I came across Stuart MacBride when he won "Celebrity Mastermind" a week or so ago. The host asked Macbride what he did when his first novel, "Cold Granite",was so well received that his publishers asked him for the next novel in the series, even though he had no plan for one. MacBride replied, "Well, it was write another novel or carry on working in IT. So... here's another novel."
That was enough for me to get hold of an audio book copy of *Cold Granite"
Set in the perpetually rain-drenched granite streets of Aberdeen, "Cold Granite" tells the story of DS Logan "Lazarus" McRae's return to work after a long sick leave recovering from a knife attack. On his first day back he ends up investigating the death of a young child.
What follows is a very Scottish police procedural, crammed with local colour, larger than life characters, raucous humour and unflinching descriptions of death, decay and violence.
The pace is perfect. The relationships inside the police force and between the police officers and the press felt very real. There are plenty of credible suspects, a twisted trail of crimes and criminals and, at the heart of it all, a young DS still learning his trade. McRae works hard, is not yet comfortable with his rank, occasionally screws up but mostly spends his energy doggedly pulling together the pieces of the puzzle that can lead him to the murderer.
It is straightforward crime fiction that delivers good entertainment and memorable characters.
Like MacBride's publishers, I'm demanding more. Fortunately, I'm twelve years late to this party so there are another nine books already in print.
"Cold Granite" is narrated with great skill by Steve Worsley. Click on the SoundCloud link below for a sample
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