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Blood Tears [Paperback]

Michael J. Malone
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

6 Jun 2012
A body is discovered: the terrible mutilations spell out the wounds of the Stigmata. For Glasgow DI Ray McBain, the killings are strangely familiar... and then the dreams begin. The first in a series of books featuring DI Ray McBain, a Glasgow detective who has too many friends in the underworld for his own good, but enough to support him when he goes on the run, the main suspect in a murder case. Scottish noir at its best.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Five Leaves Publications; 1st edition (6 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907869344
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907869341
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 603,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Malone was born and brought up in the heart of Burns' country, just a stone's throw from the great man's cottage in Ayr. Well, a stone thrown by a catapult, maybe.

He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet-In-Residence for an adult gift shop. Don't ask.

BLOOD TEARS, his debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge:Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers and when it was published he added a "J" to his name to differentiate it from the work of his talented U.S. namesake.

He has since published (Oct '12) a non-fiction work about successful modern-day Scots - Carnegie's Call. And he lost the "J". The U.S. dude doesn't write poetry (as far as we know) or about Scottish success stories, so it was deemed superfluous.

He is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website www.crimesquad.com and his blog, May Contain Nuts can be found at http://mickmal1.blogspot.com/


Product Description

Review

Michael Malone is one of those new writers that you feel you've known a long time. Blood Tears blasts onto the Tartan Noir scene like a bullet. Big, bold themes and terrific humour amidst the darkness makes this my debut of the year. --Tony Black, author of Murder Mile

Tough, funny, dark and so in your face it hurts, a superb piece of writing --Ken Bruen, novelist

What is particularly impressive about Michael J Malone's first outing as a crime novelist is that his characters, and DI Ray McBain in particular, hit the ground running in fully developed and highly believable form. Add in a complex and compelling plot that has strong echoes with current media concerns about child abuse and the Catholic church and you have an outstanding novel and a 'must read' for all lovers of really good crime drama. --Undiscovered Scotland

An old man is found murdered in his Glasgow flat. DI Ray McBain is called to the scene and is the first to notice that the man's wounds mirror the Stigmata. The victim is a former janitor who worked in several care homes where he abused his charges. Is someone taking revenge thirty years after the fact?

Malone's thrilling debut starts predictably enough but, within four chapters, you realise that this is no ordinary police procedural and that darker things are bubbling under the surface.

McBain is, himself, a former charge of Bethlehem House, a Catholic care home where the murdered man worked. Early on in the investigation, McBain decides to hide a crucial bit of evidence relating to his stay at Bethlehem House. It is this gesture, as in all great noir novels, which sets him off on an inexorable collision course with his own past.

When his superiors find out, McBain becomes the prime suspect in the case and has to make a decision which will leave him on the run and alone, trying to solve the murders and, at the same time, the puzzle that is his past the recurring dreams of blood and feathers that descend on him every night.

McBain is a haunted, complex character. replete with dark humour and a relentless urge for justice. Yet even he isn't sure what exactly happened to him one night back in Bethlehem House, and like the best crime novels, Blood Tears is as much an examination of the past as it is of the present. The book screams along at pulse-pounding pace. Malone effortlessly shuffling between characters, cities and situations with the hand of a far more experienced writer.

The denouement is one of the most surprising twists in modern crime fiction, McBain s character possessing a uniquely original and fascinating back story. There are graphic descriptions of sex and violence but Blood Tears is also a serious look at the abuse scandal and the price its victims pay, both at the time and long after the fact. It's a book about decisions and elisions, the way we hide secrets from others and the way we hide them from ourselves.

With his debut, Malone has leapt into the cluttered field of Scottish crime fiction with a flourish, placing himself up there with this distinctive and powerful novel. You leave the book wanting to know more about McBain and to read the next in the series which is, really, all you could want from a debut novel. --Stav Sherez, The Catholic Herald

What is particularly impressive about Michael J Malone's first outing as a crime novelist is that his characters, and DI Ray McBain in particular, hit the ground running in fully developed and highly believable form. Add in a complex and compelling plot that has strong echoes with current media concerns about child abuse and the Catholic church and you have an outstanding novel and a 'must read' for all lovers of really good crime drama. --Undiscovered Scotland

