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A Song for the Dying (Ash Henderson Novels) Paperback – 31 Jul 2014


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Frequently Bought Together

A Song for the Dying (Ash Henderson Novels) + Birthdays for the Dead (Ash Henderson 1) + Close to the Bone (Logan McRae, Book 8)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (31 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007344333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007344338
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Review

‘A powerful, swift-moving narrative … required reading for those who enjoy crime fiction with a bitter taste.’ Andrew Taylor, Spectator

‘A pungent sense of place … a vertiginous climax … Ash Henderson is mesmerisingly ruthless on the page’ Independent

‘Frightening stuff … a cast of characters to die for’ Sun

‘Darkly gripping … as smart a piece of crime fiction as you’re likely to read this year … or next.’ Sunday Sport

‘Fans of tartan noir will devour this fast-paced and in places shocking criminal thriller…a great story with some well thought-out plot lines and really well-developed characters’ Scottish Field

Praise for Stuart MacBride:

‘MacBride is a damned fine writer – no one does dark and gritty like him’ Peter James

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

About the Author

Stuart MacBride is the No 1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series and Birthdays for the Dead.

The McRae novels 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. In 2012 Stuart was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Hall of Fame.

Stuart’s other works include Halfhead, a near-future thriller, Sawbones, a novella aimed at adult emergent readers, and several short stories.

He lives in the north-east of Scotland with his wife, Fiona and cat, Grendel.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By JK TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Jan 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Songs for the Dying is a police procedural written almost entirely to formula. There are some extremely gory scenes, sitting way out of context to the rest of the story, presumably added as a means of keeping the reader hooked into what's quite a shallow serial killer plot. I've read several novels by Stuart MacBride and they've been spiky, sharp and packed with his trademark black humour, there's little of that on show here. Ash Henderson should be tearing his way out of these pages. He's a cop at the centre of a malicious conspiracy and he's lost everything as a result. His only hope of salvation comes in the form of a serial killer with a fetish for toy dolls and sharp knives. MacBride just doesn't capture the frenzy of rage and revenge that follows. Henderson remains mostly flat with little attempt made to explain either his motivation or history. None of which is helped by the large cast of characters introduced into the plot who are so sketchy it's difficult to remember who they are or why they're there.

I'm leaving 3* because Songs for the Dying will suit those looking for a quick to read, easy to read, crime thriller that's gritty and certainly 'on the dark side'. The ultimate cat and mouse scenes are well handled and there's a decent level of entertainment throughout but; it's not remarkable, not memorable, and really quite typical.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By sweep on 24 Feb 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Have read all Stuart my bride books. Think he wrote this one in a hurry not so good. Here's hoping his next one will be better.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jacqueline on 13 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Having read the first in this series and found it instantly forgettable, I tried to give this the benefit of the doubt but ended up not bothering to finish it. The Ash character is relentlessly and tiresomely aggressive, responding to just about everything with a clenched fist. He is entirely humorless as is the story,totally lacking in any lightness or wit. His alleged softness towards Alice is not credible. Alice herself, has to be one of the most profoundly irritating characters ever to appear in a book, with the constant wrapping of her arms around herself, twiddling with her hair, shuffling her feet in the red trainers. She hasn't evolved an inch from the first book and shows just one moment of insight when she declares herself a failure, for not spotting the obvious earlier. This is however, only as a show of self - pity.
All the characters are one - dimensional cardboard and the violence is mostly gratuitous and tedious. I can't imagine recommending this to anyone and I wouldn't bother to read anymore of the series. Shame, as I enjoyed the books set in Aberdeen. They were everything these two are not.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By rose on 23 Feb 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having been an avid reader of all Stuart mcbrides books this far, this was the least enjoyable. Seemed too many close to real but made up names. ... Enjoy the others much more, sorry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Foy on 27 Aug 2014
Format: Paperback
I have not read any Stuart MacBride books before, I don't quite know how I've managed that but there you have it. Also I didn't realise that this was the second in a series; Birthdays for the Dead being the first. However, you don't need to read them in order, this book works perfectly as a stand-alone.

D.I. Ash Henderson has been in prison for two years, framed for murder by a vicious gangster. He only gets released when Police Scotland needs his help in trying to catch a serial killer that got away from them eight years previously.

I have to say that although Ash Henderson is a hard-bitten, aggressive, violent man, whose answer to anyone who crosses him is to wrap the nearest object around their heads: I absolutely loved him. He just seemed so real. Having Alice, police psychiatrist, with him throughout was a masterstroke. She brings out a softer side in him, but it is just slightly softer, not sentimental. I can't decide if he looks on Alice as his girlfriend or the daughter that he has lost. Whichever, he is very protective of her.

Alice herself we don't really find out too much about her other than she is a psychologist, she wears red shoes and she twiddles her hair a lot. I would love to see her further developed in future books if possible.

This book is packed with characters, some of them extremely unsavoury, these are not people that you would want to meet on a dark night; nor in broad daylight come to that. Mrs Kerrigan, Ash's nemesis, is utterly vile. William McFee, the preacher, whose God is straight out of the Old Testament, is not much better but he works so well. As do they all.

This is a grim book with lots of gruesome violence but there is still a lot of humour to be found and it is very well done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Watson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Aug 2014
Format: Paperback
I would imagine one could find fault with most of MacBride's characters but Ash Henderson is the least realistic, the least likeable and certianly the most aggressive and brutal man of the lot. Having said that, in this book, there are others such as Mrs. Kerrigan and another oddball, Wee Free to name only two. Where on earth such characters were created is beyond me..well, yes, from the author's mind but to have them play such a pivotal role seems obscure.

Even so, there are merits in the book. There is excellent place setting, some decent dialogue and some great scenarios, though these are often spoilt by the horrific violence perpetrated.

I miss the Logan McRae laddie, that's for sure.
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