It starts with a prostitute, stripped naked and beaten to death down by the docks, in the heart of Aberdeen's red light district. For DS Logan MacRae it's a bad start to another bad day. Only a few short months ago, he was the golden boy of Grampian police. But one botched raid later, he's palmed off on a DI everyone knows is a jinx, waiting for the axe to fall with all the other rejects in the "Screw-up Squad". Logan's not going to take it lying down. He's determined to escape DI Steel and her unconventional methods, and the best way to do that is to crack the case in double-quick time. But Rosie Williams won't be the only one making an unscheduled trip to the morgue. Across the city six people are burning to death in a petrol-soaked squat, the doors and windows screwed shut from the outside. And despite Logan's best efforts, it's not long before another prostitute turns up on the slab.
Stuart MacBride's characteristic grittiness, gallows humour and lively characterisation are on full display here, confirming his status as the rising star of crime fiction.
"The story is violent and bloody; some of the crimes are vicious, and MacBride doesn't hold back on the details. But there is plenty of dark humour, and a warmth to the portrayal of the police officers which lightens an otherwise grim tale by this very talented writer." (Sunday Telegraph)
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- A. J. McConachie
Cover your ears!