Thursday, 25 November 2010

Stuart MacBride: Broken Skin

Second in the series of Logan McRae novels, and maintaining the high standard of the first, Broken Skin is another romp through Aberdeen's lowlives and a distressing insight into the alcohol and deep-fried diet of the granite city's plods.

The two main strands of this novel are the attempt to capture a serial rapist and the search for a murderer with more interest in leather goods and marital aids than is good for you. As the victim found out. For the former we already have a strong candidate - unfortunately he's a star footballer with a sly lawyer and a high degree of cunning. Logan's now live-in girlfriend, WPC Ballbreaker Watson, is after chummy and there's a strong feeling that if she can't get her man she'll at least get his soft squidgy bits.

As to the hunt for the murderer, the denouement will have you both snorting with laughter and curling your toes. A tour de force scene for the wonderful DI Steel  (she's the half-insane, chainsmoking, bacon-sarnie munching lesbian), it ends with a constable who'll never eat sliced bread again - I won't say any more lest I spoil the scene.

Throw in an eight year old who exhibits the savagery craved by a Daily Mail headline writer (knife child murders war hero) to keep DS McRae busy, plus a few more police matters to keep him from the pub, and you have yet another great read from Stuart MacBride.  You can read this without having seen the first novel (though perhaps better to have read Cold Granite); if you do I can guarantee that you'll be searching out that and the rest of the series.


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