Alison and Jenny McGregor are the media darlings of Aberdeen. A local mother and young daughter, they are destined to go far on Britain’s Next Big Star, the latest smash-hit television talent show. But someone sees a way of making money for themselves – and kidnaps Alison and Jenny, demanding millions in ransom. The nation is charged with raising the millions of ransom money for their newest favourite celebrities and the media is going crazy with the coverage.
The Aberdeen police force, including DS Logan McRae, are under ever-increasing pressure to find the pair before the ransom deadline, but they have nothing to go on – the kidnappers are somehow leaving no forensic traces. And then a toe arrives in the mail…
The seventh in MacBride’s Logan McRae series – I’ve reviewed his excellent stand-alone Birthdays for the Dead on the blog but not one from this series. That’s partly because, for me, the series started off very strong but seemed to be waning a bit by book six. But as I said, I loved Birthdays for the Dead, so figured it was time to check in on Logan again. But was it worth it?
Oh yes. Most definitely.
How can I put this best? This was a bloody fantastic read – unputdownable, in fact. I’ve been carrying my Kindle around with me the past few days, reading snatches of the book whenever I can. And as soon as I finished it, I’ve got straight down to blogging about it.
Other authors take note – it’s perfectly possible to write a police procedural, give some of the villains page-time, and still make a mystery of it. And a mystery which, while not littered with clues like a Christie or a Carr, has one thing staring you in the face that the importance of you will miss. I guarantee it.
The book is filled with detailed dark characters on both sides of the law (I did like the wonderfully named Biohazard Bob in particular, a less-than sanitary policeman) and Logan McRae is an amazing complex one – a stunningly flawed individual who you cannot help but siding with. The ending of the book is simply heartbreaking and I cannot wait to see where we go from here.
I’m going to say nothing more about the plot, but massive bonus points are awarded for the pseudonyms of the villains – regular blog readers will know why. And on the off-chance readers are easily offended, I should say that it’s a bit sweary in places. And a lot sweary in most of the other places.
So, a police procedural, a thriller and a mystery. If you’re a fan of crime fiction, then I heartily recommend this book. One of the best things I’ve read this year – and I’ve read a lot.
I bought this book myself and I’ll be buying the next one soon as well.