All That's Dead (Logan McRae 12) by Stuart MacBride

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All That's Dead (Logan McRae 12) by Stuart MacBride

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Category: Crime
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Logan 'Lazarus' McRae is back at work in Professional Standards after a year off after he was stabbed. He's given a nice, simple case to ease him back into the world of work, only it turns out to be anything but. If you're offended by coarse language, anti-English statements and silliness in public office it's probably not the book for you. Otherwise, it's a cracker.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 448/13h58m Date: May 2019
Publisher: Harper Collins
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0008208264

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It seemed like a good idea. Logan 'Lazarus' McRae was back at work after a year off sick. He'd been stabbed in the line of duty and recovery had been slow: he still had some pain. His first case was to be a simple one - just to ease him back into work - but it turned out to be anything but. Professor Wilson, a high-profile anti-independence campaigner has gone missing, apparently abducted from his home, but nothing was left behind except some bloodstains. In much the same way that Brexit is dividing people south of the border, there's going to be a war between the pro- and anti-independence factions in Scotland - and the police are not above being involved.

It's a big book - just about 450 pages if you're reading it and just shy of fourteen hours if you're listening - and Stuart MacBride allows himself full rein. You'll get to know all (the good and the bad) about the team in Professional Standards and you'll understand how they interact with each other. Personally I could swing for Tufty, who annoys the hell out of me, but I've got to admit that I laughed a lot as I read and listened. Whether or not you enjoy this book will depend on your sensitivities. If you're offended by coarse language, graphic descriptions of crime scenes, anti-English sentiments and childishness in public office, then it's probably not for you. If you're OK with all of that then the book's a cracker.

I've been a bit naive in my thinking on Scottish independence: I thought it was a part of a country deciding that it wanted to go it alone. I'd never fully appreciated the extent to which voter's feelings were based on what they were wanting to escape from (ties to the vile English) as what they wanted to achieve. MacBride illustrates this perfectly to the extent that one of my long term plans has changed. My husband is Scottish by birth and we'd always thought that if Scotland did achieve independence we might well move there in the hope that we would, at some point in the not-too-distant future, become European citizens again. I don't have the advantage of Scottish birth and I now think I would be reluctant to brave the anti-English feelings.

That didn't spoil a great plot though. Logan's 'simple' case turns rather more complicated when the hands of the man who's been abducted turn up in the post at the television studios. As if that wasn't enough, the Inspector in charge of the case is about to be outed as a former member of a terrorist cell. As Logan's from Professional Standards the decision is made that he will 'assist' the Inspector, but in reality, keep an eye on him. It's better than sacking him as that would make the police look guilty, instead, he'll be in charge of the case and if it isn't settled quickly, he'll be the scapegoat. Logan's position makes him the scapegoat's scapegoat.

As well as reading the book, I listened to an audio recording (which I paid for myself) narrated by Steve Worsley. He was superb, with one of the best ranges of voices which I've encountered. I was never in doubt as to which character I was listening to and whilst some narrators come between the reader and the book, Worsley never does. In fact he makes it more accessible. I've listened to other recordings from this series and Worsley is consistently good throughout.

I'd like to thank the publishers for making the book available to the Bookbag.

The book reads well as a standalone, but you might understand more of the complex relationships within the police if you read earlier books in the series. It's no burden!

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