"A crime of passion, or cold-hearted murder?
A serial rapist is leaving a string of tortured women behind him, but while DS Logan McRae’s girlfriend, PC Jackie ‘Ball Breaker’ Watson, is out acting as bait, he’s trying to identify a blood-drenched body dumped outside Accident and Emergency.
Logan’s investigations suggest someone in the local bondage community has developed a taste for violent death, and he soon finds himself dragged into the twilight world of pornographers, sex-shops and S&M.
Meanwhile, the prime suspect in the rape case turns out to be Aberdeen Football Club’s star striker, and he has an alibi for every attack. Logan thinks they’ve got it horribly wrong, but can he get anyone to listen before the real rapist strikes again? Especially as Jackie is convinced the footballer’s guilty and she’s hell-bent on a conviction at any cost…"
❖ ❖ ❖
Broken Skin contains everything I’ve come to expect from the Logan McRae series: entertaining and likeable characters, dark humor, and entertaining crime solving. This installment didn’t feel as seemingly lighthearted, if you can call it that, in the dark humor department as the previous books, but it still had its moments.
“Laz!’ she said, grinning as soon as she clapped eyes on Logan, ‘This no’ a bit fresh for one of your corpses? Thought you liked them a bit more ripe?’
Logan didn’t rise to it. ‘He was found outside A&E last night, bleeding to death. No witnesses. Something horrible’s happened to his backside.'
‘Oh aye?’ The inspector raised an eyebrow. ‘Medical horrible, or “I was hoovering naked and fell on a statue of Queen Victoria” horrible?’
Fans of Detective Inspector Steel will be happy to know that she's back in all her glory. Detective Inspector Insch also gets quite a bit of page time. Both are extremely fun in their own way, but DI Steel always steals the show. Her interaction with Logan, and Logan’s reaction to her when they work a case together, is priceless.
As usual, Logan is working more than one case. This time, however, it felt like there was a little too much going on. Things felt a bit scattered and not as cohesive as in previous books. Also, some of the outcomes felt a little too coincidental and far-fetched.
I had a hard time with some of Logan’s actions and decisions. As has been the case with both Book 1 & 2, Logan can sometimes be self-absorbed and not as empathetic as he should be. Here it was a little more than usual. Also, as has been my complaint in the past, I cannot understand how he could miss such obvious clues. I just want to shake him at times, and say:
But, I guess this is something I will have just have to get used to when it comes to Logan.
Despite those minor issues, I still enjoyed Broken Skin very much. It’s not my favorite of the series so far, Book 2 Dying Light holds that honor, but it was still a good read and a great addition.
Recommended for fans of the series.
Final Rating: 3.75 stars
"It’s summertime in Scotland: the sun is shining, the sky is blue and people are dying…
She’s just the first. How many more will die?
It starts with Rosie Williams, a prostitute, stripped naked and beaten to death down by the docks – the heart of Aberdeen’s red light district. For DS Logan McRae it’s a bad start to another bad day.
Rosie won’t be the only one making an unscheduled trip to the morgue. Across the city six people are burning to death in a petrol-soaked squat, the doors and windows screwed shut from the outside. And despite Logan’s best efforts, it’s not long before another prostitute turns up on the slab…"
I'm always nervous when picking up a second book in a series. Will it live up to the first book? Not only did Dying Light by Stuart MacBride, live up to the first, I thought it actually surpassed it.
"How? How does writing rubbish about the fires being a sexual thing help us catch the bastard doing it? What am I supposed to do with that? Put an ad in the personal columns? 'Looking for white, male GSOH, mid twenties -- into setting fire to people's houses, with them inside, and masturbating while they burn -- for long-term commitment at Her Majesty's pleasure. Genuine psychos only: no time wasters.' Can really see that working." - DI Insch
I don't know how MacBride manages to make a story based on solving gruesome crimes fun, but somehow he always does. I feel almost guilty describing it that way given its content, but it is fun watching these guys work. The characters are just so well-drawn, and endearing, even the prickly, insensitive ones, and I love the dark humor.
"DI Insch ran a tight ship. A stickler for punctuality, preparation and professionalism, his briefings were clear and concise. DI Steel's, on the other hand, seemed to be pretty much a shambles. There was no clear agenda and everyone talked at once, while Steel sat by an open window puffing away on an endless chain of cigarettes, scratching her armpit...[s]omething terrible had happened to her hair, but everyone was too afraid to mention it."
The one character who stole the show, though, was Detective Inspector Roberta Steel. She is a vulgar, crass, chain-smoking, hot mess, and I just adored her. I hope Logan has to work every case with her from now until eternity. I just couldn't get enough of her. Watching her interaction with Logan was so much fun. Hell, watching her interaction with any of the characters was fun.
Logan, of course, is great as well. The one thing that drives me nuts about him, though, is that just like the first book, he sometimes misses obvious links or clues. I found myself catching onto something and then waiting for him to catch up. That was a little frustrating, but not enough to ruin my affection for him or my love of the story.
The crime solving portion of the story was as good as the first book. I like that more than one crime is featured, even though one takes center stage. It keeps things interesting.
So, if like me you are always a bit hesitant when picking up a second book in a series, I wouldn't worry too much when it comes to Dying Light. It's a great addition to the Logan McRae series. Highly recommended.
Final rating: 4.5 stars
So today on my blog I share with you my love of the novels by the one and only Stuart Macbride.
Hope you enjoy and if you love Crime Fiction and have not read these yet perhaps I can inspire you...
Happy Reading Folks!