Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* If MacBride's newest bad guy doesn't quite top his last one, a Margaret Thatcher-masked serial killer whose butchered victims turned up in supermarket freezers, it's not for lack of trying. Oedipus leaves his victims alive after scooping out their eyeballs and setting fire to the sockets. The criminals of Aberdeen, Scotland, are certainly doing their best to scare off tourists. After a close call with Oedipus, Detective Sergeant Logan Lazarus McRae finds himself scrambling to protect a terrified eyewitness, a pedophile who needs protection from McRae, too. Add anti-Polish immigrant tension, looming gang war, and departmental politics that make Lord of the Flies look like Gilligan's Island and it's just another week at the office for the long-suffering McRae. MacBride's mix of white knuckles, gray skies, and black humor has proven successful, but the ingredient that keeps readers coming back, book after book, is character. The oft-berated McRae has, as one character describes it, a high fuck-up to brilliance ratio, earning our undying sympathy. The top-notch supporting cast, including the riotously funny Detective Inspector Steel, a foulmouthed lesbian now demanding that McRae get her wife pregnant, evolves with each book, adding just enough new faces to keep things fresh. Fans of a series can sometimes feel let down when subsequent entries don't provide the same thrill of discovery as the first encounter, but when the author keeps writing new ones as good as the old ones, it's certainly not his fault.--Graff, Keir Copyright 2009 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Det. Sgt. Logan McRae, who's still recovering from the bloody events of 2008's Flesh, investigates a series of brutal attacks on Polish immigrants in MacBride's excellent fifth novel to feature the Aberdeen, Scotland, cop. A local xenophobe, bitter about the influx of Polish workers, appears to be the culprit, but when one of the city's local crime bosses is assaulted, McRae begins to wonder if the violence is the result of a brewing turf war between Scottish crime figures and encroaching Eastern European thugs. Meanwhile, McRae and foul-mouthed Det. Insp. Roberta Steele are stuck babysitting Rory Simpson, a pedophile who becomes an inadvertent-but key-witness. MacBride's liberal use of humor, especially in the often slapstick rapport between McRae and the crusty Steel, never detracts from the action. A lesser writer would have fumbled such a complexly layered plot, but MacBride is in his element the more dark and twisted the story-and characters-become. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
In his fifth outing (after Flesh House), Logan McRae, a Scottish detective sergeant in the Aberdeen Police Force, is investigating a series of blindings involving Polish immigrants, which are followed by vicious anonymous letters sent to the police. When a call to a Polish liaison officer reveals that there is a history of identical crimes in Poland, McRae is sent to Warsaw and then Krakow to locate some of the victims. In Krakow, he is finally successful, but things take an unexpected turn, and McRae is drawn into gangland turf wars in Poland and Scotland. Back in Aberdeen, he's in deep trouble with the rival gangs and with his superiors. Just when McRae thinks he's figured out what is going on, he discovers that he's gotten things very, very wrong. Verdict MacBride's tightly written plot is liberally seeded with suspense and humor. An essential read for his fans and readers who enjoy gritty British procedurals. [Library marketing campaign.]-Lisa Hanson O'Hara, Univ. of Manitoba Libs., Winnipeg (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.