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*** My thanks to the amazingly lovely people at First Monday Crime for my copy of this book and for asking me to be part of their review panel ***

 

Description:

She can’t prove he did it. But she might die trying…

From the Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series, comes a standalone spinoff featuring DS Roberta Steel.

Revenge is a dangerous thing…

Detective Chief Inspector Roberta Steel got caught fitting up Jack Wallace – that’s why they demoted her and quashed his sentence. Now he’s back on the streets and women are being attacked again. Wallace has to be responsible, but if Detective Sergeant Steel goes anywhere near him, his lawyers will get her thrown off the force for good.

The Powers That Be won’t listen to her, not after what happened last time. According to them, she’s got more than enough ongoing cases to keep her busy. Perhaps she could try solving a few instead of harassing an innocent man?

Steel knows Wallace is guilty. And the longer he gets away with it, the more women will suffer. The question is: how much is she willing to sacrifice to stop him?

My Thoughts & Review:

Firstly, apologies to my dad for rubbing it in that I got to read this before he did…..usually he buys Stuart MacBride’s books the minute they’re released and lords it over me that he’ll have read it before me, but revenge is sweet….I gloated that I knew the book was coming out before him, I got a copy before him and most importantly I read the whole thing before publication day (insert smug daughter face here).

Right, now that I’ve got that out of the way, let me talk about this book.  For fans of Stuart MacBride’s books, you are in for a treat.  Anyone that loves his books will no doubt have a soft spot for Roberta Steel and her unique ways, her morale boosting techniques and ever so delicately eloquent phrases.  I was so excited to hear that this book would feature Steel, there’s something about this character that I’ve watched develop over the many books that she’s appeared in.  That’s not to say that you can’t pick this book up without having read any of the previous books, this is a stand alone book from the Logan McRae series and there is more than enough detail to confidently understand what has transpired previously to result in our leading lady’s demotion from DCI to DS.

I won’t go into the ins and outs of the plot, mainly because I don’t want to give anything away.  But you are guaranteed laughter from the very opening pages with MacBride’s wonderful descriptive writing – who else would describe their leading character in such a way as:

…..grey hair sticking out in all directions like a

demented ferret. Face set in a grimace. Probably hadn’t done
any serious running since she was a kid – trying not to get
eaten by dinosaurs.

If you know the various colourful descriptions of Roberta Steel from previous books then you can be sure that nothing has been lost at all with her having her own book – the spotlight hasn’t gone to her head and made her all glamorous that’s for sure!

It was also nice to see DC Quirrel, a.k.a. Tufty who first appeared in the Logan McRae books.  His unique brand of humour works perfectly alongside Steel’s brusque manner, but there’s definitely an excellent pairing with these two.  I think Tufty helps to bring out Steel’s softer side, dragging her caring side kicking and screaming into the light.  She acts as a good mentor to him (in her own unique way), and there’s definitely a genuine air of care towards her young DC.  Tufty is one of those characters that you cannot help but love, he’s funny, caring and embarrassingly shy at times, something that Steel abuses when it comes to a certain colleague (PC Kate Mackintosh).

Dark humour is a trademark of MacBride’s novels and this one has it in spades.  This coupled with the local dialect, Doric just means this book scores highly with me.  Seeing “aye aye” and “hoy” in the narrative just made me smile, always nice to see a little bit of home in a book.  The great descriptions of Aberdeen and surrounding areas felt really authentic, and I found I was recalling the layout of Union Street etc from memory as the story played out in my head.  The plot is superb, despite being very dark and somewhat disturbing at times, the humour woven throughout provides light relief.  But Stuart, how could you, that poor wee wifie Mrs Galloway….

If you get the chance to read this I would highly recommend it, it’s sharp, it’s witty and it’s everything you love about Stuart MacBride’s writing.  Oh and check out Tufty’s super secret map of Aberdeen, it’s pretty spot on (comes with this Aberdonian’s seal of approval).

I could probably blether on more about this book but I’ll stop while the going is good and before I start mentioning things I shouldn’t (there are so many bits I’ve deleted from this review because they hint towards stuff, and it’s taken me over a week to get this review done!)

You can order a copy of Now We Are Dead via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository

 

About the Author

SM

Image and bio courtesy of HarperCollins

Stuart MacBride was born in Dumbarton, near Glasgow and moved to Aberdeen at the age of two. After dropping out of university to work offshore he went to work for himself as a graphic designer, eventually becoming studio manager for a nationwide marketing company. He gave it all up to have a go at becoming an actor, until it became clear to him that he was never going to be good enough to make a decent living out of it.

Whilst progressing through a whole new career in the IT sector, ending up as project manager for a global IT company, Stuart also wrote in his spare time. He is now the No.1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series and the Ash Henderson series.

His novels have won him the CWA Dagger in the Library, the Barry Award for Best Debut Novel, and Best Breakthrough Author at the ITV3 Crime Thriller awards. In 2012 Stuart was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Hall of Fame.

Stuart’s other works include Halfhead, a near-future thriller, Sawbones, a novella aimed at adult emergent readers, and several short stories.

He lives in the north-east of Scotland with his wife, Fiona and cats Grendel, Gherkin, Onion, and Beetroot, some hens, horses, and a vast collection of assorted weeds..

Social Media links:  Twitter | Facebook | Website

 

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