About the Author

Michael J Malone is a Scottish poet and crime writer, whose claims to fame include being a poet in residence at a sex shop. He works in publishing and lives in Ayr. This is the first of a planned series of books involving DI Ray McBain. The second in the series, A Simple Power, will be published in 2013.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Scottish Copper 4 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback
Here's a welcome new bunch of coppers and others that we'll be getting to know even better in their (I hope) many future investigations. The new man on the block, D.I. Ray McBain, is dysfunctional in ways undreamed of by his predecessors in the genre. His issues go deep. But, as well as being very good at his job, he's characterized by a great sense of humour and access to a stream of one-liners which make us want to spend lots of time in his company. Mind you, some of the other characters have their own versions of the same quick wit and ambiguous attitudes to procedures, so humour is always there to counterbalance the story's darker recesses (and there are plenty of those).
The dialogue's sharp and snappy and contributes to the great tensions Malone creates as McBain seems to make dangerous choices and penetrate into memories and events that coagulate around many nasty hidden secrets. I know it's a cliché but this is one of those books which it's difficult to put down.
As well as warming to McBain through his humour and the strength of his determination to catch the villains, readers will sense a vulnerability which surfaces at times to add to his complexities. As I said, this looks like a Scottish cop who'll take his place among the stars of the genre.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood Tears by Michael J. Malone 12 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback
What does it say about Scotland when it produces so many excellent writers of crime fiction. Blood Tears is the first novel from Michael J Malone and what a debut it is. The writing is crisp with a poetic lilt, the pace is fast, and the characters are vivid and well drawn. Living in Ayrshire I almost feel I know these people - well the ones on the right side of the law anyway! The story is dark but the dialogue is peppered with witty illustrative metaphors that cannot fail to raise a smile. DI McBain is a complex character, a tortured policeman who refuses to let up in his fight to solve crime. The reader is hooked from the first page of this rollicking good read. I could not put it down, desperate to get to the denouement and then disappointed when I had finished it. I cannot wait for the next novel from this exciting new writer.
Sheila A. Grant
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Gritty, Poetic 8 July 2012
By S Tepe
Format:Kindle Edition
If you're the sort that shies away from Ken Loach's films because of the swearing then you would most definitely wish to stay away from this debut crime novel by the erstwhile poet Michael J Malone. However, if you can accept the gritty flavour of this noir mix of comedy, pedophilia, and poetic prose, then be prepared to put your life on hold because you won't be able to put this one down. My life is now back on track and I can't wait for the follow up.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read! 30 May 2012
Format:Paperback
This is a fantastic read which will have you hooked from the 1st chapter. I bought the book to keep me occupied on the bus for a few weeks but found I couldn't put it down at work or at home and devoured it in a matter of days! Michael Malone is definitively one to watch in Scottish Crime Fiction and on the strength of this debut could become a household name in Britain.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended 2 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written, interesting characters and storylines. Occasionally left wondering why some characters appeared then disappeared but overall a very good read. Some dark aspects which make it more challenging than many "detective thrillers". On the basis of this, I will look out for more from this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read 31 Aug 2012
By Spike
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have to say that this book really was one that I just had to keep reading. Knowing some of the places mentioned made it all the more interesting. I will definately be reading more of this authors work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Free Book Yet! 3 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
First off, I really enjoyed this book. And it was FREE!! And advertised by Stephen Leather on Twitter. So who could say no?
The plot and writing style of Malone is thoroughly enjoyable, fast-paced and at times quite humorous. I love the Glasgow patter and the unique way he portrays his characters. I particulalry liked how the reader starts off sure footed; we have the situation, we have the characters, we know which direction we're going... or do we? I kept guessing and second guessing right up until the end!

So why 4 stars I hear you cry? Well I feel bad that so far Mr Malone has 23 reviews and they are all 5 stars and now i'm plonking down a four. But please, let me give my two and a half reasons why I had to knock one off.

Reason 1: A cop (Harkness) tells a neighbour that they are going to perform an autopsy. In Scotland we call them post mortems. I confirmed this with my dad who was one of Strathclyde's finest for 35 years. Petty reason? Maybe I'm just nit-picking but it seemed like a silly error.

Reason 2: The references to the male genitalia and w*nking throughout the book. Seriously! Malone does artfully come up with many different colourful words and descriptions for each occurence and I think there needs to be a bit of grittiness to make a Scottish crime book half-arsed but can we do that without constant references to McBain's genitals..?

Reason 3: The ending was a bit disappointing. Malone really works us up to a grande finale then doesn't quite come through at the end. Perhaps other readers thought this was all the better as it suggests a second book in this series and I'm just being pedantic now.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read
This book kept me involved to the last page, well written, if you like Peter James, this is for you.
Published 2 months ago by Sue Pipe
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this!
Once you are drawn in to this you are hooked! Brilliant debut, and can't wait to start A Taste For Malice.......
Published 2 months ago by Mr Frederick Leckie
4.0 out of 5 stars Good debut
A killer with religous overtones. A policeman who has nightmares and is catholic! The author is known for his poetry and he brings this to his engrossing thriller. Read more
Published 4 months ago by geoffjones
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking read
A true thriller right to the last page. A new author for me and going for his next book right now.
Published 7 months ago by Lynaire
4.0 out of 5 stars review
I enojyed this as it is a good read and,if you can overlook the, to me unnecessary language, I think I wll be lookinig for the next.
Published 7 months ago by DJH
2.0 out of 5 stars Blood Tears
What I have submitted re a Taste of Malice goes for Blood Tears as well.
I'll not be buying any more MJMalone.
Published 10 months ago by Jean S. Sampson
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly horrifically scary!
Read this on holiday -two days! Brilliant loved it ! Be warned it will have you on the edge of your sun lounger!
Published 10 months ago by LynnB
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
A bit dark and gruesome in some places but full of Glasgow banter and wit. A great read, my kind of book.
Published 11 months ago by Belle
3.0 out of 5 stars Creepy book
A rather creepy book, and the murders are quite disturbing. Certainly not for younger readers or those who dislike horror stories. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Ellie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great crime novel
I'm not going to lie, this book for me started off slow. But I continued to read and ended up loving it. The story was very well written and the characters were all individual. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Emma.
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