Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Review: Now We Are Dead by Stuart MacBride

Kerry Hammond is here to review a new-to-her author and a book set in Scotland.

Stuart MacBride’s Now We Are Dead was released in Hardcover on January 30 by HarperCollins Publishers. This book is a standalone spinoff of the author’s popular Logan McRae series, which contains 12 books set in Aberdeen. They feature Detective Sergeant McRae as he investigates crime on the east coast of Scotland. I haven’t read any of the Logan MacRae books, instead I jumped right into this book without any knowledge of the characters, their quirks, or their background. It was a wild ride.

Former Detective Chief Inspector Roberta Steel—former because she’s been demoted for planting evidence to try and get a serial rapist convicted—is ornery, brash, loud, rude, and just plain insulting. She’s also pretty good at hear job, although she was doing much better before she was caught fitting up Jack Wallace, a man she knows to be a rapist but has had a hard time proving. She’s still determined to get him, though, and is like a dog with a bone as she follows him, picks through his mail, and does everything in her power to nail him for the crimes she knows he’s committed. Unfortunately, the police force isn’t behind her on the whole Wallace thing, and her superiors want her to chase mobile phone thieves. When a rape occurs and Wallace has too convenient an alibi, Steel is on his trail again—but he might just have something in store for her too.

This was an extremely interesting read. Steel is very scratchy and hard to like, and the dialogue takes a bit getting used to. Her methods are extremely unorthodox but her heart is in the right place and you still root for her to come out on top. I think I might like to read a Logan McRae book and see what Steel is like as a side character rather than the star of the show.

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