The usual great fun, multi layered, gritty Scottish detective story. Sergeant Logan McRae as always ever troubled and hindered by the sarcastic often witty comments from the politically incorrect DI Roberta Steel.The body of a little girl washes up on a sleepy coastal town and it is this case that forms the central story in The Missing and the Dead. As well as unravelling the mystery of the child Sgt McRae still needs to deal with a multitude of incidents and petty crime that form the day to day case load of Police Scotland.
Stuart MacBride is unique in crime fiction. He has the ability to hold his readers attention by layering his narrative with colourful incidents and shady characters that are the backbone of everyday modern police work.There is great humour and warmth in MacBride's writing and yet he manages to deal eloquently and sympathetically with the search for the killer of a precious young girl resulting in a surprising and yet equally sad conclusion. Long may Stuart MacBride reign as the king of Scottish noir.
"One mistake can cost you everything…
When you catch a twisted killer there should be a reward, right? What Acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae gets instead is a ‘development opportunity’ out in the depths of rural Aberdeenshire. Welcome to divisional policing – catching drug dealers, shop lifters, vandals and the odd escaped farm animal.
Then a little girl’s body washes up just outside the sleepy town of Banff, kicking off a massive manhunt. The Major Investigation Team is up from Aberdeen, wanting answers, and they don’t care who they trample over to get them.
Logan’s got enough on his plate keeping B Division together, but DCI Steel wants him back on her team. As his old colleagues stomp around the countryside, burning bridges, Logan gets dragged deeper and deeper into the investigation.
One thing’s clear: there are dangerous predators lurking in the wilds of Aberdeenshire, and not everyone’s going to get out of this alive…"
"Logan hit the send button again. 'I need you to--' His left shoe parted company with the wall. 'AAAAAAAAGH!' Cracking through dark green spears, sending little green bombs flying, and thumping into the frozen earth below. THUMP. 'Officer Down!'
'Laz? Jesus, what the hell's...' Steel's voice faded for a second. 'You! I want an armed response unit and an ambulance round to--'
'Gah...' He scrabbled upright, bits of squashed Brussels sprouts sticking to his dirt-smeared suit. 'Officer back up again!'"
The Missing and the Dead, Book 9 of the Logan McRae series, is a little bit different than previous books in that Logan spends the majority of his time out of CID and in divisional policing. I found this change to be both a strength and a weakness.
On the strength side, I liked all of the day-to-day "beat cop" situations.
I thought how he handled the rat situation was ingenious!
I also liked watching Logan command his team. Even though he's been transferred out of CID, Logan is still a sergeant, in this case a duty sergeant, and much like I loved watching him be a DI in the previous book, I loved watching a take-charge Logan here as well. He's such a great leader. Also, this new environment from CID to DP brings with it a new cast of characters, which were all unique and likable in true MacBride style.
On the weakness side, while I did like the day-to-day policing, during the 60%-70% mark I got a bit of "beat cop" fatigue. It started to become somewhat redundant, and by that point I wanted the story to move forward on all of its dangling threads. There were moments where I actually felt like skimming, which is unusual for me when it comes to this series. Also, even though I loved the new cast of characters and their interaction with Logan, I really missed Rennie. Thankfully, Steel was still out and about for much of this.
In regards to Logan, I love his growth as a character, particularly as it relates to the situation with Samantha. I love who Logan has become over the course of the series and I can't wait to see where he goes from here. Of course, there were one or two moments where I wanted to knock him upside the head, but that's par for the course when it comes to Logan.
So, even though The Missing and the Dead has some weak points and I would probably consider it the weakest of the series so far simply because some portions could have been pared down, I still liked it and think it's a great addition to the series, especially as it applies to Logan's growth as a character.
Final rating: 3.5 stars
The Missing and the Dead is the ninth novel in the The Logan McRae series and is set in Aberdeen, Scotland and also the first I have read in the series, I suppose I need to start at the beginning of the series to get a real feel for the characters. That said, even though this is the ninth in the series, I had no problem reading it as a standalone book.
It continues the story of Acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae as he does his daily job. When a little girl is found in the pool of water outside Banff, Logan is pulled deep into the investigation. The Major Investigation Team is all over the case and pushes Logan out, their investigation etc, but Logan has a hard time letting this one go, so against his superior DCI Steele and continues to investigate the murder of the girl. Along with trying to find out who the little girl is, there is a woman Helen who thinks that this little girl may be her daughter that was taken from her years earlier so he feels that he really needs to find out who the girl is and who killed her.
Aside from this investigation, there are other cases that he and his team are working on, drug dealers, pedophiles and missing persons, plus chasing cows off the road. We are privy to the daily calls that Logan receives regarding things from burglaries to calls from higher ups who don't want or like Logan on the murdered girl's case or don't like him period. His superior DCI Roberta Steele is a brash, uncouth and loudmouth woman who wants Logan back on her team. She knows that Logan is one of the best detectives and will do what she can to get him back.
Even though is book is huge, 581 pages huge, it is a page turner. I love British authors and I have said before that they do know how to tell a story, especially mysteries and thrillers. There is a fair amount of humor in the book, some vulgarity, mostly from DCI Steele, and I think that all of this is what keeps the story flowing. Characters that you can relate to, some you will like and others not.
Aside from historical fiction, mysteries/thrillers have to be my next favorite genre to read. I also love British tv dramas, is there a tv show for this series I wonder? If there isn't there should be. The Logan McRae stories would certainly adapt to the screen very well. I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the next one, and going back to start the series from the beginning. If you like a good mystery book that you can settle into with a glass of wine and a cat on your lap, then this is for you. Well you don't have to have the cat....!
I received a hard copy of the book and was not monetarily compensated for my review.
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