on 19 July 2013
I really enjoy all the Logan McRae books. I love all the characters, including DI Steel. I know a lot of people seem to say she's become a caricature but she always makes me laugh. As always there's lots of humour along the way.
Despite the fact Acting DI Logan McRae seems to becoming more of a wimp as these stories progress, there is no doubt he gets the job done in his own inimitable way.
Aberdeen is again beset by a series of murders beginning with a necklacing, soon to be followed by gruesome body finds, suggesting a connection with the occult.
It is no surprise, therefore, that a popular book about a 'superhero' witch is being filmed just around the corner and events in the film appear to be consistent with the increasing number of deaths poor downtrodden McRae has to contend with.
What is surprising is that ex-DI Insch is part of the film production and is throwing his weight around as if he were still on the Force. Further complications arise when Wee Hamish names Logan has a beneficiary of his estate and indeed, as executor of his will. This does not go down well with the incumbent heavy, namely Reuben, who has a personal score to settle with McRae.
So, the scene is set. For once, McRae does not suffer serious wounds, though he comes very close. His superior, DI Steel, is becoming a bit of a pain - not just to McRae but also to the reader and is beginning not to ring true. However, despite her foul mouthed interventions, McRae pursues his ideas, craftily dealing with the various other matters which crop up during the investigation and still managing to see his hospitalized girlfriend at every possible opportunity.
Stuart MacBride writes a good story. It's engaging and if you've followed the series, you'll not be disappointed. Whether there are enough people in the Granite City for more serial killers remains to be seen but I expect there are. As ever, I look forward to the next book, another year, I suppose?
on 8 February 2013
In spite of being a very elderly lady I have always enjoyed Stuart McBride and his bloodthirsty books. They have been clever,
funny and impossible to put down. Oh that I could say that about this one. It is a cliche and a parody of all his other books. No Police force would continue to employ Inspector Steele in these days of political correctness. The story was confused and messy and I think it Mr McBride has been influenced by all the programmes about witchcraft and magic which are on tv at the moment.
Please Mr McBride, reread your earlier books, see how good they were. I thank you for all the pleasure my family and I had reading them.
on 27 June 2013
Logan's character just gets better with every book. The storyline keeps you engrossed, page after page. Look out Rankine! You have serious competition here. Roll on the next one.
Aberdeen, the granite city, sparkly in the sunshine, grey and dour at all other times, a character in its own right, is the setting for a series of detective stories by Stuart MacBride, featuring detective Logan McRae of the Aberdeen police force. Close to the Bone is the eighth book in the series and I think to get maximum enjoyment from this book you need to have read the rest of the series. That is not to say that it cannot stand alone, MacBride writes a very competent detective story, but the characters have developed over the eight books and there are various incidents in the book which are very mystifying unless you know what has gone before - and you need to know what has gone before to get the full blast of their significance. I can't say anymore without acting as a spoiler.
As with all his books, MacBride manages to combine the very real horror of crime, both organised and random, with the humour that arises, willy-nilly in everyday life. If it didn't, life would be too dark to endure and we would have no police forces and no emergency services. Also, in the eighth books we know Logan and most of his colleagues well and we care about them. MacBride's characterisation is excellent. When she first appeared, I thought Steel was too broadly comic, but her character has been fleshed out so that she is now easily recognisable.
I am not going to go into details of the plot - the blurb gives a perfectly adequate summary and to say more would be to give too much detail away. It is enough to say that Logan has several crimes on the go and, according to Steel, he is never working on the one he should, but this is always a problem - how should one prioritise an investigation when resources are limited and you cannot reasonably tell which is going to turn out to be the biggie, and which inconsequential? (If any crime can be called inconsequential)
We mustn't forget that Logan also has his private life to pursue. Has he at last found happiness and emotional security with Sam? What happens when Jackie reappears? Will new DS Chalmers prove a distraction? In his dealings with all these women, Logan reveals complex elements in his character we might not have expected from the previous books.
Emotionally, this is much more of a bumpy ride for the reader. MacBride manipulates us expertly moving from horror to humour to tragedy and back and forth, ultimately, perhaps, to some sort of resignation and compliance with what life doles out. In the end it has more emotional depth than most detective stories.
An excellent read.
on 30 October 2013
First off I am surprised at the amount of people saying positive things about this book, don't get me wrong I am from Aberdeen born and bred, and love all the little clever observations about the place, I have read all of Stuat's books and have to say that over the series the standard has dropped, this is not unusual for such a long running series of books but I think this latest has really hit 'rock bottom'.
My main gripe is with Steele, I guess she is like Marmite, you either Hate her or Love her there is no middle round, she used to be very funny and there was good 'banter between her and Laz', now however she has become a joke charecter, and as other reviewers have written no Senior Police officer would ever behave this way, I know this is a work of fiction but she has really spoiled this book for me, I found when reading it I was skipping over the parts where she appeared, which did not help with the flow of the book.
I agree with other reviewers, Stuart please go back and have a read of your earlier books, you need to get the balance right between the humour and the grittiness that we all loved about your books.
Fingers crossed that his next Logan book will be a massive improvement or it will be my last
The book is currently available for 99p on the Kindle, however I would hesitate to recommend it even at that price !
on 13 October 2013
I have given this book 3 stars, not as a criticism of the writing, but because I really wished I had started the Logan McRae books at the beginning. It really didn't work for me as a stand alone story. I thoroughly enjoyed the main aspects of the story, the characterisations, the sometimes dark humour, how the characters sparked off of each other. However, I was really at a loss when it came to the previous events and relationships often referred to in the book: is Samantha in hospital in a coma; does Logan imagine all the conversations and interaction he has with her? How is he the father of Jasmine, seemingly the daughter of his DI and her girlfriend? etc.,etc. I know, this is my fault for not beginning at the beginning and I would advise other readers to do so. The story itself is dark, sinister and an absolute page turner involving the murderer re-enacting scenes from a book (currently being made into a film) concerning witch finders; people being crippled in supposed racist attacks and drug dealers. Now I am off to order the first book.....
on 19 July 2013
I came to this book a little put off by some of the negative reviews, but I found it to be every bit as good as the previous books. There has been criticism of some of the regular characters, but they are only written as they have always been, why would they change ? Logan himself has just the right amount of gravitas for his new acting inspector role and the plot was as tight as ever, with just the right amount of sadness and humour. A lot more please Mr Macbride
on 11 February 2014
I have read all the logan series and this is by far the poorest.The plot was like something from a kids sci fi programme,the dialogue between officers totally unbelievable.Insp steel has become a total caricature,someone who couldn't possibly be a police officer never mind the Head of CID.The author needs to end this series now or go back to the basics and principles which made the earlier books so readable.
on 29 January 2013
What a disappointment. I've read and re-read Stuart Macbride's last 7 novels featuring Logan and Steele and I just can't believe how bad this book is. I seriously question whether Macbride even wrote it. All the characters have become one dimensional, Steele (who used to make me laugh out loud) now just irritates me. I was so bored that less than 30% of the way through I tried to delete it from my Kindle, but unfortunately it's been archived so it looks like I'm stuck with it. I don't know what's gone wrong with Struart Macbride but I am seriously unimpressed - how can someone who wrote so well now write so bad. Save your money.