Stuart MacBride

In the Cold Dark Ground



Sergeant Logan McRae is in trouble…

His missing-persons investigation has just turned up a body in the woods – naked, hands tied behind its back, and a bin bag duct-taped over its head. The Major Investigation Team charges up from Aberdeen, under the beady eye of Logan's ex-boss, Detective Chief Inspector Steel. And as usual, she wants him to do her job for her. But it's not going to be easy: a new Superintendent is on her way up from the Serious Organised Crime Task Force, hell-bent on making Logan's life miserable; Professional Standards are gunning for Steel; and Wee Hamish Mowat, head of Aberdeen's criminal underbelly, is dying – leaving rival gangs from all over the UK eying his territory.

There's a war brewing and Logan's trapped right in the middle, whether he likes it or not.

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Regular readers of may well be aware of my love for MacBride's books. The issue when reviewing favoured authors for the umpteenth time is that I feel I owe to the readers to say something different about an author or series I've already waxed lyrical on. Sorry, but I can't, simply because 'In the Cold Dark Ground' is absolutely brilliant. From witty lines to gruesome murders, sublime plotting to larger-than-life characters everything I expected was there in abundance. Logan and Steel have their usual banter although MacBride ratchets things up to new levels as he toys with the lives of his characters. To be a character in a MacBride novel must surely be a fate worse than death, such is his manipulation of both their personal and professional lives. The plot may seem complicated with hindsight, but while reading never once did I feel overwhelmed by the multiple threads. I even managed to guess the killer before being told. If you enjoy dark fiction shot through with humour, 'In the Cold Dark Ground' will be your kind of book. Trust me, it's fan-flipping-tastic!

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