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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 10 May 2009
I've been counting down the days to the release of the next book in the DS Logan McRae series and it's been worth it. Dark, gritty, fantastic characterisation with humour that despite the horrors going on make you laugh out loud.
Once again this is fast paced but the plot flows so smoothly and is so well written that MacBride makes it all seem so effortless.
Set in the Summer this time, the plot centres around members of the Polish community coming under attack, with their eyes being gouged out and sockets burnt. Then there is a surprise when a similar attack is carried out on a victim. (Any more would be a spoiler). On top of this there are goings on with the crime lords in Aberdeen involving guns and prostitution.
Logan gets a short stay in Poland with devastating results and cracks appear as he starts to feel the effects of all he suffers both in Blind Eye and the Flesher case (which has turned him into a vegetarian).
There are lots of familiar faces in Blind Eye- I did miss Colin Miller but DI Steel made up for that!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Something's changed - and not for the better. I don't fully understand how the gritty hero of the previous three hard-hitting novels has suddenly become a jokey characature of a Aberdeen DS. As for DI Steel, she seems almost music hall in the author's portrayal of her as a quirky, chain smoking, bacon buttie eating lesbian with a soft spot dor DS Logan McRae.

Given the appalling nature of the crimes committed, hence the title, the violence seems gratuitous and the humour is sour. Underneath, there is still the author's old manner in showing off the granite city in a poor light but the style has become onomatopoeic which makes it seem very childish and simplistic when describing some of the action scenes.

The plot does not need describing; it's already well known. The Polish connection seems tenuous to say the least. I'm well aware of the introduction of Polish communities, my home town has enjoyed their input since the fifties, so I was disappointed that they have become almost a bete-noire in today's cities. That aside, the book is almost 550 pages. I hope the next one is shorter and more dynamic and the author brings his hero back into the real world he had originally set up in the earlier books.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2009
I enjoyed Macbride's previous novels, but for me this is a disorganised mess that got perilously close to `jumping the shark' (for those unfamiliar with the term, it means an outrageous plot sequence that removes all credibility from subsequent offerings). Macbride needs to reign himself in, and get back to the basics that were so good in earlier novels.

The character of DI Steel, and her relationship with Logan, is turning into a bad comedy; it is devoid of wit, it stretches credence beyond endurance, and it is increasingly getting in the way of what should be the fundamentals of a police procedural. Logan too, in his indestructibility and his endless drinking, is becoming a cartoon character and a cipher of the `hard-drinking Scottish copper'. It's been done, and done many times. Move Logan towards a character we can believe in.

While parts of this storyline were done very well, with some genuine menace, too much of the plot became garbled, and seemed secondary in the author's thinking. The episode in Poland was too formulaic to be credible; plot changes relied on reaches of logic that seemed forced and artificial; the `bent copper' angle was well-developed but then ruined by a trite and lame finish; the overall ending of the book was messy and smacked of running out of ideas. Macbride has shown that he can write really excellent crime novels; it's a shame he hasn't done so here.

I know Macbride routinely laughs at people who post Amazon reviews of his work. Fine. But for this reader (and fan) he is moving away from what made his books so good; the sense of place, a credible central character, and a decent plot set in the real world. Graham Hurley has shown how it is possible to develop the lives of central characters without becoming cartoonish or clichéd; Macbride needs to do the same with the next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2010
I'm a fan of Stuart McBribe. Having read the various reviews about this book i was a bit concerned about this one, but i wasn't to be disapointed. ok, the plot is just a wee bit streched with all the goings on, but if Jason Bourne can survive bomb blasts and the like in every other chapter why cant Logan. It might not be the deeply introspectiveness of Rebeus, but the characters are all individual in their own way and i think the element of humour is just so typically Scottish. There is humour and banter in every walk of life, so why not in the police force, where they face worse day to day scenarios that most. I found that i couldnt put it down and frequently laughed out loud throughout the book. Keep it up Mr McBride. Books are to be enjoyed if you cant laugh while you are enjoying a book such as this then maybe the other reviewers, should look else where for their pleasures.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2010
I have read and enjoyed author Stuart MacBride's previous books featuring the city of Aberdeen and DS Logan McRae and his colleagues in Grampian Police. In this latest story he is in pursuit of a man who blinds his victims in the most horrific way - even going so far as to target local gang boss Simon McLeod.

BUT - I'm afraid the 'witty banter' and the chaotic lives of the main police characters are in real danger of overshadowing any detective plot in this latest book. Lesbian DI Roberta Steele and her partner are keen for a baby but would a DI really suggest that her underling help out with a 'donation' to get her girlfriend pregnant? Not asking in a discreet way but suggesting it whilst at work in the police station? The heavy drinking of the DI is supposedly covered up by Logan who, having found her very much the worse for wear at the sea front, takes her to a crime scene, leaves her in his car - and no other officer at the same crime scene notices?

