Cold Granite (Logan McRae) by Stuart MacBride

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Cold Granite (Logan McRae) by Stuart MacBride

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The first in what has now become a long-running series. It's a cracker of a start and despiute the rather sad subject matter, a very good read. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 592/13h20m Date: July 2005
Publisher: Harper
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0312339951

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DS Logan McRae is just back from a year's sick leave after he was attacked by a killer. He's just about OK and he's supposed to be easing himself back into the swing of the job in a gentle way - until three-year-old David Reid's body is discovered in a ditch. He'd been missing for some time and it came as no surprise that he was dead, but he's the first of several child murders. To add to the complications the police even have a body but no child reported missing. A serial killer, a child killer and abuser, is on the loose in Aberdeen and the press are missing no opportunity to bay for blood. As if that wasn't bad enough there seems to be a leak from within Force Headquarters: a local journalist, Colin Miller, quickly finds out everything that's happening.

I've long been a fan of Stuart MacBride's Logan McRae series: it's crisp and well-written with plots which are realistic but keep you guessing until the last moment, but as with many series, I joined it late, so it was good to have the opportunity to go back to the beginning and see where it all came from. I'm glad that I did. It's not unusual for a good crime series to have a mediocre start, but MacBride hits the ground running. The characters are excellent: even relatively minor players are fully fleshed out. McRae is professional but likeable. Colin Miller, the journalist, is unprofessional and infinitely dislikeable - his colleagues at the Press and Journal even suggest that a little police brutality wouldn't go amiss - but when you get to know him you develop a sneaking regard. My favourite was WPC Jackie Watson, known as 'ball-breaker' at FHQ, who can kick down a door with the best of them and you'd think twice about tangling with her.

MacBride deals with the problem of child sex abuse sensitively and avoids any graphic details, but that's not to say that you're not aware of the horror of it and the way that the after effects can be passed down the generations. It seems strange to say that I enjoyed such a story but MacBride has written a cracker and I'd like to thank the publishers for making a copy available to the Bookbag.

As well as reading the book I listened to an audio download (which I bought myself) narrated by Steve Worsley. Worsley has an exceptional range of voices and regional accents, which remain consistent throughout the book and I was never in any doubt about which character was speaking. I've listened to later books in the series, also narrated by Worsley, and we hear the same voices throughout: that's a professional at work.

There's only one snag about this book: you're almost certainly going to want to read the whole series!

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