The first body is chained to a stake: strangled, and stabbed, with a burning tyre around its neck. But is this a gangland execution or something much darker?
Someone’s leaving little knots of bones outside Detective Inspector Logan McRae’s house, but he’s got more pressing things to worry about. Rival drug gangs are fighting over product and territory; two teenage lovers are missing; someone’s crippling Asian immigrants; and Logan’s been lumbered with an ambitious new Detective Sergeant, a mountain of paperwork, and the unwelcome attention of his superiors and the local crime boss.
When another body turns up, it looks as if the similarities between these murders and the plot of a bestselling novel are more than just a coincidence. And perhaps those little knots of bones are more important than they look…
How well is it written? I found it well written in the main, but there were passages that left me a bit confused and I didn’t like that feeling that perhaps I’d missed something. For example, the action in this book takes place a full TWO YEARS after the end of the last book, but we don’t actually find that out until about half way through. DS MacRae is Acting DI, which he was at the end of the last book and it made sense that he would still be Acting Detective Inspector at the start of this book….but two years on? DCI Steele is now in charge of CID and the explanation doesn’t come til well into the last third of the book.
We see MacRae’s girlfriend still in hospital following her fall out of the window in the last book, which is entirely believable and well written about, but I felt cheated as a reader when I found out that he was having a relationship with someone else. The narrative implied that it had been going on for some time, which didn’t sit well with me because at that point I didn’t realise that this book was set two years from the ending of the last one. Steele’s daughter was a toddler in the last book, and she still is in this one….. See what I mean? Some of the details don’t match up.
There was less of the confusing dialogue that I found in the last book (where there were three way conversations on phones and radios etc) overall the storyline was well plotted, well actioned and nicely paced. The ending was spot on for me, although the explanation about the gunman seemed a bit far-fetched and not well done. I think another revision by the author or the editor at that point might have made it a bit better.
Other than that I thought it was a great job.
My overall impression? A great storyline, good plot, great characters and (almost) believable ending.
Will I read the next in the series? Yes, most definitely.
Would I recommend it to my friends? I certainly would. You can read this one on its own or you could read it as the 8th in the series. Either way you will be able to place the characters well enough to follow the subplots. It is markedly less gory than previous books in this series so, yes, go for it if you fancy it!