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Search tags: Stuart-MacBride
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review 2018-01-04 01:07
Now We Are Dead - Stuart MacBride

Oh man…this is a tough one. First let me say I’m a huge fan of this author. HUGE. When I see a new book of his on the horizon, I break out the happy dance. And immediately begin plotting how to make it mine.

 

I’ve read all the Logan McRae & Ash Henderson books & although this one is tagged as belonging to the former, it heads off in a new direction starring DS Roberta Steel, Logan’s sometime partner & author of his nightmares. She was his boss, then peer but after events of the last book, she’s been busted down to DS & tasked with chasing down pickpockets & wandering pensioners. So it comes as no surprise that Roberta is not happy. And if Roberta’s not happy, no one in Aberdeen is safe.

 

Except Jack Wallace. He’s the reason she was demoted & ok, maybe she did “find” some evidence in an effort to put him away for the rape/assault of local women. But now he’s free & proclaiming to anyone who’ll listen that he plans to sue Police Scotland. So Roberta is duly warned: do not approach, speak to or even look at Jack Wallace. Apparently she’s supposed to let him live his scumbag, dickhead, perverted, weaselly life unhindered.

 

Fine. There are other men to use for target practice such as Logan (who she’s not speaking to) & DC “Tufty” Quirrel, her shiny new partner. But then a woman is violently assaulted…..and another. Roberta knows Wallace is responsible but she’s on a short leash where he’s concerned & another screw-up won’t mean further demotion. She’ll lose her career.

 

So here’s the deal. Like other books this one has the multiple cases & eccentric characters that make the stories so entertaining. Full points for providing a bad guy we desperately want to see get what he karmically deserves. And bonus points for turning a farmer’s demonstration into a literal shit-show.

 

What I discovered was that, while I’ve enjoyed Roberta in a supporting role, she’s a bit much for me as the MC. She’s an original, you have to give her that. But shadowing her raunchy, potty mouthed, perpetually itchy character 24/7 soon lost its appeal. For me, she’s like cilantro…a little goes a long way.

 

Also, while there are multiple story lines that unfold & wrap up, the emphasis is on putting Roberta & Tufty in situations that become slapstick routines. Bumping heads, tripping, falling, knocking things over, being sprayed with multiple substances…some of it is genuinely funny but the sheer number of incidents causes the book to quickly devolve into the realm of farce with the Roberta & Tufty Show. Which is ok if you’re a fan of bathroom humour & the Three Stooges. Also, her habit of greeting every woman she meets with comments full of sexual innuendo would surely land her on the #metoo list & makes for uncomfortable reading at times. 

 

It all depends on where you keep your funny bone. Having said all that, I give full props to her & wife Susan for the final scenes. High five, girl. (em…note to any male readers: you may want to down a few beverages before you hit this part. Just sayin’.)

 

So there you have it. Just one person’s opinion & as always, it’s a matter of personal preference. I’ll continue to wait impatiently for the next book featuring Logan or Ash. As for Roberta, I think it’s best we maintain a long distance relationship.

 

 

                                  

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review 2017-11-04 20:00
Shatter The Bones
Shatter the Bones - Stuart MacBride

I won this book at Ezzulia and I was very pleased to win it, because I had heard such positive stories about the books bij Stuart MacBride. I couldn't wait to start with it. But, while reading, my enthusiasm got tempered.

Now, I've been thinking what to think about 'Shatter The Bones', but actually all I can say about is: average. Everything about it was in my opinion average. Story, setting, writing style, nothing was really remarkable... Yes, it was a detective story and it was nice and easy to read, but if you would ask me next year what the book was about, I probably couldn't give you an answer. I don't like that. I want to read stories I'll never forget after reading. But this isn't one of those. Unfortunately.

It's just average...

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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 2017-10-02 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 2017-09-08 23:29
"Cold Granite - Logan McRae #1" by Stuart MacBride
Cold Granite - Stuart MacBride

I came across Stuart MacBride when he won "Celebrity Mastermind" a week or so ago.  The host asked Macbride what he did when his first novel, "Cold Granite",was so well received that his publishers asked him for the next novel in the series, even though he had no plan for one. MacBride replied, "Well, it was write another novel or carry on working in IT. So... here's another novel."

 

That was enough for me to get hold of an audio book copy of *Cold Granite"

 

Set in the perpetually rain-drenched granite streets of Aberdeen, "Cold Granite" tells the story of DS Logan "Lazarus" McRae's return to work after a long sick leave recovering from a knife attack. On his first day back he ends up investigating the death of a young child.

 

What follows is a very Scottish police procedural, crammed with local colour, larger than life characters, raucous humour and unflinching descriptions of death, decay and violence.

 

The pace is perfect. The relationships inside the police force and between the police officers and the press felt very real. There are plenty of credible suspects, a twisted trail of crimes and criminals and, at the heart of it all, a young DS still learning his trade. McRae works hard, is not yet comfortable with his rank, occasionally screws up but mostly spends his energy doggedly pulling together the pieces of the puzzle that can lead him to the murderer.

 

It is straightforward crime fiction that delivers good entertainment and memorable characters.

 

Like MacBride's publishers, I'm demanding more. Fortunately, I'm twelve years late to this party so there are another nine books already in print.

 

"Cold Granite" is narrated with great skill by Steve Worsley. Click on the SoundCloud link below for a sample

 

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/323232771" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]

 

 

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