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06 May 2015

Stuart MacBride: Broken Skin (Logan McRae, Book 3)

Another top "Scottish Noir" Crime Thriller
Once again Stuart MacBride has produced a top "Scottish Noir" crime thriller featuring DS Logan McRae and his whacky police colleagues in Aberdeen. While Aberdeen is the star location for most of the action it shines as a place that I would like to avoid, both in climate and lifestyle.

McRae is caught up in the investigation of a myriad of difficult and violent cases, mostly with a violent sexual background. A bloody body is found with terrible wounds and investigations suggest that a local BDSM bondage group may know something about it. A serial rapist is menacing and torturing girls in both Aberdeen and Dundee. An attack on Logan's girl-friend PC Jackie ‘Ball Breaker’ Watson who was out along late acting as bait suggests that it may be Aberdeen Football Club’s star player - but he has an alibi for each time the rapist strikes. Jackie is not convinced and she is hell-bent on proving that he is the rapist. On top of all of this an 8 year old boy runs away after he stabs and kills an old man and puts a policewoman into intensive care with knife wounds.

This all means lots of overtime for McRae, but lots of problems in dealing with his superiors, overweight and angry DI Inch and foul mouthed crazy lesbian DI Steel. All of this is light and very amusing relief from trying to find murderers and a rapist. A warning - there are some parts of the book with very vivid descriptions of violence and sex that are not for the faint hearted.

There is one amusing dig at MacBride's biggest competitor in the field of "Scottish Noir", Ian Rankin. When the local BDSM group plan their activities they meet in an upstairs room of a local pub under the pretext of  discussing books by Ian Rankin.

You probably need to read earlier books in the series to really appreciate the characters and the setting. McRae is a bit of an enigmatic character to me, a good diligent policeman who deserves better from his job and from his bosses. All in all another very realistic but amusing police procedural which is well recommended. I plan to keep on reading more books in this addictive series.

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