The Missing and The Dead

2 Oct

“The Missing and the Dead” is the first book by Stuart MacBride that I have read.  It will not be the last.

In his protagonist, Logan McCrae, MacBride has created a very interesting character.  An Acting Detective Inspector for four years, he’s back in uniform as sergeant and posted to the arse end of nowhere in Scotland.  The body of a little girl washes up, and all kinds of hell is let loose, and various serious crime squads, and McCrae’s former boss, DCI Roberta Steele, all converge on the area.

This is a very in depth book for a police procedural, almost 600 pages!  But it is damn near un-put-downable.  As well as the major crimes, we get a look at Scottish regional policing at its down and dirtiest.  There are wonderful supporting characters in the form of Janet, Deano, and Tufty – MacRae’s little team of hapless coppers.

It is rare for a novel like this to have more than a few moment of levity, but Stuart MacBride captures the dark, twisted, nature of the cop sense of humour perfectly.  I literally laughed until I cried on many occasions.

A gorgeous gem of a novel.  I look forward to extending my acquaintance with Stuart MacBride’s work.

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