Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Close To The Bone by Stuart MacBride

Things are chaotic in DS Logan McRae's Aberdeen, Scotland home.  Rival drug gangs are fighting over product and territory and the local crime lord wants McRae to mediate.  He has a new chief, DI Steele, who rides him day and night and makes the most outlandish requests.  There is a movie being filmed about witches in the city, and someone seems to be taking it way too seriously by imitating the scenes in the book.  Unfortunately, those scenes include murdering those the book's protagonist considers to be witches.  McRae's girlfriend is still in the hospital from his last case, and his apartment is still uninhabitable.  Finally, someone is leaving small bundles of tied bones around his temporary home.

Then the murders start.  The first is a derelict who is necklaced--fitted with a tire over his head trapping his arms and then set alight.  This scene is straight out of the movie.  A local teenager, who is off her meds, is missing, and she is convinced she is the true witch finder.  Is she responsible for the murder?  As the cases progress, more murders occur and time is running out for McRae.  Can he solve the cases before he is targeted himself?

Close To The Bone is the eighth Logan McRae novel, and fans will rejoice that he has returned.  Those who start with this book will be fine, except for one thing:  as soon as I turned the last page, I went out and bought the first three.  The dialect and conversation between McRae and those he works with and encounters are sterling.  McRae is a gritty hero with a good heart who works against time and those twists of fate that seem to occur regularly to solve the crimes that threaten his city.   Fans of Reginald Hill will be reminded of his Dalziel and Pascoe series, except no one would ever accuse McRae of being bookish like Pascoe.  This book is highly recommended for mystery readers.

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