Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Missing and The Dead - Stuart MacBride

The new Logan McRae novel from the No. 1 bestselling author of CLOSE TO THE BONE and A SONG FOR THE DYING.

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…

I utterly loved this.  Back were the whole gang of Scottish police nutcases, including Roberta Steel, McRae's old lazy as shite friend/boss.  She's larger than life and about as disgusting. MacBride has a macabre sense of humour.  He gets all the good guys into trouble.  McRae, at the opening of the book has just caught a paedophile but when the case finally comes to trial the weasel somehow gets off.  McCrae's bosses are livid and send him on a "Career Opportunity" in the boondocks of Scotland.  He's back in uniform dealing with a mysterious dead girl, missing persons, drug dealers and a hell of a lot of sheep on the roads. 

MacBride interweaves radio broadcasts, missed opportunities, interruptions and angst all together with tender moments around a mother desperately looking for her lost daughter (who might be the corpse in the pool - or not) and way too much police bureaucracy. Every time he opens his mouth, its shut by obnoxious, pipsqueak glory hunters from other 'more important' police units.  Yet somehow, despite throwing 'by-the-book' procedure to the wind McCrae manages to solve all the cases and get none of the credit, almost losing one girlfriend and gaining 'another' in the process. 

MacBride has really mastered this wonderful juxtaposition between humouring the trivial and the irritating against the dark matter of gruesome murders and taboo subjects like paedophilia and child deaths.  He makes no bones about either - everything is tarred with a thick coat of grime and left over pastry crumbs.  No wonder he's mobbed where ever he goes.  Book shops need security, yeah?

I loved this and recommend it above anything else you read this month!

Check Stuart's web site:

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