light" as much as its predecessor  "Cold Granite", the first in this series.

 

The same cast of characters were there as before but now DS Logan McRae has been allocated to the Fuck Up Squad after an officer ended up in a coma during a drugs raid that he lead.

 

I enjoyed the humour and the tension that comes from the orderly McRae having to deal with his chaotic, despotic but strangely charismatic boss in the Fuck Up Squad. The local feel of the book remained strong and the depiction of bored police officers playing "If you had to or die" or "Spit or swallow" while on endless stakeouts seemed credible.

 

The plot was as twisted as in the first book but the sense of compassion and loss was not as strong. I was also put off by the maiming of one of the main characters by a gangster hard man. I recognise that this kind of thing is realistic but the detail in which it was described and the lack of empathy demonstrated by McRae and others left a bad taste.

 

I will continue with this series because it's well written and has strong characters but I'm hoping for something beyond twisted plot and escalating violence in the next book.

 

Kenny Blythe does a great job as the narrator. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear him do his stuff.

 

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/328181286" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]

 

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review 2017-10-07 23:26
Now You See Him... - Anne Stuart

It could have been a 4 if our H hadn't been so bloody determined to send the h on her way "for her own good". Since he's a spy, and she, unknowingly, is the daughter of an Irish terrorist (who died when she was a tot, ostensibly by drowning but actually attempting to plant a bomb) who had another daughter who is now a fanatic...and wants her dead just because she exists... yeah, you can see how well this works. He almost succeeded once but called her for some inexplicable reason which prompted her to try to hunt him down. She didn't know he was a spy (he was undercover) so got the shock of her life to find out there actually was a person by that name but it wasn't him...and she got angry and started looking for him.

 

There's a lot of book packed in this, and some other things bothered me too - her lack of subtlety, her strange determination to help the Irish cause. Yes her sperm donor was Irish, but she was American. Her being independently wealthy yet having cousins who were hillbillies. And for some reason, she was sure he was lying yet it never occurred to her that maybe he was lying about everything.

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review 2017-10-02 15:56
Birthdays for the Dead by Stuart MacBride
Birthdays for the Dead - Stuart MacBride
So I was looking around on Amazon and I happened to see this book and thought man it looks like a good one. 
Sadly I have to give it a 3 up it was hard for me to get into the book, it felt all over the place characters were filled with too much drama it seemed. There were scenes with Ash that just did not seem believable. Ash is dealing with his oldest daughter disappearing by the man who is dubbed The Birthday Boy, being in debt with loan sharks, and now dealing with the issues of his other daughter. It just screams disaster and we all know that just means lot of death will be to followed. 
When I started the book I am not sure how to explain it but I felt confused though once everything started coming together it was okay. 
I did enjoy how Ash didn't give up looking for the person who took the missing girls when it seemed that he might have had the right person it was a big step back for the DC because it wasn't who he thought it was. 
Now I may try the next book and just maybe Ash may be a better character for me who knows. 

 

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review 2017-09-25 02:17
The Usual Santas: A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers - Stuart Neville,Mick Herron,Helene Tursten,Peter Lovesey,Cara Black

I love anthologies like this. When your schedule is crazy & you find it difficult to make any progress on a full-meal book, these provide the perfect snack. Here we have 18 stories with an interesting theme. All are set around the Xmas season. But that’s about all they have in common as the authors took the brief & ran with it.

 

Some are funny, some are gritty. Settings include different centuries & locales such as Seoul, Bangkok, Ireland, America & Cuba. And genres run the gamut from psychological to full on action. There are even a few names you’ll recognize such as Jane Austen & Sherlock Holmes.

 

Like most collections some are great, most are good & a couple are meh. But what falls into those categories will vary from reader to reader. My favourites were those by Helene Tursten (do NOT mess with a Swedish granny), Teresa Dovalpage (great characters, set in Cuba), Tod Goldberg (poignant tale of a lonely sheriff’s final days on the job) & Martin Limón (American military police in 1970’s Korea). Two of these authors I’d never read before & therein lies the gift. It’s great chance to try out new (to you) authors & editor Peter Lovesey has included each writer’s back list at the end so you can easily select something meatier by whoever catches your fancy.

 

It’s a great book to take on your daily commute or leave on the bedside table. Just keep it handy for those times when you have a few minutes to escape to another time or country.

 

        

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-09-23 03:19
The Spinster and the Rake
The Spinster and the Rake - Anne Stuart

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

I’ve read and heard many good things about Anne Stuart’s books over the years, which definitely made me wanna read her books. But hers is such a daunting backlist that I wasn’t sure where to freakin’ start! Until recently, I, kind of on a whim, bought one of her latest reissue of an oldie called The Spinster and the Rake. The straight-forward title intrigued me and I liked the blurb cause spinsters and wallflowers are my favorites (by now, I’d be called both if I was living in that era :P). Rakes aren’t my favorite by any stretch of the word BUT an author can make me fall unquestionably in love with one. It has happened so I still take chances on them.

I read Anne Stuart’s rakes are moody and broody… sometimes seriously bad. Something told me she knows what she’s doing, so I went with that instinct and wanted to find out what havoc this latest rake in is wrecking. ;) Our hero, Ronan Blakely, the newly minted Marquess of Herrington, used to be what you’d call the proverbial ‘blacksheep’ of his family. His womanizing was so bad, at one point, when he tried to be off with a married woman someone had to step in. He was made to leave the country at the age of 22. Since then he’s had his share of fun in various European countries including France and Italy (latter is my assumption but no doubt he’s visited many other places too). He was not in the line of any succession but fate worked his way, and he’s back to the bosom of le bon Ton with a new title, and more money than he could possibly know what to do with. After 20 yrs., even with more than a few gray hairs peeking, Ronan Blakely is still as dashing and as devastating as he used to be at 22. And he knows just what to do with all he’s got; open a gambling club with the money and use his suave charm to operate it. Oooh, did anyone say Derek Craven? *imagine heart-eyes here*

But I digress... Let’s talk about our h.

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