Publication: 14 June 2018 from Harper Collins
What drives someone to murder?
Some things just won’t stay buried…
Logan McRae’s personal history is hardly squeaky clean, but now that he works for Professional Standards he’s policing his fellow officers.
When Detective Inspector Bell turns up dead in the driver’s seat of a crashed car it’s a shock to everyone. Because Bell died two years ago, they buried him. Or they thought they did.
As an investigation is launched into Bell’s stabbing, Logan digs into his past. Where has he been all this time? Why did he disappear? And what’s so important that he felt the need to come back from the dead?
But the deeper Logan digs, the more bones he uncovers – and there are people out there who’ll kill to keep those skeletons buried. If Logan can’t stop them, DI Bell won’t be the only one to die…
If you haven’t tried this series, you should, you really, really, should. Stuart MacBride is so on form with the latest in his Logan McRae series that you’d almost think he is enjoying himself.
It is perfectly easy to dip into The Blood Road from a standing start without having read the others, but why deprive yourself? Get the whole set and begin with Cold Granite.
What the blurb doesn’t tell you is that at the heart of this book is a really wicked and horrible set of crimes involving young children. Yet this is extremely well handled by MacBride who uses the crimes as a central point but without lingering too much on the substance, so whilst this is a chilling read, it is still readable.
Our accident prone D.I. McRae is now working for Professional Standards. If you’ve ever wondered why Police Scotland might need a Professional Standards team, you won’t after reading this. Never has there been such a shambles of a Police operation. Too many crimes, not enough officers, labs backed up, pathologists stretched to breaking point and that’s before you deal with sickness and leave and an Aberdeen Press that’s not so much hostile as starving for a headline story wherever they can get it.
It’s no wonder Logan’s boss, DCI Hardie, is so often to be found with his head in his hands.
Logan is investigating the somewhat embarrassing case of the fatal car crash of DI Bell. Embarrassing because this is the same D.I.Bell whose funeral he had attended 2 years previously. So who was buried in that grave; where has D.I.Bell been and what has brought him back to Aberdeen, only to be placed back on the pathologists table?
Logan has to go back into Bell’s cases to find the answers he is looking for, at the same time trying to bring in D.S. Lorna Chalmers for a chat about her current erratic behaviour. D.S. Steel is avoiding him, but that’s no surprise, none of his colleagues are keen on being seen, far less quizzed, by Professional Standards.
Logan has lost none of his irascible charm. Much battered and bruised over the years, he’s now taking his anti-psychotic meds regularly and only really talks to his cat, Cthulhu, when he needs the company. Saddled with the irredeemably bouncy Rennie and working again with the fabulous DC ‘Tufty’ Quirrell, a character I adore, he also spends a great deal of time battling and bantering with DS Roberta Steel with whom he has, to say the least, a complex relationship.
It is in the midst of this chaos, banter and tumult that McRae excels. Determined to the point of thrawnness, he will never back down on getting his criminal. It is to Stuart MacBride’s credit that he can keep McRae fresh and relevant and produce a novel that while it has a deep and chilling subject matter, also has dialogue that zings.
MacBride tells this story with brio and insight at the same time as leaving the reader gasping for breath as we wait to see who will survive the outcome of Police Scotland’s latest Aberdeenshire outing.
These are all such good stories. I end where I started. Buy them, read them.
Verdict: Logan McRae is in a class of his own. Top notch crime fiction.
About Stuart MacBride
Stuart MacBride was born in Dumbarton, near Glasgow and moved to Aberdeen at the age of two. After dropping out of university to work offshore he went to work for himself as a graphic designer, eventually becoming studio manager for a nationwide marketing company. He gave it all up to have a go at becoming an actor, until it became clear to him that he was never going to be good enough to make a decent living out of it.
Whilst progressing through a whole new career in the IT sector, ending up as project manager for a global IT company, Stuart also wrote in his spare time. He is now the No.1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series and the Ash Henderson series.
His novels have won him the CWA Dagger in the Library, the Barry Award for Best Debut Novel, and Best Breakthrough Author at the ITV3 Crime Thriller awards. In 2012 Stuart was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Hall of Fame.
Stuart’s other works include Halfhead, a near-future thriller, Sawbones, a novella aimed at adult emergent readers, and several short stories.
He lives in the north-east of Scotland with his wife, Fiona and cats Grendel, Gherkin, Onion, and Beetroot, some hens, horses, and a vast collection of assorted weeds..