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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 8 June 2007
No doubt about it Stuart MacBride is here to stay. Broken Skin is the third in the series of DS Logan "Lazarus" McRae set in Aberdeen

Having read the first two novels Cold Granite and Dying Light I was looking forward to this and it doesn't disappoint. I do think though with so many characters and back stories from the previous books, that newcomers to MacBride would benefit enormously from reading the books in sequence.

Like other reviewers have mentioned the best character is the chain smoking DI Steel and after her being a minor role in the first book she is now front and centre with Logan and this book is better for that.

As usual their isn't just one case to solve, a serial rapist and a murder that looks like BDSM gone wrong or is it ? Easy to get sucked into this book after only a couple of chapters after 60 pages I couldn't believe how much had already happened. I think there's enough plot and twists that at no point did I feel the story slowed down.

No question in my mind that we will see Logan on our TV screens very soon mind you who ever decides to film it is going to have to buy a huge rain machine.

With Rebus due to retire next year MacBride has surely created his successor
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on 20 June 2008
One of Stuart McBride's more recent books caught my eye in a bookshop, but I decided to start at the beginning so I bought this, his first book.

It is an excellent book. Good storyline; complex enough (various children going missing, unidentified bodies being found), but there are enough subtle reminders to help you keep up. There are a few twists & turns as different strong suspects prove to be innocent; quite a good "whodunnit" element. I quite enjoyed the occasional humour.

Excellent characterisation. The main two characters in particular are very interesting, and I look forward to seeing them develop further in forthcoming books. There are plenty of supporting characters, making a very interesting cast, and plenty of scope to bring different people to the fore in future stories.

The characterisation is not at the expense of the plot though; the story moves at a decent pace (I have read some books recently that spend so much time describing characters & places that the story hardly progresses - this is not one of them).

This book is excellent when considered as a stand alone story, but it is also a superb starting point for (hopefully) a long series of stories. I can't wait to read the next one...
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on 17 May 2011
I'm happy to declare Stuart Macbride to be my new favourite crimewriter. New to me anyway, as it appears I've been somewhat slow to catch onto him, having only recently discovered by accident his most recent paperback release, "Dark Blood"... only about his seventh release! Oops. So now, I'm going back, waaaaay back, to read the rest of the series. And thus far, I'm not disappointed. This lives up to the cover blurb's bandying about of terms like "gritty" and "not for the fainthearted" - which is saying something when so many crime novels these days are about as gritty as Winnie the Pooh.

I did have a minor gripe with the denouement... feeling the author chucked in one extra element for shock value that wasn't at all necessary. But for a first novel, I can hardly criticise him for that.

Overall, an excellent and compelling read. And I'm now working my way through the rest. Bring on the "tartan noir"...
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VINE VOICEon 20 April 2008
MacBride can not get better than this.
I would strongly advise if you have not sampled the series that you start with the first and read on.
Herein we have the same old characters in all their glory. DI Steele excels better than ever before. DI Insch grumbles and chews his way through 600 pages.
There are numerous plots which twist and turn, but the humour is over the top. MacBride is Rebus and Terry Pratchett all in one. He takes serious topics and with outstanding, realistic characters and more than its fair share of laughter, makes a thoroughly readable book which is impossible to put down.
Seriously looking forward to number 4 in the series.
Keep them coming Mr MacBride before I start to go through withdrawal.
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on 10 February 2008
This is the third book in the series, and MacBride is really getting into his stride now. Some of the things that irritated me about the previous two have gone - notably the poor descriptions of the city, and some of the wackier character traits have been toned down - and the things that have kept me reading this series - the taut plotting, realistic characterisation and black humour - are even better than before.

This one is also an improvement on the others in that there is more social commentary - the power of celebrity and the glitter around footballers comes in for a bit of a satirical poke - even though these days, Aberdeen FC are no great shakes (losing 5-1 to Celtic today, at Pittodrie. Oh for the days of European Cup glory under Alex Ferguson ...)

I hope that the series continues to improve, as I'd like to see Aberdeen on the literary tourist trail!

PS Yes, it is as wet and cold in Aberdeen as it appears in the novel, it isn't literary licence for atmosphere!
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on 13 April 2011
I had never read any of his books and found the author through a recommendation by Amazon (many thanks). The book was well written and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that I have bought the rest of the series and I am gradually working my way through them. Never having been to Aberdeen (and after having read this probably never will!) it was a very realistic portrayal of the city (gooled it). The book is well worth reading, hard gritty with colourful language at times and as others recommended; read them in sequence or you lose some of the little nuances. For those who enjoy death in many forms including cannibalism then this is the series for you.
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on 19 August 2006
Having read all the Rebus and half way through the Skinners series this was a welcome alternative.

Great debut you instantly warmed to the central character particularly liked the fact that he isn't the all confident all knowing Skinner, Logan is a complex figure full of doubts in both his job ability and his personal life.

There's good element of him solving the cases without the sudden leap of inspiration he resolves things with diligent policework and trusting his damaged gut.

It is a fairly gruesome book but maybe fairly accurate of the times where only sensational murders do grab the headlines.

Certainly going to read his future novels and feel that for a debut novel this ticks a lot of boxes, particularly liked that in a similar vein to Red dragon this alouds to a previous case that has left the central character both physically and mentally scarred but without just spelling it out in one flashback.

The setting of Aberdeen I guess is as much a character as any in the book and with Taggart having sewn up Glasgow and Rebus and Skinner dominating Edinburgh, Logan could easily put Aberdeen on the Murder Map.
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on 9 October 2008
please note this book, marketed as Bloodshot, is actually Broken Skin by another name. I have just purchased it having already bought and read Broken Skin( which was fine) am now returning my spare copy.Bloodshot (Logan McRae)
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on 16 June 2009
This review applies equally to Broken Skin and Dying Light. These are good, readable books, and quite useful for whiling away ones time. They're not particularly exciting in the sense that the clues one is given as to whodunnit stand out as such, and all you have to do is wait for the rather dim Detective Seargent to act on them. And this may take a while, say 200 odd pages, or so..

The character descriptions are vivid and quite funny, but what really annoys me is that they're repeated every single time a particular character enters the scene. I don't suffer from bad memory. I am fully capable of keeping in my mind, e.g., that DI Insch invariably sits on his desk with one buttock hanging over the edge; that he's a compulsive candy-eater, and that he has a foul temper. Or that DI Steel has a habit of scratching her armpits and is heavily dependent on nicotine. It doesn't need endless repetition!!!

One thing, finally, that really amazes me, is that the one single facial expression that anyone in these books ever ever shows is 'scowling'. I haven't counted, but it must be hundreds of times. An alien must be forgiven for thinking that this is the most common English word, if all he has to go by are these books.

I don't regret reading them, but there are better novels to be had, by authors in better command of the English language.
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on 6 February 2006
I got it home and couldn't put it down. It is a great read, dark, grisly but with some great humour. Regardless of what some people on here have said, I found it believable, the characters were all realistic and I thought that 'lazarus' was particularly good, as were both the DI's and good old 'ball-breaker'. I am half way through, and can't wait to get home and read a bit more...
A note to the people that are critical on here, have you any books in print? IF I had written this book, I would be so proud of it.
A fantastic (if somewhat gruesome) story, told well and really does grip me to the point where I have no option to read on and on, sleep, work or eating being the only thing interfering so far !
Good work to the author, and look forward to the next in the line (I really do hope that Logan becomes a long term character)
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