LR#11: “A Song For The Dying” by Stuart MacBride

11-MacBrideI must come clean right from the start; a confession almost. I like MacBride’s novels; more specifically, I like his DI Logan McRae stories, and so, when given the opportunity to review this, I jumped at the chance.

MacBride fans will not be disappointed as this story follows similar themes to the McRae books – police investigation, our hero following his own enquiries and rebelling against his bosses, some great villainous characters, a smattering of humour and a dash of extreme violence. This is the second story featuring Ash Henderson, once a DI but now in prison for murdering his brother. He is released to help investigate the murder of a young nurse that bears the signature traits of “The Inside Man”, indicating the killer is back after an eight year silence.

Despite this being book two, and not having read the first one, I didn’t feel lost with the characters back stories. In fact, on this occasion, it was enjoyable to learn about the earlier storyline as this one progressed – it felt like I was discovering the evidence and deciphering the clues en-route.

There is violence aplenty within these pages and that may not be comfortable for some readers of crime. However, as with the McRae books, the violence is not there casually but, in my view, is a way of expressing the horror and anger felt, not only by the killer, but by the characters involved in the less pleasant side of the law.

The violence is rather splendidly offset by MacBride’s humour. He has a neat way of adding little touches of comedy to ease the tension that builds throughout this story. His addition of local touches, the food and dialogue references for example, really add to the flavour of this book.

This is a great read and had me up late over several nights (or, rather, early mornings) as I devoured its pages.

Not one for the faint hearted but a cracking read from one of our best writers of contemporary crime.


My Rating: 4.0* out of 5.0*


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