Customer Reviews


84 Reviews
5 star:
 (54)
4 star:
 (12)
3 star:
 (8)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good read
I have all Stuart MacBrides books and when he changed the location and characters in the last book I wasn't sure I would like it as much without Logan as the main character, but I think it was a really good move. This was a gripping read, if a little brutal in places and I sat up till 2 in the morning so I could finish it. The plot line was excellent and him having the...
Published 2 months ago by hb

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quick to read, formulaic serial killer novel. Certainly on the dark side but quite flat.
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...
Published 2 months ago by JK


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quick to read, formulaic serial killer novel. Certainly on the dark side but quite flat., 27 Jan 2014
By 
JK "Julie K." (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so good, 24 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Such a let down, 23 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have read all of McBride books and up until now enjoyed every second. I have raved to friends and family with the highest of praise. This book however is full of unimaginable characters, a dull storyline and I found it unfollowable. Sorry Stuart but this for you is very very poor.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't quite do it, 6 Feb 2014
By 
P Carr (NW Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I always look forward to the first week in January and a new Stuart MacBride book, and bought this one as usual on the first day. But somehow it didn't grab me like they normally do. I found the two main interweaving plots a bit messy, and at times a bit unbelievable and I found the final denoument rather too unlikely. I prefer the Logan MacRae books anyway and didn't find myself liking or caring about the protagonists here so much.

Oh dear, that's all rather negative! It's still a perfectly good book, but I expect more from Stuart MacBride. I'll still buy the next one.

In the meantime I'll have to wait for Christopher Brookmyre to finish whatever he's writing. He never disappoints.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment!, 11 Mar 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very disappointed with this book; not up to usual standards.Didnt like the writing style etc.Found the characters weak and confusing
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not very plausible story, 26 Feb 2014
By 
R. Henderson (Milton Keynes) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not very believable it seems like one of those books that has been written for contractual reasons rather than having a story to tell.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best.., 23 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good read, 8 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have all Stuart MacBrides books and when he changed the location and characters in the last book I wasn't sure I would like it as much without Logan as the main character, but I think it was a really good move. This was a gripping read, if a little brutal in places and I sat up till 2 in the morning so I could finish it. The plot line was excellent and him having the girl profiler with him was a good addition as she toned down some of the more extreme characters. I hope Ash hasn't retired from police work entirely although I don't know how he could physically survive another book!

I do miss it being set in Aberdeen, but that's just because I live there.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not sure about this one, 4 Feb 2014
By 
Colin Murtagh "Colin Murtagh" (Rotherham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
i do love MacBride, but I'm really not sure about this one. All the usual MacBride bits are there, the gore, the black humour, the twists and turns, but it all seems a bit flat. Ash is a tad more of a hero in this one, not quite the shades of grey in the earlier book. The violence does seem to be dialed down a bit. It's still there, and to be fair, the serial killer is nasty, but it's not quite at the levels of the earlier books. The humour is still there, and the newest character, Babs, is a lot of fun, but Alice seems a ghost of what she was.
Saying that, the twists and turns in the plot mean you're really never sure who the killer is going to be, with enough red herrings floating around to fill a trawler. It moves at a fair clip, and manages to tie up all the loose ends from the first book.
All in, it's well worth reading, but it's not his strongest book
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An unrewarding read, 6 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I confess I'm normally a Stuart MacBride fan; I love the Logan McRae books and even liked Halfhead, which the world and his wife seem to detest. These Ash Henderson novels leave me cold though. Having struggled through the last one, Birthdays for the Dead, with it's bleak storyline and unremitting violence I thought it could only get better, but this is frankly even worse.

There are a number of problems for me. Firstly, the first person narrative is very restrictive as it means the story must be seen through the eyes of the main proponent and I find this extremely wearing after a while. Secondly, as mentioned by another reviewer, the reader has no sense of the characters (and there are a huge number of them in this book). It's difficult to keep track of all of them when the only point of reference for them is their name. I found myself constantly flicking back to decipher who the characters were when they re-appeared. Even the main characters of Ash and Alice are not described in any detail, so there is no connection or empathy built up with the reader. The only things I know about Alice is that she wears red shoes and plays with her hair a lot, while Ash is even more of a mystery.

The biggest problem for me however is the complete lack of any compassion and comedic relief. Where the Logan McRae series is equal to the Ash Henderson books in the amounts of gruesome violence and bleak storylines, they are balanced by MacBride's impish, black humour and his obvious affection for his characters DS McRae and DI Steel. This book is relentlessly grim and humourless and I sense that Mr MacBride has no love for his creations. I certainly wont buy any more of this series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xab49b744)

This product

A Song for the Dying
A Song for the Dying by Stuart MacBride (Hardcover - 16 Jan 2014)
9.00
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews