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Birthdays for the Dead [Kindle Edition]

Stuart MacBride
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

The Number One bestselling crime thriller from the award-winning Stuart MacBride. A bloody, brilliant and brutal story of murder, kidnap and revenge.

Detective Constable Ash Henderson has a dark secret…

Five years ago his daughter, Rebecca, went missing on the eve of her thirteenth birthday. A year later the first card arrived: homemade, with a Polaroid picture stuck to the front – Rebecca, strapped to a chair, gagged and terrified. Every year another card: each one worse than the last.

The tabloids call him ‘The Birthday Boy’. He’s been snatching girls for twelve years, always in the run-up to their thirteenth birthday, sending the families his homemade cards showing their daughters being slowly tortured to death.

But Ash hasn’t told anyone about Rebecca’s birthday cards – they all think she’s just run away from home – because if anyone finds out, he’ll be taken off the investigation. And he’s sacrificed too much to give up before his daughter’s killer gets what he deserves…

Product Description


Praise for Stuart MacBride:

‘Fierce, unflinching and shot through with the blackest of humour; this is crime fiction of the highest order’
Mark Billingham

‘Some of the grittiest crime-writing in the field’

‘Admirers of tough, modern crime novels will be in seventh heaven – or should that be hell?’

‘Ferocious and funny, this is Tartan Noir at its best’
Val McDermid

‘Hard-hitting prose with a bone-dry humour and characters you can genuinely believe in, Stuart MacBride’s novels are a real treat’
Simon Kernick

‘Another brilliant, riveting police procedural. I'm green with envy!’ R D Wingfield

This intelligent, exciting police procedural should make the leading writers of the genre start looking over their shoulders’ Sunday Telegraph

‘An impressive debut … an edge-of-your-seat page-turner’ Publishers Weekly

‘A gritty, roller-coaster, in-your-face thriller’ Aberdeen Press and Journal

‘A cracking new writer on the crime scene who hooks you from the first page and never lets you go. The action is ferocious and the pace unrelenting’ Northern Echo

‘Compelling reading’ Telegraph

‘Gripping’ Daily Mirror

About the Author

Stuart MacBride is the author of several bestselling novels featuring DS Logan McRae, and the near-future thriller Halfhead. The McRae books have won him the CWA’s Dagger in the Library, the Barry Award for Best Debut Novel, and Best Breakthrough Author at the ITV3 crime thriller awards.

Stuart lives in the north-east of Scotland with his Fiona, cat Grendel, about a million spiders (as yet unnamed), and a vegetable plot full of weeds (called Frank).

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1085 KB
  • Print Length: 515 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (5 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007344171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007344178
  • ASIN: B005OECQ68
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,164 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Stuart MacBride was born in Dumbarton near Glasgow but grew up in Aberdeen. He is the number one bestelling author of several novels featuring DS Logan McRae. He has been shortlisted for the Theakstons's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award twice. Stuart won the 2007 CWA Dagger in the Library, awarded for a body of work, and was named Best Breakthrough Author at the 2008 ITV Crime Thriller Awards.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars something missing 20 Mar. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dark gritty and violent great stuff but i didnt like the way some characters were half introduced like Michelle, jennifer and ex DSI Len Murray,Rhona among others there were too many characters in this book to get to know properly and that was a major pit fall for me. I have read most of stuart Mcbrides books [all except sawbones and halfhead] but this one was different somehow like someone else was interfering with his usual style.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A promising start 1 Nov. 2012
This has been my first McBride book and could well be my last. The synopsis drew me in - seemed like a good plot and it all started out well. By halfway I was beginning to be confused by the different characters that kept cropping up. Generally I would not read a book written in 1st person, but I only noticed this "pet hate" a few times, I am normally very irritated by this style, however it worked quite well. I was looking forward to finishing the book and stayed up later and later to get through it. The end just seemed to have been hurried as if a deadline (excuse the pun) had to be met. For me the whole final section left me confused, there was so much going on and it just got sillier and sillier - then it was over. Ok a few twists at the end, some unexpected but when I woke up in the morning I could not remember much about it, the whole Birthday killer thing was glossed over in less than a page at the end and I never really did take in what it had all been about. There was also a point where a character died, that bit seemed to have been put in to "pad out" the story, and just when you thought it was safe to come out, just like a cheap horror film Mrs Kerrigan just won't stay down.

This book for me showed great promise, a really good plot that was different from the norm - but in the end I just wanted to finish it and start something else. I am sorry Mr McBride but you missed the boat with this one, a terrific plot which you failed to carry through.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The literary equivalent of Bruce Willis 20 Mar. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This was a massive letdown. Nasty, brutal, gratuitously violent and totally unbelievable. The "hero" gets hit with so much pain and violence, dosing himself on arthritis pills FFS, and yet bounces back again and again like a Bruce Willis Weeble.

Way way below par. Please don't write another one of these Mr MacBride.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Grim, Grim and then Gimmer 2 Mar. 2012
I'm a huge fan of the DS Logan series of books that Stuart McBride wrote; they breathed life into this genre even though they books got darker as the series progressed. This book though is a real dissappointment. Gone is the humour, it starts out grim, it gets grimmer, it gets silly and then it dives into a finale of grimness without any redeeming qualities. I just hope this was a cathartic venting of Stuart Mcbride's inner thoughts and he returns to the form of the Logan series. Give this book a miss
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Power of diminishing returns 19 Jan. 2012
By Phil
Originally a blackly funny writer, there is something about MacBride's offering which suggests his best writing is behind him. Attempts at black humour over the deaths and mutilation of young children mis-hit here. His clear desire is to shock but he doesn't - it feels sick and dirty, as if he has consciously decided to shock "Daily Mail" readers at the expense of clever plotting and fully-fleshed characterisation. The trip to England undertaken by the protagonist is unbelieveable and stretches credibility beyond return. I enjoyed the Logan Macrae novels, but each one less so than its predecessor. This has sealed it for me - no more MacBride. He should read a few Ian Rankins to see what strong characters and believeable plots can achieve. And learn what subtlety means.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very different style 8 Feb. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I was very much looking forward to this and half way through I'm at the point of giving up. The prose is rather odd and doesn't flow in the same way as the previous novels. Even the chapters end and then start oddly for example in the middle of a fight scene. Not good I'm afraid
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Thanks for killing me, Mr Macbride 14 April 2013
I love both crime and horror, with that said 'Birthday's for the Dead' fell into those genre categories by being criminally and horrifically bad.
I sat down with this book, ready to sink my mind teeth into it and felt the first niggle of toothache by the end of chapter two. Firstly, I don't care about what the radio DJ Sensational Steve has to say; if it was used to show contrast between Henderson's grief at receiving another birthday card, it failed terribly, succeeding in detracting from the dreadful moment and distracting me from Henderson's grief. And why in the world would you have the radio on once the card came through? Wouldn't you turn it off, preparing yourself for the horror that was about to be revealed? No, keep Sensational Steve and his comedy horn blaring in the background, yeah.
Secondly, the motivational drive behind Henderson not telling anyone, even his ex-wife that his daughter is one of the Birthday Boy's victims isn't believable; no matter how much will power a person has, or the intent behind it you WILL tell, human behaviour forces you to tell because people need comfort and they need to share the nightmare of something of this magnitude...even if it means Henderson being taken off the case, he would tell someone. How can you keep something like that in? Especially when every year another card turns up displaying your beloved daughter in another instalment of torture and bodily destruction? The kid you brought up, loved, the memories of her growing from child to young adult, all this would come flooding back the moment he looked at that card, displaying his little girl as nothing more than a rag doll torn and broken by the hands of a monster!!!!
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