From Publishers Weekly
at the start of McBride's vivid third Det. Sgt. Logan MacRae police procedural (after 2006's Dying Light
), the Aberdeen police, on the trail of a serial rapist, catch Scottish sports hero Rob Macintyre stalking tarted-up Woman Police Constable Jackie Watson, MacRae's live-in lover. Macintyre's arrest ignites public sentiment against the police, stifling the investigation. Meanwhile, a second case drags MacRae into the local s&m scene, where he gets an unexpected education in the sordid details from his red-faced assistant constable, and then he has to track down an eight-year-old killer. The one thing the three cases have in common is that nothing is what it seems. MacRae bounces back and forth among them, yanked between two cranky, childlike detective inspectors demanding overtime and loyalty. When Jackie starts behaving suspiciously, Logan fears the truth may be worse than unfaithfulness. With a dose of sharp wit, MacBride effortlessly interweaves the plot strands while conjuring up three-dimensional characters who slog through the relentless sleet of Aberdeen. (Aug.)
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*Starred Review* Sardonic humor and dark themes suffuse MacBride's third top-notch Scottish police procedural to star Aberdeen detective sergeant Logan McRae. This time around, DS McRae faces a trio of troublesome cases: an eight-year-old boy who has murdered an elderly pensioner; a porn star who has died a most ignominious (and invasive) death; and a series of rapes whose chief suspect, a popular soccer player, repeatedly eludes arrest. Under the supervision of chain-smoking, expletive-spewing, armpit-scratching female inspector Steel, Logan bounces between assignments, hoping for a break. Steel isn't the worst of the police department higher-ups: perpetually irked Detective Inspector Insch gives Logan grief every moment he isn't stuffing his face with fruit pastilles. Things aren't going well for Logan on the domestic front, either; his colleague and live-in lover has become increasingly distant and distracted. Could she be slipping between the sheets with another DS? Like fellow countryman Ian Rankin (who receives a few wry nods in the course of the novel), MacBride deftly blends a suspenseful story line and subversive wit. Relentless rain soaks the long-suffering citizens of Aberdeen (is it any wonder they're inclined to such unsavory acts?). But MacBride offsets the grim goings-on with a cast of irrepressible characters whose banter is bawdy and crime-solving talent sublime. Block, Allison