Flesh House (Logan McRae, Book 4) Paperback – 27 Oct 2011
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Those who like their crime thrillers diamond hard (but shot through with macabre humour) need look no further than Stuart MacBride. As Flesh House, his latest, once again proves, he has few equals in this area, and is more than worthy of the ever-growing legion of admirers he is gleaning. His tough protagonist, Logan McRae, is once again negotiating the mean streets of Aberdeen, with violence and threat forever at his elbow. Those who have read Cold Granite, Dying Light and Broken Skin will know what to expect here -- and theyll be aware that they're not in for a comfortable ride.
The city is in a state of fear. Some 20 years ago, the Grampian police nailed a particularly vicious serial killer known as The Flesher, a monster who had claimed victims throughout the country. But one of those frequent legal appeals which so often release dangerous criminals into the community has freed him, and when a container with human body parts appears at Aberdeen harbour, it looks like the stage is once again set for carnage on a massive scale. DS Logan McRae (along with his less experienced colleague, Chief Constable Mark Faulds from Birmingham -- who was on the original team tracking down The Flesher), finds himself in charge of one of the most ambitious manhunts city has ever seen. And then members of the original team tracking down their serial killer prey (whose real name is Ken Wiseman) begin to disappear -- and more human meat is making grisly appearances. All of this is delivered with the requisite grasp of tension and characterisation that we have come to expect from Stuart MacBride. There are those who will feel he has gone too far in Flesh House in confronting the less savoury aspects of human behaviour, but fans of uncompromising crime writing will be in their element. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Praise for Flesh House:
'Stuart MacBride is the most exciting thing to happen to British crime fiction in the last ten years. Flesh House is his fourth book and the best yet … New readers should start here' Northern Echo
Praise for Stuart MacBride:
‘Fierce, unflinching and shot through with the blackest of humour; this is crime fiction of the highest order’ Mark Billingham
‘Ferocious and funny, this is Tartan Noir at its best’ Val McDermid
‘MacBride is a damned fine writer – no one does dark and gritty like him’ Peter JamesSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The body count is huge, the pychos on the loose seem to gravitate to Aberdeen and Logan McRae, as ever, brings some relative calm to the investigation - in his own way, of course! DI Steele seems to be assuming more of a role in MacBride's books, probably because DI Insch was always going to burst - one way or another.
As an aside, I thought the inclusion of the pseudo reprints of the local paper were an interesting addition, though I'm a little worried that I thought I'd recognized one of the murderers depicted!!
As before, this is a gripping read; a book which is more convoluted than the earlier ones (and longer, I think). I really enjoyed the development of the characters and, certainly, the author is more confident compared to the first story. Aberdeen in the summer for his next novel? Will we notice? Probably not! But I can hardly wait.
I can see why it has such a rep; the plot concerns a rampaging serial killer known as The Flesher who has been terrorising the UK on and off since the 1980s. His MO is to butcher his victims as one would livestock for the table. And he does this in a bloodspattered apron and a Margaret Thatcher frightmask!
One of MacBride's key talents as a writer is his easy visual style. When you read one of his novels you can clearly see it all in your mind's eye. It's a talent here that has come back to bite him on the arse as the imagery of this book is clearly too strong for some! Yes, the abbattoir style butchery of real human beings is strong and realistically/graphically depicted but I must express some amazement at some of the critics who baulked at such gruesomeness in the book. It's a murder mystery thriller after all, violent death isn't nice in any way shape or form. What did they expect? For me I actually find say, the manic stabbing of a character for example, far more sickening and harrowing than the downright twisted yet clinical emotionless dispatching that 'The Flesher' uses here.
Like MacBride's point about the food chain and knowing exactly what you are sitting down to eat of an evening, I feel some of these disappointed readers need to know that when they pick up a novel about a serial killer they have to accept that the author is going to deal in the more wretched aspects of life, the sheer lack of worth a murderer places upon life and the fact that death is simply not palatable.Read more ›
For any fans of the series all the usual ingredients are in place. There is a very, very strong story and some wonderful comedic lines to break up the tension. Steel in particular shines in this book. Her character is handed some fantastic and outrageously funny lines.
The story itself resolves around the flesher, a criminal that is roaming around the streets of Aberdeen killing and skinning people seemingly at random. To add another further twist Insch arrested and got a conviction against the killer years ago. Now thanks to the courts overturning the conviction the killer is out on the streets and bodies are piling up.
All in all I found this to be a very enjoyable book which once again moves the series on. My one complaint is that this book was far more gruesome than the previous books. A common criticism of the books has been the level of brutality involved in the writing, something until this book, I have not found to be an issue. This book however is very, very brutal in places and bordered on going too far in a few places almost to the detriment of the story. Despite this I still enjoyed the book and would recommend it to fans of the crime genre just not necessarily ones without a strong stomach.
There are a lot of detective/killer novels around, it takes something a bit different to stand out from the crowd and this book seems to.
Every few chapters there is a double page of newspaper cuttings which are interesting to read as background and an igenious way to get information to the reader.
The police characters are, as usual, all flawed but are developed in a very real way which created a great deal of empathy in the reader. Horrible things happen to the police detectives which are in context with the rest of the story and add to the story, making the investigation more personal.
During the middle of the book the story does slow down (the book could do with being shorter) but picks up again as it heads towards the ending. There are a few too many coincidences and I wasn't completely happy with the identity of the killer but it works reasonably well as a novel and it is fiction!!
Overall, this author portrays that the police are real people working in a real world where nothing is obvious and mistakes happen.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I think Stuart lost the plot on this one. Logan's damage is not so much collateral as all consuming. Woe betide colleagues and potential victims alike. Read morePublished 3 days ago by paintbox
Book four in the Logan McRae series and I think this has been the goriest one so far. What I liked about this one was that it was slightly different. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Kerry
I enjoyed most of this story, however there did appear to be a lot of characters and at times this was a bit confusing. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Carl Normanby 71
this is a great book, I know it is a murder story, but, it was so funny. Stuart MacBride has a great sense of humour, I couldn't stop laughing reading it.Published 1 month ago by Margaret