Saturday, August 29, 2009

Review: BLIND EYE by Stuart MacBride

BLIND EYE by Stuart MacBride (HarperCollins, 2009)

Reviewed by Craig Sisterson

The fifth and latest instalment in Stuart MacBride's acclaimed DS Logan McRae series takes us once more into the dark heart of Aberdeen, although this time we're looking through the sticky lens of a sweltering summer, rather than the rain-smashed freezing winters of previous books. And while the cannibalistic serial killer of Flesh House is thankfully in the rearview mirror, McRae and the rest of his Grampian police colleagues are still struggling with the after-effects.

And then they're faced with something perhaps even more gruesome.

The city's growing Polish community is under attack from a serial offender who leaves behind horrifically mutilated victims. Not dead, but perhaps wishing they were - their eyes have been gouged out and the sockets burned.

With the victims too scared to talk, McRae has an investigation going nowhere.
Then things get even worse - well-known bookie Simon McLeod becomes the latest victim, and McRae is swept up into the world of Aberdeen's most vicious crime lord - a world of drug wars, hardcore porn, prostitution rings and gun-running. As if that wasn't enough, McRae must also fend off the maternal needs of DI Steel, his hard-living lesbian boss.

MacBride's crime writing is high quality and well worth a read by those not worried about weak stomachs. Fans of Mo Hayder, Mark Billingham or New Zealander Paul Cleave will love his mixture of dark crime and dark humour.

Blind Eye is packed with ferocious action, an engrossing storyline and crackling dialogue. One of the most enjoyable aspects is the realistic portrayal of group dynamics the interactions between McRae and his police colleagues are full of colourful language, ribbing and shared histories.

I, for one, eagerly await MacBride's next instalment.

This review was originally published in print in the Nelson Mail newspaper

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