Author: Stuart MacBride
Published: February 2009 by Harper Collins
Category: Scottish Crime Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Book Review
DS Logan McRae and the police in Aberdeen hunt a child killer who stalks the frozen streets. Winter in Aberdeen: murder, mayhem and terrible weather!
I’m very late to this particular party, the result of buying a book I didn’t realise was part of a series, so on a recommendation from Eva (Novel Deelights) I’m starting with book one. What’s another dozen books added to the reading pile 😅
After a vicious attack that left DS Logan McRae fighting for his life, resulting in twelve months recuperation, he’s back on the job with the Aberdeen police force, and immediately catches an appalling case. It seems children are being targeted, the victims of a serial killer, much to the horror of the investigating officers. Dealing with the reality of a new boss, not to mention the fact the chief pathologist is his ex girlfriend, Logan is struggling to get his self-confidence back.
The press are causing problems too, obviously privy to leaked information they are getting to the crime scenes almost before the police and reporting the details before the families can be informed. Logan bears the brunt from one explosive situation. It’s the middle of a freezing cold, miserable and relentless winter to matters even worse, the only bright light in Logan’s return to work is his new partner, WPC Jackie ‘Ball Breaker’ Watson.
’Something on your mind, Sergeant?’ Logan lied and said no.
‘Good. Given your little trip to A&E last night, I’m making WPC Watson your guardian angel. She’ll be coming back in at ten. Do not let me catch you without her. This is not negotiable.’
‘Yes, sir.’ Great, he was getting a baby sitter.
‘Now get going.’
Logan was almost out the door before Insch added: ‘And try not to piss Watson off. They don’t call her “Ball Breaker” for nothing.’
Well. I think I’m going to enjoy working my way through Stuart MacBride’s back catalogue if this is anything to go by (despite the disturbing subject matter). The plot is centred around the serial killer investigation, which is very gritty and hard hitting, and running alongside there is another ongoing, seemingly unrelated, case of a body found floating in the harbour.
Very atmospheric with the descriptions of Aberdeen in winter, I could all but feel the bitterly cold, wet weather seeping into my bones. Some great, well devised characters. I particularly liked Jackie Watson and I’m looking forward to Logan McRae’s development as the series goes on. The dynamics between the characters—DI Insch, Logan’s new boss, Colin Miller, the crime reporting journalist, Jackie Watson and Logan himself—will be interesting to witness. Flashes of humour, gallows and otherwise, are very welcome to lighten the narrative, and understandable in the circumstances.
It’s a fast paced and complex police procedural, well thought through and with enough twists to keep the reader on their toes.