The days when police officers could go to work drunk (or even severly hungover) without getting a severe reprimand are gone. The amount of 'accidents' which occur in the course of arrests and pursuits is becoming laughable and DS Logan McRae has only a slightly better shelf life than poor little Kenny in Southpark. In this book, a visit to Poland results in a near death experience via a bomb in a flat - yet he is back at work within 72 hours!

Please, Stuart MacBride - reign in the comedy to a few dry, witty lines, research the consequences of the more outrageous behaviour of your police characters (stashing a peadophile witness in the home of the DI without the knowledge of her partner???) and get back on track with your next book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 21 January 2010
I found myself sucked in early by some laugh-out-loud funny dialogue and descriptions in 'Blind Eye'. Mr McBride seemed to have abandoned the idea of a attempting to pen a traditional thriller to write a pure comic novel - wildly scatological and profane - around a parody of the serial killer genre. I thought it was really good and - as I haven't followed the series with any diligence - was less bothered than other reviewers appear to be about the way characters who might have become favourites in previous, slightly more serious, books became mere comedic devices.

But, a few hundred pages in, the laughs stop coming and the plodding, deeply unconvincing 'plot' starts to take over. The porn version of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' (don't ask) was the low point, about as amusing as a car accident involving children. Then the central protagonist goes to Poland and interest and humour completely disappear. Unfortunately, when the laughter stops, you are left with a very average detective yarn, which is a real pity. Early doors, this was really good.

Three stars rather than anything worse as the first part is genuinely fresh and engaging.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2009
Have been a fan of MacBride and have enjoyed his previous books which had a good plot and a touch of realism.
I felt ,however,that in this latest book MacBride would have appeared to have ran out of ideas with regards to a decent crime plot.MacBride's characters have developed an extremely unrealistic comical aspect to their characters which i felt flawed this latest book.MacBride would appear to be a distance away from the standards of Rankin or Connelly based on this latest book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2010
I'm quite frankly staggered by the amount of glowing tributes to this book and its author. Having read the previous four, and seen the decline in standard that arose with Flesh House, I was hopeful that this one would mark a return to the form of the first three. How disappointing to find out that the opposite is in fact the case. I'm not even convinced that this one was actually written by MacBride, it's that bad. It's as though he had an idea for a story, but couldn't be bothered writing it, so he offered it to a fourteen year-old to write instead. That is the level of the humour here. Yes, there are touches of the gruesome plotting that has stood out in the previous offerings, but the characterisation has just become ridiculous. McRae, Steel and Rennie have become so unbelievable, so caricatured, that any semblance of decent story-telling is lost in the sheer silliness of the "banter" between them, especially McRae and Steel.

Stuart MacBride has proved he can do the gritty police procedural with darkly comic elements - you only have to read the first three in this series to realise that - but this one does not fit the bill. I discovered him through a recommendation from a staff member at my local Waterstones, having asked what else might someone who enjoys Brookmyre/Hiaasen/etc try (his other recommendation was Mark Billingham - now there's a man who can maintain the standard). For a while I was grateful for the nod; now I think I will leave alone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
First of all these books are gory, gruesome, and graphically descriptive. They contain a lot of swearing and they are incredibly funny - yes funny. I certainly never laughed while
reading a Val McDermid or an Ian Rankin but I was chuckling away to myself in the garden and probably people thought I was nuts, but I was listening to these audio books. DS Logan McRae is a great character but every time DI Steel enters the room, she steals the show, and it's from her that most of the funny one-liners come from (at the end of every morning meeting she states "remember we are not at home to Mr...". My other favourite character is the Glaswegian journalist, Colin Miller - great character.

This is probably the funniest book in the series so far, there were so many funny lines in the first half of this book I was literally laughing out loud and hoping no one actually
heard me or they'd be saying there's that mad woman laughing to herself in the garden again. This one is narrated by the author and he did an amazing job, just brilliant. Oh and after the events of the last book, Logan is now a vegetarian!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I really enjoyed the previous MacBride books featuring Logan McRae, and was waiting with baited breath for this one. However, it was quite a let down!! I don't like the way that MacBride is taking McRae - starting to turn him into a copper who breaks the rules, rather than bending them. DI Steel is becoming ridiculous and has lost the really amusing side from previous books. And as for the sperm story sideline - totally unrealistic and unnecessary. I hope the next book is back to the early stuff, which were unputdownable!
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