With more red herrings than you can shake a fishing rod at, Scottish author Stuart MacBride has kept me guessing pretty much the whole way through Cold Granite. Stuart MacBride has constructed a brilliant beginning to the DS McRae series.
The weather is wet and windy, and because it is wet, the granite hills surrounding Aberdeen seem even more desolate to the eye, and because it is windy, the cold chills the body to the bone. It all begins, barely before McRae can warm a seat at the station, with the discovery of a dead child. The window for a live recovery of a child taken is a very small amount of time, and McRae soon finds himself in a pressure cooker to find something, anything, that will put him on the right trail. As if Logan McCraes life isnt difficult enough, in walks Colin Miller, local reporter, who has information that will help him with his case. The type of information that will jam McCrae up with his pocket full of sweets boss DI Insch, . Another complication for McCrae is watching his ex-girlfriend, the medical examiner, walking around like Gods gift to all mankind. Needless to say, all of these elements increase the pressure on an inspector who is trying to shake the rust off before one of his mistakes costs a child his life. The setting in cold, granite Aberdeen certainly adds some fascinating elements to the plot.
I love discovering these older series as there will be books waiting for me whenever I get the urge to revisit the characters. Cold Granite is the debut novel and a great start to Mr. McBrides Logan McRae collection. It seemed like every time I thought I was starting to figure things out, yet another event would occur, messing up my thinking. This book totally engaged me with all that was going on. Oh, and Colin Miller, the hated (by his colleagues) crime investigator from the local newspaper--I loved seeing the evolution of his relationship with McRae. The writing is top notch. I was totally captivated by Cold Granite and look forward to reading more of this series. I rate this book 4.5 stars. I cannot help but round up to 5 stars despite the fact that gives me minimal room to award future books a higher rating. Needless to say, I highly recommend Cold Granite to all crime fiction/thriller fans.
Well drawn characters, dialog that sounds real (though I've never been at a crime scene like any of these), and a superior officer, Insch, who is well, superior. Makes one want to take a couple of more weeks off. His ex, not certain you could call her a girlfriend, the pathologist he doesn't want to see, shows up at the crime scene. MacRae who'd rather be anywhere than here can't help this non-professional thought running through his head, Dr Isobel MacAlister: thirty-three, bobbed hair, brunette, five foot four.
(English nursery rhyme) Detective Sergeant Logan MacRae could only wish for such a case! Stuart McBrides debut novel of the Logan MacRae series begins with Aberdeen police at the scene of a grisly discovery: a young boys strangled, mutilated body lying in a ditch. Its not long before its raining missing and dead children. I love a thriller where the weather almost becomes another character, and Mr. McBride certainly manages to make Mother Nature a key figure. DI Insch, Logans boss, is a gruff guy with a sweet tooth. Man, I hope that guy has a good dentist, a good endocrinologist, and excellent insurance. Stuart McBrides characters are flawed, funny, and so much fun to read. Cold Granite is serious stuff, and much of it is really not meant to be read at the breakfast table. (They drink a lot of tea in this book - and plenty of stronger stuff too.) I cant wait to read more of this series.
But it seemed the media knew more than the police did. As the dangers intensified and the suspects multiplied, Logan felt the intense pressure of looming failure would they find the vicious killer before more died?
This is the first novel featuring Detective Sergeant Logan McRae, who is a very human and flawed character. In fact, almost as soon as McRae returns to work, the crime rate is about to soar.
But we couldn't prove it." - Detective Inspector Steel There is a lot to like in Stuart MacBrides police procedural, Cold Granite. To start with, the story is sprinkled with humorous lines like the one above, delivered by likeable, almost quirky, characters. The author does a great job of balancing the humorous moments with the more serious, and quite gruesome, aspects of the main story. I think because of this, Logan initially felt like a bit of a void to me. Another aspect of the story I liked was the setting.
I liked DS Logan McRae. I could be wrong, but most books set in the UK that Ive read seem to have a lead character who is a DI with a DS sidekick. Main character DS McRae was a nice change. Some characters, like Dr. Isobel MacAlister, didnt get as well developed and her history with McRae had no depth.
MacBride The life and times of a bearded write-ist. I could have been performing my earth-shattering rendition of 'Three Blind Mice' at the Albert Hall by now!); appeared in some bizarre World War Two musical production; did my best to avoid eating haggis and generally ran about the place a lot. Then some more freelance design work, a handful of voiceovers for local radio and video production companies and a bash at being an actor (with a small 'a'), giving it up when it became clear there was no way I was ever going to be good enough to earn a decent living. It was about this time I fell into bad company -- a blonde from Fife who conned me into marrying her -- and started producing websites for a friend's fledgling Internet company.