i do love MacBride, but I'm really not sure about this one. All the usual MacBride bits are there, the gore, the black humour, the twists and turns, but it all seems a bit flat. Ash is a tad more of a hero in this one, not quite the shades of grey in the earlier book. The violence does seem to be dialed down a bit. It's still there, and to be fair, the serial killer is nasty, but it's not quite at the levels of the earlier books. The humour is still there, and the newest character, Babs, is a lot of fun, but Alice seems a ghost of what she was.
Saying that, the twists and turns in the plot mean you're really never sure who the killer is going to be, with enough red herrings floating around to fill a trawler. It moves at a fair clip, and manages to tie up all the loose ends from the first book.
All in, it's well worth reading, but it's not his strongest book