Published: 20 April 2017
Copy provided by HarperCollins & Netgalley
Gripping standalone thriller from the Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series.
Welcome to the Misfit Mob…
It’s where Police Scotland dumps the officers it can’t get rid of, but wants to: the outcasts, the troublemakers, the compromised. Officers like DC Callum MacGregor, lumbered with all the boring go-nowhere cases. So when an ancient mummy turns up at the Oldcastle tip, it’s his job to find out which museum it’s been stolen from.
But then Callum uncovers links between his ancient corpse and three missing young men, and life starts to get a lot more interesting. O Division’s Major Investigation Teams already have more cases than they can cope with, so, against everyone’s better judgement, the Misfit Mob are just going to have to manage this one on their own.
No one expects them to succeed, but right now they’re the only thing standing between the killer’s victims and a slow, lingering death. The question is, can they prove everyone wrong before he strikes again?
My Thoughts & Review:
As a long-established fan of Stuart MacBride’s books, it was only natural for me to excitedly jump at the chance to read and review an early copy of “A Dark so Deadly”. At over 600 pages this is a hefty book, but the Aberdonian in me approves at the value for money you get with it (yep, my preorder was placed the minute I found out about this book and I’ll be following the local post delivery agent aka ‘the postie’ round the village till it arrives).
Following on the success of his police procedurals with Logan McRae and Ash Henderson, Stuart MacBride brings fans a new set of characters in a thrilling police procedural set in the fictional town of Oldcastle. Enter DC Callum MacGregor, recently dumped in the Misfit Mob under a rather dark cloud with speculation and rumour rife. The Misfit Mob named accordingly because the officers assigned there are either trouble(d), damaged, incompetent or do not toe the line as they should and cannot be sacked from the Force.
The opening chapter of this book really sets out how things are going to go for Callum MacGregor – battered, bitten, has an unexpected meeting with “The Claw” which leaves him able to sing soprano and he is mugged by the most unlikely culprits. He’s not the luckiest of people, and this is nothing compared to what happens next. But in spite of this, he is quite an endearing soul, his troubled past is enough to make most readers feel some sympathy towards him and indeed once his current situation evolves into chaos…well you’d be forgiven for wanting to give him a hug, a cuppa, and a few words about life going on.
MacBride is a skilled author, and this is clear through his wonderful style of writing. Not only is the reader treated to his usual brand of dark humour with a gritty edge, there is a seriously dangerous killer to taunt us, one that is horrifically unstable and will cause readers discomfort. The narration from the perspective of the victims adds an extra sinister edge to this killer and if I’m honest, it really creeped me out, however it gave a fantastic insight into the depths of the darkness that permeate this book. Just when the reader begins to squirm uncomfortably, MacBride throws in some of the best humorous scenes I’ve read recently, and quirky dialogue between characters makes for some entertaining reading. Even the poetic DS McAdams was welcomed interruption to the grisly goings on.
As the multiple strands of the plot weave together this changes from a thrilling, fast paced read to a frantic page turner. In the beginning I did wonder how it would all pull together, and I shouldn’t have worried, MacBride knows how to spin a yarn that will capture the attention of his audience and hold them fast and despite the heftiness of the book I read this over the course of two evenings as I struggled to stop reading.
I cannot wait to see what fates befall the Misfit Mob and Oldcastle next if Stuart MacBride decides to bring these guys out again. A must read for fans of crime thrillers and police procedurals.
You can buy a copy of “A Dark so Deadly” via:
My thanks to the publisher for the opportunity to read and review an early copy of this.